Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

You Are About To Leave the Highline Public Schools Website

You are now leaving the Highline website and will be redirected to a third-party application or website. This site may have advertisements or other content not necessarily endorsed or approved by Highline Public Schools. 

Social-Emotional Learning

Families as Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Experts

We believe that families are students' first and forever teachers. Social emotional learning (SEL) is a set of skills and practices that families and communities have been developing and fostering for generations. The school system has only recently recognized the deep impacts of these skills and practices on all learning outcomes, and now that research in the learning sciences has solidly validated these findings, we seek to integrate social emotional learning across all classrooms in partnership with our families. 

These beliefs are directly aligned to the Family Partnership Guiding Principles from our Family Engagement department. We welcome your input, wisdom, and perspectives to help us co-construct our social emotional learning (SEL) supports, please connect with us via email or @highlinesel.

More information for families is below including definitions of social emotional learning, classroom-based and home-based supports, and tools and resources for families.

Family Resources

What is Social and Emotional Learning?

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is 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
  • Make responsible decisions

What is SEL?

Social and emotional learning includes...

Our Beliefs

We believe that continued social and emotional development is critical to student success, now and in the future. Through authentic relationships and intentional skill building, the social and emotional well-being of each member of the Highline community is supported and strengthened, contributing to an equal chance of success for every student.

SEL Approaches  Short-Term Outcomes Behavioral/Academic Outcomes

Explicit SEL Skills Instruction >>>    

Teacher Instructional Practices

Integration with Academic Curriculum Areas

Organizational, culture and climate Strategies

SEL Skill Acquisition: Five Competence Areas >>>

Improved Attitudes: Self, Others, Learning and Schools >>>

Enhanced Learning Environment: Supportive, engaging and Participatory >>>

Positive Social Behavior

Few Conduct Problems

Less Emotional Distress

Improved Academic Performance


Social-Emotional Competencies

Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel an show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

In Highline, we focus on the learning competencies identified by the Collaborative for Academic Social and Emotional learning (CASEL). These core competencies include Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision Making. 

A Comprehensive Approach

We use a number of complimentary strategies and structures to support Social Emotional Learning in Highline, including:

  • PBIS: A school-wide approach to creating and sustaining positive teaching and learning environments
  • RULER: An approach to teaching the skills of emotional intelligence:
    • R - Recognizing
    • U - Understanding
    • L - Labeling
    • E - Expressing
    • R - Regulating
  • Restorative Practices: A process that encourages accountability, healing and repair when conflict arises.

Learn More: 


Phone: 206-631-3269

Melissa Pointer
Director of Social-Emotional Learning

Carly Campos

Social-Emotional Learning Specialist

Erika Hubbard
Social-Emotional Learning Specialist

Tracy Werthman
Social-Emotional Learning Specialist 

We invite you to share with us so we can learning from your histories, knowledge and experiences. We are at our best when we are learning together in community. We look forward to partnership with you to improve what we are doing at school. Please reach out to us directly via email.