Social Emotional Learning @ SFPS

SFPS is dedicated to integrating Social Emotional Learning (SEL) school-wide, in an approach to integrating academic, social, and emotional learning across all school contexts and is overseen by the Office of Student Wellness.

What is Social Emotional Learning (SEL)?

Social 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.  

As a District, SFPS is implementing an adapted version of CASEL’s comprehensive district-wide SEL framework:

  1. Build foundational support and plan

  2. Strengthen adult SEL competencies and capacity

  3. Promote SEL for students

  4. Practice continuous improvement

When fully implemented, schoolwide SEL contributes to more successful and equitable outcomes for young people, and is evidenced by the following indicators, more fully articulated in the CASEL Guide to Schoolwide SEL:

  1. Explicit SEL Instruction

  2. SEL Integrated Into Academic Instruction

  3. Youth Voice and Engagement

  4. Supportive School and Classroom Climates

  5. Supportive Discipline

  6. On-going Integrated Supports

  7. Adult SEL

  8. Family Partnerships

  9. Community Partnerships

  10. Systems for Continuous Improvement

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Social Emotional Learning Curricula @ SFPS

These curricula and strategies were selected by the district based on scientific studies that showed positive impacts on school achievement and reductions in substance use, bullying, suicide and struggles with mental health .

The Office of Student Wellness offers staff training, demonstration teaching, technical assistance, and curriculum facilitation to support evidence-based, early prevention programs.  These programs aim to develop healthy, caring communities, improve school climate and provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to reach their goals.  

  • Second Step: Social Emotional Learning & Bullying Prevention (PreK & K - 8)

  • PAX Good Behavior Game: self-regulation and positive behavior reinforcement (K-6, currently at twelve schools)

  • The Great Body Shop: Health Education (Grades 6-8)

  • Puberty: The Wonder Years: Human Growth and Development (Grades 4-6)

  • Sexual Health Education Week provided by Solace, Resolve, and Planned Parenthood (grades 7-8)

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Second Step

The Second Step curriculum includes both Social Emotional Learning and Bullying Prevention units. Second Step programs teach specific skills that strengthen students’ growth mindset, emotion management, empathy, and problem-solving. With the ability to focus, listen, and stay calm and in control, students are better able to meet school-wide behavioral expectations and attend to their learning.

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The PAX Good Behavior Game (PAX) is an evidence-based universal preventive intervention applied by teachers in K-6 classrooms. Teachers implement these strategies as part of their daily routines in carrying out tasks such as getting students’ attention, selecting students for tasks, transitioning from one task to the next, working as part of a team, limiting problematic behavior, and reinforcing pro-social behavior.

The PAX Good Behavior Game helps to build children’s self-regulation, resulting in improved focus and attention, improved test scores and other academic outcomes, reduced alcohol and other drug use, reduced psychiatric disorders, and reduced suicide.

PAX is currently implemented at twelve schools:  Amy Biehl, Chaparral, Cesar Chavez, EJ Martinez, El Dorado, El Camino Real ,Gonzales, Kearny, Nava, Nina Otero, Salazar, Sweeney, and Tesuque.

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The Great Body Shop

The Great Body Shop is an evidenced-based, comprehensive health education curricular resource for teachers, students, and families in Middle School.

The Great Body Shop has a unique approach to delivering health education. Student Issues look like a health magazine and is used like a periodical or informational text. Teachers and students work with the instructional materials, and upon completion, students take the Student Issue home and can use them for family activities, discussions and homework.

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Puberty: The Wonder Years

In order to meet the New Mexico Health Education Standards, Santa Fe Public Schools uses Puberty: The Wonder Years Curriculum in grea. The school nurse, with the assistance of the classroom teacher, provides factual information about human growth and development.

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Sexual Health Education Week

Santa Fe Public School nurses partner with a collective of community organizations (Solace, Resolve, and Planned Parenthood) to provide five sexual health education lessons to 7th and 8th graders in order to meet New Mexico’s Health Standards. 

Sue O'Brien
Executive Director
Office of Student Wellness


Jenn Jevertson, M.S.
Prevention Coordinator
Office of Student Wellness