As awareness spreads about the multiple benefits of social and emotional learning (SEL) for students and staff alike, a growing number of districts are adopting systemic strategies that embed SEL into every aspect of school life. They are building SEL into their strategic plans and budgets. They are using SEL to help school leaders create the kind of positive climates that keep students safe and make learning possible. They are using SEL to inform classroom instruction and strengthen teacher-student relationships. And SEL is driving their collaborations with families and community partners.
Much of the innovative work is happening in our partner districts, large and small, including the eight large urban school systems that are participating in our multiyear Collaborating Districts Initiative.
Use our District Theory of Action framework to learn more about how to implement district-wide SEL, including links to helpful tools, templates, and advice.
- Conduct an SEL-related resources and needs assessment to inform goals for districtwide SEL.
- Develop a vision that prioritizes academic, social, and emotional learning.
- Develop expertise in academic, social, and emotional learning theory, research, and practice at the central office level.
- Design and implement effective professional learning programs to build internal capacity for academic, social, and emotional learning.
- Align resources to support academic, social, and emotional learning programming.
- Communicate about academic, social, and emotional learning with a variety of stakeholders.
- Establish PreK–12 learning standards for students’ social and emotional competence.
- Adopt and implement evidence-based programs for academic, social, and emotional learning across all grades.
- Integrate SEL programming with other existing initiatives, including academic improvement, at the district and school levels.
- Establish processes to continuously improve academic, social, and emotional learning through inquiry and data collection.
District Planning Rubric
Download our 10-part theory of action and rubric. Learn more.