Integrating Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Excellence teachers at KIPP Ascend Primary (KAP) lead students in a meditation and breathing exercise routine before every single class to start their students off in a positive way. In this video, Dan Gibson, dance teacher at KAP, leads his students in a breathing exercise that allows them to move through any feelings they’ve brought to class, ending with meditation on positive thoughts.


We are encouraging our teachers to use the Mind Yeti and Headspace apps and programs in their classrooms to guide mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness has been defined as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.” Practicing mindfulness has benefits for children and adults as it has been found to support attention development, positive relationships and social connection, and improved emotional awareness.

Pure Edge offers strategies for educators and learners to support social, emotional, and academic development through mindful movement and rest. They also provide a free online curriculum that can be found here. Pure Edge has been a wonderful partner for our teachers on Regional Collaboration Days.


The importance of SEL teacher training is critical and we’ve identified a potential partner for a region- wide implementation of SEL curriculum in the year 2021.

We also will add additional social workers at every K-8 campus in the 20-21 school year to ensure that students’ SEL needs are met.

Additionally, a Wellness Director will be added at every K-8 campus within 3 years to offer support, strategies, and communication techniques for continued SEL training.

All KIPP Chicago schools are closed through 4/20.Click here for more on KIPP Chicago's response to the Coronavirus.