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Social Emotional Learning Core Competencies

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is a process through which children and adults develop fundamental life skills. These are skills we all need to handle ourselves, our relationships, and our work in effective and ethical ways. Everyone strengthens their social competencies to connect across race, class, culture, language, gender identity, sexual orientation, learning needs, and age.

At RHS, we see social emotional learning (SEL) as an essential part of the educational experience. Building on existing best practices and SEL standards from OUSD and other schools, RHS focuses on developing 21st century SEL skills -- such as collaboration, student agency, growth mindset, emotional intelligence, communication, conflict resolution, confidence, and teamwork, among others; in the classroom, on the play yard, and throughout the campus. 

SEL Core Competencies

OUSD SEL Standards

There are five core SEL competencies that can be taught in many ways across many settings. They are:

  • Self-Awareness - The ability to accurately recognize one's own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one's strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a "growth mindset."
  • Self-Management - The ability to successfully regulate one's emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations: effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.
  • Social Awareness - The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.
  • Relationship Skills - The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. The ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.
  • Responsible Decision-Making - The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the well-being of oneself and others.

Helping Us Grow Stronger (HUGS)

We know that for students to be successful and achieve, all of their needs must be addressed. The HUGS program supports our students' social and emotional needs. Students who need support can be referred by a teacher, the principal, a parent or caregiver, or even self-refer to receive one-on-one support or group support from a counseling intern. Our HUGS counselors are interns from an LMFT and LCSW program from schools such as JFK University, California State East Bay, and other accredited graduate programs. HUGS counselors also lead class discussions about issues that come up in the course of the day at school; for example, name calling, different types of families, gender identity, ethnic diversity, and respect. A HUGS counselor may also be available to provide support in the office if a student comes in and is upset about an incident on the play yard or in the classroom. The counselor helps students process the incident and identify positive next steps.

Caring School Community

The Caring School Community (CSC) program is a nationally recognized, research-based K-6 program that builds classroom and school wide community. It focuses on strengthening students' connectedness to school-an important element for increasing academic motivation and achievement and for reducing drug use, violence, and delinquency. The U.S. Department of Education has highlighted the Caring School Community program's research base and effectiveness.

Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice (RJ) is a set of principles and practices used in the Oakland Unified School District to build community and respond to student misconduct, with the goals of repairing harm and restoring relationships between those impacted. The RJ program in OUSD pilots a three-tiered model of prevention/ intervention/ supported reentry in response to conflict/harm. The RJ program works to lower our rate of suspension and expulsion and to foster positive school climates with the goal of eliminating racially disproportionate discipline practices and the resulting push-out of students into the prison pipeline. For more information, visit the OUSD website.

At RHS, when there is conflict among students, we ask:

  • Who has been hurt?
  • What are their needs?
  • Who has the obligation to address the needs and put right the harm?

Through this process, students learn how to manage their relationships with adults and peers and become better equipped to understand how their behavior impacts others. This encourages accountability, improves school safety, and helps students develop skills so the school community can succeed.

SEL Values Pie Chart