SEL on Paper

OUSD’s Equity-Centered Social and Emotional Learning Definition

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is a process through which children and adults develop the fundamental skills for life effectiveness. These are the skills we all need to handle ourselves, our relationships, and our work effectively and ethically. In OUSD, we believe that strengthening our social skills and competencies enhances our ability to connect across race, class, culture, language, gender identity, sexual orientation, learning needs and age. 



Our Theory of Change

Shifts in our organizational practices and culture will change as adults across the system strengthen their SEL skills and competencies. If we…


Increase our ability to effectively build relationships and social awareness, thereby creating a more inclusive, caring environment, decreasing disproportionality, and preparing our students with 21st century skills, then…


Our students will graduate and be successful in college, career and community.


Our Theory of Change is in direct alignment with each of Oakland’s students graduating college, career and community-ready. To learn more, view OUSD’S Graduate Profile below.

OUSD’S SEL District Board Policy

The Board of Education is responsible for fostering conditions that enable every school in the Oakland Unified School District to create safe, nurturing learning environments that provide excellent instruction leading to high academic achievement, high school graduation, and preparation for success in college, career and community for all OUSD believes that, foundational to all aspects of the priorities identified in its Strategic Plan, is the development of the social, emotional and physical health of all students and adults in our organization. We want all of our constituents to experience a safe, caring and inclusive environment that is accepting, supportive and respectful within an organization that sets high behavioral and rigorous learning expectations for all.

To view/download a copy of the district’s SEL board policy, click here.

Social and Emotional Learning Integral to Academic Success

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills are integral to students’ and teachers’ ability to implement and meet the Common Core State Standards across content areas. The ability to collaborate, engage in academic discussion and debate, to see others’ perspectives, and to persevere in solving problems is required of students in the Common Core. Instruction in social and emotional learning provides the interpersonal skills students need to perform. These strategies also strengthen teachers’ ability to facilitate critical thinking and build productive relationships with students. SEL is integral to leaders’ ability to create effective conditions of learning for adults and students.

Click below to view OUSD’s PreK-Adult SEL Learning Standards

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