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Social Emotional Learning

Jeffco Public Schools creates and maintains a positive climate and culture in schools that is inclusive and safe for students, families and staff. With a commitment to empowering successful and productive citizens,  the district supports the growth of students through leveled, evidence-based implementation of social emotional learning programming.

What is Social Emotional Learning (SEL)?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which students and adults gain and apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to deal effectively with daily tasks and challenges.

Jeffco has adopted the five core competencies of SEL outlined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL). 

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Social Awareness
  • Relationship Skills
  • Responsible Decision-Making (CASEL, 2020)

SEL happens in safe and supportive school, family and community environments that support development and provide opportunities and recognition for successfully applying skills.

Importance of SEL

SEL improves school environments and helps students learn and apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills to:

  • Understand and manage emotions.
  • Set and achieve positive goals.
  • Increase academic achievement. 
  • Feel and show empathy for others.
  • Establish and maintain positive relationships.
  • Make responsible decisions that prevent or reduce risky behaviors, including drug use, violence, bullying and dropping out.

Learn more about the evidence base of SEL programs and practices on CASEL’s webpage

Evidence-based Implementation of SEL in Jeffco

  • Start with culture and climate. 
    • Ensure that everyone is on board and ready to create a community of adult and student learners that is positive and has a growth mindset. 
    • Create a safe and predictable environment to teach and learn new skills.
  • Provide explicit instruction of social emotional skills using best practice instruction.
  • Practice skills throughout the day using teaching practices that promote the use of cooperative learning and project-based learning.
  • Integrate SEL across the academic curriculum.
  • Use data to determine the process from start to finish, and monitor progress to reflect and adapt.
  • Ensure students who need more support in this area will receive extra support and instruction utilizing evidence-based targeted and intensive interventions.

The Jeffco SEL program is modeled on the evidence-based implementation published by the Collaborative for Academic and Social Emotional Learning (CASEL), the American Institutes for Research (AIR), and the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN).

View the Social Emotional Learning Curriculum

SEL Specialists

SEL Specialists in Jeffco support:

  • School-based implementation of a positive school climate and culture.
  • SEL direct instruction and coaching.
  • Targeted supports using data-based decision making to ensure increased outcomes of implementation.

Social emotional learning specialists (SELS) are mental health professionals across the fields of school psychology, school social work and school counseling with expertise in tiered social emotional learning interventions.

SEL Specialists Opportunities in Jeffco

Interested in participating in this exciting work in Jeffco? Each year the district has the opportunity to welcome new SEL specialists onto the team. Check the Jeffco job board for opportunities.