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Transformative SEL Conditions for Thriving

Guidance to support adults across the California education system to co-create Transformative Social and Emotional Learning (T-SEL) Conditions for Thriving.

The Conditions for Thriving expand upon the California Social and Emotional Learning Guiding Principles (PDF) to provide recommended practices and actions that adults across the education system can use to co-create conditions that support Transformative Social and Emotional Learning (T-SEL) development. Implemented thoughtfully and consistently, and in collaboration with leaders working at all levels of the education system, these practices and actions can support development of equity-focused learning environments in which children, youth, and adults have opportunities to develop and practice T-SEL skills. To be clear, leaders at all levels of the system must work together to create the conditions necessary to support T-SEL development.

The examples provided can be used to systematically assess conditions for the purposes of improvement, to expand and enrich practice, and ensure T-SEL is woven throughout the teaching and learning experience. A readiness and reflection tool is also available to support this self-assessment. The California Department of Education (CDE) does not recommend that leaders try to do everything at once. Instead, select focus areas for conditions improvement work and aim to make progress incrementally over time.

All adults working across the education system are encouraged to implement the following practices to successfully co-create T-SEL Conditions for Thriving:

  • Value positive relationships and belonging as conditions for learning and promote educational climates that are welcoming, inclusive, culturally responsive, identity affirming, and empowering for all students, staff, families, and community partners.
  • Cultivate affirming, caring relationships with families that engage them as partners in their child’s learning and create a climate that affirms the strengths, values, cultures, and lived experiences of students and families of diverse racial-ethnic identities.
  • Involve educators, students, family, and community members representative of varied gender, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds in decision-making processes. Articulate shared language for T-SEL and its direct connection to whole child development and learning.
  • Adopt culturally informed and affirming policies and that reinforce equity, inclusion, and anti-racism. Use T-SEL to address bullying, racism, and disparities to cultivate advocacy and decrease adversity.
  • Demonstrate self and social awareness as it relates to the demographics of the student body and community. Notice whose perspectives and modes of communication are dominant in meetings, discussions, school processes, and events and seek out or elevate the voices of individuals from marginalized groups.
  • Model and practice T-SEL competencies with all people, in all settings, and all aspects of work to foster engagement and belonging and regularly engage in reflective practice regarding implementation and modeling of T-SEL competencies.

To assist in local efforts, the CDE and its partners have curated a collection of resources External link opens in new window or tab. to support a collaborative, systemic approach to co-creating conditions for thriving. The T-SEL Readiness and Reflection Prompts can be used to support individual and collective implementation. Additional, detailed recommended practices and actions for specific audiences are provided at the links below.

The CDE plans to refine this guidance as we learn more regarding how it is being used across the state. Please consider sharing feedback regarding your experiences with the California T-SEL Conditions for Thriving.

Questions:   Professional Learning Innovations Office | CaliforniaSEL@cde.ca.gov | 916-322-9503
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, July 21, 2021