What is SEL?

Why SEL is so important

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 2020 school year middle school will implement CharacterStrong curriculum with Second Step curriculum for Bullying Prevention. The modules will include SEL in remote learning. The lessons cater to multiple learning styles, in a digital format that engage in discussion and reflection that put character into practical actions. These interactive activities encourage engaged learning and relationship building.

    High Schools will also be piloting CharacterStrong curriculum as part of the advisory time that includes High School and Beyond plans and other important work done in Core.

    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.