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K-8 SEL Curriculum: The RULER Approach

RULER is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. RULER supports entire school communities in:

  • Understanding the value of emotions

  • Building the skills of emotional intelligence

  • Creating and maintaining positive school climates

RULER Acronym Infographic

The RULER acronym stands for recognizing emotions in self and others, understanding the causes and consequences of emotions; labeling emotions accurately; expressing emotions appropriately; and regulating emotions effectively.



Elementary students kick off their day with a morning meeting, designed to set a positive tone for learning. Within these sessions, students are guided through mindfulness exercises, participate in a mood meter activity to gauge and manage their emotions, and take part in community circle discussions, fostering a sense of belonging and connection.

Middle school students are actively engaged in a variety of RULER exercises throughout their school day. Additionally, they benefit from targeted RULER lessons during advisory sessions ensuring consistency in emotional intelligence education across both middle schools. 

To learn more about the RULER approach, please visit:

Learn more about RULER

SEL in the CCSD News

The RULER Approach

At the 10/11/23 BoE meeting, Westorchard shared how they use RULER to build community.