Social Emotional Learning


With SEL as a central pillar, Synapse equips its students to become change makers by cultivating a thriving community of social and emotional learners. Through explicit SEL instruction, integrated curriculum, and annual change maker themes, every member of the community (students, teachers, and parents) is engaged in a continual practice to become more aware, more intentional and more compassionate in life.


The SEL School

Step into a Synapse classroom and feel the energy and joy associated with learning at the forefront, where vanguard academics are infused with SEL principles. Equally applicable to personal growth, school culture, and constructivist inquiry, learning is optimized when feeling and thinking are fused.

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  • Parent support and resources that create a vital bridge between home and school.
  • Restorative conflict resolution and social problem-solving practices that build lifelong skills.
  • Daily check-ins, meeting circles and advisories where a sense of safety and trust is established and maintained.
  • Social and academic inquiry that engages Six Seconds’ eight EQ competencies in pursuit of Know Yourself, Choose Yourself, Give Yourself, and are embedded in constructivist learning philosophy.
  • Regular student-led whole-school assemblies that celebrate EQ themes.
  • School climate where positive energy, acceptance, connection and growth mindset are the norm.
  • Curriculum designed under an SEL umbrella, specifically through the lens of an overarching annual SEL theme embodying essential change-maker skills: Intersections, Turning Points, The Power of One, Crisis and Opportunity, Iterations, Counterpoints, Risk & Initiative, Transformations, and Noble Goals.
  • A change-maker role model who personifies the Annual SEL Theme, chosen annually by the faculty.
  • EQ competencies as fundamental to the innovation process and exemplified in the all-school Change Maker Challenge.


SEL Specific Instruction

Synapse curriculum contains embedded and explicit instruction of Six Seconds’ eight competencies essential to emotional intelligence.


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  • Six Seconds' Eight Competencies: Enhance Emotional Literacy; Recognize Patterns; Apply Consequential Thinking; Navigate Emotions; Engage Intrinsic Motivation; Exercise Optimism; Increase Empathy; Pursue Noble Goals

  • K-6 Self-Science classes in pursuit of Know Yourself, Choose Yourself, Give Yourself
  • Lower School friendship skills groups
  • Middle School Advisories providing issues-driven social problem solving
  • Middle School Social Innovation classes with full SEL integration in design thinking focused on change-maker projects
  • SEI, SEI-YV and SEI-P (Six Seconds’ emotional intelligence assessment and coaching tools) informing student and teacher goal setting and SEL development
  • Vibrant parent education program that supports a community of adult learners
  • School-wide SEL support, particularly at recess and transition time
  • Integration of SEL into Nature Days, facilitated by experienced nature staff, providing innately collaborative experiences to inspire curiosity, tap intrinsic motivation, and connect students to each other and to the natural world.
  • Integration of SEL into Physical Education, in support of awakening the mind and nurturing the body for optimal learning and emotional well being, acknowledging the value of a variety of skills in team play.


From Six Seconds

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. In other words: It’s how students learn the skills of emotional intelligence.