Collaborating States Initiative

  • The purpose and mission of the Collaborating States Initiative (CSI), launched in 2016, is to work with states and school districts to help ensure that preschool to high school students are fully prepared—academically, socially, and emotionally—to succeed in school, at work, and in life.

    Participation in the CSI has grown dramatically. In May 2017, teams from 19 states participated in the CSI national meeting. In February 2018, teams from 25 states attended. Collectively, they serve about 11,500 school districts, 58,000 schools, and 30 million students.

    States are asked to develop customized SEL plans and activities based on each state’s unique context. Some states are developing guidelines or professional learning to support student SEL. Others are articulating learning goals for student SEL. Some are strategically integrating SEL into existing programs and priorities, including academics. Still others are using a combination of these strategies. All are committed to creating statewide conditions where educators are effectively equipped and encouraged to support their students’ social and emotional development.

    CASEL’s roles are to:

      • Share research findings, information about best practices, and resources/tools such as guidance on how to integrate SEL into English Language Arts, mathematics, and social studies
      • Facilitate connections and sharing of examples and resources across states
      • Provide technical assistance to states that request it
      • Document how states, districts, and schools are implementing these policies and practices
      • Share those findings to help other states that are on a similar journey

    A national advisory group helps to guide the work. We also continue to benefit from the advice and engagement of individuals from the following organizations: Bose Washington Partners, Center for Innovation in Education, Chiefs for Change, Council of Chief State School Officers, Civic Enterprises, Education Counsel, Learning Policy Institute, National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development, National Association of State Boards of Education, Pure Edge, Inc., Raikes Foundation, and  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

    The initiative is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Pure Edge, Inc.. The views expressed on this web site do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations.

    Download the request for applications to participate in the CSI.

  • Key Resources


    Web Resources

    Annotated and curated state resources and tools covering issues from developing competencies to supporting district implementation.

    A June 2018 report shares lessons learned to date. More

    Two October 2018 reports (here and here) showcase state leadership in supporting school districts.

    Process Tools for States
    Key Features of High-Quality Policies and Guidelines to Support SEL 
    Recommended Process for Developing State Policies and Guidelines to SEL 
    A Process for Developing and Articulating Learning Goals or Competencies for SEL