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Schools are an ideal setting to support the social and emotional well-being of students and offer resources and opportunities to build resilience. When schools support social and emotional well-being, students typically have fewer disciplinary issues, can focus more on school work, and can develop skills to communicate better. This can translate to improved academic outcomes and better health later in life.

A setting that promotes social and emotional well-being and resilience is particularly important for students who face challenges at home or have a history of stressful or traumatic events in their youth, commonly referred to as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Supporting students in this way can lead to better health and educational outcomes for individuals while also creating a positive school environment for all.

Support
Social & Emotional
Well-Being for Students

Schools can support students’ social and emotional well-being and resilience in a variety of ways. Some examples include:

  • Incorporating trauma-informed school policies and practices, which ensure that school employees can identify and appropriately respond to students who may have been exposed to traumatic or stressful events in their lifetime
  • Utilizing positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), which promote effective classroom management and preventive school discipline by establishing positive behavioral norms and organizational supports
  • Implementing restorative justice practices that help students process, learn, and grow from challenging encounters
  • Training students in mindfulness, and incorporating social and emotional learning into classroom curriculum

Promote
Social & Emotional
Well-Being for Students

Trauma-informed Practices and Policies

Review the guides offered by the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative that outline how to incorporate trauma-informed practices and policies into your school.

See TLPI’s Guide on trauma-informed schools

Social and Emotional Learning

Explore the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) website to find information about Social and Emotional Learning resources to incorporate into your curriculum.

See these Social and Emotional Learning Resources

Mindfulness and Trauma-Informed Practices

Incorporate mindfulness and trauma-informed practices into your classroom by exploring these resources from Niroga Institute.

See Niroga Institute’s resources

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

Explore approaches to designing and implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports on the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Technical Assistance Center page

Explore PBIS’s resources

Restorative Justice

Bringing students together in small, peer-mediated groups has been shown to prevent bullying and reduce student conflicts. Check out the Edutopia blog to learn more about the benefits of implementing restorative justice practices and to explore implementation guides from across the country:

Restorative Justice: Resources for Schools

School Climate Reform

School climate reform is an evidence-based approach that supports students, parents/guardians, and school employees in learning and working together to create safer, more supportive schools.

Explore School Climate Reform Research

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