Social and Emotional Learning

A remote teacher in her classroom, wavingSocial and Emotional Learning (SEL) is an important part of well-rounded student instruction. These skills help students academically, emotionally and socially. 

Our mission is to help create an environment of equity and excellence in our schools. We do this using SEL by:
  • empowering learners by developing SEL skills
  • fostering open and equal environments
  • cultivating partnerships that help our community develop and thrive

About Social and Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning is the process of developing self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills necessary for life. SEL builds relationship skills, self-awareness, social awareness, self-management and responsible decision making. 

In practice, SEL grows important soft skills like:

  • understanding and managing emotions

  • setting and achieving positive goals

  • feeling and showing empathy for others

  • establishing and maintaining positive relationships

  • making responsible decisions

We use the basics to guide our use of SEL in our district:

  • relationship building
  • developing student grit
  • creating engaging learning spaces
  • Whole Child Development

What is SEL?

All campuses have selected activities that highlight these practices.  We target these building blocks in our instruction and through welcoming rituals, engaging practices, and optimistic closures.  As we continue to develop SEL in our schools, we hope to continue to add more approaches to our schools.


Below are some useful tips and resources to help families use SEL at home.

Making a calm home environment
  • Take care of yourself (model good self-care).
  • Support your children in their full range of emotions.
  • Have consistent daily routines.
  • Find creative ways to maintain friendships and social connections.
  • Make time for play, rest and family time. 
  • Help foster compassion by encouraging them to reach out to people or virtually volunteer
  • Maintain physical health with proper exercise and cleanliness (ex. handwashing)
  • Provide age-appropriate and accurate information about world events.
  • Share with children what you do to keep them safe.
Creating a family emotional coping kit
  • Use "emotion emojis", "the feelings wheel" or create your own family set of emotional emojis to name and acknowledge emotions children may be experiencing. Let your child know that there are no bad emotions.

  • Practice calming breathing techniques and mindfulness activities to reduce stress.

  • Try yoga or other movement and stretching activities.

  • Do fun indoor physical activities and games.

  • Provide a private journal or sketchbook where children can express their emotions through writing or drawing.

Virtual calming room

Use the GISD virtual calming room for tools and strategies on managing emotions.

Books to read with your family
Setting up routines

Setting up routines for learning at home is important. Check out these sample schedules for ideas.

Contact us

For more information, contact our Guidance & Counseling department.

Stay up to date with GISD SEL by following us @gisdsel on Twitter and Instagram.