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.  As parents, you can partner with us in building these skills in our young people and growing ourselves along the way!  

Remember, practice makes permanent.  It will take multiple times to practice these skills before habits are made.  The more practice we all have, the better our SEL skills will become.

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. 

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. 

What are the SEL competencies/skills?

The Indiana Department of Education has defined seven SEL Competencies.

Sensory-Motor Integration

How can I support SEL at home?

You are your child's first teacher.  You model social emotional skills for your child every day in the ways you express your emotion, demonstrate self-control, show empathy, demonstrate critical thinking and positive mindset, and interact with them.  Strengthening these skills as adults will have a profound effect on the children in our lives. 

Following are some free resources you may wish to explore.  In addition, feel free to contact our District SEL Coaches for more ideas.  

A Parent's Resource Guide to Social and Emotional Learning: A curated list of articles and videos for parents about fostering skills like kindness, empathy, resilience, perseverance, and focus in children.

Parent SEL Resources (Parent Portal at Aperture Education): Promoting SEL at Home is a series of developmentally appropriate social and emotional learning (SEL) resources for parents, families, and caregivers to use at home. These lesson ideas facilitate the development of SEL skills in children, from elementary through high school.

Molly Bernard - District Social Emotional Learning Coach - Elementary
Heather Hunley - District Social Emotional Learning Coach - Secondary 

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