By Mark Greenberg
Emeritus Bennett Chair of Prevention Science, Penn State University, Chair of CREATE (

Leading schools have actively implementing SEL programs and policies to improve outcomes for children.  However, many schools have not taken the time to plan SEL implementation effectively and are struggling to implement SEL programs and policies as schools reopen, either virtually, or face-to-face. During this time of change and renewal, it is essential that leaders deeply consider how to reshape schools so that social and emotional learning is a key component of practice and policy.  Effective staff and teacher training are essential for effective SEL implementation and sustainable systems change. A central component of this process is for principals, assistant principals, and other administrators to self-reflect and deepen their on social and emotional development.

At the building level, a principal’s active support for implementation of SEL programming is essential for success and sustained use. Yet,  principals and other administrators generally receive little or no training or mentoring in how to create a caring, supportive school environment in which SEL is infused throughout the school. To learn more about the needs of principals and how to support systematic SEL, read our policy brief  found here.

Also, CREATE provides in-depth training for principal and administrators with the CARE Professional Development Program, learn more.


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