• Select and recommend core curriculum for social and emotional learning for grades P-8.
  • Develop a timeline and plan for new curriculum implementation.

Basis for Establishment:

  • Our current social and emotional curriculum was published in 1997, is outdated and is not consistently used.
  • Research supports the need for explicit instruction in social and emotional learning to benefit student outcomes and academic gains.
  • Nearly two-thirds of the Bellingham Promise outcomes are related to social and emotional learning.
  • Social emotional learning is the top requested topic from certificated staff when asked for areas of need related to professional development and teaching and learning.

Decision-Making Process:

  • Review evidence-based curricula and through consensus will land on a recommendation for grades P-8 for core, Tier 1 curriculum.
  • Recommendation will be vetted through teachers, counselors, school administration, Department of Teaching and Learning (DT&L), Leadership, and Executive Team.
  • Final recommendation for purchase will be presented to the superintendent.

Plan of Work:

  • Establish representative committee.
  • Establish stakeholder groups (counselors, teachers, principals, others) for communication and input throughout process.
  • Establish criteria for materials selection.
  • Review evidence-based social emotional curricula against criteria.
  • Review presentations from publishers for finalist curricula.
  • Gather input from staff.
  • Using consensus, determine a recommendation for P-8.
  • Communicate with stakeholder groups throughout the process ny regularly sharing information with counselor team, ESL Work Team, teachers and leadership forllowing meetings; engage Superintendent’s PAC during process for input
  • Vet recommendation through key stakeholder groups (teachers, counselors, principals and higher education partners), DT&L, and Executive Team.
  • Present final recommendation for purchase to superintendent.
  • Create Above Baseline budget request.
  • Develop timeline and plan for implementation (purchase, inventory, dissemination, professional development, and curriculum map)



  • 3 elementary counselors: Haruna Aileen Gardner (Parkview), Kirke MahyHestad (Carl Cozier), Kari Miller (Sunnyland)
  • 4 certificated teachers: Barbara DelWraa (Roosevelt), Molly Foote (King), Teri Herda (Geneva), Jodi Kinzel (Cozier)
  • 2 principals and/or assistant principals: Analisa Ficklin (Cordata), Lynn Heimsoth (Sunnyland)
  • 1 early learning representative: Debbie Haney (Early Learning)
  • 2 parents: Anne Granberg (Roosevelt), Elizabeth Snyder Weinstein (Columbia)
  • 2 community members/partners (P-8): Diana Gruman (WWU), Darcie Donegan (WCC)


  • 4 middle school counselors: Kevin Terpstra (Kulshan), Erin Neisenger (Fairhaven)
  • 2 certificated teaching staff: Glenda Everett (Kulshan), Darilyn Sigel (Whatcom), Ryan Leckie (District Support)
  • 2 principals and/or assistant principals: Ann Buswell (Whatcom), Tina Allsop (Shuksan)
  • 2 parents: Cindy Palmer (Kulshan), Jeffrey Hart (Fairhaven)


  • Jessica Sankey, DTL, Health and Wellness, co-chair
  • Steve Morse, DTL, Student Services, co-chair
  • Trina Hall, DTL, Social and Emotional Learning, chair


  • Attend committee meetings & report back to constituents when needed
  • Act as representative for your selected group
  • Give recommendation and rationale during consensus process


  • Advertise group September 2017; selection complete by Sept 15, 2017
  • September 2017-December 2017 group work
  • Six meetings: Wednesdays:
  • First Meeting: 9/20, 4 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Remaining meetings: 10/4, 10/18, 11/1, 11/15, 12/6
    • Elementary, 3 to 4:30 p.m.
    • Middle, 4 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Up to six hours of additional work for materials reivew (1 sub release day or pay up to 6 hours, details to be determined based on need)
  • Recommendation vetted month of December.
  • Final recommendation to superintendent no later than Jan. 15.
  • Purchase and implementation dependent on costs, training needs and budget.

Meeting Minutes:

Budget Implications:

  • Committee meeting costs for outside of work day meetings
  • Above baseline request for curriculum purchase and training costs


April 24, 2018

A team of staff, families and community members has been working to review social and emotional learning curriculum (SEL) for preschool through eighth grade students. Please see links on the right-hand side of this page for documents outlining an overview of our elementary and middle level process.  After a thorough review, the advisory has recommended Caring School Community curriculum for K-5 and RULER curriculum for our middle schools.

Grade K-5 Curriculum RecommendationCaring School Community, 2nd edition, Caring School Community Review, Caring School Community Core Principles

Grades 6-8 Curriculum RecommendationRULER Overview, Emotions Matter Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence

After reviewing the input from the community and staff, the recommendation will be finalized and presented to the superintendent for approval. Implementation is planned for fall 2018 and fall 2019, depending on the various program components and the schools. Watch for additional information in the fall on the outcomes of the recommendation and the final implementation timeline and plan.