CASEL logo tm 12.08.46 PM.png

This Month's SEL Conversation / June 2022

This month’s SEL-inspired art: “A Place To Grow” by Juan Phillips

LinkedIn Share

Dear Carolina,

For students, families, and educators, the summer break can provide a chance for rejuvenation and refocus. Throughout this past school year, we celebrated new learning and new relationships, and we also experienced profound challenges. The devastating shooting in Uvalde, Texas weighs heavily on our hearts and minds.


As young people transition from school environments to summer activities, our communities are having conversations about how to ensure the safety and wellbeing of every child. While there is no single solution, we know that social and emotional learning (SEL) plays a critical role. Evidence-based practices that build supportive relationships and promote social and emotional skills can help reduce bullying and isolation, promote belonging, boost engagement, and curb future violence.


As you take time to refocus this summer, consider: 


How can we use SEL to create environments where every person is safe, valued, and supported?

See below for more about how SEL and supportive environments connect to safety, belonging, and learning.

Rethinking Safety: Environments Centered on Relationships 

More than a decade before the tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, a shooting in Cleveland schools spurred a district-wide focus on safety. As our nation once again strives to find solutions amid unimaginable grief, we can learn from the long-term approach taken in Cleveland that focuses on infusing SEL across all learning environments. School safety and SEL may not seem like an obvious match, but the evidence confirms “hardening our schools” is not the answer. While SEL is not a panacea, preventative measures focused on social and emotional competencies and supportive learning climates are essential to safety. The results have offered hope, as Cleveland Superintendent Eric Gordon shared: “We knew that this was a complicated problem and it was going to take a long-term solution. But it’s not long-term—it’s forever. It is reshaping your education community’s culture around social and emotional learning.” 

Promoting Belonging: Environments Where Every Individual is Valued 

This month’s celebrations of LGBTQ+ Pride remind us that every individual deserves to feel welcomed and valued for who they are. In schools, we know that students who feel a sense of belonging engage more deeply in learning, have fewer behavior problems, and are better able to respond to challenges. Unfortunately, data shows that students who identify as LGBTQ+ are at higher risk of being bullied or threatened at school. SEL can help every student see their value and strengths, as well as build empathy and celebrate differences. When our environments support inclusion and belonging, we lay the groundwork for young people to thrive.

Supporting Students: Environments that Cultivate Learning 

School may be out, but learning continues all summer long. We know that SEL has the power to boost academics in the classroom, so how can we apply these lessons to ​​create the best possible conditions for summer learning? No matter where students are learning, we can cultivate environments that are supportive, culturally responsive, and focused on building community. Research has found that these types of learning environments lead to deeper engagement, improved social and emotional skills, and better grades. When we work together to create supportive environments, young people have greater opportunities to learn and practice social, emotional, and academic skills all year long.  

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is more important than ever. Our goal at CASEL is to make high-quality SEL part of every child’s education, from early childhood to high school and beyond. A tax-deductible contribution to CASEL will help ensure schools have what they need and students remain the top priority. Thank you!

Community Spotlight

Add your voice to #SpeakUpforSEL

Share with your Network


Panic Over SEL is Unfounded. Here's Why.

July 29:

Demystifying SEL Webinar on Supportive Discipline

  • KQED4 High School Students Talk Mental Health and How the Pandemic Changed Them

  • Education WeekHow Much Time Should Schools Spend on Social-Emotional Learning?
  • June 23: #CASELchat Twitter event on demystifying SEL

  • July 27-28: Smithsonian National Education Summit

Want to receive fewer emails? We want to ensure you are receiving relevant information. To change your CASEL subscription settings, please click “Update Profile” at the bottom of this email.

Facebook  LinkedIn  Twitter  YouTube