Skip to main content

Social Emotional Learning

Students and teachers transitioning to online learning and practicing social distancing are experiencing a major, and likely disconcerting, change in daily activities and interactions, and with that, are under a great deal of stress. During this time period of the COVID-19 pandemic in which our ability to check in on one another in person is limited, it is even more critical that we find ways to reach out and check in with each other virtually, supporting everyone’s social emotional learning (SEL) and mental health. Consider offering explicit online SEL or mental health education lessons or incorporate opportunities to practice SEL competencies within academic subject areas. Using community circles in virtual staff meetings and online classes could offer all adults and students an opportunity to be heard, and to voice their experience and concerns. These circles might also offer insights as to adults or students who might benefit from an additional check-in. Consider offering adults, students, and families tools for coping with the stresses of isolation and anxiety in this difficult time. Clearly communicate to families how and where they can reach out with any concerns including by phone and email.

Technical Assistance Centers

Supporting Young People and Families


Supporting Adults

Online Learning

  • A New Realm: IFSEL’s Tips for Distance Learning – The Institute for Social and Emotional Learning has a number of ideas and practices specifically designed to help teachers navigate online teaching, but can easily help parents encourage SEL with their students. 
  • Taking School Online with a Student-Centered Approach – Facing History and Ourselves provides resources for navigating new technologies and ways of teaching during an immensely challenging and uncertain time in our communities, when students’ (and teachers’ own) social-emotional needs are just as critical as academic goals.

Supporting School Transitions

District Resources

  • CASEL’s District Resource Center –  The District Resource Center helps school districts make social and emotional learning (SEL) an integral part of every student's education. Find research, knowledge, and resources curated from school systems across the U.S. to support high-quality, systemic implementation of SEL.
  • The CASEL Guide to Schoolwide Social and Emotional Learning – Schoolwide SEL helps students excel academically, build stronger relationships, and lead happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives.

Additional Resources