Social Emotional Learning & Trauma-Informed Practices
Student success depends not only on doing well in core academic subjects but also on acquiring a broad range of social and emotional skills.
In the U.S, nearly half of all children have experienced at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE), a traumatic event that can disrupt their ability to cope and affect their physical, social, and emotional development.
We must provide opportunities for all students to learn social and emotional skills to help them cope with adversity and foster learning.
Bright Ideas Across the Network
Becoming Trauma-Informed: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma
This brief is the first in a series on Trauma-Informed (TI) approaches in schools. After a definition of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), topics include
• A definition of trauma
• The impact of ACEs and trauma on children and youth, including in the school setting
• The importance of TI practices in schools
How can Social and Emotional Learning and Trauma-Informed Practice Help Us Right Now? Risks and Recommendations
This blog post reports on a recent National Comprehensive Center event that offered practical suggestions for integrating SEL and TI practice to build safe, supportive conditions in schools. The roundtable event featured district leaders from Fulton County, Georgia; Juneau, Alaska; and Metro Nashville, Tennessee sharing strategies to integrate social, emotional, academic, and behavioral supports into school systems.
Informational Resources on Improving Social and Emotional Learning and Outcomes
This 30-page document lists printed and online resources on social and emotional learning (SEL) in 9 categories:
• Understanding SEL competencies
• Measuring SEL competencies
• Evidence-based SEL interventions
• District initiatives to improve SEL outcomes
• School initiatives to improve SEL outcomes
• Classroom-level SEL implementation
• Applying an equity lens to SEL supports
• Applying SEL supports to school reopening
• National SEL reports and resources for states
The reports/resources are free and easily accessible online (links provided).
Getting Oriented to Social-Emotional Learning & Trauma-Informed Practices
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an important part of human development and all children can benefit from learning skills for managing adversity. Combined with SEL, trauma-informed practices (TI practices) in the classroom and throughout the school help children develop healthy behaviors and thrive, even in the face of difficulties and hardships.
This section includes research evidence and other helpful resources to orient you to this topic.
Use the navigation on the left to take a deeper dive.
- Trauma-informed practices and SEL for students and teachers
- School-wide implementation of TI practices and SEL
- Supporting TI practices and SEL at the district and state level
Trauma-informed practices and SEL for students and teachers
Strategies for everyday use. Intentional practice. Equitable learning environments. Teacher self-care.
Teachers are the key to integrating and coordinating classroom practices that develop the social and emotional skills of the children they guide every day. Dealing with their own stress and engaging in self-care eases teachers’ own social and emotional functioning, contributing to better achievement and emotional well-being in their students.
TI Brief #4: Prioritizing Teachers: Importance of Self-Care and Adult Social and Emotional Competencies
Student Engagement in Online Classes: Tips for Teachers Based on Trauma-Informed Approaches and Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Strategies
Reimagining Excellence: A blueprint for integrating social and emotional well-being and academic excellence in schools
The Region 13 Comprehensive Center, Center to Improve Social and Emotional Learning and School Safety, and National Center for Systemic Improvement created this blueprint. The blueprint details the indicators of learning programs that successfully integrate equity, well-being, and academics.
RAND - Social and Emotional Learning Interventions Under the Every Student Succeeds Act: Evidence Review
Federal, state, and district education policymakers can use this report to identify relevant, evidence-based SEL interventions that meet their local needs.
This report provides guidance on assessing local needs relative to SEL and identifying appropriate evidence-based interventions that address those local needs.
In this report, CASTLE outlines six elements for districts striving to implement SEL systemically, even as the people and contexts within the district change.
School-wide implementation of TI practices and SEL
A multiyear and multilevel focus on Trauma Informed (TI) practices and social/emotional learning (SEL) at the school level can improve
• the overall school climate
• children's mental health and wellbeing
• literacy and numeracy achievement
• relationships between educators and students
• decreases in suspension rates
These resources focus on school-level approaches to SEL and TI practices.
This brief aims to provide recommendations to district and school leadership teams on how the components of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) can be used to prioritize staff health and wellbeing.
CASEL's Guide to School-wide SEL was created to help schools coordinate and build upon SEL practices and programs.
This resource presents a tiered approach to creating a trauma-informed school environment that addresses the needs of all students, staff, administrators, and families who might be at risk for experiencing the symptoms of traumatic stress.
Trauma-Sensitive Schools Training Package | National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE
The Training Package includes a variety of resources for educating school staff about trauma and trauma-sensitive practices and for providing school leaders with a step-by-step process for implementing a universal, trauma-informed approach using package materials.
Facilitator resources developed to build the capacity of professionals, and caregivers in the systems they serve. This toolkit offers information, activities, and resources for educational leadership and staff to understand, recognize, and minimize the experience of compassion fatigue and increase compassion resilience.
Supporting TI practices and SEL at the district and state level
Educational leaders can foster widespread changes in school policies and procedures in the areas of SEL and TI practices. By implementing systemic changes and developing an SEL/TI infrastructure, leaders can ensure uniformity, high quality, efficiency, and accountability across districts and even to out-of-school settings. Students will reap the benefits of this unwavering support from their administrators at the district and state level.
Assessing Socioemotional Needs: Return-To-School Surveys for Teachers, School Counselors, Parents, and Students
The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) requested assistance from the Region 8 Comprehensive Center (Region 8 CC) to co-facilitate and design a Stakeholder Review Committee. This request is a component of the Indiana (IN) Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and Social-Emotional Learning Initiative (2020-R8-I-002 IN-02-Year2). The purpose of the committee was to center the voices of the content experts in the field in understanding ways to make equity more explicit in the PK-12 IDOE Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Competencies.
Improving Coordination and Access to Comprehensive School-Based Mental Health Services in California
The Region 15 Comprehensive Center (R15 CC) and the Regional Educational Laboratory West (REL West) collaborated with the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California State Board of Education (SBE) to conduct an initial landscape analysis to understand the current state of school-based mental health referral pathways in California.
This 2018 brief describes the features of effective SEL programming and provides a set of recommendations for effective implementation. In addition, recommendations for how to use the recent report, Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out, to identify implementation needs and the programs or programmatic features best suited to address them.
This guide provides resources for implementing and integrating SEL into educational experiences.
IES Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Pacific - Connecting Social and Emotional Learning, School Climate, and Student Voice
This infographic offers guidance on implementing and measuring a coordinated approach to SEL, school climate, and student voice.
Developed in collaboration with Harmony SEL at National University and the Center to Improve Social Emotional Learning and School Safety at WestEd, this brief refines pioneering work on the integration of SEL with academics and specifically addresses 10 educator practices that promote social, emotional, and academic development.
The Alignment and Coherence Guide’s central purpose is to help local education agency (LEA) leaders implement conditions for equitable learning and development for students, families, and educators, through their work to improve the alignment and coherence of their whole-person initiatives.