Welcome to the North Carolina Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Webpage
The NC Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Implementation Team listened to young people and adults across North Carolina to create the following vision for social and emotional learning (SEL) in North Carolina Public Schools.
North Carolina PK-12 public schools are safe, productive, restorative, and enjoyable learning communities where each student, staff, and family member experiences mutual respect and a sense of belonging. In partnership with families and communities, our schools provide equitable academic, social, emotional, and behavioral learning through positive relationships and modeling by compassionate adults. Immersed in a supportive system, our staff value their own social and emotional learning as a form of self-care, care for colleagues, and care for students. The same supportive system produces resilient students who graduate empowered to solve problems, communicate effectively, empathize with others, and pursue goals for further education, employment, and contribution to their communities.
Aligning The Work
The vision and work of the NC Social and Emotional Learning Implementation Team closely support the work of Operation Polaris and its four priorities: literacy, student support services, accountability and testing, and human capital.
|Polaris Priority||SEL Alignment|
||The integration of social and emotional learning competencies into literacy instruction helps teachers meet the developmental needs of the whole child while ensuring that every student can fully engage and participate in the classroom.|
||When social and emotional instruction is intentionally implemented throughout the school, student support services are bolstered and the result is a positive school climate and a safe and healthy classroom environment in which students can learn.|
||When social and emotional competencies are applied to accountability and testing, a school’s climate and the level of student engagement improves as students feel supported and encouraged with skills that better prepare them for life after high school.|
||The implementation of social and emotional learning as it pertains to school leaders like principals and teachers helps to build supportive classroom environments, create a strong school culture, and instill a sense of belonging for school staff and students.|
The development of both adult and student social and emotional competencies is critical as it supports the development of children and adolescents into high functioning adults. Learn more about Superintendent Truitt’s vision for public education.
North Carolina State Board of Education (SBOE) Strategic Plan
The vision and work of the NC SEL Implementation Team are closely aligned with the NC State Board of Education (SBOE) Strategic Plan. Specifically in Goal I (eliminate opportunity gaps by 2025), the number of exclusionary discipline practices, such as suspensions and expulsions, can be decreased for all subgroups (SBOE, Objective I.1) if those practices are replaced with discipline practices that promote SEL (e.g., restorative practices.) Decades of research support the fact that increased prosocial behavior is one of many benefits of SEL (Durlak et al., 2011; Taylor et al., 2017). School climate measures can be improved across all schools and grade levels (SBOE, Objective I.2) and high school dropout rates can be decreased for all subgroups (SBOE I.4) if SEL practices are utilized to foster a supportive climate and as a means for improving educational outcomes. Research studies indicate increased academic performance is one of many benefits of SEL (Durlak et al., 2011; Taylor et al., 2017), and research continues to implicate strong connections between SEL and school climate, such as direct correlations between cyberbullying victimization and school-wide SEL (Yang et al., 2021). Finally, by focusing on adult SEL, PSUs can create healthy, inclusive teaching environments that attract and sustain educators of color in schools across North Carolina (SBOE I.6).
Goal II of the SBOE Strategic Plan is to “Improve school and district performance by 2025.” This goal includes specific objectives around increased percentages of: grades 3-8 math and ELA EOG (English Language Arts End-of-Grade) subgroup test scores meeting the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) Yearly Measures of Interim Progress (SBOE II.2), students proficient in math by subgroup (SBOE II.3), students proficient in reading by the end of 3rd grade (SBOE II.4), high school reading subgroup test scores meeting the ESSA Yearly Measures of Interim Progress (SBOE II.5), and students proficient in science by subgroup (SBOE II.6). This goal also includes objectives around increased numbers of schools meeting or exceeding growth measures by subgroup (SBOE II.7) and increased numbers of charter schools meeting or exceeding academic, operational, and financial goals (SBOE II.8). As stated in the previous paragraph, there are decades of research supporting the fact that increased academic performance is one of many benefits of SEL (Durlak et al., 2011; Taylor et al., 2017). Goal II also includes increasing the number of qualified and well-prepared principals in every school (SBOE II.9). The NC State Implementation Team currently has a principal representative, as well as representation from a North Carolina higher institute of learning. The team is in the beginning stages of building collaborative relationships with higher institutes of learning, specifically with those leading educator preparation programs. This work not only aligns with SBOE II.9 but is directly linked to Goal III of the SBOE Strategic Plan, increasing educator preparedness to meet the needs of every student by 2025.
- Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D. & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students’ social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82(1): 405–432.
- NC SBOE Strategic Plan. (2019). NC State Board of Education.
- Taylor, R. D., Oberle, E., Durlak, J. A., & Weissberg, R. P. (2017). Promoting Positive Youth Development Through School-Based Social and Emotional Learning Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Follow-Up Effects. Child Development, 88(4), 1156–1171.
- Yang, Chunyan & Chen, Chun & Lin, Xueqin & Chan, Mei-Ki Maggie. (2021). School-wide Social Emotional Learning and Cyberbullying Victimization among Middle and High School Students: Moderating Role of School Climate. School Psychology.