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SEL Simplified for Streamlined Success 

By Ashley MacGavin

Why SEL? At this point most of us (if not all) have heard of the many great benefits of incorporating social emotional learning into the school day. The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) tells us that the benefits of social emotional learning are well-researched and evidence-based and result in improved outcomes in social emotional skills, academic performance, mental wellness, healthy behaviors, school climate and safety and lifetime outcomes (to name a few). If we are familiar with all of the great benefits that SEL has to offer, then why aren’t we all implementing SEL in our schools and classrooms on a daily basis? 

One of the most common barriers to incorporating SEL into the school day is time. With so many competing priorities it can feel like there is no time in the day to do “one more thing.” Also, there are many SEL resources available which can feel overwhelming when you are not sure where to start or don’t feel like you have the time to search. 

This is where Supporting SEL Through Connected Practices comes into the picture. This resource puts it all together for educators in one place. Supporting SEL Through Connected Practices focuses on four cross cutting practices: 

  • High Leverage Practices (HLPs)
  • California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP)
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Checkpoints
  • The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) Framework Core Competencies 

You may be asking yourself with so many SEL resources out there why focus on these practices? The goal of this resource is to create a visual that allows educators to see the bigger picture of the initiatives, resources, and criteria that are part of the demands of everyday teaching. These practices are organized in a way that allows educators to put HLPs, UDL, CSTP, CASEL, and SEL into action (instead of just adding these acronyms to the bank of educational jargon). The content is shared in a way for educators to make connections between not only educational philosophies but requirements that aim to design a more inclusive learning environment to meet the diverse needs of ALL students in their classrooms. Check out Supporting SEL Through Connected Practices (below) and let this resource be your guide to supporting the social emotional needs of your students! 

The resource below was created by the SELPA System Improvement Leads Project in partnership with Novak Education. The SELPA System Improvement Leads (SIL) Project works collaboratively within the California Statewide System of Support to build the capacity of Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs) and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. To learn more about the SIL Project visit systemimprovement.org. 

Ashley MacGavin is Grant Coordinator for SELPA System Improvement Leads with Riverside County SELPA.

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