Social Emotional Learning

Bennington Public Schools has implemented a new Social Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum through Second Step. Students throughout the District will participate in grade appropriate SEL curriculum. The District followed the Curriculum Development and Adoption board policies when selecting this curriculum.  

The purpose of providing Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in Bennington Public Schools is to provide system-wide expectations for behavior and the consistent instruction of skills to provide a safe, caring school environment. Bennington Public Schools will create a safe and caring environment by teaching students how to collaborate and problem solve in order to promote 21st Century Skills such as prioritizing tasks, setting personal goals, sharing responsibility, and accepting feedback to be successful in the future. The expectations supported through the SEL curriculum are Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe, and Be Kind.
Check out this video by Second Step to see what Social Emotional Learning is and why it matters. This video talks about the positive benefits of social emotional learning and why it matters for all students.

The Second Step SEL curriculum combines discussions with fun activities and family resources. The programs help children learn social-emotional skills such as responsible decision making, working together to solve problems, managing strong emotions, and getting along with others. These skills can help children succeed academically and socially. 

Parents play a vital role in their student’s social, emotional, and academic development. Together, teachers and parents can help each student accomplish these important social-emotional skills.
Parents can have the opportunity to review the SEL curriculum that is being taught in multiple ways. Parents can schedule an appointment with their building principal, check out the grade levels listed to the left for current and future units being taught, or visit the second step website at
After parents have reviewed the curriculum and feel they would like to opt their student out of this curriculum or a specific lesson have the following options:

  • Option #1 - Parents may request that their student be excused from a particular book, lesson, or unit by completing Form 606.03E1 explaining the area of concern for that specific lesson component and an alternate activity will be provided to the student. Please do not simply list “SEL curriculum” as this is not specific enough for the request to be approved.
  • Option #2 - Parents may request to have their student removed from a course and have a student’s schedule changed, if there is an alternative course which would meet the same curriculum content. If there is no alternative course, the parent may remove the student from school during this time.
    • 2A - If a student is not present for a course, they are marked absent for the time they are not in class. Attendance policies apply as outlined in the School Handbooks. A parent would pick up their student and sign them out during this time.
    • 2B - A student may be a dual enrolled, or part-time student, if a parent registers to home school. Home school information may be found at A student is considered absent until the Department of Education notifies the District that the family has completed the paperwork to homeschool.
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