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Schools support students in developing self-awareness, responsible decision-making, relationship building, social awareness skills, and self-management, the five areas of competence outlined in the framework for social-emotional learning from the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL).

Schools develop and implement a professional development plan that builds staff knowledge of the social, emotional, cultural, economic, and family factors that affect student learning.

Schools provide a safe space where students can receive support outside of the classroom (e.g., “planning centers,” supervised settings where students receive social, emotional, and academic support, are supported through approaches such as restorative practices, and receive interventions designed to help them problem solve, develop appropriate school and classroom behaviors, and reduce the need for classroom removal).

Schools connect students and their families to resources (e.g., neighborhood wellness centers, government agency services,
community school partners) as needed.

Schools implement positive behavior management, based on the principles of restorative practice.

Schools provide a range of enrichment activities and expressive academics that ignite student passion for learning and actively engage students in their school community.

Schools provide rigorous academic experiences grounded in culturally responsive teaching, complemented by a variety of enrichment opportunities.

Schools provide academic resources and training for families to support student achievement.

Schools communicate with parents routinely and positively about student behavior and academic performance, not limiting such communication as a response to specific episodes or incidents.


In classrooms

  • Teachers integrate the CASEL framework into the academic curriculum.
  • Teachers engage students every day in activities that promote positive behavior (e.g., class meetings, circles, restorative practices).
  • Teachers refer students in emotional, behavioral, or academic crisis to the appropriate adult or to the school’s safe space (e.g., planning center).
  • Teachers provide a structured environment for learning that is safe, orderly, and supports students’ self-expression and leadership.
  • Adults model learning continuously (e.g., by observing classroom practice).

Around the school

  • Students, staff, and families are all treated with dignity and respect.
  • School staff know their students and create a warm and welcoming environment.
  • Students know they are valued and that they have a voice.
  • Students experience discipline as restorative rather than punitive, and they play a leadership role in problem solving and conflict resolution.
  • Students have the opportunity to take part in extracurricular options (e.g., sports, clubs, art, music, and other organized after-school activities).
  • Safe spaces are managed by trained staff who provide high quality intensive interventions involving students, teachers, and families (e.g., restorative practices).
  • School staff respect parents as advocates for their children’s education and are responsive to parents’ concerns.
  • Enrichment activities, such as sports, are connected to learning and used to motivate and engage students.




District staff roles are aligned to the development, implementation, and evaluation of the vision for student wholeness (e.g., creation of a “whole child” department in the district’s Academics Office).

All staff participate in professional development to develop a common understanding of the CASEL framework and their responsibility in its implementation.

District staff develop a strategic plan to phase in restorative practices district-wide, and support and monitor its implementation.

District staff ensure that schools have appropriate funding to support key elements of a student wholeness approach (e.g., planning centers, training in restorative practices, a range of enrichment opportunities), including sufficient allocations for special education and the provision of a full curriculum.

District staff ensure that free breakfasts and lunches for all students are provided, and that schools offering after-school activities provide free supper for all participating students.

District staff have deep knowledge of the student wholeness priority, particularly those who supervise principals.

District experts review partners who provide services and resources related to student wholeness annually, and provide schools with a directory of approved partners.

District staff engage internal and external experts to gather feedback on student wholeness
implementation priorities.


Families, partners, volunteers, community residents, service providers, and vendors consider themselves critical resources in the development of healthy, well-rounded students.

Families participate actively in the development of policy and standards related to the student wholeness approach and in its implementation.

Supporting students’ success

Families communicate with and are responsive to the school regarding their children’s academic performance and social-emotional competencies (e.g., behavior, confidence, relationship building).

Families establish and maintain routines(e.g., at-home learning; consistent, on-time attendance).

Families reinforce the importance of a healthy lifestyle through proper health care, nutrition, and exercise.

Families access resources and opportunities for intervention, remediation, and enrichment.

Families acknowledge and celebrate positive behavior and performance.

Supporting schools’ success

Families participate in celebrations of learning at school and in presentation of student work portfolios.

Families participate in joint decision-making and reviewing of student wholeness implementation, when appropriate.

Families volunteer to support school priorities and activities to help create and maintain a positive culture and climate.

Families advocate on issues.

Families solicit resources and materials to support school priorities.

Family members participate actively on school committees and advisory groups.


  • Teachers use a scope and sequence and create related student learning objectives to support individual student development of CASEL competencies.
  • Principles and coaches self-assessment tools and regular observations to identify areas that need improvement within implementation of the CASEL framework and create and monitor an action plan to adjust implementation accordingly.
  • Social-emotional indicators are reflected
    in school effectiveness reviews.
  • Schools monitor and adjust student wholeness
    implementation efforts across the school through self-assessment data, student achievement data, and observational data.
  • The district aggregates school-based data regularly to review progress in implementation and to adjust as needed.