Social and Emotional Support in Distance LearningGuidance and resources for educators, educational leaders, and families/guardians in kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12) schools, to provide social and emotional supports during distance learning.
Relationships matter. When educators and students practice physical distancing, it does not mean that they must lose social and school connections. During the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) response, it is critically important to place adult and student wellness first and foremost to establish a positive, safe, and supportive learning environment.
Leading with social and emotional learning (SEL) is essential not only because children need social and emotional support as they, like the adults around them, navigate the unprecedented challenges of alternative learning contexts, but because SEL helps students access academic content through building essential self-management skills, resilience, and connections. To learn more about the fundamentals of SEL, visit the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning website . To learn more about the California Department of Education’s (CDE's) SEL Guiding Principles (PDF) and 2018 Guide to SEL Resources (PDF), visit the CDE’s SEL web page.
The resources that follow provide a range of SEL options for educators, administrators and other school leaders, and families/guardians to utilize as they support their students—and themselves—during this time of learning remotely. Please note that while this page refers to many specific resources to support local educational agencies (LEAs) in developing, improving, and extending instruction through their distance learning capabilities, individual LEAs are responsible for assessing the appropriateness of any specific resource prior to implementation.
Self Care for Educators
University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center
Tools for how teachers can navigate difficult emotions during school closures.
University of California, San Diego’s Center for Mindfulness
Videos, webinars, and sessions to support mindfulness and compassion.
Be Calm: Self Care for Adults and Youth
List of resources on breathing exercises and calming toolkits for adults and youth from Orange County Department of Education.
Barr Center Back-to-School Educator Toolkit
A guide with checklists, activities, and suggestions for creating space for self care and intentional connection with colleagues.
Maintaining Strong Relationships and Connections
Tips shared by teachers to maintain relationships with students during remote learning.
Institute for SEL
Tips to help students find joy and social connection.
Virtual learning resources including virtual check-ins, morning announcements, and notes of gratitude and appreciation.
SEL Lessons for the Virtual Classroom
Lessons, activities, and printables in the following skill areas: communication, cooperation, emotion regulation, empathy, impulse control, and social initiation.
Sanford Harmony's Toolkit
Classroom discussions, stories, activities, and lessons for teaching understanding and empathy.
Transforming SEL Toolkit
General strategies coupled with specific examples for trauma-informed distance learning using the “3 Rs” approach to intervention: Regulate, Relate, and Reason.
Collaborative Classroom Reconnecting and Rebuilding Toolkit
Concrete tools and resources to help students and teachers in grades kindergarten through grade six (K–6) reconnect and establish a safe, supportive learning context.
Considerations for all Educators
Center to Improve SEL and School Safety
Strategies for trauma-informed distance learning.
Culturally Responsive Education from Culturally Responsive Education Hub
Guidance and online resources for culturally responsive, sustaining remote education.
Pure Edge Inc.
Strategies, webinars, and other free curriculum for educators and learners to support SEL development through mindful movement and rest.
A trauma-informed approach to teaching through during the COVID-19 crisis.
Principals and School Leaders
Oakland Unified School District’s Three Signature SEL Practices
Learn three practices to create highly engaging, effective, and purposeful meetings and professional learning experiences using three key SEL practices.
Reunite, Renew, Thrive: SEL Roadmap for Reopening Schools
This collaborative roadmap outlines four SEL critical practices to keep in mind as school leaders and leadership teams plan to transition back to school. The roadmap offers activities, essential questions, action steps and support tools for each critical practice.
Stanislaus County Office of Education SEL
Comprehensive and frequently updated website that aggregates SEL resources for teachers, administrators, and district leaders. Offers information on the five Core Competencies, strategies for SEL in the classroom through a variety of content areas, and recommendations for caring for educators.
CalSCHLS Learning from Home Survey
Assess students' social and emotional wellness and connectedness to school to help build an online community that fosters student wellness and learning. The CalSCHLS Learning from Home Survey is a free online tool supported by the CDE to help districts assess students’ and parents’ remote learning experience.
WestEd’s Center to Improve SEL and School Safety
View the slides, handouts, and webinar (recording available May 29), Strategies for Districts to Support Self-Care for Educators During the COVID-19 Pandemic, to learn about supporting teachers experiencing primary and secondary trauma.
Parents, Guardians, and Families
American Institutes for Research: Building Positive Conditions for Learning at Home
Article, available in English and Spanish, that provides strategies and resources for families and caregivers working at home. The article is also available in Spanish.
California Surgeon General's Playbook
Suggestions for ways to reduce stress during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Family Emotional Intelligence Charter
Dr. Marc Brackett, of the Yale Emotional Intelligence Center, provides information for how to build your family emotional intelligence charter.
Growing list of resources, blog posts, and other guides to help cope during stressful times.
National Association of School Psychologist: Helping Children Cope with Changes Resulting from COVID-19
Article, available in multiple languages, offers a list of specific strategies for helping students cope with change, as well as links to additional resources.
Sanford Harmony at Home Toolkit
Resource hub and toolkit to support social and emotional wellbeing for students and families.
SEL4CA Parent & Child Emotional Survival Kit
Comprehensive list of resources for families experiencing stress and looking for ways to help children manage emotions.
The National Child Stress Traumatic Network: Supporting Children During COVID-19
Tips to help parents talk with their children about anxiety and COVID-19.
Easy to navigate resource center with webinar, strategies, and multilingual resources to support mental health during the COVID-19 outbreak.
This online platform provides high levels of mental health care, so youth and young adults can thrive, connect, and find resilience and share their own stories, in their own way. The activities help participants get through, get back to, or maintain different emotions.
Help for Students in Crisis
CDE web page with resources for addressing mental health and wellness while school sites are closed.
The CDE is hosting a series of webinars to support SEL through distance learning. Below are links to YouTube videos of currently available webinars. The description of each webinar contains a link to the presentation used during the webinar. Resources will be added as they become available.
Webinar 1: Supporting Social Emotional Learning Throughout Your Systems
This August 6, 2020 presentation (PDF) focused on SEL supports for those in leadership positions throughout the education system.
Webinar 2: Establishing and Maintaining Relationships
This August 27, 2020 presentation (PDF) focused on relationships for staff and students in a distance learning environment.
Webinar 3: Supporting Social and Emotional Development Outside of School (video not available)
This September 23, 2020 (PPTX) presentation focused on parents and families.
Webinar 4: Engaging Youth and Building Life Skills
This October 5, 2020 (PPTX) presentation focused on students and youth.