Social and Emotional Learning

East Allen County Schools believes Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is essential to the long-term success and wellness of our staff, students, and the families we serve.   It is our goal to improve and strengthen these skills in ourselves so that we can be better models for our students, for each other, and for our community.  

What is Social Emotional Learning (SEL)?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. 

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SEL is:

  • Making responsible decisions
  • Navigating strong emotions
  • Communicating clearly and assertively
  • Solving problems effectively
  • Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
  • Having empathy for others

SEL is not:

  • Replacing systems of accountability for students' actions
  • The school taking on the role of the parent
  • Suggesting that today’s generation of kids are broken
  • Psychotherapy or mental health counseling
  • Taught at the expense of core academic subjects such as math, science, and literacy

SEL in the classroom can be provided in various ways. A few ways SEL is incorporated into classroom teaching could be:

  • Explicit instruction as a Tier one strategy for all students
  • Embedded into core academic curriculum
  • Concepts are explained with words, pictures, video, audio, or a combination of these.
  • Students practice the concepts with group discussion, individual writing, or partner work.
  • The concepts are reinforced by the teachers and students throughout the week through modeling.
  • Information is sent home for students to work on with their families
  • Teachers revisit the concepts when necessary

Why is Social Emotional Learning important?

Students who participate in SEL programming are more likely to graduate high school and graduate college.  They have an average of 11% in academic gains and they have less behavior and discipline issues.  They enjoy overall better health and happiness. 

SEL supports healthy relationships and creates supportive learning environments for all students.  

Employers want and are in need of employees withe these core social and emotional competencies. 

More here: The "Why" Infographic (by IDOE) (opens in a new window)  

What are the SEL competencies/skills?

The Indiana Department of Education has defined seven SEL Competencies (opens in a new window).

Sensory-Motor Integration

How can I support SEL?

It’s important to note that SEL isn’t just one activity.  SEL skills are important for everyone from the bus drivers, custodians, classroom teachers, coaches, administrators and everyone in between.  We model social emotional skills every day in the ways we express emotion, demonstrate self-control, show empathy, demonstrate critical thinking and positive mindset, and interact with children and adults.  Strengthening these skills as adults will have a profound effect on the children in our lives.  Simply put, incorporating social emotional learning into classrooms, lunchrooms, at athletic events, and at home, helps kids thrive.

Where can I find more resources?

Contact our District SEL Coaches for more ideas and to access the  District SEL Canvas information. 
Heather Hunley, [email protected], District Secondary SEL Coach
Molly Bernard, [email protected], District Elementary  SEL Coach

In addition, following are some free resources you may wish to explore:

Indiana Department of Education Social Emotional Learning 101: (opens in a new window)  

Indiana Department of Education Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness - Student, School and Family Engagement Team: (opens in a new window) (Links to an external site.)  
Once there, you can log in using an existing account or create a new one.

  • Once you have successfully logged in, you can find us by searching "Student, School and Family Engagement,"
  • password: engagement

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