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Social-Emotional Learning

What is SEL?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions (CASEL 2020).


How SEL is Not "One More Thing"

The "Why"?

SEL has been prioritized in both the Ohio Strategic Plan and Cincinnati Public School’s Strategic Plan as an avenue through which we can support the whole child, thereby allowing them to access the educational curriculum and make academic gains. CPS collaborates with Joining Forces for Children through Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in order to build resilience in our students while fighting childhood adversity.

The Benefits

  • Learning can only take place once a student’s basic physical, emotional, and psychological needs are met.
  • SEL is under the umbrella of PBIS- SEL efforts and should be embedded within your existing PBIS work, thereby bolstering your PBIS plan as well as the classroom and school culture.
  • A well-managed classroom will increase available instructional time.
  • There are many natural opportunities throughout the school day to teach and bolster student’s SEL skills, such as self-management, social awareness, and responsible decision making. However, explicit teaching of these skills is critical.

The PATHS® curriculum (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) is a comprehensive program for promoting emotional and social competencies and reducing aggression and behavior problems in elementary school-aged children while simultaneously enhancing the educational process in the classroom. This innovative curriculum is designed to be used by educators and counselors in a multi-year, universal prevention model. Although primarily focused on the school and classroom settings, information and activities are also included for use with parents.

SEL Curriculum at CPS

PAX Good Behavior Game

The PAX Good Behavior Game is an evidence-based universal preventive intervention applied by teachers in the classroom. This evidence-based practice consists of a set of research-based strategies with origins in behavioral science, neuroscience, and cultural wisdom that operate together to improve children’s self-regulation. Teachers implement these strategies as part of their daily routines in carrying out tasks, such as getting students’ attention, selecting students for tasks, transitioning from one task to the next, working as part of a team, limiting problematic behavior, and reinforcing pro-social behavior.

The PAX Good Behavior Game helps to build children’s self-regulation, resulting in improved focus and attention, improved test scores and other academic outcomes, reduced alcohol and other drug use, reduced psychiatric disorders, and reduced suicide. PAX is unique in arranging for peer reinforcement for exhibiting prosocial behavior and peer reinforcement for inhibiting problematic behavior. PAX truly benefits everyone by making children the heroes of change.

TGFV - Social Perspectives High School (7-12)

TGFV - Social Perspectives High School (7-12)  is a dynamic, experiential course designed to immerse students in the core social skill development they need to navigate the world they will enter after high school.  The experiential learning design applies interactive games and activities to let the students try and apply the skills and strategies in peer groups.  Students learn essential SEL skills as well as additional skill lessons to prepare them to face the challenges they can foresee and the obstacles they can’t as they work to achieve their goals.

These additional concepts include:

  • Respect for Self and for Others
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Anger Management
  • Healthy Teen Dating
  • Social Media Awareness

*Additional Tier 2 SEL Groups will be formed based on school-specific Needs Assessments completed by the school social worker