Lynbrook SEL Plan

In 2021, Lynbrook UFSD established a standing District Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Committee to address the SEL needs of our students and staff. The Committee is comprised of the Director of Guidance, Principals, support staff, teachers, and parents and meets monthly throughout the year. Over the past 2 years, the committee examined current SEL practices in our classroom and schools and determined there are many excellent examples of lessons and activities in our schools. However, the acquisition of essential skills and tools were inconsistent between classes, grade levels or other schools within our district. From those discussions several guiding questions have emerged including:

  • What do we want all our students to know and be able to do when they leave our school? What do we see in our classrooms and schools?
  • What kind of skills are most important for students to reach their potential and to be successful in school, careers, relationships, and life?
  • What do we want our school community to feel like, sound like, and look like?
  • What do students and staff need to learn to thrive and be successful here?


To begin to answer these questions, we examined the existing standards of SEL programs and initiatives.

According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), social emotional learning “is the process through which children, youth and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to: understand and manage emotions; set and achieve positive goals; feel and show empathy for others; establish and maintain positive relationships; and make responsible decisions.” CASEL has identified Five Core SEL Competencies: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision-Making.

sel breakdown diagram


NYSED SEL Standards and Goals:

Goal 1: Identify and understand their emotions and how emotions relate to their actions. Use understanding of emotions to inform actions.

Early Elementary - Grades K-2:
•    Recognize and name their basic emotions, where they feel them in their bodies, and describe situations that may evoke these emotions.
•    Identify their emotions and make choices to support their well-being, including simple self-regulation techniques such as belly breathing).

Late Elementary – Grades 3-5:
•    Identify a range of increasingly complex emotions and possible causes.
•    Identify and practice self-regulation skills and coping strategies that help them to express their emotions.

Middle School - Grades 6-8:
•    Identify the connections between their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
•    Apply self-regulation skills to effectively express emotions, including strong emotions

High School:
•    Experience complex thoughts and feelings with awareness of their effect on mind and body.
•    Effectively express complex thoughts and emotions with trusted peers or adults.

Goal 2: Use social awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain mutually supportive relationships with individuals and groups and nurture a strong sense of belonging.

Early Elementary - Grades K-2:
•    Recognize that others may experience situations differently from them.
•    Use listening skills to identify the feelings and perspectives of others.

Late Elementary – Grades 3-5:
•    Identify verbal, physical, and situational cues that indicate how others may feel.
•    Communicate perceived understanding of the expressed feelings and perspectives of others.

Middle School - Grades 6-8:
•    Practice perspective-taking to infer understanding of others’ thoughts, feelings, and intentions.
•    Practice respectful curiosity to better understand others’ lived experiences.

High School:

•    Reflect on the similarities and differences between their own perspectives and the perspectives of others, including those from different identity groups.
•    Use their communication skills and respectful curiosity to better understand others’ feelings, perspectives, and life experiences.

Goal 3: Demonstrate intentional decision-making skills and behaviors that consider social, emotional, and physical safety and well-being in personal, family, school, and community contexts.

Early Elementary - Grades K-2:
•    Explain how their actions impact self and others.
•    Create, understand, and practice shared classroom expectations that support the well-being of self and others.

Late Elementary – Grades 3-5:
•    Demonstrate consideration for the safety and well-being of self and others.
•    Demonstrate knowledge of how social expectations affect decision making and actions in multiple contexts.

Middle School - Grades 6-8:

•    Consider how curiosity, honesty, fairness, and compassion enable them to take the needs and wants of self and others into account when making decisions, including seeking help from an adult for a peer whose well-being may be endangered.
•    Analyze the sources and effects of school and societal rules, including those that cause or perpetuate injustice, and their impact on individuals and groups.

High School:
•    Demonstrate personal responsibility by making decisions that support the well-being of self and others.
•    Evaluate how the expectations of different groups, including the expectations of those with social influence, and power, influence personal decisions and actions.

The next phase for the SEL Committee were to identify an approach to deliver SEL initiatives consistent with the NYSED SEL Standards. The committee recognizes that students may have a variety of needs that require different levels of support. 

SEL Plan and Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS)

The SEL plan focuses on a Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) to our students to provide instruction and a foundation of support and to offer more targeted interventions where needed. The goal is to support and advocate for students, families, and staff. Students, families, schools, and communities are all part of broader systems that shape learning, development, and experiences.

sel breakdown diagram

Tier 1:
     All students, whole class, large group support, instruction, and proactive measures
Tier 2:     Targeted, small group support and strategies for students with some risk factors
Tier 3:     Intensive/Individual Support and strategies - assessment based, Special Education, 504, anchored support with outside agencies (wraparound support)
Other:     Parents/School/Community Initiatives

The SEL Committee was to research and recommend an evidence-based platform that will:
•    Include flexible responsive teaching methods while allowing for teacher creativity.
•    Provide essential training for staff.
•    Include a mechanism for parents to also participate in the shared vision.
•    Make connections between shared vision in our schools and the curriculum.
•    Allow for core concepts to be shared between classes, grade levels, schools and throughout the district.
•    Include a shared comprehensive vocabulary is essential for students and staff to integrate core SEL concepts.
•    Provide fidelity in implementation of the adopted platform.
•    Address Empathy, Self-Awareness, Self-Management/Emotional Regulation, Coping Strategies, Responsible Decision-Making, Respect for self and others, Social Awareness, and Relationship Skills for all staff and students K-12.


Goals for Evidence-Based SEL Programs and Practices

What will change?

Our school community will adopt RULER, as an evidence based SEL program, and all staff will implement the program within the next three years.

For whom?

All staff that work directly with young people, including non-instructional staff and support staff.

By how much?

All staff will use core program practices and language to a degree that youth will be able to recognize and explain how they apply the five SEL competencies in different settings.

When will the change occur?

The SEL team narrowed a list of programs to present to the school community. Program selection was finalized in January 2023. A team of five staff members from each school has been selected to be trained during spring of 2023. Each team includes Principal, support staff, and teachers. Implementation will be monitored quarterly, and targeted support will be provided to result in full implementation by all staff within three school years (not including selection/pilot year).

How will it be measured?

Implementation monitoring tools from the RULER approach (observation and self-report), a focus group tool to be designed by the SEL team and administered in staff meetings, meetings for non-instructors, and with randomly selected youth.

How will the process or outcomes address equity and inclusiveness?

Our selection process gathered input from the full school community. Two options were presented to all staff. The process allowed us to gather feedback which helped us select the program that is the best fit for our school community.

Evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) that supports the entire school community in:

  • Understanding the value of emotions
  • Building emotional intelligence skills
  • Creating/maintaining positive climates
  • A systemic approach beginning with training teachers, staff, leaders and continuing with expanding to students/families.

  • AIMS
    • Enhanced mindset (“emotions matter”)
    • Deepened social & emotional skills.
    • Healthier emotional climates in schools & homes
    • SEL-infused pedagogy, practices & schoolwide policies

    “When all people in a school community embrace the idea that ‘emotions matter,’ when they become more skilled with their emotions and in their interactions, and when schools and homes become warmer, safer, and more supportive spaces— this is when educators, students, and their families thrive.” - Marc Brackett, Ph.D. Founding Director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence & Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale University



    • Recognizing emotions in ourselves and others
    • Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
    • Labeling feelings with a nuanced vocabulary
    • Expressing in accordance with cultural norms and social context
    • Regulating using helpful strategies

    CHARTER: Builds and sustains positive emotional climates by creating agreed-upon norms for how people want to feel and how they can help each other to experience those feelings.
    MOOD METER: Enhances self- and social awareness and supports the development of a nuanced emotion vocabulary and a range of strategies for regulating emotion.
    META MOMENT: Provides a process for responding to emotional situations with strategies that align with one’s “best self” and that support healthy relationships and personal wellbeing.
    BLUEPRINT: Supports the development of empathy and conflict resolution skills by serving as a guide for reflecting on conflict and restoring affected communities.

    RULER is labeled an “approach” as opposed to a “program,” Marc Brackett, founder of Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, notes, because “there is no toolkit to develop SEL. It really needs to be a systemic approach—the way leaders lead, teachers teach, students learn, and families’ parent. And so, we address all those people in our teaching of RULER.” Many other SEL models are classroom programs that are more heavily focused on specific lessons. Though RULER does have a curricular component, Brackett says, “What we find is very important is that the adults who are raising and teaching kids, they must be the role models for children, so they have to learn the skills themselves and use them in their interactions. If adults are incapable of talking about what makes them feel alienated or anxious, then they will never be comfortable having those conversations with kids.”

    • Positive shifts in school climate
    • Enhanced academic performance
    • Better quality relationships
    • Less bullying and aggressive behavior

    “In the schools that are using RULER, students are having better conversations with each other, are able to be more creative because they have environments that are risk free with adults who are encouraging their learning development.” ~Dolores Esposito, Executive Superintendent of Leadership, NY Department of Education


    • Improved leader & teacher effectiveness & retention
    • Increased student engagement, attendance, & academic performance
    • Better-quality relationships
    • Enhanced decision making, improved discipline, & less bullying
    • Less stress & anxiety; greater health & wellbeing

    • Parents are our partners!
    • RULER approach focuses on building community. Parents are our community.
    • Parents will receive ongoing communication throughout implementation of RULER.  
    • RULER skills and tools learned in the classroom are meant to be shared our families, so the strategies can be reinforced for our children.
    • Resources will be shared on school websites, in newsletters, and PTA meetings.

    Year 1: Spring 2023 – June 2024
    • Six-week online training for Lynbrook Implementation Team (L.I.T.)– Spring 2023
    • L.I.T. to unpack resources and become familiar with RULER modules, tools and online platform.
    • L.I.T. to begin to introduce vocabulary and RULER modules to staff through faculty meetings, department meetings, Teacher Center, push-in lessons and staff development days.
    • L.I.T. receives ongoing support webinars, access to an online implementation platform, and receive newsletters covering topics that strengthen implementation from RULER training staff.
    • RULER Implementation Assessment available to L.I.T.

    Year 2: September 2024-June 2025
    • L.I.T. supports staff in introducing RULER skills and tools in classrooms.
    • L.I.T. receives ongoing support webinars, access to online implementation platform, and receive newsletters covering topics that strengthen implementation from RULER training staff.
    • Training of staff continues through faculty meetings, department meetings, Teacher Center and staff development days.
    • RULER Implementation Assessment available to L.I.T.

    Year 3: September 2025-June 2026

    • Teaching Staff includes RULER skills and tools as part of the curriculum with support from L.I.T. as necessary.
    • L.I.T. receives ongoing support webinars, access to online implementation platform, and receive newsletters covering topics that strengthen implementation from RULER training staff.
    • Training of staff continues through faculty meetings, department meetings, Teacher Center, and staff development days.
    • RULER Implementation Assessment available to L.I.T.




Who is responsible?

Spring 2022

District Climate Survey

Ms. Mitchell


Research SEL programs

District SEL Committee

Fall 2022

Representatives to present to SEL Committee

District SEL

December 2022

Staff reviewed final SEL Program selections and provided feedback

SEL Committee

January 2023

Budget discussions

Central Office Administration

January 2023

Identify staff to be trained

District SEL Committee

Spring 2023

BOE Presentation - RULER

Ms. Mitchell

Spring 2023

Staff training (5 people from each building)

Principal, Support Staff, Teachers


Lynbrook Implementation Team (L.I.T.) unpacks resources, online platform, and language of RULER

Principals, implementation team, online RULER resources


Supportive instruction for teaching staff by L.I.T. to introduce RULR skills and tools in the classroom

Principals, L. I.T., instructional and non-instructional staff


Full integration of RULER tools and skills

Principals, instructional and non-instructional staff


Item Name


Staff Training: Team of 5 staff/building


8 teams x $8,000/team Spring 2023


Year 3+ additional training/coaching

(cost per building beginning 2024-2025)



Laurie Mitchell, SEL Committee Chairperson
Jennifer Arena, School Counselor, South Middle School
Rosanne Bogard, Social Worker/Transition Coordinator, High School
Brian Buckley, School Counselor, South Middle School
Allison Campbell, Principal Waverly Park Elementary
Liz Cardito, Teacher, Waverly Park Elementary School
Julie Chaffee, Social Worker, High School
Nathalie Chery, Social Worker, Marion Street Elementary School
Amanda Cioffi, Social Worker, South Middle School
Anne Conway, Teacher, Marion Street Elementary School
Allison Curran, Coordinator, Elementary Instruction
Alexandra Etra, School Counselor, North Middle School
Kaitlin GaNun, Principal, South Middle School
Bryan Garcia, Assistant Principal, High School
Sandra Gettenberg, Social Worker, North Middle School
Marianne Healy, Principal, North Middel School
Keryn Hing-Avery, Speech Pathologist, High School & North Middle School
Ashley Keon, Teacher, West End Elementary
Samantha Lancaster, Social Worker, High School
Terry Macchia, Principal, Marion Street Elementary & Parent
Leah Murray, Principal West End Elementary
Liz Parco, Teacher, Marion Street Elementary School & Parent
Ellen Postman, Principal, Kindergarten Center
Andrew Rosenberg, School Counselor, High School
Matthew Sarosy, Principal, High School
Meegan Schwartz, Social Worker, West End Elementary
Rachel Tiran, Special Education Teacher, Waverly Park Elementary School
Carol Woehr, Social Worker, Waverly Park Elementary School & Kindergarten Center