4.4.1 Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) competencies are a set of skills, beliefs and attitudes that enable students to:  understand and manage emotions; set and achieve positive goals; work and play collaboratively with others; and approach challenges as learning opportunities. SFUSD is measuring 4 SEL competencies in its students in order for schools to plan and implement programming to develop SEL in its students.

 The criteria for identifying the SEL competencies are that the competencies are predictive of academic, career and life outcomes, they can be measured reliably and interventions to increase these competencies can be developed and measured.

SEL competencies are measured through a student (grades 4-12) self-rating survey and teacher rating on the TK-5 report card. A multiple departmental effort has gone into refining the teacher rating rubric as well as a guide for families on encouraging SEL development at home.

The competencies are:

  • Growth mindset: The belief that one’s abilities can grow with effort. Students with a growth mindset see effort as necessary for success, embrace challenges, learn from criticism, and persist in the face of setbacks.
  • Self-efficacy: The belief in one’s own ability to succeed in achieving an outcome or reaching a goal.  Self-efficacy reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s motivation, behavior, and environment. 
  • Self-management: The ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, delaying gratification, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward personal and academic goals.
  • Social awareness: The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

SFUSD schools use a variety of Social Emotional frameworks including Second Step (K-8) and the Kimochis curriculum (K-5).  The Student and Family Services Division (SFSD) also provides resources to school sites, including community building and Restorative Practices strategies, to support SEL skill development in students. In addition, SFUSD provides a student mentoring program, and Wellness Centers - in all high schools and some middle schools - that are dedicated to supporting student and staff wellness.


See the full Handbook and downloadable, translated PDFs at sfusd.edu/Handbook.

This page was last updated on August 16, 2023