Social and Emotional Learning Standards

In Each Child, Our Future, Ohio’s Strategic Plan for Education, social-emotional learning is one of four equal learning domains supporting Ohio’s goal of preparing each student in Ohio for postsecondary life. Through a stakeholder-driven process, Ohio teachers, school counselors and education personnel developed Ohio's Social and Emotional Learning Standards for grades kindergarten through twelve (K-12). The Ohio State Board of Education adopted the social-emotional learning standards in June of 2019.

Each district and school will decide for itself the extent to which it uses these standards and how it uses these standards. A school’s or district’s choice will be informed by the values and needs of its local community. These standards are meant to be integrated into the regular daily activities in school, and they do not mean more classes for students or more work for teachers. The Ohio Department of Education will not develop tests to measure students’ progress in learning the standards. Instead, schools and districts will have flexibility to choose whether and how to gauge the extent to which students are demonstrating mastery of the standards. The standards are the first step in the Ohio Department of Education’s plan to create resources for districts to voluntarily implement or modify to best meet the social-emotional needs of their students. 

What is Social-Emotional Learning?

Social-emotional learning 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. Research demonstrates that students who receive support for social and emotional learning in schools do better academically, socially and behaviorally. Social-emotional learning has also been shown to positively impact economic mobility and mental health outcomes. Developing these skills in our students is an important part of meeting the needs of the whole child.

K-12 Social and Emotional Learning Standards

Ohio's K-12 Social and Emotional Learning Standards are broken down by grade bands (kindergarten-grade 3, grades 3-5, middle grades and high school) and provide a continuum of development in five competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills and Responsible Decision-Making. The social and emotional learning standards are for all students, kindergarten through grade 12, with the understanding that each child develops at his or her own rate. The standards represent a continuum of development and a child may excel in one competency and struggle in another.

Birth - Kindergarten Social and Emotional Learning Standards

In 2012, the State Board of Education adopted the Early Learning and Development Standards for children birth – kindergarten entry. These standards include the Social and Emotional Development domain that addresses the skills, knowledge and behaviors that children develop within awareness and expression of emotion, self-concept, self-regulation, sense of competence and relationships with others. The Ohio Department of Education provides guidance and professional development around these standards, including implementation guides for teachers.

History of SEL at the Department of Education

  • 2012 - Adoption of Birth - Kindergarten Early Learning and Development Standards including Social and Emotional Development
  • 2015 - the Ohio Department of Education, with approval from the State Board of Education, extended the social-emotional development standards from kindergarten through third grade.
  • 2018 - Began development of social and emotional learning standards for kindergarten through grade twelve through a stakeholder driven process.
  • June 2019 - Adoption of Ohio's Kindergarten through Grade 12 Social and Emotional Learning Standards.

If you have any questions about Ohio’s K-12 Social and Emotional Learning Standards, please contact Crystal Ginn at Crystal.Ginn@education.ohio.gov.

Last Modified: 6/21/2019 9:20:16 AM