Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.


Executive Office of the Mayor
Menu Button

District Announces First Social and Emotional Learning Standards to Be Implemented Across All Public Schools

Thursday, May 16, 2024
New Standards Will be Implemented in all DC Public Schools and Public Charter Schools in the 2024-25 School Year

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has published the first-ever Districtwide K-Adult Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) standards for all DC Public Schools (DCPS) and public charter schools. The SEL standards aim to develop crucial skills that enable students to acquire and apply knowledge and attitudes necessary for developing a healthy identity, managing emotions, achieving personal and collective goals, showing empathy toward others, building and maintaining supportive relationships, and making responsible and caring decisions. The standards will be implemented in schools across the District beginning in the 2024-25 school year.
“We are proud that across all eight wards, students are going to schools where they are loved and challenged by their teachers. And we know our teachers work every day to make sure students are equipped with the knowledge and skills that will help them succeed – in and out of school,” said Mayor Bowser. “With these new standards guiding social and emotional learning, our schools and educators have another tool in their toolbox to help our young people thrive in all aspects of life.” 

Developed by local educators with support from local and national SEL experts, DC’s new Social and Emotional Learning standards build on Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) 5 Framework, and include knowledge and skills across five core competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social & Cultural Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Decision-Making & Agency. Among these skills, conflict resolution indicators are specifically integrated throughout DC’s standards. Following a robust public comment period, the standards were revised and finalized to incorporate feedback from DC educators, students, national social and emotional learning experts, and other community stakeholders. 
“Social and Emotional Learning standards are an essential piece of providing DC students with a high-quality, equitable education experience,” said State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant. “These standards will help foster school environments where students feel safe, seen, and loved – ultimately promoting learning and practicing social, emotional and academic skills, all of which are critical for development and supporting students in their learning and their lives.” 
The SEL standards were developed over three years and included significant feedback from the public, including DC educators, students, and community members. The standards were published following a unanimous vote of support from the State Board of Education on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. 
“Streamlined and effective social and emotional learning creates conditions of safety, sustains a positive working and learning climate, and cultivates a growth mindset among staff, students, and families,” said Capital City SEL Coach and Specialist Angelina Zara. “When learners feel safe and connected – social, emotional, and cognitive skill development follows. The DC Social and Emotional Learning standards are a key step in ensuring that educators know that this is not another thing added to the plate, but rather that this is the plate in post-pandemic education."  
To view the finalized standards and learn more about the DC social and emotional learning standards development process, please visit the OSSE social and emotional learning standards webpage.

 Mayor Bowser X: @MayorBowser
Mayor Bowser Instagram: @Mayor_Bowser
Mayor Bowser Facebook:
Mayor Bowser YouTube: