Social Emotional Learning

Students who possess skills of emotional regulation and interpersonal interaction are best able to fully engage with learning and develop intellectual courage.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which students develop skills to regulate, react to, and process their emotions; navigate relationships in a healthy way; and develop self-awareness. The practice of SEL encompasses strategies to support students as they build resiliency, manage stress, develop empathy, clarify their personal values, and make responsible decisions.

Who Is SEL for?
SEL is a key facet of University Prep's Strategic Plan 2020 so all students realize their full potential as socially responsible citizens of the world.

SEL and Student Life

SEL is infused into all facets of school life as both content for exploration and a practiced skill through which to navigate academics, co-curricular activities, school norms and expectations, and social dynamics.


Teachers are working to infuse SEL practices like reflection, teamwork, organizational skills, recognizing strengths, and perspective-taking in lessons and projects.

Community Time

Community Time is an opportunity for students to build and practice their SEL skills. This happens in structured activities in advisory, Open Session, gradewide meetings, as well as in clubs.

Student Advisory Boards

Student Advisory Boards in both the Middle and Upper School give students ownership and voice in speaking to their own social and emotional needs.

SEL Coordinator

The coordinator in this full-time position works with all stakeholders in the school community to document, develop, and streamline SEL programming.

For more information, please contact: Emily Schorr Lesnick, Social Emotional Learning Coordinator, at or 206.588.8739.

Educational research shows that school-wide SEL programs produce:

  1. Increased positive student behaviors
  2. Greater persistence of students in college
  3. Greater job satisfaction post-college

Students with SEL skills show:

  1. Improved academic performance
  2. Improved life-long health
  3. Increased ability to manage stress and depression, improved self-esteem, and reduced risk-taking behaviors
  4. Improved empathy, emotion recognition and regulation, problem solving abilities, and decision making skills