Elementary Connections Committee Focuses on SEL


The Elementary Connections Committee focuses on Social Emotional Learning for elementary-aged students. The committee’s goal is to work in partnership with the three elementary schools in Tualatin to support the ongoing efforts of the schools to strengthen every student’s SEL core competencies.

What is SEL?

 Social-Emotional Learning or SEL is the process of developing social and emotional skills. It is often thought of as emotional intelligence. These are the skills used to set goals, cope with feelings, make decisions and get along with others. SEL skills can be taught from preschool through adulthood and help students thrive in school and in life. The five key areas of SEL are:

Self-awareness – Being able to identify one’s own emotions, recognizing strengths and weakness to develop a mindset that allows for growth and is not limited by current challenges. Resiliency grows from this knowledge.

Self-management – Being able to control emotions and impulses. Being able to set goals and work towards them begins with learning self-management.

Social awareness – Being able to understand and appreciate the thoughts, feelings and experiences of another person. Empathy is a skill learned over time but appreciating diversity is a foundation of SEL.

Relationship skills – Being able to communicate, cooperate and resolve conflict. Being able to communicate feelings in order to help resolve conflicts is fundamental to learning to get along with others.

Responsible decision-making – Being able to think about the consequence before making a choice to act. Being in control of personal behavior allows a person to be a successful member of a community.

Why is SEL so Important?

 One long-term study followed students for more than two decades. It studied the connection between a child’s early social-emotional skills and their well-being as adults. It found that for every point higher than the kindergarten student scored on a five-point scale, they were 46 percent more likely to have full-time employment by the time they turned 25, twice as likely to get a college degree in early adulthood, and 54% more likely to achieve a high school diploma. Early SEL instruction has also been found to cause less emotional distress, better attendance, fewer disciplinary incidents, and improved grades and test scores.

In Our Schools

The Elementary Connection Committee’s first project was the Gratitude Pumpkin project. Every elementary student in Tualatin received a project book with 30 days of gratitude projects for to emphasize self-awareness, empathy, and self-management. Along with the project book, students received a pumpkin to use as part of the project.

The Committee is always looking for more members. If you are interested in becoming involved, contact us today!