Evergreen ParkElementary School District 124


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Departments » Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and PBIS

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and PBIS

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Evergreen Park Elementary School District 124 recognizes that children need social-emotional skills to thrive both in the classroom and in life. We acknowledge that children acquire social-emotional skills through various means, such as observing the behavior demonstrated by the adults around them. However, it's important to note that social-emotional skills and concepts can also be directly taught within the classroom setting.  For this reason, District 124 is committed to developing programs and acquiring resources designed to support students’ improvement of their social-emotional development. To help stay in touch with our students’ development and potential social-emotional concerns, we conduct district-wide screenings of students using the SSIS SEL Brief + Mental Health Scales and provide curricula opportunities to all kindergarten through 8th grade students. 


The SSIS SEL Brief + Mental Health Scales is a brief rating scale that measures a students' social and emotional functioning. The screeners are aligned with state Social Emotional Learning standards, include items tied to each of the domain areas, and provide information about a student’s current functioning levels.The data from the screening can be used at all Tier levels to guide instruction for groups or individual students experiencing emotional or behavior concerns.


Within the elementary buildings, social-emotional skills and concepts are explicitly taught within the classroom using a grade appropriate curriculum.   The SEL curriculum includes weekly concepts introduced with words, pictures, video, and/or audio.  The teacher explains the concept and students then practice the concept through skill practice, group discussion, individual writing, or partner work.  The teacher will then continue to reinforce the concept throughout the week, send home family activities, and reteach the concepts as needed.  Social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula teach children techniques to gain confidence, set goals, make better decisions, collaborate with others in work and play, and navigate the world more effectively.

The middle school will be piloting two curricula in the 2023-2024 school year.  Currently, students are receiving SEL instruction in their advisory classroom using Open Parachute.  Open Parachute is a curricular program providing structured lessons.   Lessons are organized into units and feature a documentary story of an age-appropriate peer.  Each lesson contains exercises that enable students to analyze the learning points and practice mental health skills-building exercises.Lessons conclude with a short quiz, testing a student's knowledge or understanding of the skills being taught.  During the third and fourth quarter, students will switch to the SEL program, Capturing Kids Hearts.  Capturing Kids Hearts is a character-based curriculum for students, focused on social-emotional wellbeing, relationship-driven campus culture, and student connectedness.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) 

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidenced-based three-tier system that integrates data, systems, and practices to create positive school environments that are more predictable and effective for achieving academic and social goals. PBIS allows schools to proactively help students achieve expectations rather than being reactionary as needs arise.  

Staff members are trained to use consistent expectations and rules in all areas of the school.  Students are explicitly taught these expectations and receive positive recognition for following them.  When students struggle with meeting expectations, it is an opportunity for re-teaching, just as we do when a student struggles with math or reading.  The school has PBIS teams that meet regularly to review data and make decisions to continuously improve the school program for all students.

There are three tiers to the PBIS model:  

Tier 1 is the “Universal” level for all students within the school and it focuses on the explicit teaching of expectations and the consistent, positive reinforcement of those expectations using rewards and re-teaching so that at least 80- 90% of students can meet the expectations without further support.  

Tier 2 is  the “Targeted” level for students who need a little extra support in meeting those expectations through the use of such tactics as small group teaching and behavior-related check-ins with staff members.  Ideally, only 5-15% of students will require Tier 2 level support.  

Tier 3 is the “Intensive” level for students who need major support to meet expectations and usually involves services and support both in school (e.g., behavior plan) and possibly in the home environment.  Usually, 1- 5% of the school population would require Tier 3 level support.

Mckinney-Vento Act

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has established procedures to ensure that homeless children and youth are afforded the same opportunities to be successful learners as all other children and youth. Ensuring that all Illinois students develop the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the 21st century is a challenge that public schools face because of the large increase in homelessness over the past five years. For more information on the McKinney-Vento Act in District, 124, please email our Family Resource Coordinator at [email protected].