Washington Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Advisory Committee


Teachers see the need for SEL

When given a full definition of social and emotional learning, 94% of Washington teachers overwhelmingly believe that it should be an important part of students’ in-school experience. 

* (Source listed below)



SEL Highlighted Resource



Tammy Bolen

Tammy Bolen

SEL Program Supervisor

As usual, a lot is happening with SEL.  I have given SEL presentations to educators focused on migrant education, school improvement, and higher education. I have been a panelist for an SEL networking group. I have attended the Tribal Leaders Congress, partnered with staff from Renton SD, Yakima ESD, Evergreen SD, Puget Sound ESD, Thurston schools, and WSSDA. I continue to work with CASEL as Washington is a part of the Collaborating States Initiative. WestEd and the Center to improve Social Emotional Learning and School Safety also work with us as we participate in an SEL communication’s collaborative. REL NW is partnering with OSPI by providing a training series on building the SEL capacity of districts and ESD’s. Promoting Educational Equity through SEL was the latest training they provided.  



SEL Equity Quote


We are looking for your help:

 Social Emotional Learning Curation Workgroup  

  • We are recruiting members to help review submitted social emotional learning materials. 
  • We are also looking for SEL materials to be submitted for review and possible inclusion on the OER Social Emotional Learning Curation Workgroup hub.

We are just getting this kicked off.  More information will be forthcoming.

Contact Tammy Bolen for questions at tammy.bolen@k12.wa.us

OER logo for SEL

Photo by ATC Comm Photo from Pexels 

SEL soft skill

Click on image above for a video on Social Emotional Learning

A Personal Message:

I hope this bulletin finds you and your family healthy and happy. This may be a challenge with everything that is happening right now. We still face so much uncertainty and change. Continued racial injustice, fears and struggles from the effects of COVID-19 include danger to health, unemployment, fear for loved ones, social isolation, and so much more. It is normal to feel stressed or overwhelmed during uncertain times. Emotions in response to uncertainty may include anxiety, fear, anger and sadness. You also could feel helpless, discouraged and, occasionally, out of control. Physical responses may include headache, muscle tension, fatigue and sleeplessness. Taking care of yourself may sometimes feel like the last priority; however, knowing that unless you are in a healthy space physically and mentally, progressing effectively through your day or helping others may be a difficult task. Please take the time to care for yourself.

The following tips are provided from the Mayo Clinic Health System:

Physical health

  • Fuel your body by eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water.
  • Aim to sleep seven to eight hours each night.
  • Exercise every day.
  • Take deep breaths and stretch often.
  • Avoid risky or destructive behaviors, such as abusing alcohol or drugs, excessive gambling or ignoring public health recommendations.
  • Spend time outside, such as going for a walk in the park, but follow social distancing guidelines.

Mental health

  • Set and maintain a routine at home.
  • Focus on things you can control. 
  • Maintain social connections with your loved ones by using technology. Consider a regular check-in schedule to give you something to look forward to.
  • Focus your thoughts on the present and things to be grateful for today.
  • Listen to music or read books.
  • Consume reliable news sources that report facts and avoid media that sensationalizes emotions. Limit your exposure or take a break from news and social media if you find that it makes you anxious.
  • Lean on your personal beliefs and faith for support. 
  • Help your community, such as blood donations, checking on older people in your neighborhood, or donating supplies or money to local organizations.     

Social Emotional Learning Advisory Committee

We wanted to share this SEL Advisory Committee letter of recommendations  

SEL Advisory Committee Agenda

November 17,  9:00AM-11:30AM 

SEL Advisory Committee Update:

This committee is tasked with promoting and expanding SEL throughout the state of Washington. Subcommittees have been created and are working on the tasks identified in 2SSB 5082. Some of these tasks are:

  • Align standards and benchmarks for SEL with other relevant standards and guidelines including K–12 health and physical education learning standards and the early learning and development guidelines
  • Develop and implement a statewide framework for SEL that is trauma-informed and culturally responsive
  • Review and update as needed the SEL standards, benchmarks and indicators and confirm they are evidence-based
  • Develop a model of best practices or guidance for schools on implementing the benchmarks and indicators
  • Identify SEL strategies to improve coordination between early learning, K–12 education, youth-serving community partners, culturally-based providers, and higher education
  • Consider systems for collecting data about SEL and monitoring implementation efforts
  • Identify PD opportunities for teachers and educational staff and resources available for PD in the following topics:
    • SEL  
    • Trauma-informed practices  
    • Recognition and response to student emotional or behavioral distress
    • Consideration of adverse childhood experiences
    • Mental health literacy  
    • Antibullying strategies    
    • Culturally sustaining practices

The SEL Advisory Committee welcomes your attendance at the meetings and your thoughts around SEL. If you can’t attend, you can fill out a public comment form at the following link: SEL Public Comment

*Source Reference: The Missing Piece: A Survey of Washington State Teachers on Social and Emotional Learning, by John Bridgeland and Jennifer DePaoli of Civic Enterprises 2014