Social-Emotional Learning at NTPS

  • At North Thurston Public Schools, our vision is clear: All students empowered and future-ready. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) provides a foundation for safe and positive learning and enhances students’ ability to succeed in school, career and life. Extensive research shows a positive correlation between the skills taught throughout social emotional learning programs and positive behavior, academic achievement and healthier life choices. Children learn social emotional skills in a variety of ways, including the behavior they see modeled by the adults in their lives. SEL lessons can also be taught explicitly in the classroom, in much the same way math or reading is taught. 

    Second Step logo SEL curriculum teaches students skills to:

    • Control impulses
    • Communicate clearly and assertively
    • Maintain cooperative relationships
    • Make responsible decisions
    • Solve problems effectively
    • Recognize emotions in oneself and others
    • Manage strong emotions
    • Have empathy for others


    Social Emotional Learning in NTPS Elementary Schools

    Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, NTPS will be fully implementing the Second Step SEL curriculum in grades Pre K through 5. Every elementary classroom has scheduled 20 minutes of SEL Time in their daily schedule for this purpose.  SEL Time consists of both Second Step lessons and group activities that foster community and build strong relationships.

    Our District's SEL Curriculum Committee chose Second Step as our core SEL curriculum because it has a strong evidence-base and includes engaging age-appropriate educational games, activities and media. It has been successfully implemented by over 26,000 schools worldwide. Second Step is designed to align with WA State SEL competencies, as well as our District initiatives. It also has been endorsed by numerous organizations, including the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) and the Department of Education, for the quality of research, training, and teacher and family support.

    To learn more about the scope and sequence of Second Step lessons by grade level, please download the curriculum Scope & Sequence (PDF). More general information can also be found on the Second Step website: SecondStep.org.  For access to online family resources, ask your student's classroom teacher for an activation key code.

    Social Emotional Learning in NTPS Secondary Schools

    During the 2019-2020 school year, several of our middle and high schools are piloting SEL programs including 5 Radical MinutesSecond Step7 Mindsets, and Character Strong.  The goal of our SEL Curriculum Committee is to select a secondary SEL curriculum that have a strong evidence base and best fit the needs of our secondary schools.

    For more information on SEL in our District, please contact our Student Support Team at (360) 412-4400 or email at selsupport@nthurston.k12.wa.us.