Schools & Districts Program

Facilitated Professional Learning
Tailored to Your School’s Needs

About the Program

IFSEL designs and leads a bespoke path of faculty professional development, leadership coaching, and consulting for schools and districts who want an integrated, whole community approach to SEL. The plan is customized for each organization’s needs, so SEL can be incorporated fully into the education experience of all students, educators, and parents/caregivers.

IFSEL's experience of working with hundreds of schools and districts around the world, combined with the depth of our workshop and lesson library enables us to design and tailor a dynamic range of experiences for each school or district.

Program Goals

  • Help faculty reshape how they see themselves, renew their inspiration and creativity, and develop their ability to build more humanity and empathy into their teaching practice.
  • Give faculty and parents a common understanding of the practices and vocabulary that can help inspire students to evolve into compassionate leaders and resilient learners.
  • Give faculty an in-depth experiential understanding of SEL.

Program Elements

  • Scope and Sequence Creation
  • Workshop days and virtual sessions, on a broad range of SEL fundamentals.
  • CASEL aligned SEL Curriculum
  • Classroom coaching.
  • Guidance on school-wide systems: e.g. how to infuse SEL into lunchtime, recess, field trips, assemblies, student council, graduation, honoring rituals and/or awards.
  • Guidance on difficult events that impact School Climate.
  • Demonstration classes.
  • SEL events for parent education.

Professional Development Options

Explore IFSEL's Professional Development Workshops

This selection of workshop titles and descriptions is to provide an idea of the range of topics IFSEL may cover on a professional learning path. School sessions are customized based on each community's needs and previous experience. The experiential nature of these sessions ensures a focus on Adult SEL and wellbeing and can be a catalyst for team building.

SEL is Fundamental: The What, Why and How of SEL (Grades N-12)

This interactive presentation sets the context for in-depth work with IFSEL by providing an overview of key SEL principles and language, a summary of the latest and notable research findings, and an introduction to IFSEL’s Whole Community Approach to SEL Framework. Experiential activities highlight SEL competencies and provide a foundation or understanding SEL’s intersection with Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging. It is recommended that all school staff and faculty attend this session.

SEL Toolbox: Foundational SEL Skills (Grades K-12)

Explore the capacity and motivation of students to learn and apply social and emotional learning skills to their daily lives. This session describes an effective lesson sequence to help your school get started with SEL and provides a common, effective language for SEL. SEL teaching practices utilize creative metaphor, experiential learning, silence, and analytic thinking to activate the hearts and minds of students and create a foundation for learning about identity and culture.

Start the Year on a Strong SEL Foundation (Grades K-12)

The research is clear that SEL is a strong foundation for learning and wellbeing. This session offers recommendations and practices for beginning a school year and building connections and structures for belonging. SEL experiences and rituals are introduced to engage students and adults in meaningful conversations, personal reflection, and positive group interactions while building age-appropriate foundational SEL skills and mindsets.

Peace-Building, Conflict Resolution and Play (Grades K-8)

SEL provides the foundation for the resolution of conflicts for students who genuinely care about relationship and friendship building. This session provides theory and practices for teaching conflict resolution to students through cooperative games and role-play. Participants explore ways to teach communication skills to support listening across differences and to effectively facilitate conflicts with the goal of promoting independent problem-solving, win-win solutions, inclusion, and belonging.

Restorative Practices, Conflict Resolution
and Relationship Repair (Grades 5-8)

Conflict is a normal part of our social dynamic, and it may stem from differing ideas, perspectives, or values, power imbalances, or limited resources. It is essential for adolescents to deepen their understanding of conflict and build on the skills they developed in younger grades. This session focuses on practices for building and repairing relationships and explores tools such as reflective listening, empathy building, assertive communication, and self-advocacy. Participants will explore how cultures and histories inform approaches to conflict resolution and consider how students learn about conflict and conflict resolution from the media, their peers, and families. Participants will also explore ways to effectively facilitate restorative conversations with the goal of promoting independent problem-solving, win-win solutions, and increased understanding of diverse perspectives.

Catalyzed by SEL (Grades 4-12)

Innovative approaches to activating SEL through subject content can support depth of insight and empowered learning for students. This session provides a facilitated exploration of opportunities for social and emotional learning in different discipline areas - centering on the SEL skillset. You will hear about creative lesson ideas for embedding SEL into subject content and have an opportunity to work with colleagues to consider and create new SEL opportunities in the lessons and units you already teach.

The Open Session (Grades 5-12)

Innovative approaches to activating SEL through subject content can support depth of insight and empowered learning for students. This session provides a facilitated exploration of opportunities for social and emotional learning in different discipline areas - centering on the SEL skillset. You will hear about creative lesson ideas for embedding SEL into subject content and have an opportunity to work with colleagues to consider and create new SEL opportunities in the lessons and units you already teach.

The Power of the Teacher SELf (Adult SEL & Wellbeing)

A typical day brings many opportunities for our own social and emotional learning in interactions with students, parents, and colleagues - answering a concerned email, interacting with students during transitions, supervising lunch and recess, making committee decisions, to name a few. SEL thrives through the personal responses we make and the connections we establish with each other. Using scenarios, we will practice how to view situations wisely, send challenging messages with authority and empathy, and assess whether to let something go or not. We will uncover the values that motivate our responses and become clearer about our power to create community.

Creative Approaches to Developing Emotional Intelligence
(Grades 3-12)

This session offers an experiential opportunity to delve deeply into the IFSEL’s Educator Practices. Teachers will discuss, write, and reflect on SEL reflection questions. They will experience how to use the role of the observer as a key element of feedback to the group and explore different ways that silence, creative expression, listening, and cooperation can open students to greater social and emotional learning.

Play on Purpose: Active and Cooperative Team Building
(Grades 4-12)

This session offers techniques for maximizing opportunities to build community, leadership, and SEL skills through improvisational play and cooperative initiatives and games. Hone your skills for facilitating powerful self-reflection that challenge students to connect with and apply their understanding of themselves and others and connect learning to their lives. Engage in time-tested and highly motivational experiences and lessons while having fun.

The Emotion Thermometer: Practices to Promote Self-Regulation and Resiliency (Grades K-Adult)

This session offers an experiential opportunity to delve deeply into the IFSEL’s Educator Practices. Teachers will discuss, write, and reflect on SEL reflection questions. They will experience how to use the role of the observer as a key element of feedback to the group and explore different ways that silence, creative expression, listening, and cooperation can open students to greater social and emotional learning.

In Nature (Grades K-12)

SEL is strengthened when the interconnection between self, social, and environmental awareness fuels decision-making. In this session, you will experience simple and deep ways to develop an appreciation of nature with all aged students, whether your school is located on a farm or in an urban setting. Curricular ideas that promote sustainability and a sense of stewardship will be explored, as well as ways to bring out the social and emotional aspects of these themes. Developmental needs of different age groups will be considered, as well as previous experience with outdoor learning and resources and access to outdoors that are specific to your school.

SEL Toolbox for Advisory (Grades 5-12)

This session is tailored to where a school is in terms of beginning, strengthening, or reviving an Advisory program. Components may include an introduction to SEL principles and practices in Middle or High School Advisory with a focus that is determined in listening days and/or planning meetings beforehand. Focus may include how to increase advisee buy-in, clarity about the purpose of Advisory, practices, and lesson sequences; how to maintain consistency without losing the freedom for Advisors to be creative; and clarifying the role of the Advisor while building confidence, capacity, and inspiration.

Illuminating SEL: Teacher Tools that Activate Connection
to Self and Others (Grades preK-6)

Elementary educators naturally weave SEL through the days of learners. In this session, we will shine a light on IFSEL’s Educator Practices to activate the opportunities for SEL in self-contained classrooms, specialist classes, lunch groups, recess, and more. We will invite you to experiment with and reflect on the tools introduced in other sessions and provide time for reflection, sharing, troubleshooting, and building upon practices and structures, moving your school towards readiness to start to map out the scope and sequence for SEL across the grades.

Catalyzed by SEL Part 2: High-Impact Approaches to Integrating SEL
into all Teaching and Learning (Grades 5-12)

This practical session will provide Middle School and High School Teachers and Administrators with practical strategies for embedding SEL in every advisory, classroom, and within any learning moment. We’ll offer a framework for SEL integration based on IFSEL’s Educator Practices, show examples from different ages and disciplines, and provide space for discussion and collaboration between colleagues. We will invite you to experiment with and reflect on the tools introduced in earlier sessions (e.g., Catalyzed by SEL) and provide time for reflection, sharing, troubleshooting, and building upon practices and structures, moving your school towards readiness to start to map out the scope and sequence for SEL across the grades.

“I normally opt out of all of these and am not willing to be a part of such experiences - out of my comfort zone. I engaged in this and took huge risks and I didn’t want to and I’m so happy I did, and it was such a positive experience.”

—Sixth Grade Teacher

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2023-24 IFSEL Schools & Districts

325 Sharon Park Dr., Suite 845
Menlo Park, CA 94025
USA