News & Blog

What is Social-Emotional Learning?

Highlands School
At Highlands, we recognize the importance of not only academics but also social and emotional learning in teaching our students. Social and emotional learning (SEL) is “the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions essential to everything we do.” ( Our goal is to infuse SEL in everything we do. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), a leader in SEL research, has defined five competencies that help outline the framework for cultivating skills and creating equitable learning environments. These core competencies are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, responsible decision-making, and relationship skills. Each week at Highlands, we feature an SEL action that puts one of these competencies into practice. Each skill is stated in three developmentally appropriate statements for each grade band and gives the teachers more guidance for incorporating the competencies.

Highlands School, 4901 Old Leeds Road, Birmingham, AL 35213, (205) 956-9731
Highlands School's 'whole child' approach to education and commitment to academic excellence, creative expression, and leadership development prepare and motivate students in grades 4k through 8 to make a positive difference in an ever-changing world. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Highlands School holds dual accrediation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Southern Associations of Independent Schools (SAIS).

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