Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Elementary classrooms in Westwood implement comprehensive, research-based social and emotional learning lessons. These lessons align with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) competencies:  Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision-Making.  These skills are critical in helping students with such things as problem-solving, recognizing and managing emotions, forming good relationships with peers and adults, and considering and understanding the experience of others.  In Westwood, teachers typically devote 20-30 minutes per week on targeted lessons (often incorporated into morning meeting activities) and students engage in and practice these skills throughout each day. We use a variety of curriculum resources to support the development of these competencies as well as to help shape classroom and school culture. The resources include: Everyday Speech (Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten), Second Step (Grades 1-5), and Responsive Classroom (K-5).


The district has identified 13 essential lessons for each grade level that serve as our anti-bullying curriculum.  These lessons include themes such as:

  • Including one another

  • Showing respect for one another

  • Dealing with teasing

  • What is bullying?

  • What is a bystander?

  • Talking to someone who can help


Same and Different, Like Me

The Same and Different, Like Me curriculum is designed to increase students’ understanding and acceptance of differences among peers and to promote an inclusive environment. The program is co-taught by general education classroom teachers and specialists (e.g. school psychologists, learning center teachers, speech and language pathologists, physical education teachers, nurses, occupational therapists). Grade level topics include:

  • Kindergarten - Disability Awareness

  • Grade 1 - Physical Disabilities

  • Grade 2 - Sensory Disabilities - Hearing and Seeing

  • Grade 3 - Cognitive Disabilities 

  • Grade 4 - Specific Learning Disabilities and ADD

  • Grade 5 - Mental Health and Autism

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