Social Emotional Support

We recognize the trauma our students have experienced in the pandemic and are taking a tiered approach to identify, support and address student needs related to their social emotional learning and mental health.  At the beginning of the school year, school counselors will have at least one check-in with all students to assess their mental health and to provide trauma-based supports. Students, teachers, and families are encouraged to seek additional support from school mental health staff if needed. All mental health staff will be accessible both virtually and in-person.


ATSS is a framework for meeting the needs of all students, and it will be used this year to guide our SEL lessons and strategies.  The focus of ATSS is to address the whole child and what supports students’ need to be successful academically, social-emotionally, and behaviorally. Below are the three tiers of activities, beginning with tier 1, which is the baseline SEL support all students receive. Additional supports are added in tiers 2 and 3 based on student mental health needs.

TIER 1 (bottom of pyramid) – Social Emotional Learning (SEL) for Every Student (80-85% of all students)

  • SEL Lessons on a weekly basis through morning meeting and/or closing circle (K-5) and advisory period (6-12)
  • Universal screener
  • Culturally responsive and inclusive environments
  • Parent and community partnerships
  • Systematic, positive reinforcement
  • Data planning
  • Schoolwide SEL framework (i.e., Responsive Classroom, PBIS, etc.)
  • Regular lessons from school counselors as part of a comprehensive school counseling program

ATSS PyramidTIER 2 (middle of pyramid) – Interventions or Extensions (5-10% of students)

  • Weekly Check Ins with counseling team
  • Targeted social skills instruction
  • Check in/Check out
  • Coordinated referral process
  • Progress monitoring
  • Social/academic support groups
  • One-on-one and/or small group counseling
  • Functional Behavior Assessment
  • Intervention plan
  • Suicide Risk/Threat Assessment
  • Crisis Intervention/Response
  • Psychological Assessment/IEP Planning
  • Transition Planning
  • Wraparound services
  • Coordination with Community Providers

TIER 3 – (top of pyramid) Intensive support (1-5% of students)

  • Crisis Intervention/Response
  • Functional Behavior Assessment
  • Suicide Risk/Threat Assessment
  • Wraparound services
  • Coordination with Community Providers

SEL Standards and CASEL Competencies

SEL competencies and interdependencies graphicImplementing Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is essential for us to help our students reconnect and to move forward with success. In July, 2021, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) released a uniform definition of social emotional learning and SEL Standards for K-12 students. These standards are based on Collaborative for Academic Social-Emotional Learning’s (CASEL) five competencies: Self-Management, Self-Awareness, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Decision Making. The research on the impact of social-emotional learning (VDOE, 2021) demonstrates that students participating in evidence-based SEL programs have:

Improved classroom attitudes and behavior Improved school performance
  • Better sense of community
  • More class participation
  • Stronger pro-social skills
  • Improved attendance
  • Better understanding of consequences
  • Better coping skills
  • Increased attitude toward school & learning
  • Improved school attendance
  • Higher achievement test scores and higher grades
  • Improved meta-cognition skills
  • Improved problem-solving, planning, and reasoning skills
  • Improvements in reading comprehension