Palm Beach County

  • The School District of Palm Beach County has a branched approach to its systemic SEL model for its nearly 200,000 students. First, SEL is prominent through its Strategic Plan: Growing Strong, as positive and supportive school climates are one of four strategic goals. The approach to growing strong SEL skills for adults and students includes multiple strategic initiatives specifically devoted to climate, culture, academic infusion, and community engagement. Secondly, Palm Beach is growing SEL from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in partnership with its local out-of-school-time (OST) intermediary (Prime Time of Palm Beach County) through the implementation of explicit curriculum, morning and afternoon meeting, and SEL adult skill-building techniques at seven pilot schools.

    SEL in Action


    • Morning and afternoon meetings are active at each Phase 1 site. Partnership teams participated in training for implementation that included SEL101.
    • Working through a broad-based work group, PSELI leaders adopted Second Step as its explicit curriculum.
    • A cohort approach will be used to implement SEL in other elementary and middle schools through the use of Title IV resources.

    Climate and culture:

    • Palm Beach County developed and adopted SEL standards, robustly aligned to the CASEL competencies, and is rolling them out across schools and the community.
    • All departments have been trained in CASEL’s Signature Practices and are incorporating into all professional development and meetings systemwide, including the District Leadership Academy, Principal Leadership Academy, Specialists Academies, and even the Superintendent’s Executive Retreat.
    • By leveraging PSELI, and in partnership with Learning Sciences International, the Palm Beach County team is launching an adult SEL learning platform, housed in Learning Sciences International’s Growth Tracker. Growth Tracker is the personalized, self-directed professional development system that aligns to the professional practice and evaluation methods of Dr. Robert Marzano. OST and School Day united their content expertise to design and develop the SEL modules, informed by site-level work. The team will pilot Growth Tracker SEL with Phase 1 sites in the fall and have plans for further development.

    Community action:

    • The Board of County Commissioners and a group of community organizations and leaders convened the Infant, Child, Youth and Young Adult Symposium (Youth Symposium) to share information and identify actions and programs. Birth to 22: United for Brighter Futures (Birth to 22) is the alliance of community partners that emerged from the Youth Symposium. This group adopted a formal community plan with SEL as one of its hallmarks. The Birth to 22 SEL goal is a community centerpiece and guiding principal for the work in PSELI Palm Beach.
    • Birth to 22 adopted a School District of Palm Beach County Community Proclamation that solidifies the local definition of SEL and adopts the SEL standards created in collaboration with PSELI for use by other youth-serving organizations in Palm Beach County.
    • Several community funders have added SEL service criteria to their grant-making process, promoting active participation by non-PSELI youth service organizations.

  • Profile

    193,000 students

    • Over 60% economically disadvantaged (eligible for federal free/reduced lunch program)
    • 146 languages and dialects spoken
    • 191 countries and territories of birth represented
    • 12% limited English proficiency
    • 36% white, 28% African American, 29% Hispanic, and 7% other

    185 elementary and secondary schools

    In the News

    To view SEL in the School District of Palm Beach County, click here.

District Reported Results

The School District of Palm Beach County is showing overall growth in both academic and SEL outcomes, following its first year of successful PSELI Palm Beach implementation:

  • From FY17 to FY18, the district increased students scoring proficient or above on the following assessments: ELA Grades 3 and 5 and Math Grade 5. The district also outperformed other large urban school districts in Florida on each of these assessments as well.
  • From FY17 to FY18, attendance rates increased by 3 percent.