July Newsletter

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Our Mission: SEL4IA exists to support building capacity for districts to sustain social emotional learning practices by advocating for legislation, building local and statewide awareness and promoting community to ensure equitable outcomes for students across Iowa.

What is Social Emotional Learning?

CASEL defines SEL as, “The process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”

SEL4IA Updates

SEL4IA is beginning to take off and build capacity around social emotional learning. Our primary focus before school begins is to build our leadership team. We are looking for a diverse group of representatives from around Iowa to help lead this organization. If you are interested in being a part of our leadership team please contact sel4ia@gmail.com

Legislative Updates

The United States House of Representatives recently passed a spending bill that includes $260 million designated in funding for “whole” child initiatives. This includes $170 million that is allocated to provide grants for evidence based innovations that support students’ social, emotional and cognitive well-being. Read more about this legislation here.


The Iowa Department of Education is developing a framework for social emotional learning grounded in the CASEL competencies. When determining how to implement SEL, it is vital that school districts do readiness work to determine the vision for social emotional learning. CASEL has developed a wonderful site that guides districts in its work, located here.


This month’s spotlight goes to the Des Moines Public School’s School Board for passing a measure to ensure social and emotional learning is a priority for superintendent, Tom Ahart and the rest of the school district. These measures include a scope and sequence for SEL and prioritizing resources for SEL across the district.

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