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 large urban school systems that are participating in our multiyear Collaborating Districts Initiative.
CASEL’s comprehensive district framework is organized into four major focus areas, each of which contains four key activities. The focus areas are:
1. Build foundational support and plan
2. Strengthen adult SEL competencies and capacity
3. Promote SEL for students
4. Practice continuous improvement
While successful implementation can follow multiple paths, the 16 key activities in the District Framework lay out the essential district actions for implementing SEL. We recommend beginning with the key activities in Focus Area 1 to build a strong foundation. Then move through activities to both strengthen adult SEL (Focus Area 2) and promote SEL for students (Focus Area 3) at a pace and depth based on the needs and strengths of your district. Every step of implementation is guided by a process of continuous improvement (Focus Area 4).
The entire process is presented in the CASEL District Resource Center (DRC). It contains a wide variety of tools and resources to help districts with SEL implementation. Visit the District Resource Center and learn more.
District Resource Center
CASEL’s District Resource Center offers 500+ guidance, tools, and resources for SEL implementation throughout a district.
Financial Sustainability Tool
CASEL’s Financial Sustainability website features tools and case studies from districts that have strategically budgeted for SEL.