What is SEL?


Garfield Elementary School students

In OUSD we define Social Emotional Learning (SEL) as the 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 everyone strengthening their social skills and competencies enhances our ability to connect across race, class, culture, language, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, learning needs and age.

OUSD has adopted CASEL’s SEL integrated framework that promotes intrapersonal, interpersonal, and cognitive competence.  There are five core SEL competencies that can be taught in many ways across many settings:

Self-­Awareness: Labeling one’s feelings; relating feelings and thoughts to behavior; awareness of one’s own cultural assets; awareness of one’s own stereotypes and prejudices; accurate self­-assessment of strengths and challenges; self-efficacy; optimism.

Self Management: Regulating one’s emotions; managing stress; self­-control; self-motivation; setting and achieving goals.

Social Awareness: Perspective-­taking; empathy; appreciating diversity; understanding the socio-­historical context of diversity; understanding social and ethical norms for behavior; recognizing family, school and community supports.

Relationship Skills: Building relationships with diverse individuals/groups; communicating clearly; working cooperatively; resolving conflicts; seeking and providing help.

Responsible Decision Making: Considering the well­-being of self and others; recognizing one’s responsibility to behave; basing decisions on safety, social and ethical considerations; evaluating realistic consequences of various actions; making constructive, safe choices about self, relationships and school.

To view OUSD’s SEL Standards for Pre-K through Adult, click here.

What does this look like for our students? Here is a sample of classroom discussion indicators that reflect SEL skill development.