A growing body of research suggests that social emotional learning (SEL) is fundamental to students’ success in school and beyond. SEL is the process by which we develop the ability to recognize and manage emotions, form positive relationships with others, solve problems, motivate ourselves to accomplish a goal, make responsible decisions, and avoid risky behavior. There is promising evidence linking social and emotional skills training with improved academic outcomes and reduced anti-social behavior (Durlak et al., 2011).
School-Connect focuses on the five social and emotional competency areas identified by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) as critical to young people’s success in school, the workplace, and life in general. See side box and/or click here for the full version of the SEL Competency Areas developed by CASEL.
CASEL staff served as advisors during the development of School-Connect’s First Edition and assessed the curriculum using an instrument designed to measure coverage of the competency areas. The curriculum received the highest score (Program Strength) in four out of five competency areas. School-Connect, Third Edition, is currently being implemented as the main SEL curriculum for high schools in several of CASEL’s Collaborating Districts Initiative (CDI) districts, including Austin Independent School District in Austin, TX; Washoe County School District in Reno, NV; and Sacramento City Unified School District in Sacramento, CA. The CDI is sponsored by CASEL with funding from the NoVo Foundation, and is designed to document the programs and processes that lead to high quality social and emotional learning in preschool through grade 12.
SEL Competency Areas
- Social awareness - Showing understanding and empathy for others
- Self-awareness - Recognizing one's emotions and values as well as one's strengths and limitations
- Self-management - Managing emotions and behaviors to achieve one's goals
- Relationship skills - Forming positive relationships, working in teams, dealing effectively with conflicts
- Responsible decision making - Making ethical, constructive choices about personal and social behavior
- CLICK to learn more about the CASEL Competencies