Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

Visit KDE’s COVID-19 webpage for updates and information about P-12 education.

Find more information about Emergency Assistance to Non-Public Schools (EANS).

Safe Schools

Social, Emotional and Behavioral Learning/Health

Published: 3/22/2021 8:57 AM

March 26 is International SEL Day!

KDE encourages the acknowledgement of the importance of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) during the international SEL Day on March 26, 2021. In anticipation of SEL Day, KDE has created the #SELday document to provide quick strategies schools and districts can engage in across the lifespan (children, adolescents and adults) for two key SEL Competencies: self-awareness and social awareness. The document also provides quick access to more in-depth resources for various stakeholder groups to support SEL for all.  KDE envisions March 26, 2021 to be a "kick-off" day of awareness for SEL activities that can be implemented year-round. Please use the hashtag #SELday on social media to share what you are doing on SEL Day.  

​What is Social and Emotional Learning? 

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. (CASEL: What is SEL?)

Why is promoting SEL and mental health critical for schools?

SEL Impact

The Impact of Social and Emotional Learning: Video

High School Students Perspectives on SEL: Respected

What Skills Do Socially and Emotionally Competent People Have?

Overview of SEL Components – Short Video Series:

How do we get started?

Resources for Promoting Equity

Including Voice in Education: addressing equity through student and family voice in the classroom

The National Center for School Mental Health (NCSMH) at University of Maryland’s select resources on cultural responsiveness and equity for schools, mental health providers, communities, families, and students.

University of California Berkeley's Greater Good in Education: Resources to Support Anti-Racist Learning  provides:

  • Key Readings from Black Educator-Leaders and Other Leaders of Color
  • Resources to Support the Mental Health and Well-Being of Black Educators
  • Greater Good in Education Practices for Students and Teachers

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) educator guide for addressing race and trauma in the classroom offers recommendations for creating and supporting safe and brave environments, modeling honesty and authenticity, honoring the impacts of history and systemic racism, and encouraging and empowering students as leaders.

Social, Emotional, and Academic Development Through an Equity Lens provides a framework and action items to address adult beliefs and mindsets as well as school and district policies to build relationships and create equitable learning environments that support positive social and emotional growth.

Example SEL standards for students and adultswhich have been enhanced to prioritize equity and respect for diversity (Oakland USD)

Transformative Social and Emotional Learning (SEL): Toward SEL in Service of Educational Equity and Excellence

Norms for Facilitating Courageous Conversations

Committee for Children

Black Minds Matter: Interrupting school practices that disregard the mental health of Black youth.

GLSEN Educator Resources

Collaborate with Students

Use data to determine needs, priorities, and appropriate solutions (practices, supports, curricula, etc.)

Speak out, Listen Up! Tools for Using Student Perspectives and Local Data for School Improvement

Youth Engagement Toolkit

School Mental Health Quality Guide - Teaming

CASEL Tool Supporting Student Members of the SEL Team

Other Free Activity Banks and Evidence-based/informed Curricula

Nurturing Gratitude from the Inside Out - 30 activities for grades K-8

Thanks! A Strengths-Based Gratitude Curriculum for Tweens and Teens - Four lessons to help students understand the meaning of gratitude and how to cultivate it in their everyday lives.

 A Kindness Curriculum Pre-K - Mindfulness-based curriculum explores how students recognize and work with their emotions, learning to care for others and themselves.

Sanford Harmony - A program for Pre-K-6 grade students designed to foster inter-gender communication and understanding, connection, and community both in and outside the classroom and develop boys and girls into compassionate and caring adults.

15 Activities for Teaching CASEL Core Competencies

InspirED - free resources, designed by teens, educators, and SEL experts, empower students to work together to create more positive school climates and foster greater wellbeing in their schools and communities. 

Making SEL More Relevant to Teens offers social and emotional learning activities that are designed to address high school students’ need for status and respect.

Purpose Challenge Toolkit is designed to help students think deeply about the things that matter most to them through thought provoking and fun activities.

Greater Good in Education - free online resource that distills strategies and practices for the social, emotional, and ethical development of students and the adults who work with them, synthesizing the top insights and best practices from science, programs, and practitioners.

The Science Happiness Podcast offers research-tested strategies for a happier, more meaningful life.

The CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL Essentials is a printable compilation of key activities and tools that leads school-based teams through a process for systemic SEL implementation. This printable summary offers a compact set of essential tools for use during professional learning or as a quick reference for coaches and SEL team leaders.

Transforming Education Trauma-Informed SEL Toolkit offers strengths-based strategies teachers can integrate into their classroom, an overview of secondary traumatic stress and strategies for educator self-care, and a step-by-step facilitator’s guide for implementing a thorough professional development session designed to help educators create a healthy classroom environment for students.

60-Second Strategies for Implementing Aspects of SEL in the Classroom

Pom-Pom Jar

Participation Cards

SLANT Listening

Cooperative Learning Groups

Traverse Talk

Appreciation, Apology, Aha!

Stress Snowball Toss

Program and Intervention Clearinghouse Sites

Navigate the Complex Field of Social and Emotional Learning - By Harvard University

CASEL Program Guides

What Works Clearinghouse

School Health Assessment and Performance Evaluation System (SHAPE) Resource Center

The Wallace Foundation Knowledge Center: Social and Emotional Learning

EdSurge - Social-Emotional Learning Voices

Intergrating Social and Emotional Learning throughout the School System A Compendium of Resources for District Leaders

School Mental Health, Trauma-Informed Practices, and Crisis Recovery

Interconnected Systems Framework – builds system capacity and improves student outcomes by integrating school mental health into a single MTSS for academics, behavior and wellbeing

School Mental Health Resources by Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network (MHTTC) provides a free National School Mental Health Curriculum developed in partnership with the National Center for School Mental Health, as well as tools, trainings, best practices, and technical assistance for states, districts, and schools.

The National Center for School Mental Health

The School Health Assessment and Performance Evaluation (SHAPE) system houses the National School Mental Health Profile and the School Mental Health Quality Assessment (SMH-QA). These measures are designed for team completion at the school or district level to document the school mental health system components, assess the comprehensiveness of a SMH system, prioritize quality improvement efforts and track improvement over time. SHAPE Quality Guides cover topics of: TeamingNeeds Assessment and Resource MappingScreeningMH Promotion Services and Supports (Tier 1)Early Intervention & Treatment (Tiers 2 & 3)Funding and Sustainability and Impact

School Crisis Recovery and Renewal Project supports students, educators, school staff, and school-based clinicians to effectively implement trauma-informed crisis recovery and renewal strategies.

Coalition to Support Grieving Students offers information, training materials, consultation, and technical assistance. Consultation is provided at no charge to schools.

Find Help Now KY - Find addiction treatment openings in your area.

Kentucky Cabinet of Health and Family Services Division of Behavioral Health

Trauma - Sensitive Schools Training Package- National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments

Ready, Set, Go, Review: Screening for Behavioral Health Risk in Schools is a federally developed toolkit in the SAMHSA Evidence-Based Practice Resource Center that Kentucky AWARE contributed to, and it includes a KY district example among others.

Strengthening Relationships in a Virtual Environment

7 Ways to Maintain Relationships during School Closure

5-Minute Chats with Students 

Virtual SEL Activities Examples Brief

Building Relationships with Your Students - Quick activities from Milwaukee Public Schools PBIS

Adapting Check-in, Check-out for Distance Learning

COR Classrooms - Creating Opportunities through Relationships free teacher training modules from the University of Virginia

COVID-19 Resources

Self-Care Strategies for Educators During the Coronavirus

Supporting School Community Wellness with Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) During and After a Pandemic - This issue brief, created by The Pennsylvania State University, is one of a series of briefs that addresses the future needs and challenges for research, practice, and policy on social and emotional learning (SEL).

Remote Learning Free SEL Resources - CASEL archive of free remote learning SEL tools, trainings and resources searchable by grade level, target audience, and inclusion in CASEL program reviews

SEL Effort Inventory and Analysis is designed to help schools learn about the effectiveness of social and emotional learning efforts that have occurred in the past and during school closures related to COVID-19 and prioritize a short list of high-leverage SEL practices to implement schoolwide in the coming year. 

Responding to COVID - 19 School Mental Health is a collection of resources including toolkits, webinars, guides, lesson plans, tip sheets, and infographics, specific to school mental health that can be useful when coping with the effects of widespread public health crises.

Reunite, Renew, and Thrive SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools offers four SEL Critical Practices to help schools create supportive learning environments and foster social, emotional, and academic learning as we reunite and renew through a global pandemic and mobilization against systemic racism.

Returning to School During and After Crisis - resources to support the use of a multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) framework to support students, families, and educators during the transitions back to school.

KDE Considerations for Reopening Schools Supporting Students and Staff Wellness

Related Trainings and Programs Available Free through Kentucky Department of Education Initiatives

Youth Mental Health First Aid Sources of Strength

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

Olweus Bullying Prevention

You Are Not Alone - KET collection on Youth Mental Health


​Kathryn Tillett
Office of Continuous Improvement and Support
Division of Student Success
300 Sower Blvd., 5th Floor
Frankfort, KY 40601
(502) 564-4772 
Fax (502) 564-7820

  • Normal Font Size