Skip To Main Content

District Wide Social and Emotional Learning in The Winnetka Public Schools


SEL Defined

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 (CASEL).

SEL Impact

Research shows that social and emotional learning (SEL) promotes improved academic outcomes for students. These benefits are long-lasting and help students succeed in school and life.
SEL promotes...

Source: Child Development (July 2017). “Promoting Positive Youth
Development Through School-Based Social and Emotional Learning
Interventions: A Meta-Analysis of Follow-Up Effects”


SEL connections


The Winnetka Public Schools SEL mission statement

Social-emotional learning nurtures our capacity to become empathetic, accepting, and responsible citizens. We learn to embrace struggles as opportunities for growth, develop self-awareness, and solve problems. Ultimately, social-emotional learning is the foundation of all learning — as emotional well-being is essential to healthy, productive engagement in society.


Benefits of The Ruler Approach

Through training in the RULER approach, teachers and leaders learn the skills to create and sustain a positive emotional climate, as well as support individual development of emotion skills for students and adults.

Why the RULER Approach?

  • Evidence based approach to SEL instruction
  • Common, consistent language and practices
  • Focus on emotional regulation
  • Developmentally appropriate K-8
  • Aligns with progressive philosophy- whole child centered

RULER supports:

  • Positive shifts in school climate
  • Enhances academic performance
  • Better quality relationships
  • Less bullying and aggressive behavior

The RULER Skills

Recognizing emotions in self and others
Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
Labeling emotions accurately
Expressing emotions appropriately
Regulating emotions effectively

The RULER Tools

The Charter:

A tool that builds and sustains a positive climate through a shared agreement between people about how they want to feel at work or while engaging in learning.

Mood Meter:

A tool that builds greater self and social awareness about our emotions.

Meta Moment:

A tool that trains people to respond to emotional triggers in more effective ways that align with one’s best self.


Provides a structure to problem-solve interpersonal conflicts with empathy and perspective taking.