SSD Social Emotional Learning Philosophy

The Sequim School District seeks to inspire students to achieve their greatest potential. We believe that all students are capable of success. In order for students to succeed, they must be able to access academic instruction with minimized barriers. Barriers to student instruction may include unmanaged emotions, and a lack of understanding about how every day choices impact one’s learning and the learning of others. As stated in the October 1, 2016 report by the Washington State Social Emotional Learning Benchmarks Workgroup:

“Social emotional learning is broadly understood as a process through which people build awareness and skills in managing emotions, setting goals, establishing relationships and making responsible decisions, leading to success in school and in life. Research shows SEL on a large scale supports better performing and more positive school communities.”

The Social Emotional Learning Benchmarks Workgroup propose guiding principles, which include:

  • Professional learning;
  • School/family/community partnerships; and
  • Cultural responsiveness, to ensure SEL in the classroom is culturally competent and inclusive across all schools and communities.

The Sequim School District intends to follow the above guiding principles in developing programming to support student achievement. The District will incorporate SEL at a systems level to build a foundation to support academic and lifelong achievement for students. This district implementation will support positive, equitable school environments in which all students learn the skills needed to be prepared for career, college, and life. Relationships between staff and students and students and students will be central to all strategies employed with the understanding that student choice and voice are necessary for successful implementation of the District SEL Program.

The Sequim School District will implement SEL effectively and equitably in schools by:

  • Evaluating and building school and classroom environments that are conducive to SEL;
  • Incorporating principles of universal design for learning when adapting SEL curricula;
  • Emphasizing equity in the selection and implementation of curriculum; and
  • Taking a holistic approach, understanding that each person will start at different places and progress in different ways along an SEL continuum.

The Sequim School District SEL Program is a multi-tiered system. The model that will be used is much like the models followed for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). Strategies will be implemented on a three tiered system.

  • Tier 1 SEL strategies are designed to be implemented for all students,
  • Tier 2 strategies are designed to be implemented with targeted groups of students identified with minimal social emotional challenges that interfere with academic participation and achievement, and
  • Tier 3 strategies will be implemented with students identified as having significant social emotional challenges needing significant interventions to insure appropriate participation in school and academic achievement.