Social-Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning is about helping students develop a range of skills they need for school and life.

"Growth mindset, self-efficacy, self-management and social awareness: These behaviors are crucial to doing well in school and in life. At SFUSD, we care so much about these skills that we hold our schools accountable to teach them. It’s part of our accountability, which measures not only a school’s academic achievements, but its students' social-emotional learning (SEL) and the overall school climate."
- Adapted from SFUSD's "From the Desk of the Superintendent"

SEL Competencies

Social-emotional learning (SEL) in SFUSD is centered around four research-based competencies:

  • Self-Management
  • Social Awareness
  • Growth Mindset
  • Self-Efficacy

Students acquire skills in connection with each competency, both through explicit teaching and through SEL skills embedded in content curriculum. These SEL skills help students become learners and citizens ready for graduation and life beyond SFUSD by giving students tools to deal with change, stress, conflict, or difficulty.

Students in grades 4-12 are surveyed annually in the Spring in each of the 4 SEL competencies.

Families & students can learn more about the SEL survey at:

SFUSD staff and school leaders can access resources, timelines, and helpful links to support survey administration at:

SEL competencies: 4 icons

What is Social-Emotional Learning?

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.
- CASEL (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning)

What Does it Mean to be a District that Focuses on Social Emotional Learning?

SFUSD has adopted STRETCH as a framework to describe how educators, families, and communities partner with one-another to promote students’ social, emotional, and academic learning. STRETCH includes creating the conditions for a Supportive and inclusive school climate, Teaching SEL skills explicitly in classrooms, applying the principles of Restorative Practices, keeping a laser focus on Equity, preparing students to exceed in all four Types of SEL competencies, shaping Community and family partnerships, and learning from the Highlights of SEL research within and outside of the district.


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This page was last updated on March 19, 2024