North Carolina SEL Newsletter

Implementing Social and Emotional Learning Across Our State

Vision for Social and Emotional Learning for North Carolina Public Schools


North Carolina PK-12 public schools are safe, productive, restorative, and enjoyable learning communities where each student, staff, and family member experiences mutual respect and a sense of belonging. In partnership with families and communities, our schools provide equitable academic, social, emotional, and behavioral learning through positive relationships and modeling by compassionate adults. Immersed in a supportive system, our staff value their own social and emotional learning as a form of self-care, care for colleagues, and care for students. The same supportive system produces resilient students who graduate empowered to solve problems, communicate effectively, empathize with others, and pursue goals for further education, employment, and contribution to their communities.


In this issue

  • Key NC Social and Emotional Learning Resources

  • Summer and Fall 2021 Released Resources

  • NC Social and Emotional Learning Implementation Update

  • Social and Emotional Learning and Educational Equity Resources

  • Important Dates

Key NC Social and Emotional Learning Resources


  • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) updates the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Website- this fall, NCDPI is excited to announce the updated SEL Website with a focus on resources for Educators and Families/Caregivers.



Summer and Fall 2021 Released Resources


  • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) launches the School Mental Health Policy Website- In June of 2020, Session Law 2020-7 was approved by the North Carolina General Assembly. It is an act to require the state board of education to adopt a school-based mental health policy and to require k-12 school units to adopt and to implement a school-based mental health plan that includes a mental health training program and a suicide risk referral protocol. Public School Units across the state were asked to submit their plans by September 15, 2021.


  • Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) releases new resources to respond to the complex needs of military-connected children and youth who have been uprooted from their lives in Afghanistan and are entering communities and public schools across the nation.


  • NC Museum of Art launches Art and Social and Emotional Learning- This self-paced, 10-hour course will introduce arts-based strategies that will support teachers in integrating the five core CASEL competencies of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) into their practice.


  • Our Children's Place of Coastal Horizons (OCP) hosts See Us, Support Us (SUSU). SUSU is a year-round effort with national partners, culminating in a month of action in October. This past October, the campaign focused on supporting children’s educational success and well-being from early childhood through college. Educator Toolkit is available here.



NC Social and Emotional Learning Implementation Update

  • North Carolina Social and Emotional Learning Implementation Team Expansion- As the NC Social and Emotional Learning Implementation Team grows, there is an intentional focus on voices from the field, including parent and district voices. We welcomed ten implementing districts. We also welcomed Julie Pittman and Tabari Wallace, who are special advisors at NCDPI and focus on teacher and principal engagement. Additional information about membership on this team is available here.

  • North Carolina Project ACTIVATE Expansion- NC is one of seventeen states selected for the 21-26 cohort of Project AWARE funding. The three selected PSUs for cohort 2 of NC Project AWARE/ACTIVATE (Jackson, Nash, and Sampson) will join cohort 1 PSUs (Beaufort, Cleveland, and Rockingham) in serving as transformation zones to scale school mental health services throughout the state. Jackson, Nash, and Sampson were all participants in the NC SEL & Educational Equity Cohort 1 Project. The work of NC Project ACTIVATE pilot sites affords direct services for students; local workforce training to improve school climate, mental health awareness, prevention, and early intervention; infrastructure development; and evaluation activities to inform scaling and sustaining effective practices across all NC PSUs. Project ACTIVATE (Advancing Coordinated and Timely InterVentions, Awareness, Training and Education) is North Carolina’s implementation of SAMHSA’ Project AWARE (Advancing Wellness and Resiliency in Education).


  • Presentation at the Planning Session of the State Board of Education- To listen to the archived District Perspectives: Leveraging NC Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) and Innovations to Promote Positive Outcomes for Students presented at the November 3rd SBOE Fall Planning and Work Session click here (run time 0:00 - 1:21:30). The slides from this session are linked here. This session highlighted Rockingham County Schools/Project AWARE’s full continuum of Social Emotional Wellbeing & Mental Health Supports. In addition, recommendations were provided to the SBOE including supporting state teaming structures and staffing that mirror the Rockingham example. This included a recommendation to create state-level positions for a School Psychology Consultant and a School Mental Health Consultant. See slides 48-49 for the full list of recommendations.


The NC Social and Emotional Learning Implementation Team includes multiple voices and will use this space to share implementation updates across our four working groups.


  • Build Foundational Support and Plan
  • Strengthen Adult Social and Emotional Competencies
  • Promote Social and Emotional Learning for Students
  • Communication

Social and Emotional Learning and Educational Equity Resources

    • American Institutes of Research Rep “Addressing Equity through Social and Emotional Learning” (2021). Read more.

    • Council for Chief State School Officers and Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning Toolkit on “Working Together: Social and Emotional Learning and a Multi-Tiered System of Supports” (2021). Read more.

    • National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations “Emergencies and National Disasters: Helping Children and Families Cope” (2021). Read more.

    • Tyton Partners “Finding your Place 2021: Social Emotional Learning Takes Center Stage in K-12” (2021). Read more.

    • United States Department of Education Report on “Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Needs” (2021). Read More.

Important Dates

  • Mindful Mondays- join Educators across North Carolina for 15 minutes of mindfulness each Monday morning starting on Monday, February 7, 6:15-6:30 am. You can join by clicking on this link. Recorded sessions will be available on the Educator Wellness page on our updated NC Social and Emotional Learning Website.