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Educator Resource: CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL [web resource]

CASEL SEL School Guide381Schoolwide SEL engages the entire school community in creating caring, participating, and equitable learning environments that provide social, emotional, and academic growth. The CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL is a free, digital resource that leads school-based teams through a process for systemic SEL implementation. 

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

A systemic, schoolwide approach to SEL intentionally cultivates a caring, participatory, and equitable learning environment and evidence-based practices that actively involve all students in their social, emotional, and academic growth. This approach requires a coordinated strategy across classrooms, schools, homes, and communities.

The CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL  has four focus areas that help you organize, implement, and improve your SEL efforts. While implementation is not a linear process, CASEL recommends beginning with Focus Area 1 to build a strong foundation. Then, your school can engage in activities to both strengthen adult SEL (Focus Area 2) and promote SEL for students (Focus Area 3). Every step of implementation is guided by a process of continuous improvement (Focus Area 4). In each focus area, you’ll also have an opportunity to track your school’s progress through the Schoolwide SEL Implementation Rubric.


The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is a trusted source for knowledge about high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL). By advancing SEL, CASEL supports education and policy leaders, and enhances the experiences and outcomes for all preK-12 students.

For more information about CASEL and to find additional resources, visit casel.org.

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