• Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Building Relationships


    SVSD’s Student Services and Behavioral Health departments understand and embrace OSPI’s guidance around the critical role that social emotional learning and building relationships play in remote learning. We recognize that fostering an online classroom culture focused on trust, respect, and a  sense of connection is key, and leads to more engaged learning. We plan to deploy strategies and supports related to building an online culture with consistent practices and structure to connect with students in the remote learning environment.  


    SVSD will provide SEL/relationship building through a combination of direct instruction and integration into the daily remote learning experience. The following list of specific strategies will be used to help foster strong student-to-student, student-to-teacher, student-to-family and family-to-teacher relationships.  

    • Morning meetings, Community Circles for students daily
    • Weekly lessons for social emotional learning
    • Social emotional learning and strategies embedded into core content
    • Additional intervention and support for behavior and social emotional learning based on screening or identified needs through our tiered intervention process
    • Teaching and use of schoolwide and classroom level expectations (e.g. Safe, Responsible, Respectful) applied to both in-person and remote learning environments
    • Relationship-building strategies
    • Social emotional learning lessons aligned to year-long SEL themes
    • Acknowledgement and feedback systems at the school and classroom level to promote behavioral and social and emotional well-being
    • Opportunities for staff to engage in their own social emotional learning and reflection, to model skills and further support students in remote and in-person learning environments
    • Increased concentration of behavioral health support staff as a teacher resource
    • Increased parent professional development for SEL in collaboration with our community partners


    Social Emotional Learning instruction will be provided synchronously and asynchronously with intentional lessons and themes throughout the year to support students’ needs. The year-long scope and sequence of SEL will support the use of specific themes and content across PreK-12 grades that include:

    • Establishing relationships and emotional awareness
    • Empathy and coping strategies
    • Engaging in social problem-solving
    • Self-reflection and prepping for the next grade level


    For Preschool - grade 5, SEL content will continue to be provided via the Second Step curriculum with a pacing guide that supports the developmental growth of students. Daily practice SEL activities aligned to the weekly lessons will also be embedded each week in other content areas to reinforce the weekly lesson. In grades 6-12, SEL content will be developed based on the Washington State SEL standards, to be taught in Advisory and reinforced through content classes.


    In addition to the SEL instruction throughout the year, the initial weeks of school will focus on the following:

    • Clear expectations across learning environments
    • Rebuilding trusting relationships
    • Reestablishing a sense of social belonging


    Each week includes a focus on establishing, teaching, and reinforcing school and classroom expectations with student input, consistent use of specific relationship-building strategies, and an SEL lesson or activity. When provided together, the components provide opportunity to build a safe, positive, inclusive, and supportive learning environment, both remotely and in person.