Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon » Homepage

Social and Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning

Social emotional learning (SEL) is "an integral part of education and human development. Social emotional learning is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.

Social 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. Social emotional learning 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." (CASEL, 2022))

Oregon's Adopted Transformative SEL Framework and Standards

We are excited to share Oregon's Transformative Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Framework & Standards, adopted by the State Board of Education on June 15, 2023 and to be implemented in districts by July 1, 2024. Use this CASEL, n.d.) Oregon’s Transformative SEL Framework and Standards utilizes and expands on CASEL’s definition of Transformative SEL to help build capacity for strengthening school cultures that center equity, and support student and adult well-being through a systemic approach.


The framework and standards create coherence and clarity for Transformative SEL in Oregon that:

SEL Research and Resources

In the short term, Social and Emotional Learning helps us know ourselves, understand the perspectives of others, and make sound personal and social decisions. In the long term, the following results are shown by research:
  1. Boost diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts: Social Emotional Learning is a dynamic process that fundamentally transforms how optimal teaching and learning happen, including how both competencies and conditions come together to advance equity. Equity in education and Social Emotional Learning are complimentary priorities that must be mutually reinforcing in Oregon’s classrooms for each to succeed. Learn more through EdTrust.
  2. Positive social behavior: Students get along better with others with improved social interaction skills and self-knowledge. They gain greater “self-efficacy, confidence, persistence, empathy, connection and commitment to school, and a sense of purpose.” (Weissberg, 2016) When students have positive, productive relationships with peers, family members, and educators, they also perform better in school. 
  3. Prepares students for their future lives and careers: Social Emotional Learning promotes skills like resilience, collaboration, self-regulation, self-awareness, empathy, and growth mindsets in particular—key skills expected when people enter the workforce. Students also gain a sense of purpose and belonging and learning to be civically engaged and culturally responsive. (CASEL, 2022)
  4. Student academic performance: Social Emotional Learning is shown to raise students’ achievement scores by an average of 11 percentile points while improving attitudes towards school and increasing their performance in the classroom, including attendance and graduation rates.
  5. Reduced emotional distress and lower discipline rates: When students are engaged in Social Emotional Learning​, students have better relationships and fewer occurrences of depression, anxiety, stress and social withdrawal. There are also less disruptions and bullying. Studies show that students have less psychological, behavioral, or substance abuse problems in the long term.​​

Social Emotional Learning Key ​Points​

  1. ​​Social Emotional Learning is not a replacement for mental health care, but mental health is one important component of Social Emotional Learning. ODE believes that mental health is centered within a continuum of care that meets each person's needs for physical and emotional safety, security, social connection, identity, diversity and purpose. Go to the Integrated Model of Mental Health.
  2. ​Co-constructing equitable learning environments means making sure power and privilege related to race are understood as part of social and emotional learning, but is not about shame or blaming anyone because of their identities. The goal is for educators to be able to “address challenges in inequities, including building on students' already-existing cognitive, social, and emotional competencies, addressing injustice and related trauma, mitigating stereotype threat in the classroom, building healthy school culture and climate, and engaging families and communities." (Aspen Institute, 2018)

  3. ​Social Emotional Learning works best when educators, students, families, and community members have “trusting and collaborative relationships, rigorous and meaningful curriculum and instruction, and ongoing evaluation." (Jagers, Skoog-Hoffman, Barthelus, and Schlund, 2021)

  4. ​Social, emotional, and academic skills are interrelated. Teachers know from experience that a child can't focus on academic skills alone because they aren't learning in a vacuum. Social Emotional Learning​ supports positive developmental and learning outcomes. When schools, families, and community partners work together to prioritize the social and emotional experiences young people have at school, we can make sure all students have rich opportunities to learn and practice important skills that help them collaborate, solve problems, and succeed in school, college, career and life.​

  5. ​Social-emotional learning must be embedded throughout the formal education spaces we are responsible for. It can't be an add-on, afterthought, or alternative. That means we build social and emotional skills into the entire learning experience both in targeted and integrated ways.​

ODE staff will provide guidance, resources and other supportive materials for implementation, and further communication will be forthcoming. Materials will be posted at Oregon’s Social & Emotional Learning webpage, so check back soon!

Resources for Messaging & Partnering with Families

Five Key Messages to Communicate About SEL (CASEL, One-Pager)

Five Frequently Asked Questions (CASEL, Two-Pager)

Customizable Presentation: The Case for SEL (CASEL Slide-Deck) - coming soon

SEL Discussion Series for Parents & Caregivers (CASEL Facilitator Guide)

Transformative Social Emotional Learning (article)

Resources for Integrating and Implementing SEL:

CASEL’s 3 Signature Practices Playbook

School-wide SEL Indicators

Districtwide SEL Implementation Rubric

Background of Oregon’s Transformative SEL Framework & Standards

In 2021, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2166, Section 4, requiring the development of social emotional standards and a framework for K-12 public school students in Oregon. ODE approached this bill as a multi-phase process and is grateful for the many contributions in developing Oregon’s Transformative SEL Framework and Standards.

Phase 1 of implementation fulfilled the bill requirement of ODE in consultation with the Early Learning Division (ELD) and the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC), to convene an Advisory Group (Phase 1 SEL Advisory Group) to develop an initial report: Preliminary Description of the Proposed Social Emotional Learning Standards Framework for Oregon: HB 2166 of the proposed SEL standards and framework that was to be used by the State Board of Education (SBE) when considering the standards and framework for adoption on June 15, 2023.

Phase 2 of implementation established a Phase 2 SEL Advisory Group charged with developing the SEL framework and standards for adoption by the State Board of Education (SBE) by September 15, 2023. This Advisory Group was guided by the bill text as well as the contents of the Preliminary Description of the Proposed Social Emotional Learning Standards Framework for Oregon: HB 2166 report created by the Phase 1 SEL Advisory Group. School districts will be required to implement the adopted SEL Framework and Standards on July 1, 2024.

For questions regarding the ODE Social Emotional Learning program, please email ODE SEL