Upcoming Events

Boston Public Schools 2nd Annual Social Emotional Learning Forum

Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 8:00 AM–4:00 PM

Location: The Lantana in Randolph MA

The Boston Public Schools’ Office of Social Emotional Learning and Wellness invites you to join them at the 2nd Annual Social Emotional Learning Forum.

This forum will introduce new and exciting SEL related ideas through various interactive workshops and discussions. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of Social Emotional Learning and best practices to take with them in their work.

Breakout sessions, activities and captivating discussion will take place throughout the day.

A light continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Please contact Flavia Santos fsantos@bostonpublicschools.org for more information.

You can get tickets here.

Learning from Insight Out – Cognitive Yoga

Saturdays, April 29 & May 6, 2017, 9:00 AM–3:00 PM

Cognitive Yoga is pleased to announce that Learning from Insight Out will be offered at Antioch University this spring. It will address the way the mind naturally functions to reach and teach students so that lessons stick. Establishing a peaceable and industrious classroom is frequently a challenge, but with a foundation in mindfulness and tools that arise from a decade of practical experience, this workshop is finely-tuned to meet the needs teaching rambunctious youths.

See details here.

 School Discipline: Issues of Equity and Effectiveness

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 6:30 PM

Speaker: Russell Skiba
Location: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston, MA 02125
Sponsor: American Educational Research Association (AERA)

Register to attend this free lecture in person.

Livestream registration will be opening soon!

About the Lecture

How should we develop and maintain safe, productive, and equitable learning climates for all students? That question is at the heart of 20 years of controversial zero-tolerance school discipline policies. Far from being effective interventions, these exclusionary approaches to discipline have (1) failed to guarantee school safety or improve student behavior; (2) placed students at risk for further negative short- and long-term outcomes—the school-to-prison pipeline; and (3) disproportionately targeted students by race, class, disability, and sexual orientation. There has been a significant movement from exclusionary to preventive approaches in a number of major school districts across the nation. Yet the emerging nature of preventive alternatives, and local resource gaps, have also led to some pushback from educators at the ground level, who fear that loss of exclusion as a discipline tool will create chaos and increase school disruption and violence. In this lecture, Russell Skiba will analyze the history and current status of school discipline reform. Placing the issues of effectiveness and social justice at the heart of disciplinary reform within this framework will help inform next steps in developing more effective and equitable systems for keeping schools safe without sacrificing students.

About Russell Skiba

Russell Skiba, Ph.D. is a Professor in the School Psychology program at Indiana University and Director of the Equity Project at Indiana University, a consortium of federal, state, and foundation-funded grants providing evidence to practitioners and policymakers in the areas of school violence, zero tolerance, and equity in education. His research focuses on the overuse of exclusionary discipline, and in particular factors that contribute to racial and ethnic disparities in exclusionary school discipline. He was a member of the writing team that produced the U.S. Department of Education’s document on school safety Early Warning, Timely Response, and a member and lead author of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Zero Tolerance. In Indiana, he served in 2008 as co-chair of the Education Subcommittee of the Indiana Commission on Disproportionality in Youth Services, a statewide commission that led to the passage of three bills addressing disproportionality in education. Skiba has testified before the United States Civil Rights Commission, both Houses of Congress, and the National Academy of Sciences on issues of school discipline and school violence. He was awarded the Push for Excellence Award by the Rainbow Coalition/Operation PUSH for his work on African American disproportionality in school suspension. In 2016, he was selected by Education Week as among the top 200 scholars in the nation influencing educational policy and practice. Most recently, he served as the lead facilitator and organizer for the Discipline Disparities Research to Practice Collaborative, a group of 26 national educators, researchers, advocates, and policymakers whose work helped highlight and advance knowledge and practice with respect to the effects of and interventions for disparities in exclusionary discipline.

Coming in Fall 2017 to Western and Southern MA!

SEL4MA “Promoting Effective SEL in Your Community”

Building on the success of sold-out conferences for the past four years, SEL4MA has conducted four regional conferences in Reading, Boston, Bridgewater and Southborough in 2016-2017.  We are now engaged in planning additional regional events in western and southern Massachusetts.  Stay tuned!

Social-emotional learning is a core component of effective education, increasing students’ academic achievement and behavioral health while teaching skills essential to success in all areas of life.

When we come to your area, please join social-emotional learning proponents from across your region and discover approaches for developing an effective SEL plan for your school, district, or community. Whether your community has been implementing SEL for some time or is just getting started, there are concrete steps that you can take to improve your effectiveness and results.

Come join other Massachusetts SEL advocates for a stimulating day of professional learning and personal renewal.

At an SEL4MA regional event, you will:

  • Learn best practices and practical solutions for developing a comprehensive SEL plan
  • Assess the current state of SEL in your community
  • Connect with others in your region and share lessons learned
  • Discover strategies for successfully advocating for SEL in your school, district or community
  • Create an action plan outlining practical next steps to take back to your community
  • Leave feeling informed, inspired and renewed

Register now and spread the word to colleagues and community members.

We look forward to seeing you at one of our regional SEL events!

SEL4MA 2016 regional events were supported by the following organizations




 Apperson logo: Know more. Do more.              Project Adventure logo


William James College graduate education in psychology logo     Agile Mind logo: Agile educators. Agile learners. Agile tools to support high achievement.


 Aspire logo: Helping young people on the autism spectrum achieve success               

Interested in sponsoring SEL4MA regional events?

If you are part of an SEL-related organization and are interested in becoming one of our event sponsors, please contact us at events@sel4ma.org to learn more. Sponsors will be acknowledged in all key event materials.

Past Workshops and Events

January 26, 2016

apperson workshop graphic

Workshop: Supporting SEL in Massachusetts
Wellesley College Club, Wellesley, MA
Co-sponsored by Apperson, the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, and Open Circle

The workshop Supporting SEL in Massachusetts, which took place on January 27, 2016, 9:00am to 4:30pm, at the Wellesley College Club, was designed to prepare participants to engage their schools and districts in thoughtful discussions about the clear benefits of SEL assessment, best practices for SEL implementation, and using SEL assessment data to inform practice. Apperson, the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, and Open Circle were excited to present this workshop to promote effective social and emotional learning.

SEL4MA Steering Committee Co-Chair Jim Vetter provided a welcome address and Steering Committee member Nova BIro was one of the main presenters.

SEL in Massachusetts - Progress and Opportunities slides

Download slides from presentation SEL in Massachusetts: Progress and Opportunities.