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Social Emotional Learning

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Creating high-quality learning experiences means educating the whole child by meeting his or her social, emotional, and academic needs. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions.  

With strong social and emotional skills, our students will be able to set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. 

5 core competencies of Social and Emotional Learning.


Self-awareness is the ability to recognize your own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. It's the ability to accurately assess your strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a "growth mindset."

  • Identifying emotions
  • Accurate self-perception
  • Recognizing strengths
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-efficacy


Self-management is the ability to successfully regulate your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations - managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating yourself. It's the ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.

  • Impuse control
  • Stress management
  • Self-discipline
  • Self-motivation
  • Goal-setting
  • Organizational skills

Social Awareness

Social awareness is the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. It's the ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

  • Perspective-taking
  • Empathy
  • Appreciating diversity
  • Respect for others

Relationship Skills

Relationship skills is the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. It's the ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.

  • Communication
  • Social engagement
  • Relationship-building
  • Teamwork

Responsible decision-making

Responsible decision-making is the ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the well-being of yourself and others.

  • Identifying problems
  • Analyzing situations
  • Solving problems
  • Evaluating
  • Reflecting
  • Ethical responsibility

Social emotional focus schools

Tulsa Public Schools has a number of pilot sites for the Wallace Foundation Partnership for Social Emotional Learning initiative:

  • Council Oak Elementary School 
  • Eugene Field Elementary School
  • McClure Elementary School 
  • Robertson Elementary School 
  • Whitman Elementary School
  • Tulsa Public Schools' before and after care programs 
  • YMCA
  • Youth at Heart

These sites receive supports, materials, and professional development to support the implementation of social emotional learning during school time and in their after school programs. These school sites are also partnering with The Opportunity Project. Visit the links below to learn more:

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Contact Us

Stephanie Andrews
Director of Student Engagement
Email Stephanie

What is social emotional learning?

Social emotional learning involves processes through which children and adults develop fundamental emotional and social competencies to:

  • Understand and manage emotions;
  • Set and achieve positive goals;
  • Feel and show empathy for others;
  • Establish and maintain positive relationships; and
  • Make responsible decisions.

Our vision

We envision our schools and communities as places that cultivate safe, joyous, caring and intentional learning environments for adults and students. The development of social skills enhances our ability to foster an inclusive environment. Social emotional skills should be cultivated and serve as continuous guiding principles and practice both within and beyond the classroom. Our vision is for students and adults to authentically belong in their schools through the supports and frameworks that social emotional learning brings.