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Social and Emotional Learning

The Wisconsin PK-Adult Social and Emotional Learning Competencies are Available!

Social and Emotional Learning Competencies

This guide is designed to provide educators and out-of-school-time youth service professionals with the essentials for implementing a comprehensive approach to SEL. Find the Social and Emotional Learning Competencies here.

Introduction to Wisconsin Social and Emotional Learning Competencies (YouTube video)

Introduction to Wisconsin Social and Emotional Learning Competencies 

Positivity through Social and Emotional Learning

Adams-Friendship Area School District shows how social and emotional learning promotes engaged learning and inspires educators to teach every student.

Early Childhood Social and Emotional Learning

Racine Unified School District recognizes the importance of social and emotional learning to keep kids healthy, safe, and encouraged in school every day.

What is Social and Emotional Learning?

Social and emotional learning is 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.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, in partnership with the Safe Schools Healthy Students grant and the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is committed to providing resources to schools and families to support comprehensive social and emotional learning opportunities for students.

SEL and Equity: What does this mean?


CASEL's 2018 February 5th webinar with Rob Jagers shares some of the ways in which CASEL is advancing work on equity and social and emotional learning (SEL).

Social and Emotional Learning in Wisconsin Schools

Making social and emotional learning (SEL) skills part of the learning equation helps children succeed in school and life. With social and emotional skills, children can manage their feelings, build healthy relationships, and navigate social environments. When adults are supported by good policies and training, children develop the skills needed to prepare them for the world.

Why it matters:

  • Students receiving comprehensive social and emotional learning instruction increased their achievement test scores by 11 percentile points.
  • The soft skills developed by social and emotional learning are exactly what 59 percent of hiring managers surveyed look for in new hires.
  • Columbia University found that an $11 return resulted from each $1 invested in SEL.
  • A nationally representative survey of PK-12th grade teachers found that 93 percent believe SEL is very or fairly important for the in-school student experience.

For a print version of this information please download the Social and Emotional Learning in Wisconsin PK-12 Schools infographic.

Additional Resources


DPI provides several resources to help future social and emotional learning in our schools.

Schools and Educators


Evidence-Based Curriculum
Social and Emotional Learning District Case Studies
Schools and districts across Wisconsin are comprehensively implementing social and emotional learning; integrating it with existing programs and initiatives and making it a priority. Below are case studies from some school districts in Wisconsin. If you would like to submit a case study of your district’s comprehensive SEL implementation please download and complete this application and email it to

Mequon-Thiensville School District

Adams-Friendship School District

Milwaukee Public Schools 

For Parents and Families

  • Parent toolkit: (From the website) This toolkit will help you navigate your child’s journey from pre-kindergarten through high school. It is designed to help you track and support progress at each stage.
  • Confident Parents Confident Kids: A site for parents actively supporting kids' social, emotional and ethical development

Adult Social and Emotional Skills

What's your emotional style? Understand how your emotions effect your well-being and relationships with others. A self-assessment from Dr. Richard Davidson, the Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Personal Assessment and Reflection – SEL Competencies for School Leaders, Staff, and Adults
This Personal Assessment and Reflection – SEL Competencies for School Leaders, Staff, and Adults tool, from CASEL, is designed to help schoolwide SEL leaders to assess and understand their own levels of social and emotional competence.

Meyers, D. C., Gil, L., Cross, R., Keister, S., Domitrovich, C. E., & Weissberg, R. P. (2015). CASEL guide for schoolwide social and emotional learning. Chicago, IL: CASEL.

This tool was adapted from Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2013).Primal leadership: Unleashing the power of emotional intelligence(pp. 253-256). Harvard Business Press.

For questions about this information, contact Beth Herman (608) 267-9242