• South Hadley Public Schools
    SEL & Caregiver Engagement

    Schools, Caregivers, and Social Emotional Learning

    What is SEL?

    SEL stands for social-emotional learning. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), SEL is the process through which we learn and apply social-emotional knowledge, attitudes, and skills for understanding and managing emotions, setting and achieving goals, establishing and maintaining relationships and feeling and showing empathy for others. In the  South Hadley Public School district, these skills for life effectiveness will be intentionally taught and modeled in a safe, supportive, and culturally responsive environment.


    Social-Emotional Competencies

    SEL comprises five competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. As we approach each competency, a newsletter will be distributed to caregivers  along with strategies and ideas to promote SEL at home.

    Further explore the CASEL competencies HERE



    The ability to understand one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior across contexts. This includes the ability to recognize one’s strengths and limitations with a well-grounded sense of confidence and purpose.

    Such as:

    • Integrating personal and social identities
    • Identifying personal, cultural, and linguistic assets
    • Identifying one’s emotions
    • Demonstrating honesty and integrity
    • Linking feelings, values, and thoughts
    • Examining prejudices and biases
    • Experiencing self-efficacy
    • Having a growth mindset
    • Developing interests and a sense of purpose

    Check out this video from PBS Learning Media for more information.


    The ability to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations. This includes the capacities to delay gratification, manage stress, and feel motivation and agency to accomplish personal and collective goals.

    Such as:

    • Managing one’s emotions
    • Identifying and using stress management strategies
    • Exhibiting self-discipline and self-motivation
    • Setting personal and collective goals
    • Using planning and organizational skills
    • Showing the courage to take initiative
    • Demonstrating personal and collective agency

    Check out this video from PBS Learning Media for more information.

    Social Awareness

    The ability to understand the perspectives of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and contexts. This includes the capacity to feel compassion for others, understand broader historical and social norms for behavior in different settings, and recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

    Such as:

    • Taking others’ perspectives
    • Recognizing strengths in others
    • Demonstrating empathy and compassion
    • Showing concern for the feelings of others
    • Understanding and expressing gratitude
    • Identifying diverse social norms, including unjust ones
    • Recognizing situational demands and opportunities
    • Understanding the influences of organizations and systems on behavior

    Check out this video from PBS Learning Media for more information.

    Responsible Decision-Making

    The ability to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations. This includes the capacity to consider ethical standards and safety concerns, and to evaluate the benefits and consequences of various actions for personal, social, and collective well-being.

    Such as:

    • Demonstrating curiosity and open-mindedness
    • Learning how to make a reasoned judgment after analyzing information, data, and facts
    • Identifying solutions for personal and social problems
    • Anticipating and evaluating the consequences of one’s actions
    • Recognizing how critical thinking skills are useful both inside and outside of school
    • Reflecting on one’s role to promote personal, family, and community well-being
    • Evaluating personal, interpersonal, community, and institutional impacts

    Check out this video from PBS Learning Media for more information.

    Relationship Skills

    The ability to establish and maintain healthy and supportive relationships and to effectively navigate settings with diverse individuals and groups. This includes the capacities to communicate clearly, listen actively, cooperate, work collaboratively to problem solve and negotiate conflict constructively, navigate settings with differing social and cultural demands and opportunities, provide leadership, and seek or offer help when needed.

    Such as:

    • Communicating effectively
    • Developing positive relationships
    • Demonstrating cultural competency
    • Practicing teamwork and collaborative problem-solving
    • Resolving conflicts constructively
    • Resisting negative social pressure
    • Showing leadership in groups
    • Seeking or offering support and help when needed
    • Standing up for the rights of others

    Check out this video from PBS Learning Media for more information.

    Support for Parents and Caregivers

    Tips for Every Grade Level

    Tips adapted for the Be Good People curriculum from trusted experts who contribute to the Today Show's Parenting Guides




    1st Grade

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