Social emotional learning (SEL) helps students of all ages to understand their emotions and demonstrate empathy for others. These lessons and skills equip students to make positive and responsible decisions and to create frameworks to achieve their goals and build positive relationships with others.


Recognizing one’s emotions and how they impact behavior; acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses to better gain confidence in your abilities.


To take control and ownership of your thoughts, emotions, and actions in various situations, as well as setting and working toward goals.

Social awareness

The ability to put yourself in the shoes of another person. To act with empathy and in an ethical manner within your home, school, and community.

Relationship skills

The ability to build and maintain healthy relationships with people from a diverse range of backgrounds. This focuses on listening and being able to communicate with others, peacefully resolving conflict, and knowing when to ask for or offer help.

Making responsible decisions

Choosing how to act or respond to a situation is based on learned behaviors such as ethics, safety, weighing consequences, and the well being of others, as well as yourself.

How we teach social emotional skills:

At Holy Cross, we use Catholic teaching and our faith in God to guide our interactions with our students and how we teach them to love one another as Christ loves us. We do this through prayer, weekly Mass, and daily religion education. We also utilize two social emotional learning (SEL) programs – The Positivity Project and The PeaceBuilders Program.

Each week, we have a character strength we focus on with The Positivity Project. We have a saint of the week that exemplifies that strength as well and our prayers focus on asking God’s Grace upon us as we focus on refining that character strength within ourselves. We have daily devotions focused on the character strength during the week as well.

We recite The PeaceBuilders Pledge every Monday to start our week with a fresh perspective. When staff notice our students exemplifying behaviors consistent with our Catholic faith, The Positivity Project, and The PeaceBuilders Pledge, they may give them a “Praise Note.” “Praise Notes” celebrate the student’s positive behavior by describing their good choices and the student places it on our celebratory board in the hallway.

The PeaceBuilders Pledge:

I am a PeaceBuilder. I pledge…

  • To praise people
  • To give up put-downs
  • To seek wise people
  • To notice and speak up about hurts I have caused
  • To right wrongs
  • To help others

I will build peace at home, at school, and in my community each day.

The Positivity Project:

Mission: To empower America’s youth to build positive relationships and become their best selves.

Vision: To partner with schools and equip educators with the resources, training, and strategy to teach their students positive psychology’s 24 character strengths.

Holy Cross Catholic School’s Positivity Project Schedule can be found here.