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Social and Emotional Learning

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Wisconsin’s SEL Vision

We want all students in Wisconsin to graduate from high school socially and emotionally competent by possessing and demonstrating social and emotional knowledge, skills, and habits.

What Is SEL?

WI CASEL SEL graphicThe Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) defines social and emotional learning (SEL) as the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Social and emotional learning advances educational equity and excellence through authentic school-family-community partnerships to establish learning environments and experiences that feature trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation. SEL can help address various forms of inequity and empower young people and adults to co-create thriving schools and contribute to safe, healthy, and just communities. (Adapted from the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning [CASEL])

Guiding Principles

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an evidence-based practice with a deep research base. To inspire and provide direction for high quality SEL experiences across the state, the DPI has developed a set of principles to guide schools, districts, and out-of-school time programs. Learn more about each guiding principle.

  1. Commit to equity
  2. Employ a strength-based lens
  3. Adopt a systems approach
  4. Strengthen adult capacity
  5. Partner with students, families, and communities
  6. Build and sustain resilience
  7. Assess to learn

Navigate DPI’s SEL Webpages

SEL Introduction Map

SEL Introduction:

What are DPI’s SEL resources, and how do I use them?


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Alignment And Connections:

How is SEL integrated with a particular framework or other learning environment?



Out-of-School Time

Character Education

Teaching and Learning

Comprehensive School Mental Health

Trauma Sensitive Schools (Coming soon!)

School Mental Health

Adult SEL:

How and why should I build my own SEL competence?


Introduction to Adult SEL

Promote and Develop Youth SEL tree icon

Promote and Develop SEL for Students:

How can educators, youth service professionals, and families promote and develop SEL?


Evidence-Based Curriculum Aligned with WI DPI SEL Competencies

Caregiver Resources

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Assessment and Continuous Improvement Information:

How and why should SEL assessment occur?


Assessment Introduction

Evidence-Based Assessments Aligned with WI DPI SEL Competencies


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Articles and Other Resources:

Where can I learn more about SEL research and best practices?


Articles and Other Resources



For questions about this information, contact (608) 266-8960