Social Emotional Learning


What is SEL?

Social and emotional learning, or SEL, is a process through which adults and children learn to recognize and manage emotions, demonstrate care and concern for others, develop positive relationships, make good decisions and behave ethically, respectfully and responsibly.

MNPS SEL Mission Statement
We strive to become a district where stakeholders are invested in the social, emotional, behavioral and academic success of all students. Within MNPS, we focus on building relationships and the capacity for adults to create a positive, welcoming and healthy environment where students feel known and valued.

We want all students to experience high quality instruction through engaged learning in a safe and supportive environment.


Why and How

Our goal is to help build safe and supportive environments that set the foundation for equitable, engaging and high-quality instruction to take place. This will be done by building adult capacity and utilizing SEL best practices to meet the needs of students and teachers.


Who Are We?

The SEL Department is part of the Support Services Division of MNPS. Our department includes the social and emotional learning division, the behavior support division, the Restorative Practices division and ACEs-informed schools division. (MNPS is a partner in the Collaborating District Initiative with Collaborative for Academic, Social, Emotional Learning (CASEL).

How our work fits within the district's multi-tiered systems of support:

Within MNPS, social and emotional learning is integrated into our work around creating positive district-wide, school-wide and classroom climate/culture, equity, trauma-informed school environments and academics.

Our district has made a strong commitment to Tier One universal preventions within Multi-Tier Systems of Supports (MTSS) and SEL for ALL students. Each school within the district commits to one (or more) Tier One universal approach or framework (SEL Foundations, Restorative Practices and/or Positive Behavior Intervention Supports [PBIS]).


MTSS Tier One Preventions for all Students

Schools must select at least one MTSS Tier One Prevention.

MTSS Graphic

SEL Foundations

The aim of SEL Foundations is to raise awareness of the role that SEL core competencies (self-awareness, self-management, relationship skills, social awareness and responsible decision making) play in creating safe, engaging, culturally responsive, and personalized learning experiences for students and adults.

Core Practices
  • Adult SEL
  • Teacher Language
  • Explicitly integrating SEL
  • SEL I Can Statements
  • Community Building/Circle Practices
  • Culturally Responsive Teaching
  • Engaged Learning
  • Creating and Teaching Rules and Procedures
  • Restorative vs. Punitive Discipline


Restorative Practices

Restorative Practices at the Tier One level build healthy school communities through the development of explicit school-wide and classroom norms, expectations, and procedures for all stakeholders. Restorative Practice schools create a paradigm shift through intentional practices that refocus traditional discipline approaches to responses that promote accountability through intervention strategies that are supported at all tier levels.

Core Practices
  • Restorative Staff Community
  • Clear expectations, norms, and procedures
  • Affective Statements and Language
  • Restorative Questions
  • Restorative Chats
  • Proactive/Responsive Circles
  • Student Voice
  • Fair Process


Positive Behavior Intervention Supports

The aim of Positive Behavior Intervention Supports training is to assist schools in developing an implementation guide to create the systems needed to support a safe, positive, and predictable learning environment where positive behavior is taught and encouraged and discipline is managed through a consistent school-wide plan.

Core Practices
  • School-wide expectations and procedures
  • Lesson plans to explicitly teach expectations across settings
  • Acknowledgment system for students and faculty
  • Comprehensive and consistent discipline plan for addressing problem behaviors
  • Data-based problem solving