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Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Overview Statement

Social Emotional Learning is broadly understood as a process through which individuals build awareness and skills in managing emotions, setting goals, establishing relationships, and making responsible decisions that support success in school and in life. When we think of educating the whole child, their social and emotional development must be considered as a part of overall instruction.

In Walla Walla Public Schools we recognize that social emotional learning is an important aspect of the educational day due to the strong correlation to overall academic and school success. Just as we teach core academic skills in math and reading, we teach students how to manage their emotions, set goals, establish relationships and make responsible decisions. Our attention to students’ social emotional needs supports their academic performance.

Washington State SEL Standards

Beginning January 2020, the Washington State Legislature requires teacher and principal preparation programs to ensure candidates can recognize signs of emotional or behavioral distress in students and appropriately refer students for assistance and support. 

Also in 2020, Washington Social Emotional Learning (SEL) standards for students were adopted. They can be accessed here

Instructional Resources

During the 2021-22 school year, teams piloted different sets of Social Emotional Learning materials to determine the best fit for Walla Walla Public Schools. In June of 2022 PurposeFull People and Character Strong were officially adopted for grades TK-12.  As a family,  you can utilize the following link to learn more about the Character Strong approach to SEL and Character Development, and to review any of the lessons. Once you login, you will have access for 30 days.

For a more general overview, please use one of the links below. 

Grade Band



PurposeFull People


Character Strong


Character Strong

WALLA WALLA PUBLIC SCHOOLS • 364 South Park St. • Walla Walla, WA 99362 • Phone: 509-527-3000 • Fax: 509.529.7713

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