Washington Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Advisory Committee

Social Emotional Learning and Hope!


Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. - Desmund Tutu

With this quote in mind, I am sharing the following resources and professional learning opportunities revolving around ‘hope.’Just click on the link below to register for the GATE Seminars on February 10, 2021:

Social Emotional Learning 101:  How Can Hope-Centered Education Improve Student Outcomes? | 10:00am

  • Explore science of hope and its connection to WA State SEL Standards
  • Connect the concepts of Trauma, Behavior, and Hope
  • Review Healthy Youth Survey Data about hope and non-academic barriers to learning
  • Discuss & apply ideas with colleagues in breakout room
  • Learn about how Washington’s Student Assistance Program uses the Hope Scale to understand students’ progress

Social Emotional Learning 201: Building Hope as a Pathway to the Future | 3:00pm

  • The importance of building hope for the future with all youth​
  • Addressing the impacts of bias & inequity on hope​
  • How one mentoring program is building hope for students furthest from educational justice
  • Discuss & apply ideas with colleagues in breakout room
Social Emotional Learning: A Schoolwide Approach

Click on image above for a video on Social Emotional Learning

A Personal Message

Hello All,

I am hoping that the new year is bringing you a sense of renewal and hope.

If you are a Washington educator in the K-12 system, you are in the process of planning  how to keep students physically safe when schools reopen.  You will also be thinking about how to help students transition from ‘school’ from home to returning to the classroom. While supporting the students academically is critical, so is providing students with the social emotional skills to traverse change and challenging times. The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) has created the Roadmap to help educational staff and communities think through reopening with SEL in mind.  Students learn best when they feel safe, calm, and a sense of belonging.  Building relationships and establishing trust is an essential step to doing this.  Intentionally integrating SEL into classroom lessons and teaching social emotional skills has shown to benefit students academically through an increase in test scores.[1]

Providing SEL in the framework of a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a best practice. Educators should plan how they will intentionally teach and embed SEL lessons into the classroom as a tier 1 universal support for all students. Through the MTSS teaming process, data-driven decision making, family and community engagement, and use of evidence-based practices, students can receive intensified supports for SEL at all tiers. By doing this, educators help build the protective factors that benefit students as they face current and future challenges.   The Collaborative for Academic and Social Emotional Learning (CASEL) states that “SEL offers a critical foundation for supporting students and adults in the midst of great uncertainty and stress, and a long-term path for sustaining thriving communities.”

CASEL’s Reunite, Renew, and Thrive: Social and Emotional Learning Roadmap for Reopening School identifies, explains, and offers these strategies to keep social and emotional attributes at the heart of reopening schools:

  1. Take time to cultivate and deepen relationships, build partnerships, and plan for SEL.
  2. Design opportunities where adults can connect, heal, and build their capacity to support students.
  3. Create safe, supportive, and equitable learning environments that promote all students’ social and emotional development.
  4. Use data as an opportunity to share power, deepen relationships, and continuously improve support for students, families, and staff.

[1] Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D. & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82(1): 405–432. 

Social Emotional Learning Advisory Committee

The next meeting for the SEL Advisory Committee is on February 16, 2021 at 9am. The link to the next meeting agenda: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84499803745 

We welcome your attendance and your thoughts around SEL. If you can’t attend, you can fill out a public comment form at the following link: https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/5981998/Social-Emotional-Learning-Advisory-Committee-Public-Comment

The Data and Evaluation Subcommittee

Your thoughts and perspectives are important to us. The SEL Data and Evaluation subcommittee is seeking feedback from community, especially from members of groups who have been historically or systemically marginalized. This feedback will help us learn what young people need to thrive. This might include: 1) examples of how children/students bring their whole self to their education, and 2) developing an understanding what a thriving community looks like.

Our subcommittee is also seeking feedback from the educational field (e.g., districts, charter schools, tribal compact schools, and other learning communities) for examples of how they address collect and review SEL data with the shared power’ concept  and the below four considerations in mind.

Click here to go to the short survey regarding the following questions:

 Question for community: What do educators need to look for and put in place to make sure that your young people are thriving socially and emotionally and bringing their whole self (e.g., being able to be themselves, who they are, feeling like they belong where they learn) to their education?  

 Question for the educational field: What examples do you have that address SEL data collection and review? What examples do you have that address the ‘shared power’ concept and the above four considerations?

  • Share links of materials, narrative, and/or other feedback.

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is “broadly understood as a process through which individuals build awareness and skills in managing emotions, setting goals, establishing relationships, and making responsible decisions that support success in school and in life. When we think of educating the whole child, their social-emotional development must be considered as a part of overall instruction.” (OSPI Website.)

  1. Washington’s learning communities should carefully consider SEL data collection. The state, by establishing SEL standards, indicates that it values SEL for our young people. The only way to know if our students are learning socially and emotionally, or if our schools and systems are fostering SEL well, is to check. Without knowing how things are going, Washington will not know what to continue, expand, replicate, and celebrate or what to limit, correct, or stop altogether. SEL in the dark is not a recipe for success. Collecting and reviewing SEL data should occur amidst other data collection and reviewing relevant for teaching and learning.
  2. Collecting and reviewing SEL data can serve to advance equity. For the SEL Advisory Committee, equity means “that each child receives what he or she needs to develop to his or her full academic and social potential.” Attending to issues of equity helps ensure that equity is advanced and that inequities are not perpetuated. Like all other aspects of data collection and review, SEL data collection and reviewing should attend to issues of equity.
  3. Schools regularly collect data to learn and make adjustments based on what’s working and what needs work. Any such data could be misused. It could, for example, track students, exclude students from opportunity, or excuse the need to support each­ student. SEL is no exemption. The law already requires schools to put safeguards in place around student-level data—safeguards such as de-identification, limited use, retention, and right-to-access protocols. Data safeguards must attach to SEL the same way they attached to other student data. How SEL data are intended to be used must be made explicit and with care.
  4. There are valid and reliable ways to assess SEL. The field has developed several effective, research-based tools that educators can use to check and see how well SEL is going in a learning setting. These, with the proper data safeguards in place, can ensure Washington’s learning communities are on track and stay on track for young people’s social-emotional learning. CASEL offers an SEL Assessment Guide to help the field understand what research-based options are available for collecting and reviewing SEL data. CASEL also has a school guide to help learning communities look at the process of advancing SEL holistically, which includes but is not limited to considerations around collecting and reviewing SEL data. 

Survey Closes February 19, 2021