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SEL Online Module

Contact Information

Tammy Bolen
SEL Program Supervisor
360-701-0575

Diane Stead
Administrative Assistant
360-725-6053

The Social Emotional Learning in Washington State Schools: Building Foundations and Strategies Module is designed to build knowledge and awareness, for teachers, administrators, and school staff, of what social emotional learning (SEL) is and why it is important. The module explains how to implement and integrate SEL into different contexts in a culturally responsive way.

Module Structure, Focus, & Key Topics Covered

While the primary audience for the module is school-based practitioners, much of the module content and resources will be relevant to other individuals who support children and youth, parents, caregivers, and community program providers.

Segment 1 provides a high-level overview of SEL and the benefits of SEL

Key topics covered:

  • Defining SEL
  • History of SEL
  • Benefits of SEL
  • SEL in Washington state
  • SEL standards

Segment 2 explores school-level policies and practices to embed SEL within the functioning of schools

Key topics covered:

  • Schoolwide SEL
  • Systemic SEL
  • Implementation readiness
  • Connecting SEL and other initiatives
  • Continuous improvement for SEL efforts

Segment 3 provides information about adult SEL, including implicit bias, culturally responsive practice, and ways to support school staff and engage families with SEL efforts.

Key topics covered:

  • Professional culture
  • Adult SEL
  • Cultural responsiveness
  • Implicit bias
  • Educator self-care and well-being
  • SEL professional learning
  • Family and community engagement

Segment 4 provides tools and resources on how to embed and integrate SEL into classroom practices in a culturally responsive way.

Key topics covered:

  • Embedding SEL into daily routines
  • Culturally responsive SEL
  • Teaching practices that promote SEL
  • SEL implementation and integration strategies (classroom level)
  • Formative assessment

Segment 5 provides information on how trauma impacts the developing brain, and thus potentially academic achievement, and shows how SEL can offer students skills to help combat those experiences.

Key topics covered:

  • Defining trauma

  • Collective trauma
  • Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs)
  • Impacts of trauma
  • Trauma-informed practices
  • Linking SEL and trauma-informed systems
  • Compassion fatigue

Segment 6 provides strategies on how to select SEL programs in a way that meets the needs of diverse students.

Key topics covered:

  • Effective SEL Programs (SAFE Programs)
  • Strength of evidence
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles
  • Equitable/culturally responsive program selection
  • Program evaluation 

Segment 7 provides information about the various ways in which the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted schools, students, and families, and why equitable and culturally responsive SEL instruction is necessary now more than ever to support our states and nation’s students.

Key topics covered:

  • State and federal reopening guidance
  • SEL and distance learning
  • Trauma-informed practices
  • Adult SEL and well-being
  • Relationship building
  • Equity and cultural responsiveness


Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, the SEL Online Education Modules by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. All logos and trademarks are property of their respective owners.

If this work is adapted, note the substantive changes and re-title, removing any OSPI logos. Provide the following attribution: “This resource was adapted from SEL Online Education Modules developed by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Access the original work on the OSPI Student Support website.”

We also ask that you apply an open license to the new derivative work, with the least restrictive open license possible that is not in conflict with existing licenses. This will allow the public to realize the educational impact from the work created by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.