Policy Details Page

Policy 3112
Social-Emotional Learning


Social-emotional learning is an evidence-based, comprehensive approach to supporting social and emotional skills that underpin effective learning, positive social behavior and emotional health and well-being of students and schools. Research shows that social-emotional learning not only improves achievement, but it also increases prosocial behaviors (such as kindness, sharing, and empathy), improves student attitudes toward school, and reduces depression and stress among students.

Tacoma Public Schools recognizes and acknowledges the importance of the social and emotional well-being of students as a crucial factor in the ability to be academically engaged. The integration of academic and social-emotional learning is designed to help students:

  • learn about and practice a healthy lifestyle;
  • learn in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for students and adults where all students and adults are respected;
  • actively engage in learning and connect to the school and broader community;
  • access personalized learning and are supported by effective, compassionate, and responsive adults that believe in every student;
  • be challenged academically and prepared for success in post-secondary education, employment and to thrive in our global community.

The social-emotional learning framework is designed to help students develop core personal competencies, including, but not limited to:

  • Self-awareness: The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset.”
  • Self-management: The ability to successful regulate one’s emotional, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations – effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.
  • Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
  • Relationship skills: The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarded relationships with diverse individuals and groups. The ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.
  • Responsible decision-making: The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the wellbeing of oneself and others.


This framework approach will promote proactive strategies designed to develop social-emotional learning skills in our students while being modeled by adults in classrooms, staff throughout the school, and district-wide personnel.

Collectively, the social-emotional learning framework is designed to help staff and students enhance a positive school climate by being respectful, responsible, safe and creating an inclusive and caring environment.

The Superintendent shall recommend district, school and community support and communication of social-emotional learning.

Cross References

  • Policy 0105 Innovation
  • Policy 2133 Diversity-Multicultural Education
  • Policy 2140 Guidance Counseling
  • Policy 3111 Nondiscrimination and Equity
  • Policy 3205 Safety and Civility in Schools
  • Policy 3235 School Climate
  • Policy 3240 Student Conduct
  • Policy 4000 School/Community Relations
  • Policy 4129 Family Involvement
  • Policy 5010 Employee Conduct Rules

Management Resources:

  • ASCD Whole School, Whole Child, Whole Child Model, 2017
  • CASEL Core Competencies, 2017

Adoption Date: 1/25/18

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