District Partnerships

Through our partnerships, we support and learn about systemic implementation of high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning.

CASEL partners with districts and regional offices of education to cultivate the knowledge, skill, and will for high-quality, systemic SEL implementation grounded in our District Theory of Action. These partnerships are designed to transform learning experiences in schools around the country. Our work to develop and test this systemic model began in 2011 with eight large districts in our Collaborating Districts Initiative (CDI). Now, our district partnerships span 35 suburban, urban, and rural regions in our Community Network Partners and serve up to 45 districts each year through our SEL Fellows Academy.

Our Community Network Partners meet virtually every month to share and accelerate their work, collaboratively problem-solve, and engage in professional learning. They address critical topics such as SEL as a lever for academic growth, continuous improvement of SEL implementation, SEL and mental health promotion, and best practices for adult SEL and well-being. CASEL supports each community’s implementation efforts and connects partners to resources. Through focused conversations, leaders from these districts and regions share about implementation successes and challenges while finding a support network among those doing similar work. Together, this community helps one another deeply embed SEL in the experiences of all students and adults. 

Studying and scaling SEL across school systems

Back to top

The work to study and scale high-quality, evidence-based SEL across school systems began in 2011 when CASEL launched an unprecedented initiative in eight of the largest and most complex school systems in the country. The goal of the CDI was to create a comprehensive shift in how superintendents and entire school districts approach education. 

Over the next decade, the CDI grew into a sustained and comprehensive initiative that made SEL an integral part of education across 20 large school districts. These districts became pioneers in building understanding about and knowledge of systemic SEL implementation. We worked closely with the CDI districts to hypothesize, field test, and document the best practices for SEL implementation with their staff, students, families, and communities to create supportive, enriching education environments where students thrive.

With their generous partnership, what we learned has now reached thousands of school districts and millions of students in the U.S. and abroad. Our work has confirmed and fortified our initial belief that systemic SEL implementation is not only possible, it is sustainable and powerful.

The bottom line: When implemented systemically, SEL can undergird all other educational priorities in ways that shape the district’s staff culture, family and community partnerships, teaching and learning, and student well-being and academic growth.

Key Learnings: What Makes SEL Last

Back to top

Our 2021 report looks back on 10 years of collaboration and asks the question, “What makes SEL last?” In the report, we summarized six elements for sustaining SEL:

We are hopeful that the stories and insights gained over the last decade will provide guidance and inspiration that can help districts everywhere make SEL an integral part of students’ education. For more, access the full report and our accompanying webinar on SEL and Sustainability.

Video Series: What I Wish I Knew

Back to top

Hear from district leaders as they share advice on what they wish they had known when they began implementing SEL:

To hear from more district leaders, view the whole video series.

What we have heard

Back to top

I love having time with people doing the same work I am doing.

As always, the biggest challenge is finding time for various educational partners in our different departments to work together. Participating in the CNP is helping us with this challenge!

Continued collaboration and the option to choose a topic that is relevant to where my work needs support has been extremely helpful!

2023-24 Participating Districts/Regional Offices

Back to top
      • Atlanta Public Schools
      • Austin Independent School District
      • Baltimore City Public Schools
      • Batavia Public School District 101
      • Berrien RESA
      • Boston Public Schools
      • Charlottesville City Schools
      • Chicago Public Schools
      • Colonial School District
      • Denver Public Schools
      • East Baton Rouge Parish School System
      • El Dorado County Office of Education
      • El Paso Independent School District
      • Elk Grove Unified School District
      • Greece Central School District
      • Guilford County Schools
      • Lakewood City Schools
      • Marion City Schools
      • Metro Nashville Public Schools
      • Minneapolis Public Schools
      • Montgomery County Educational Service Center
      • Mt Diablo Unified School District
      • Nassau BOCES
      • Oakland Unified School District
      • Portland Public Schools
      • Prince William County Public Schools
      • Regional Office of Education #33
      • Sacramento City Unified School District
      • San Diego County Office of Education
      • San Ramon Valley Unified School District
      • St. Paul Public Schools
      • Tulsa Public Schools
      • Warren City Schools
      • Washoe County Schools
      • Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools

Community Network Partners: Who are we?

Back to top
Access the latest, most trusted information on SEL
Sign up for our newsletters