Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

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The Virginia Department of Education’s social emotional learning (SEL) efforts are driven by the commitment to ensure that every student in Virginia attends a school that maximizes their potential and prepares them for the future: academically, socially, and emotionally. Virginia’s vision for SEL is intended to center equity in this work, which is key to VDOE’s vision and mission.

“Virginia is redesigning our vision for the education of its students by providing equity within a safe and healthy learning environment. By incorporating social emotional learning into Virginia public education, we are providing students practices aligned with the 5 C’s of the Profile of a Virginia Graduate to ensure readiness for college and workforce. This entails providing every student with the knowledge and skills he or she needs to succeed after graduation. We seek to extend the vision of social emotional learning in early childhood to PK-12, so that all students benefit from a positive, interactive and engaging environment.”

Dr. James F. Lane, Ed.D, Superintendent of Public Instruction,
Virginia Department of Education

The Virginia Social Emotional (SEL) Guidance Standards (PDF) are now available to all Virginia school divisions. While the 2020 General Assembly required the VDOE to develop the guidance standards for SEL, Virginia school divisions are not required to adopt them. Local school boards may choose to adopt all, or portions of, the Virginia SEL Guidance Standards as part of their own local policies, and/or use them as guidance as they implement SEL programming based on the needs of their community.

To support school divisions in this process, the VDOE has developed the SEL Guidance Standards webpage that houses additional tools and resources to assist with implementation and build educator awareness of social emotional learning and how it can be integrated into Virginia schools. The document, A Shared Commitment: Building Foundational Support for Systemic Social Emotional Learning in Virginia (coming soon), offers insights into the shared responsibilities that all educators have in schoolwide SEL integration and the ways that SEL promotes inclusion.


Among other resources, the following videos have been created to provide support :

SEL’s Role in Advancing Equity through Culturally Responsive and Inclusive Practices


Some of the links on the EdEquityVA pages lead you to websites not associated with the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education. VDOE does not necessarily endorse the views expressed or the data and facts presented on these external sites. In addition, VDOE does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or services.

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