Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
"The goal of Washington’s public education system is to prepare every student who walks through our school doors for post-secondary aspirations, careers, and life. To do so, we must embrace an approach to education that encompasses the whole child…,”
These words begin the vision statement for OSPI from Washington State Superintendent, Chris Reykdal.
When we think of educating the whole child, their social and emotional development must be considered as a part of overall instruction. SEL is broadly understood as a process through which individuals build awareness and skills in managing emotions, setting goals, establishing relationships, and making responsible decisions that support success in school and in life.
SEL History and Overview:
In 2015 the Washington State Legislature directed OSPI to convene a Social Emotional Learning Benchmarks workgroup to recommend comprehensive standards and benchmarks. The full report, along with notes from previous meetings are available on the SEL Benchmarks Workgroup Website (http://www.k12.wa.us/WorkGroups/SELB.aspx)
In 2016 the Washington State Legislature directed OSPI to create a SEL Learning Module. To learn more about the online SEL training module visit:
In 2017 the Washington State Legislature charged OSPI with continuing the initial work of the 2015 Social Emotional Learning Benchmarks Workgroup to develop detailed, culturally relevant grade level SEL indicators for the existing Benchmarks, solicit feedback from statewide stakeholders , and develop a model of best practices for implementation of grade level SEL indicators. The report on this body of work must be completed by June 30, 2019.
For more information on OSPI’s SEL work contact:
Ron Hertel, Social and Emotional Learning Program Supervisor
Mona Johnson, Director, Student Support