Social-Emotional Learning & PBIS

What is Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)?

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process of acquiring the skills to recognize and manage emotions, develop caring and concern for others, establish positive relationships, make responsible decisions, and handle challenging situations effectively. SEL provides schools with an evidence-based framework for preventing problems and promoting students’ well-being and success. The SEL framework is an integrated approach involving every student, the entire staff, the family, and the community.

Effective SEL addresses the fundamental conditions for learning and fosters students’ capacity to learn. Best practice includes classroom teachers modeling evidence-based explicit social emotional skills instruction in a safe, caring, supportive, participatory learning environment. SEL is fundamental to children’s healthy development and enables schools to educate students to be good problem solvers and caring, responsible, engaged citizens. A major review of SEL research provides strong evidence that building social and emotional skills improves student attitudes, behaviors, and academic performance. Schools may consult for evidence-based programs that match their needs and characteristics. (credit:



Our View of PBIS and SEL

 Graphic of PBIS and SEL interaction

SEL and PBIS are both rooted in the belief that students learn best in a safe and well-managed learning environment. PBIS establishes a common purpose and approach to discipline throughout the school by establishing positive expectations for all students. These expectations are taught, practiced, and reinforced.

SEL helps students and adults develop specific social and emotional competencies that have been linked to positive outcomes. Evidence-based SEL programs teach these skills explicitly and provide opportunities for practice, feedback, and application within content areas and throughout the school setting. Both SEL and PBIS support using assessment information to help establish organizations that are committed to effective practice. (credit:

We believe that students benefit the most when PBIS and SEL are implemented together. Under an integrated model, PBIS becomes the framework organizing all behavior expectations, and under which SEL practices are developed and implemented with students.

PBIS and SEL together establish a strong core foundation that organizes and systematizes all interactions with the community. Under this model students with the most need are paired with the most intensive services and resources available not just from within the school setting, but from the broader community as well: These relationships then become the vehicle for meaningful school-community integration, and a more complete developmental approach for all students - Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF).

Contact Information

Tiago Baltazar
MTSS Consultant
Tel: 269-471-7725 ext. 3198
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