Implementing Social-Emotional Learning: Insights from School Districts’ Successes and Setbacks

Implementing Social Emotional Learning

Resources and Practical Strategies for New, Aspiring, and Veteran Superintendents

Published June 2023

This book provides essential insights into the strategies that have enabled districts to effectively provide the benefits of social-emotional learning to their students. Building on case studies of six school districts that vary in size, geographic region, demographic diversity, per-pupil spending, staff capacity, and leadership style, this book offers indispensable observations about the factors that facilitate the deep integration of SEL into daily instruction and school culture. While the approaches these districts have taken vary in type and degree, clear-cut themes emerge that are common to the most successful strategies.

Building upon these case studies, Implementing Social-Emotional Learning: Insights from Districts’ Successes and Setbacks offers clear guidance so districts can avoid the errors that compromise implementation and can, instead, support district leaders in building successful and sustainable approaches that reach all students, including those at the challenging middle and high school levels.

About the Author Table of Contents AASA Members Save

Sheldon H. Berman, EdD, is AASA’s Lead Superintendent for Social-Emotional Learning, having implemented highly successful and systemic SEL programs in each of the four districts he served as superintendent spanning 28 years. The author of numerous articles and books on SEL topics—including Children’s Social Consciousness and the Development of Social Responsibility and Promising Practices in Teaching Social Responsibility—he was a member of the Council of Distinguished Educators of the National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development and was the primary author of the Commission’s SEL practice report.

Chapter 1: Why Does SEL Matter?
Chapter 2: What Is SEL?
Chapter 3: How Should We Implement SEL?—What The Research Tells Us
Chapter 4: Striving for Deep and Transformational Learning—Virginia Beach City Public Schools (Virginia)
Chapter 5: Responding to Demographic Challenges—Marshalltown Community School District (Iowa)
Chapter 6: Taking the First Steps—Moriarty–Edgewood School District (New Mexico)
Chapter 7: Targeting SEL Standards—Naperville Community Unit School District 203 (Illinois)
Chapter 8: Making SEL Foundational—Corvallis School District (Oregon)
Chapter 9: Building for Sustainability—Cleveland Metropolitan School District (Ohio)
Chapter 10: Promising Practices at the Secondary Level
Chapter 11: What Have We Learned?
About the Authors