District Theory of Action: Standards

Most districts have already adopted learning standards for core academic instructional areas. Social and emotional learning (SEL) also needs comprehensive, developmentally appropriate learning standards to identify what a district wants students to learn and be able to do. Standards are especially important for SEL. They establish common language in an area that may be less familiar than math or reading to many district personnel, students, and parents.

Adopting standards communicates SEL as a district priority and establishes SEL as an area that merits instructional focus. SEL learning standards and benchmarks articulate what students should know and be able to do in SEL from PreK to grade 12 and allow districts to outline intersections of SEL with standards in academic content areas, including the Common Core State Standards, if applicable. Districts should share these standards with staff, students, and parents.