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Focus Area 1A

Create a Representative SEL Team to Lead Implementation

Establish a highly-functioning SEL team that’s representative of the school community and includes students, families, and community groups in decision-making.

“Strategy doesn’t just happen. People working in teams make it happen.”

– Rachel E. Curtis and Elizabeth A. City from Strategy in Action: How School Systems Can Support Powerful Teaching and Learning

The SEL team is a dedicated, representative group of individuals whose task is to lead a coordinated approach and continuous improvement of schoolwide SEL implementation. The SEL team does this by:

  • Developing expertise in SEL and identifying strategies that support the social and emotional growth of all students and staff.
  • Communicating information related to schoolwide SEL to all stakeholders throughout the school community.
  • Engaging and partnering with the school community to fully implement schoolwide SEL.
  • Encouraging a sense of shared ownership over schoolwide SEL.
  • Modeling social and emotional competencies in their work.
  • Setting goals and monitoring and engaging in ongoing reflection around implementation and outcome data.
  • Using data reflection to inform ongoing planning and SEL implementation.

The work of the SEL team is ongoing. The team will meet regularly to continuously build awareness of, commitment to, and ownership of SEL while driving schoolwide implementation. CASEL’s online course, Leading Schoolwide SEL, supports teams with with this work. More support options are available for district leaders here.

If you have already begun establishing an SEL team, reflect on the questions below to identify areas for continuous improvement:

Do members of the SEL team have designated roles and responsibilities?

Does the team meet at least monthly to reflect on data, plan for school improvements, and lead schoolwide SEL initiatives?

Is the team is representative of the school community?

Does the team include students, families, and community groups in decision-making?

In this section, we’ll explore what’s needed to assemble an effective SEL team, define team roles and responsibilities, and build a strong team dynamic. Based on your answers to the questions above, you may want to prioritize one of these areas. If you’re just beginning, start with Assemble an SEL team.

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