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    Seattle Public Schools believes that social emotional learning skills are at the heart of academic growth, thriving relationships, intentional decision making and well-being. Social emotional learning skills, based on Washington OSPI SEL Standards will be explicitly taught, embedded into academic instruction and practiced by staff and students so that each individual feels welcome, safe, and known as valued members of SPS communities.

    Washington OSPI SEL Standards

     Self Social
    Self -Awareness
    Identifying emotions, personal assets, areas for growth, and potential external resources and supports
    Social Awareness
    Taking the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures

    Regulating emotions, thoughts, and behaviors
    Social Management 
    Making safe and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions 

    Motivating themselves, persevering, and themselves 
    Social Engagement 
    Considering others and showing a desire to contribute to the well being of a school and community

    Social Emotional SKill instruction is proven to: 

    - Improve students' attitudes about self, others, and school
    - Result in positive classroom behavior
    - Increase standardized test achievement
    - Positively impact school safety 
    - Reduce emotional stress


    Developing an SPS Social Emotional Learning Skills Plan

    A cross-departmental team is developing a Pre-K to 12th grade social emotional learning skills plan that has as it's framework to:
    - Support safe and welcoming school environments
    - Advance equity through culturally responsive practice
    - Consistently engage families
    - Adhere to WA State Standards and draw from evidence based practices 

    Social Emotional Skills in the Classroom

     RULER Logo


    RULER is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER builds the skills of emotional intelligence and supports a positive school climate. It’s currently used in about 70 Seattle Public Schools, primarily elementary and middle schools.

    RULER is an acronym for the five skills of emotional intelligence:

    Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
    Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
    Labeling emotions with a nuanced vocabulary
    Expressing emotions in accordance with cultural norms and social context
    Regulating emotions with helpful strategies

    Find out more about RULER on our RULER site!

    We welcome your input!

    Contact us anytime with your input about social emotional learning in your school community!




    Kai Kunkel
    Social Emotional Learning Coordinator

    Hyam Elsaharty
    Social Emotional Learning 
    Consulting Teacher

    Lisa Love
    Health Education Manager 

    Staff Resources