This brief shares nine strategies for implementing and sustaining evidence-based programs to support students’ social and emotional health. Situated within a four-stage framework, these strategies consider the costs, resource allocations, funding streams, infrastructure and partnerships that are necessary for effective implementation. Input from administrators in seven school districts — each with a track record of delivering and sustaining social-emotional learning (SEL) programs — helped shape the strategies identified.
When it comes to helping students succeed, a focus on academic achievements is not enough
Findings & Stats
Social and emotional learning enables individuals to acquire and apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills needed to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain relationships and make responsible decisions.
School administrators reported using classroom-based social and emotional skills programs and classroom-based risk prevention programs most often, followed by school climate, family support and mental health programs.
Federal dollars can be a key source of support for evidence-based programs, particularly to help with start-up training and curricula costs.
Statements & Quotations
Students’ academic success depends, in part, on their ability to manage their emotions, build relationships, focus their attention and solve problems.
It is essential for district leaders and local school boards to understand the rationale and need for SEL programs, as well as their potential benefits, to create sustainable support.