Implementing Social Emotional Learning
Selecting SEL Strategies and Programs
As schools develop SEL goals and priorities and create systematic plans for implementing SEL they may consider adopting a packaged SEL program or set of SEL strategies. In addition to locally developed SEL goals, priorities, and needs, it is recommended that the SEL lessons and/or program meet the SAFE criteria to maximize the effectiveness of school-based SEL (CASEL, 2019):
- Sequenced- connected and coordinated activities to foster skills development
- Active- active forms of learning to help students master new skills
- Focused- containing activities that clearly emphasize developing personal and social skills
- Explicit- targeting specific social and emotional skills
As mentioned, school-based SEL is most effective when evidence-based and promising practice strategies and programs are delivered by trusted adults and opportunities to practice SEL skills are provided (CASEL, 2019). Many SEL programs have undergone research and testing and CASEL has developed a program guide to help schools identify evidence-based programs. With the CASEL program guide tool, schools can search for and compare programs that best align with school and community SEL goals and needs. It is common practice for schools to request SEL program suppliers provide information about how their SEL program aligns with the Montana SEL Competencies.