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Focus Area 1B

Review SEL Initiatives, Needs, and Resources

Take stock of existing and past implementation efforts, and identify strengths and gaps to address.

Where have we been?

Before launching a new SEL implementation plan, it’s important to take stock of what is going on across your school and efforts that have already been taken toward your long-term goals.

A frequent challenge to schoolwide SEL is the perception that it is just one more thing being added to an already crowded list of priorities and to-do’s. Staff may feel skeptical if they’ve seen other initiatives come and go, or frustrated if they’ve been asked to take on new programs without the resources to support them long term.

Because of these concerns, it is often helpful to begin the planning process by honoring and reflecting on the work that has come before. You can use the schoolwide inventory tool to help take stock of existing and past priorities, programs, and initiatives. The inventory is helpful to complete after establishing long-term goals, as those goals provide context for what the school hopes to achieve through the programs and initiatives being implemented.

Schoolwide SEL Program and Initiative Inventory

This tool is designed to help the SEL team learn about past and present SEL-related work that has occurred in the school. It includes an interview protocol and guidance for analyzing information from interviews or surveys.


As you have these conversations with staff, help them understand that schoolwide SEL is not intended as another layer of initiatives but a holistically different way of educating students. It can help align all of your work, including any existing fragmented programs and initiatives, and create common language and goals.

Where are we now?

As an SEL team, you’ll also want to collaboratively complete the Schoolwide SEL Implementation Rubric to consider the school’s progress toward full-scale implementation. While you might be in the beginning stages of systemic implementation, it’s likely your school is already doing work to support SEL. The rubric helps set a baseline of your current level of implementation. We recommend completing the entire rubric three times per school year.

Our Rubric Meeting Template provides a sample agenda for working through the rubric as a team.

Rubric Meeting Template

This tool is intended to guide teams through a process for completing the Schoolwide SEL Implementation Rubric.

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