Successful and Sustainable SEL Implementation

Get the best results from social and emotional learning (SEL) and ensure your program is sustainable year-after-year with these best practices, tips, and resources.

Download Our Infographic: 6 Stages of a Successful District-Wide SEL Implementation Plan

Get started creating an effective and sustainable SEL program today! We’ve outlined the six key stages needed to roll out an SEL program in your school or district. Use this as a guide to strategically integrate SEL into normal school and district practice and improve the academic outcomes of your students.

Download a free copy of our implementation infographic and learn how to implement an effective and sustainable SEL program in your school or district.

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Stage 1:
Exploration and Evaluation

Stage 2:
Initial Planning

Stage 3:
Initial Rollout

Stage 4:
Integration into District Practices

Stage 5:
End-of-Year Assessment and Planning for Next Year

Stage 6:
Full Implementation

A recent CASEL report revealed that while nearly all principals recognize the importance of SEL and are invested in teaching these critical competencies, schools generally need more support, guidance, and training to create effective SEL programs.

We heard you loud and clear! We’ve pulled together helpful information to guide you through the SEL implementation process. Included are resources on the key stages for a successful implementation, how to integrate SEL within your district and school, tips to overcome common challenges, and more.

 Read on to learn how to build a strong SEL program in your school, and start reaping the benefits of SEL!

Tools to Support SEL Implementation and Overcome Common Challenges

Implementation Resources

Our 6 Stages of a Successful District-Wide SEL Implementation Plan Infographic  gives an overview of how to implement SEL. In this section, we’ve included additional resources to support you through the process.

Strengthen your SEL implementation with:

For even more resources, check out CASEL’s District Resource Center of 500+ resources for systematic SEL implementation.

Overcoming Obstacles

Even the most well-planned implementations will run into challenges along the way. Here are tools for overcoming obstacles as well as lessons learned by other districts. Use these resources in your planning phase, and refer back to them if you meet a roadblock in your own implementation.

Want more information?
Download our
 Principals' Guide: Creating an Effective SEL Program that Boosts Achievement
 to learn more about how to start an SEL program in your school.

[On-Demand Webinar] How to Launch SEL at Your School

SEL promotes a school culture of mutual respect, high expectations, empathetic support, resilience, and success for all students. Schools can integrate SEL into their normal school practice, and all students can benefit from higher social and emotional competence.

Ready to get started? Watch this webinar to learn specific action steps for implementing a successful and long-term SEL program in your school.

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Get the SEL Data You Need to Guide Your SEL Implementation and Measure Outcomes

SEL assessments provide valuable insight into your district and school needs and can act as a roadmap to guide your implementation. The Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) is a nationally recognized and award-winning assessment that aligns with CASEL’s five core SEL competencies. The DESSA-mini can be used by schools and districts to quickly and accurately screen students’ social and emotional competence and conduct progress monitoring throughout the year. It includes reports at the school, class, and student levels so educators can use the data to support multiple initiatives and determine program effectiveness. The DESSA also can support educators in making informed decisions and guide long-term planning.

The DESSA is the assessment component of the DESSA System, which provides instant access to targeted SEL intervention strategies and curricula samples from leading SEL providers, including:


Complete the form on the right to demo the DESSA System and learn more about how the DESSA can strengthen SEL at your school.

Schedule a Demo