Social Emotional Teaching and Learning

Partnering with Maine schools to ensure that learning happens in spaces which affirm brilliance, empower success & excite curiosity.



Do we have SEL specific Maine Learning Results/Standards?  Are they in development?

The Maine Department of Education does not have, nor are there current plans to develop SEL standards - Below Are Optional Examples Of Standards & Progressions Which Align With Maine’s Whole Student Philosophy

  • California Competencies: Continuums For Early Elementary, Late Elementary, Middle School, High School and Adults, As Well As Links To Resources 
  • Minnesota Benchmarks: Benchmarks For K-3, 4-5, 6-8 and 9-12 - This Document Includes Sample Activities & Related Academic Standards 

Our Interdisciplinary Instruction Team embeds social and emotional learning into traditional academic content. Additionally, applying strategies from Harvard's Project Zero's Thinking Routine Toolkit, will lead to infusing lessons with social and emotional learning.

Additionally, we offer the following guidance as you choose explicit SEL lessons.

Does the Maine DOE offer guidance on how to assess SEL?

The Collaborative For Academic And Social Emotional Learning (CASEL), does not recommend SEL assessment for accountability

Does the Maine DOE recommend any specific SEL programs?

The Maine DOE does not recommend any specific SEL programs.  Our philosophy rests on: 

  • Systematically teaching, modeling, and facilitating the application of social and emotional competencies in ways that allow students to apply them throughout their days
  • Establishing safe, caring, and highly engaging learning environments involving peer and family initiatives and schoolwide community-building activities.

These two strategies are mutually reinforcing. Positive learning environments help students learn and further develop social-emotional competencies; meanwhile, classrooms, schools, and communities filled with socially and emotionally skilled students are more caring and safe. Weissberg, R. P., & Cascarino, J. (2013). Academic Learning + Social-Emotional Learning = National Priority. Phi Delta Kappan, 95(2), 8–13

SEL Imp - Trauma.png
Resources for Responding to Trauma

The Office Of School and Student Supports has compiled resources to support building leaders, and school staff, responding to traumatic national news.  

  • Infographic with 5 things to keep in mind (2 pages, one for building leaders, one for staff) 1 min read
  • Powerpoint with guidance on responding to students across grade levels - and a graphic of our nested model of response (also below) - Designed for 5 minute share. 
  • More Resources (PDF) 
Communities of Practice

Connect with the Maine Department of Education and other colleagues from across Maine and beyond.

  • Join our ListServ to stay up to date - A place to learn about new resources, and engagement opportunities
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays we'll meet from 10-11am, join as you can and we'll talk about what surfaces.
  • Professional Development: Thursdays we'll meet from 1:30-2:30pm, with a focused topic each week.
  • Learn More and Register
SEL imp - Casel.png

The Casel 5 - Five broad, interrelated areas of competence in social emotional learning:

  • An understanding of who you are, the richness and strengths you carry, your IDENTITY - Self-Awareness

  • An understanding of your power, your capabilities, and your AGENCY - Self-Management

  • An understanding of others, developing communities of BELONGING - Social Awareness

  • An understanding of COLLABORATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING - Relationship Skills

  • An understanding of the power of asking, "What If?" CURIOSITY - Responsible Decision Making

  • Read more about Casel 


Contact Us

Sarah Norsworthy
Social Emotional Learning Implementation Specialist - Expertise implementing SEL embedded lessons across content areas incorporating multiple modalities - often through the use of digital educational technology and project based learning.

Kellie D. Bailey
Social Emotional Learning/Restorative Practice Specialist - Certified in social emotional learning with expertise in the brain science behind emotions.

Our SEL specialists work in partnership with our family engagement and cultural responsiveness specialist, McKinney-Vento specialist - who supports students who are experiencing unstable housing, and Migrant Education Program Specialist - who supports students with highly mobile families.