The DRC shares learnings from CASEL’s Collaborating Districts Initiative, a partnership with districts representing 1+ million students across the U.S. Based on these efforts to study and scale social and emotional learning, the DRC provides a framework to support high-quality, systemic SEL implementation. This process is intended to embed SEL into every aspect of a district’s work and students’ educational experiences.
Created for leaders and educators in any district, the DRC offers research-based guidance and curated resources to help organize, implement, and continuously improve SEL.
While successful implementation can follow multiple paths, the 16 key activities in the District Framework lay out the essential district actions for implementing SEL. We recommend beginning with the key activities in Focus Area 1 to build a strong foundation. Then, move through activities to both strengthen adult SEL (Focus Area 2) and promote SEL for students (Focus Area 3) at a pace and depth based on the needs and strengths of your district. Every step of implementation is guided by a process of continuous improvement (Focus Area 4).
In each key activity, you’ll find an OVERVIEW of what high-quality implementation looks like, why it’s important, who to involve, and when to engage in the activity. You’ll also see a step-by-step PROCESS, and curated RESOURCES to support your efforts. Use the RUBRIC to assess your current level of implementation.
Developing a strong foundation for SEL helps ensure efforts are sustained long term. This requires broad stakeholder commitment and a comprehensive strategic plan. Whether you’re just beginning or seeking to scale up implementation, building deep organizational support for SEL will help deepen your impact.
Systemic implementation embeds SEL into every aspect of a district’s work and students’ educational experiences. Districts can use a variety of approaches to ensure successful implementation based on their unique needs. Regardless of the pathway, implementation needs to support both adults and students.
Focus Area 2
Strengthen Adult SEL Competencies and Capacity
Foster a staff community that cultivates adults’ professional, social, emotional, and cultural competencies.
Continuous improvement drives high-quality implementation and helps districts reach their goals. Throughout implementation, a structured process for continuous improvement allows districts to make informed decisions and stay on the path to success. This includes collecting, reflecting on, and sharing actionable data.
Focus Area 4
Practice Continuous Improvement
Use a Plan-Do-Study-Act continuous improvement cycle to examine data, track your progress, and refine your plan.
Not sure where to begin?
Take the priority-setting questionnaire to get a quick snapshot of your district’s current approach to SEL and identify key activities to focus on.Take Questionnaire
Looking for guidance and tools for SCHOOLWIDE SEL?
The CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL is a free, online resource that helps schools build on their SEL practices and programs.Visit CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL