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Social-Emotional Learning

CASEL chart

The Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) states that social and emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions; set and achieve positive goals; feel and show empathy for others; establish and maintain positive relationships; and make responsible decisions. (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, 2019)

Strong Girl

Research supports the integration of SEL practices' to increase academic achievement. When integrating the five core social and emotional competencies identified by CASEL, students have shown an increase of 11% gain in academic achievement. The competencies include self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making (Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, 2019). When these skills are present, students can overcome adversity and persevere.

puzzlw pieces

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) reflects the role of positive relationships and emotional connections in the learning process and helps students develop a range of skills they need for school and life. (adapted from the California Department of Education) 

SEL skills include the ability to:

  • Set and achieve positive goals. 
  • Feel and show empathy for others.
  • Establish and maintain positive relationships.
  • Make responsible decisions.
  • Understand and manage emotions.

All of these skills are necessary—both for educators and students—to function well in the classroom, in the community, and in college and careers.  

While many teachers instinctively know that SEL is important, historically schools have been primarily focused on teaching academic content such as reading, math, science, and history, and less intentional about supporting the social and emotional skills that are so important to learning and life success.

In Simi Valley Schools, we know that when a student feels valued, respected, liked, and nurtured, and is connected to their school community through peers and trusted adults, that student will generally perform better in academics and relationships. As a public school district, we are committed to providing the best educational experience for every child who comes to us. SEL is a vital part of this effort.

With SEL as a focus for our staff and students, we strive to provide resources as needed to support their emotional well-being. In order to best assess what resources might be needed for our students, we issue an annual survey at the start of the school year that asks age-appropriate questions of our 3rd through 12th grade students. The survey topics for grades 3, 4 and 5 include growth-mindset, emotional regulation, teacher-student relationships and sense of well-being. For grades 6 through 12, the survey topics are positive feelings and challenging feelings.

We work with Panorama Education to create the survey questions using research-based measures and then administer the survey at school through an online portal (please see links to Sample Surveys on this page if you would like to see the actual questions). Panorama Education gathers the data from the survey and provides us with that information so that we can best tailor programs and intervention services for our students. The individual student's data is only available to our district's counselors and administrators (principals, assistant principals, etc...), and is used to drive services to a student in need. The overall data (by school, grade, etc...) is used to assess, modify and create programs to benefit students, including staff training. Our work with Panorama Education is specific to the data services and SEL resources for our SEL survey efforts. We do not use other products offered by Panorama Education.

Academic and social-emotional supports include our district social worker, five elementary school counselors, freshmen counselors at the high schools, counseling support and referral services, school-wide wellness and positive behavior programs, and more.

Parents/Guardians may have their student opt-out of participating in the survey. The link to the opt-out form is on this page. Please know that the more students who freely answer the survey, the more accurate the assessment will be for the needs of these students.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jamie Snodgrass, Director of Instruction and Pupil Services at or (805) 306-4500, Extension 4204.

Opt-Out Forms

If you do not want your child to participate in the 2023-2024 SEL Surveys, please use the link below to opt your child out of the survey. If you have more than one child in our schools, you will need to complete the form for each child you have. The deadline is March 15, 2024.

2023-2024 Survey Opt-Out Form-English

2023-2024 Survey Opt-Out Form-Spanish

Sample Surveys

To view the sample surveys, please click below. These are the actual questions that will be asked of our students. The survey is administered online during a class period. There are links below this list that will take you to a portal if you want to see what this survey looks like in the online format