Why social and emotional learning should be at the heart of your planning process.


According to CASEL, social and emotional learning (SEL) is, “the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” We cannot simply return to “business as usual” as our students grapple with this new normal and expect them to succeed. Being sensitive to and caring for the social and emotional wellbeing of our youth, at a time when both have been tested like never before, is an essential part of reentry.

Find below foundational resources that you can use to learn more about SEL and how you can integrate it into learning environments for the benefit of students.

Required Materials

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

  • Great for: District leaders, School leaders
  • To address the pressing need for student-centric resources, CASEL has launched Reunite, Renew, and Thrive: SEL Roadmap for Reopening School — guidance that includes equity-focused SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) strategies and provides school leaders with, anti-racist SEL strategies centered on building relationships designed to support students and adults as they return to school this fall. Check out the full roadmap and be inspired to transform school systems to ensure all students feel like they belong and are empowered to reach their fullest potential in school. To this end, CASEL has created The CASEL Guide to Schoolwide Social and Emotional Learning, an online platform that offers step-by-step guidance and field-tested tools to help teams implement high-quality SEL in your school or district.

New Schools Venture Fund & TransformEd

The University of Chicago Consortium on School Research

  • Great for: School leaders, Teachers
  • The University of Chicago Consortium on School Research has released “Supporting Social, Emotional, & Academic Development” — research designed to help educators and school leaders create classrooms that advance educational equity and support equitable outcomes for all students.

The Aspen Institute | Education & Society Program

  • Great for: School leaders
  • The Aspen Institute, Education & Society Program has released an action guide that provides school leadership teams with resources for integrating the social, emotional and academic needs of young people into the daily student experience.

The Communities for Just Schools Fund

  • Great for: School leaders, Teachers
  • The Communities for Just Schools Fund writes about how when applied improperly, SEL can be another form of policing our students. Like any systemic change, we have to be intentional about not allowing SEL to be co-opted for discriminatory purposes. For this reason, the Communities for Just Schools Fund also has a webinar recording that showcases what SEL can look like when applied properly to a learning environment, and best practices for how you can take SEL “beyond the checklist.”