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SEL Policy


SEL Policy

August 2018

Established a permanent Promote Prevent Commission which will advance state and local policies, programs, systems, and practices to promote positive mental, emotional, and behavioral health and prevent behavioral health issues including substance use, mental illness, and youth violence. SEL4MA Executive Director Jim Vetter will serve on the permanent commission.

Also established a Behavioral Health Promotion, Prevention, and Early Intervention (BeHaPPE) Trust Fund, which will fund a statewide vision for promoting behavioral health and preventing behavioral health issues through evidence-based programing.

January 2015

New guidelines for professional standards for teachers from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) included two new indicators related to SEL:
2(e): Social and Emotional Learning Indicator: Employs a variety of strategies to assist students to develop social emotional- competencies: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.
2(f): Classroom Management Indicator: Employs a variety of classroom management strategies, and establishes and maintains effective routines and procedures that promote positive student behavior.

August 2014

Select provisions enacted as part of the legislature’s omnibus Act Relative to the Reduction of Gun Violence. Defined safe and supportive schools as those that “…foster a safe, positive, healthy and inclusive whole-school learning environment that (i) enable students to develop positive relationships with adults and peers, regulate their emotions and behavior, achieve academic and non-academic success in school and maintain physical and psychological health and well-being and (ii) integrate services and align initiatives that promote students’ behavioral health, including social and emotional learning, bullying prevention, trauma sensitivity, dropout prevention, truancy reduction, children’s mental health, foster care and homeless youth education, inclusion of students with disabilities, positive behavioral approaches that reduce suspensions and expulsions and other similar initiatives.” Individual school districts must vote to implement a “safe and supportive school.” For more information, visit Safe and Supportive Schools at the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative (TLPI).

May 2010

Required the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to publish and biennially update Guidelines on Implementing SEL and defined SEL as “the processes by which children acquire the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to recognize and manage their emotions, demonstrate caring and concern for others, establish positive relationships, make responsible decisions and constructively handle challenging social situations.”