Social and Emotional Learning

Social and emotional learning (SEL) 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.

Waltham Public Schools SEL work consists of multiple initiatives designed to help students build their capacities and skills in the Five Core Competencies.These skills are taught in varying ways throughout our PK-12 curriculum and schools. 


We are also fortunate to have after school, enrichment opportunities and wraparound supports throughout the year within our district and community to support and embed learning and practices SEL skills and competencies in authentic ways.

Additionally, all schools have support personnel including school adjustment counselors, guidance counselors, psychologists, nurses, Special Education/Pupil Personnel and other staff who collaborate with our teachers and building administrators to support students and families’ social and emotional learning needs.

Five Core Competencies

What’s Happening in the District


Social Emotional Learning and Mental Health

Aprendizaje Socio-Emocional (SEL) y Salud Mental

Elementary Schools

Mindfulness - Solid scientific evidence suggests that mindfulness interventions improve attention, self-control, emotional resilience, recovery from addiction, memory and immune response.

Middle School

Health Education Curriculum

PBIS - Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports

Two Schools One Story Summer 2020

High School
Monthly Advisory to build and support trusting relationships and students’ issues/concerns

Training for Staff

SEL Working Group
Meets monthly and is committed to assessing and developing a comprehensive PK-12 integrated SEL curriculum across the district.

Open Circle Training
Provides ongoing training in Open Circle for our elementary educators.

SEL and Equity
Provides ongoing training for staff on the five core competencies and being culturally responsive to the diverse students and families we serve.

More Information About SEL