Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Teaching AND learning is SOCIAL and EMOTIONAL. Attend to emotions first by checking in daily with your students so they know you care, are connected in community with their peers, and learning can take place. Leveraging, honoring, and building upon the "learning gains" and resilience of the past year will help our Sac City community to move forward with collective efficacy so everyone can thrive.

Click on the SEL Playbook below to support your continuing SEL journey with students, families, and colleagues.

SEL Essentials and Quick Tips :

  1. Welcoming/Inclusion Activity- Start each day with a quick check-in or connection activity. This builds community and sends the message: "You are welcome and you belong in this community. We see you."

  2. Engaging Strategies- Embed opportunities throughout the day for students to interact, communicate, collaborate in pairs or small groups to allow for processing of learning and deepening of relationships. Engaging strategies also include regular brain breaks, such as mindfulness practices. Read more about why brain breaks are important for students' learning success. This sends the message: "We will learn and leverage our resilience to thrive together. "

  3. Optimistic Closures- End each day with a quick reflection, sharing, or forward-thinking action steps. This sends the message: "We care that today was meaningful for you and we look forward to seeing you tomorrow. "

  • WEEKLY-Explicitly teach SEL skills through your school program (LIM, Harmony, Second Step, School Connect, RippleEffects) and/or SEL monthly-themed mini-lessons.

See the SEL Playbook below for these ideas and lots more!

Make healing a priority EVERY DAY. Start your FIRST DAY with this HEALING CIRCLE .

SEL Playbook.mp4

Short video overview of the Playbook.

The updated SCUSD SEL Playbook contains:

  • Adult SEL resources & Self-Care strategies

  • SEL and Healing-Centered Practices (aka Trauma Informed Practices)

  • Restorative Approaches to Supporting Students

  • SEL Resources to Partner with Families and Caretakers

  • Links to Additional Student Support Services


At the SEL for Distance Learning and Beyond google site, you can find more resources for:


Social Emotional Learning starts with Adults who are explicitly nurturing the skills that are necessary for equitable access to academics and creating the positive climate/culture conditions that affirm and cultivate Identity, Agency, and Belonging for all students. As we "store up" with relationship and community building, we must also "restore to" with trauma sensitive and restorative approaches to support ALL to stay engaged. Recent reports like the Capitol of Suspension 2.0 report remind us that we must stay vigilant to the needs of our most vulnerable students in order to actualize Equity, Access, and Social Justice for ALL students.

CLICK HERE to learn more about SEL and Equity.

CLICK HERE to read a brief about how to apply an equity lens to SEL.

"When you're working in concert with others, your ultimate goal is everyone moving toward their highest expression of self. Belief systems get articulated through the practice of growing community."

- Doria Robinson

A Path Toward Transformative SEL: Braiding SEL, Equity, & Anti-Racism

The full promise of SEL lies in its grounding to our sociopolitical context. Our students, families, and colleagues need us to be the best versions of ourselves, whether in distance learning, hybrid learning, or in-person learning. Remote learning magnified the inequities in technology, access, food, engagement, and relationships that exist in our community. The COVID-19 pandemic has left many of us anxious, frustrated, isolated, scared, and grieving, AND many communities of color disproportionately impacted. The racial reckoning over the past year and the recent surge in Anti-Asian hate crimes and violence are stark reminders that we still have so much more work to do when it comes to dismantling systemic racism and hate. Given our current context, we invite you visit and explore our Anti-Racist Classroom below. There you will find opportunities to: LEARN, CONNECT, REFLECT, and access tools to nurture COMMUNITY, BELONGING, & HEALING. We encourage you to hold a learner stance, embrace cultural humility, and practice self-compassion in your journey into anti-racism. Read March's Transformative SEL newsletter on the importance of Mirror and Window work. We're in this together. Hope is an act of activism.

(CLICK on the image below to go to the Anti-Racist Classroom).

SEL Team 2.mp4

The SEL Team is here to help.

CLICK HERE to find out which SEL Training Specialist supports your school and how to contact them.

We Are a community. We Belong to each other. We Can thrive together.