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NYS Education Guidelines


Educating the Whole Child,
Engaging the Whole School:

Guidelines and Resources for Social and Emotional Development and Learning (SEDL) in New York State

The following direct excerpts are from guidelines adopted by the New York State Department of Education. Please view the full document here: Social and Emotional Development and Learning (SEDL) Guidelines.

Children and adult service agencies deal with outcomes of ACEs and so do schools. A continuum of need and desperation can exist in any school community but child and family receptivity to assistance can vary.

The purpose in issuing voluntary Social and Emotional Development and Learning (SEDL) Guidelines is to offer school districts compelling information, example and evidence of SEDL in elementary and secondary school education programs.

NYS guidelines aim to provide school communities a rationale and the confidence to address child and adolescent affective development as well as cognitive development. By attending to the students' social-emotional brain development and creating conditions where school environments are calmer and safer, teachers can teach more effectively, students learn better, and parents and community can feel pride in a shared enterprise.

The Guidelines and accompanying resources seek to persuade school leaders, faculties, planning teams and parents that social and emotional development and learning is within reach through a range of approaches that serve as entry points and avenues for expansion.

The New York State Guidelines are a compilation of current knowledge about young people's need to belong and become self-reliant, and point to a variety of approaches for schools, districts and communities to assess their efforts and make informed choices about initiating or expanding social and emotional development practices and programs.

A comprehensive approach focuses on:

(1) Enhancing regular classroom strategies and home-school connections to assist students and families as they negotiate school and grade changes and other transitions.
(2) Responding to, and where feasible preventing, crises.
(3) Facilitating student and family access to effective services and special assistance as needed


A tiered continuum of student support often begins with schools as hubs and integrates school and community services.