• SEL ban

What's Happening This Month?

  • Sanford Harmony (Grades PK-5)
    In elementary schools, we are starting an SEL unit on Diversity and Inclusion from Harmony SEL, our social and emotional learning program.
    Throughout this unit, students will discover shared interests, explore how each person is unique, and build a sense of community within the classroom.
    The lessons provide a foundation for a broad range of solid relationships, enabling students to feel comfortable with their peers while helping them understand that everyone is important.
    Students will explore what it means to be a friend, and they will share a bit about themselves with their classmates. They will also learn to discover what they have in common with one another.
    The unit lessons also involve teaching students how to respect and appreciate what makes each person unique, which fosters understanding and empathy skills that support students' ability to form positive relationships with all kinds of people. Students will discuss how everyone has unique characteristics and strengths. They will also learn that it is OK to be different and will work with their classmates to recognize and honor their differences. Finally, they will focus on building classroom communities and identity, which is important because students learn and grow best when they feel welcome, accepted, and connected to others. In this unit, students will learn what it means to belong to a community and discuss how community members should treat one another. They will explore what makes our class a community and then work together to create a visual representation to display in our classroom.
    An important part of this program is for students to continue discussing and practicing concepts outside the classroom.
    Ask your child about these concepts!
    Thank you for your involvement.
    Please contact Gina Hudson in Support Services or your child's school counselor if you have any questions about the Harmony program.
    Second Step (Grades 6-8)
    We want your child to be successful in school, and that means supporting and encouraging their whole development. While excelling in academic classes is important, students also need skills for learning challenges, making good decisions, handling strong emotions, and getting along with others.
    This month, we’ll begin Second Step® Middle School, a research-based social-emotional learning program designed to improve students’ social-emotional skills, such as emotion management, impulse control, problem solving, and empathy. Second Step skills and concepts are designed to help students both in and out of school.
    The first unit covered is Mindsets and Goals. In this unit, students learn how to develop a growth mindset and apply research-based goal-setting strategies to their social and academic lives.
    Specifically, lessons will cover Helping New Students, How to Grow Your Brain (how can we grow and change as we practice challenging things), Trying New Strategies, Making Goals Specific, Breaking Down Goals and Monitoring One's Progress.
    If you have any questions about Second Step® Middle School, please don’t hesitate to contact Gina Hudson in Support Services or your child's school counselor for more information.
    Thank you for your support as we work to build a safe and supportive school community.

What is 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 advances educational equity and excellence through authentic school-family-community partnerships to establish learning environments and experiences that feature trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation. SEL can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and just communities.

Definition of SEL Video

Panorama SEL


    Measure and understand social-emotional learning

    Panorama helps schools and districts support student and adult SEL with research-backed surveys and actionable data reports.
    RCSS has selected a small number of items on the SEL Survey to assist in the development of students' social emotional skills.
    For grades PK-2, teachers complete a brief 6-item questionnaire about how students are functioning in the classroom. 
    For grades 3-12, students complete a self-report survey. There are 42-47 questions (varies by grade level), which take about 14 - 16 minutes to complete.
    The items measure the following 7 topic areas:
    • Emotion Regulation
    • Grit
    • Growth Mindset
    • Self-Efficacy
    • Self-Management
    • Social Awareness
    • Supportive Relationships
    The social skills survey is open from September 22 through October 7.  As a parent, you have the right to opt-out of your child's participation in the survey. If you choose to do so, please click on the link and complete form. Opt-out is available until the survey window opens.

Benefits of SEL

  • CASEL Findings on the Benefits of SEL 

    Student Benefits of SEL

    • Academic Outcomes 
    • Improved Classroom Behavior
    • Increased Ability to Deal with Stress and Depression
    • Better Attitudes about Themselves
    • Can Help Reduce Poverty and Increase Economic Mobility
    • Improves Lifetime Outcomes


    Science Links SEL to Student Gains 

    • Social-emotional skills 
    • Improved attitudes about self, others, and school
    • Positive classroom behavior 
    • 11 percentile-point gain on standardized achievement tests

    Source: Durlak, J.A., Weissberg, R.P., Dymnicki, A.B., Taylor, R.D., & Schellinger, K. (2011) The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development: 82 (1), 405-432. 


    There are benefits for adults too!

    Teachers who possess social and emotional competencies are more likely to stay in the classroom longer.

    Teachers with high levels of social competence are better able to protect themselves from burnout by:

    • Developing and managing nurturing relationships with their students
    • Serving as behavioral role models for children 
    • Regulating their own emotions

Supporting SEL Skills at Home

  • Supporting students Social Emotional learning at home and in school is important.

    Here are some resources to help you support our children!

    Confident Parents Confident Kids

    SEL 101 for Parents (video link)

    SEL Caregiver Guide

    or visit CASEL'S page for SEL in Homes and Communities


    7 Tips for Practicing SEL at Home

    Here are bite-sized practices and rituals that you can consider using on a regular basis with your child(ren) to extend social-emotional learning into the home.

    1. Take an assets-based approach that focuses on your child’s strengths. Emphasize children’s strengths and “SEL superpowers” before talking about what they can improve on. For instance: when your child brings home a graded test or assignment, first discuss what she or her did well. Then shift the discussion to what can be improved. Focus on process-oriented skills versus the outcome. Take this a step further by working collaboratively with your child to create a “SEL skill chart” that they can use to monitor how they are practicing various skills and habits at home.

    2. Explore emotions by asking your child how they feel. Send the message that feelings matter, are normal, and that you care about them. Encourage children to use “I” statements when talking about their emotions; help them unpack what it feels like to be happy, excited, stressed, or frustrated.

    3. Model empathy and kindness as well as sharing and helping behaviors. Utilize daily interactions – such as helping an elderly neighbor – to encouraging sharing and helping behaviors. Explore options for children to participate in community service projects or volunteering opportunities and talk to them about giving back.

    4. Read books to (or with) your child. Seek recommendations from your child’s teacher or a librarian for stories on themes that both interest your child and are relevant to the SEL skills they are learning in the classroom. Read these books together with your child and explore how the characters handle conflict or form relationships.

    5. Empower your child to solve problems on their own. Resist the temptation to step-in and offer solutions to a difficult situation your child is encountering. Instead, ask probing questions to help your child solve the problem on their own. Discuss how decisions might impact others (positively or negatively) and what the pros and cons or solutions might be.

    6. Model emotion labeling and emotion regulation when you encounter stress, frustration or anger. Specify a “quiet area” in the house that can be used to cool-down. When you encounter “trigger situations” that may cause you to get angry or irritated, name what you’re feeling, take a few deep breaths, and talk as a family about what everyone can do to stay calm.

    7. Be willing to apologize. Show your child that it is important to apologize after an outburst, misunderstanding or conflict while modeling respect and kindness.

    Source: www.panoramaed.com


    Middle School Parents!


    Check out ParenTeen Connect for hot-topic information!



Teacher Resources

  • Students in grades PK through 5 are exposed to Social Emotional Learning skills through the Sanford Harmony program. The program consists of five units or focus themes: diversity and inclusion, empathy and critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and peer relationships. Teachers now have access to the curriculum materials digitally!

    Students in grades 6 through 8 will be beginning the use of Second Step Middle Grades Curriculum.  The program has 4 units that cover mindset and goals, bullying and harassment, emotions and decision-making, and managing relationships. Second Step promotes social-emotional skills, prosocial behavior and academic achievement while preventing conduct problems, aggressive behavior, and emotional distress. Teachers: Stay Tuned for additional information coming from your school counselors early this school year!


    Teachers can boost their knowledge through teacher training to support social and emotional learning and inspirational instruction in the PK-12 classroom for free at Inspire Teaching and Learning!.


    Students in grades 3 through 12 complete the Panorama Student Competencies and Well-Being Survey as a universal screener to identify areas of strength and improvement. Teacher perception surveys are completed for students in grades PK through 2. Rearch and evidence-based interventions are available in the Panorama Playbook, available to all teachers. Just log in to your Panorama Education account! 


    To further develop student learning in the areas of social-emotional competency, check out these other cool resources:


    Mindfulness with JusTme

    Greater Good in Education SEL Practices

    Panorama free resources