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Lawrence Family Development
Charter School

"strengthening families
building community"

Social Emotional Mental Health

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Curriculum

Research shows that well-implemented, evidence-based SEL programs are the most effective way to support young peoples success and well-being in school and beyond. Our SEL committee consisting of teachers from each grade level evaluated many SEL programs and curricula based on the criteria and evaluation metrics developed by Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Each school building team chose a program that suited the needs of the students in their building.

Academy Program: Positive Action

Based on the intuitive philosophy that we feel good about ourselves when we do positive actions.

  • Thoughts-Actions-Feelings circle (TAF) illustrates how this works in life: Our thoughts lead to actions. Those actions lead to feelings about ourselves which in turn lead to more thoughts.

  • When this cycle is negative, students do not want to learn.
  • When this cycle is positive, students want to learn.
  • The essence of the program is to emphasize those actions that promote a healthy and positive cycle.
  • The Positive Action program works through these concepts in a systematic way.

Lower School Program: Everyday Speech

A fully structured week-by-week SEL curriculum. Everyday Speech has programs for both general education and special education. Curriculum includes videos, web-based games, and other activities that incorporate mindfulness and build on CASEL competencies -- Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, Responsible Decision-Making.

Upper School Program: Random Acts of Kindness (RAK)

  • Evidence-based social emotional learning curriculum designed to help schools create a culture of kindness.

  • Each unit teaches six core kindness concepts: Respect, Caring, Inclusiveness, Integrity, Responsibility, and Courage.

  • Project-based program rooted in kindness.

  • Emphasis in grades 6-8 on students connection and responsibility with technology.


The kindness framework is what we call the simple, five-step cycle each lesson uses to teach life-long kindness skills. Here's how it works:

Each of our lessons starts with a 'share' where the class can share what they've learned and experienced with others since the previous lesson.

Through various modalitites, each kindness lesson is designed to inspire students and allow teachers to feel inspired as well.

The 'empower' step is for teachers to lead the class through discussions designed to empower students to find ways to be kind in their daily lives.

The opportunity to act exists throughout the lessons, but it really comes into play in the projects. Once students have the ideas and the tools, they put it all into action.

At the end of each lesson, teachers guide students to reflect on what they've just experienced and learned & identify how doing kindness affects their own lives and the lives of those around them.