Social & Emotional Learning

At CSS, we celebrate social and emotional learning and growth, and are constantly in search of new and creative ways to teach our students to view themselves and life beyond academics.

Social and Emotional literacy is defined as one’s attitudes (about), knowledge (of) and expertise (in applying) five key emotional skills:

  1. Recognizing
  2. Understanding
  3. Labeling
  4. Expressing
  5. Regulating

The following CSS programs are designed to promote social and emotional learning among students:

  • Advisory program
  • Wellness program
  • Mission-centered Seminars (Integrity/Ethics)
  • Service Learning

Through small class sizes, seminars, and Middle and Upper School advisory programs, faculty help students develop their social and emotional skills in an environment where students can work in partnership with others toward a mutual goal.

In 2015, CSS adopted Yale University’s RULER program to encourage social and emotional learning. Recent research directed by Marc Brackett at Yale University shows that students who become more aware of their emotions through participation in the RULER program experience less stress, sleep better, have fewer disciplinary infractions, and do better in school.

At The Colorado Spring School, the RULER program is grounded in four anchors:

Social & Emotional Literacy


The Charter
A community-created agreement of shared expectations

The Mood Meter
A tool to help students gain experience expressing their emotions as a means of facilitating RULER goals (recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing and regulating their emotions)

The Meta-moment
A simple strategy to encourage students to put some white space between their stimulus and their response

The Blueprint
A template for interaction that guides students to discuss the impact of behaviors on themselves and others, to encourage reflection, and to promote making future plans