Whole Child Approach

The “Whole Child Approach” to education prioritizes the full scope of a child’s developmental needs—social, emotional, cognitive and academic, as well as physical and mental health. We recognize to be able to meet the needs of each student.                                                      
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We must develop a continuum of supports to meet the needs of the whole child.

SEL brings families, schools, and communities together. We are all decision-makers in our schools! The CDE main SEL webpage is a great place to start, along with keeping the California State Board Adopted Guiding Principles at the forefront of our minds which provide guidance on how to approach SEL.

Message maps help educators communicate the positive impacts of SEL. Check out this worksheet for collaborating on your own message map and these examples to get started.

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Preparing for a meeting or your lesson plans? See the Signature Practices Playbook for easy to use strategies to engage at the start, end, and throughout your meeting/class.

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Parents and caregivers are essential partners. See the Leading with SEL Website for resources to support this partnership.

Communication among all educational partners is key. See this Toolkit for School Boards to consider when making SEL-related decisions.

Click on the continuum for a description of each level of support. 

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Click on the Whole Child Approach profiles to see the difference in the old approach to the MTSS approach.

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Click on the images for a full suite of tools to build tiered supports for SEL.

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SEL is for everyone - from our youngest students to our high schoolers to adults

What is SEL?

  • Understanding Your Feelings
  • Making Friends
  • Handling Life's Twists and Turns
  • Superpowers for Your Emotions and Relationships! 

Why is it important?

  • Helps You Succeed in School
  • Build Strong Friendships
  • Builds Confidence
  • Leads to a Brighter Future

How does SEL work?

Think of SEL as five superskills:

  • Knowing Yourself
  • Managing Your Emotions
  • Understanding Others
  • Building Relationships
  • Making Wise Choices

Real-Life SEL

  • Listen to Friends
  • Take Deep Breaths When You're Stressed
  • Lend a Hand to Someone in Need
  • Set Big Goals
  • Be Kind to Yourself

SEL in Action

  • Leadership
  • Storytelling
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Community Service & Engagement
  • Project-Based Learning
  • Youth-Adult Allyship
  • Youth Advocacy
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