Planning Foundational Learning for the School Community
This tool is designed to help SEL leaders prepare a broad plan and access resources to support foundational learning about SEL.
Engage all members of the school community in foundational learning opportunities to help them understand their role in schoolwide SEL.
Commitment to schoolwide SEL is a long-term process in which all members of the school community internalize the critical place of SEL in each student’s education and build a shared understanding of their role in fostering SEL (Hall & Hord, 2015). Once assembled, the SEL team can create opportunities for key stakeholders to gain foundational knowledge of SEL.
It is recommended that foundational learning opportunities take place early in the school year or soon after prioritizing schoolwide SEL. Many schools begin with a one-hour presentation during an all-staff meeting or at department and grade-level team meetings.
CASEL provides a free course, an Introduction to SEL, that can be taken individually online or facilitated with a group. An SEL 101 sample introductory presentation and video and a presentation on SEL supporting research have been provided here to help get the team started. You can learn more and inquire about professional services from CASEL here.
If you have already begun providing foundational learning opportunities, reflect on these questions to identify areas for continuous improvement:
Are foundational SEL learning opportunities provided for all school staff in the first year of implementation?
After the first year of implementation, are foundational learning opportunities provided at least annually for new school staff, families, community partners, and as part of the onboarding process?
Can all members of the school community discuss SEL’s importance and its impact on student outcomes?
Do all members of the school community understand their own role in helping students develop social and emotional competencies?
Based on your responses, you’ll want to develop a plan to address the foundational learning needs you’ve identified. Consider the different learning needs of your stakeholder groups:
Use the tool below to help create initial learning opportunities for these key stakeholder groups.
For all of the groups above, you may want to begin with an interactive introduction to SEL with the following basic agenda:
Our free, one-hour online course is an all-audiences introduction to SEL that includes videos, application activities, and a facilitation guide. Additionally, here is our sample SEL 101 presentation and video.
This information may need to be presented multiple times to reach broad segments of your school community and can be customized for specific stakeholder groups. These foundational learning opportunities will serve as a basis for deeper learning about SEL. In Focus Area 2, school teams will engage in further planning for ongoing professional learning.
Shareable Introductory SEL Articles:
This presentation can be adapted and used to introduce SEL to staff, families, and community partners. It gives an overview of what is SEL, why it’s important, and the process for schoolwide SEL. Talking points and activity instructions are provided in the notes section. Also available in Spanish.
This presentation provides a library of slides with research on social and emotional learning. Your school can use these slides to help introduce the importance SEL to staff, community partners, families, potential funders, and other stakeholders. In the notes section, you’ll see talking points to help you plan a presentation.