Evaluation of the Social-Emotional Learning Language Arts (SELLA) Program in Elementary Classrooms

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



Counselor Education and Human Services


There is a well-established body of research demonstrating the positive impact of SEL on students — improvements in academic performance, increases in positive behaviors, and reductions in suspensions and drug use are observed. SEL was initially introduced to schools as supplementary programming, particularly for students at risk for future mental health problems (Weissberg, 2019); this framework has largely shifted, with increased interest in “scaling up” implementation of SEL and focusing on building students’ SEL competencies using school-wide programming. However, most SEL programs are implemented as an added component to the school day; fewer studies have evaluated the outcomes when SEL is embedded in academic instruction. This presentation will share the initial findings of a multi-year collaboration with the Montgomery County Educational Service Center (MCESC) evaluating their Social-Emotional Learning Language Arts (SELLA) Program in elementary classrooms.

The SELLA program was designed to meet all of the writing standards in Ohio’s English Language Arts learning standards as well as a comprehensive SEL program based on the well-researched framework of competencies by the Collaborative for Academic and Social-Emotional Learning (CASEL). The evaluation began with a qualitative inquiry of teachers’ perceptions of the program, followed by a pilot quasi-experimental design study conducted in the current school year.




Presentation: 1:20 p.m. Friday, April 24, 2020