Banner image for the first tier of Ripple Effects’ behavioral intervention program: universal social-emotional learning.

Personalized SEL, resiliency training,
character education for all

"The greatest thing (about RE) is the transfer of skills. In particular, we really see the transfer of (SEL) skills in those students who have had chronic issues." Kelly Schooler, Elementary Principal Lima, OH
Social-emotional abilities are strongly linked to success in school – for teachers as well as students. They motivate learning. They enable a resilient response when frustration or trauma occurs. They can preempt negative behavior before it arises. They are critically important to  21st century workplace success, and to effective leadership in a diverse society. No wonder a growing number of states mandate some form of social-emotional skill training for all students (and increasingly their teachers) at every level. Unfortunately, few teachers have been systematically trained in how to deliver that SEL instruction, or even in how to develop their own social-emotional competencies.  Ripple Effects technology can help fill that gap.

Personalized, universal SEL 

We believe strongly that core social-emotional competencies are universally needed for every learner, in every setting. However, we do not believe that the best way to get to universal, social-emotional literacy is through one-size-fits-all training: exposing every student to the same content, delivered in the same way, at the same time, regardless of each learner’s current levels of competence, or context for understanding. We no longer do that for math or reading, why should it be different for the most personal, and culturally influenced learning of all?  We think SEL is most effective when it is both universal and personalized.

Ripple Effects personalizes Universal SEL in two ways: by providing the means for each student to build the particular SEL skills they most need, in the context that is most personally meaningful, and by offering differentiated instructional options for different students within the same assigned scope and sequence. Some clients use Ripple Effects as a stand-alone SEL curriculum, with the instructor projecting the program and facilitating discussion around it. More often Ripple Effects fortifies, extends, and personalizes other evidence-based, universal SEL programs like Social Decision MakingPATHS, Second Step, RULER, Positive Action, Why Try, Responsive Classroom, and Overcoming Obstacles. Adding Ripple Effects to those programs enables students who benefit from more differentiated instruction to obtain it easily, students who miss a class to catch up, and students who simply need a larger dose of training, all to get it without holding up the rest of the class.

Within STEM training

It’s counterintuitive that social-emotional learning should be located within STEM training. However, we believe the ideal way to introduce Ripple Effects is as a technology-based, SEL skill building and personal problem-solving tool, for use whenever and wherever it adds value. Just as students might use Microsoft Word for writing, Google to find information, or a favorite math program to learn Calculus at their own pace, they can use Ripple Effects to hone life skills and to help solve personal challenges as they come up.  Students can enter the program through the door of their unique challenge, context or concern and be led to a “hand-picked,” relevant subset of 120 micro-skill training modules, organized within the larger CASEL framework of five core social emotional competencies. No drama.No stigma. A practical tool for everyday use.

Character education

In a diverse society “good” character means different things to different people. Some values, like honesty, tolerance, and fairness are intrinsic to a democratic society. As such, they are appropriate to be taught in public programs. Others, like courtesy, often have culturally contingent definitions. Ripple Effects can be configured to match local understandings of character education. It can be used by students independently, or in group facilitated settings. Ripple Effects is aligned to Character Lab’s character strengths, and all 11 of the principles of effectiveness, and can be matched to the Character Lab’s list of character strengths.

Infusion of SEL into academics, advisory, and sports

Ripple Effects for Staff software includes specific practices for building awareness of, modeling, and eliciting social-emotional competencies, and addressing behavioral issues in Language Arts/Social Studies, Sports, and Advisory settings. The student programs can be used directly in regular academic classrooms, where specific lessons and learning activities can be matched to national and state Language Arts, Social Studies, Service Learning, and Health Education standards, including Common Core.


"The greatest thing (about RE) is the transfer of skills. In particular, we really see the transfer of (SEL) skills in those students who have had chronic issues." Kelly Schooler, Elementary Principal Lima, OH