School Cultural Practices

School Cultural Practices

All school staff have a collective responsibility for all students and value the importance of building relationships.  Schools create a culture of acceptance and caring by providing various school wide activities, creating opportunities for multi-age groupings and generating core values and building common language.

A positive school culture can be created in many ways.  Some ideas are:

  • taking a team approach to working with students
  • school assemblies
  • staff PD
  • common language throughout the building 
  • staff need to make a commitment to cultural norms (buy in and a collective responsibility)
  • embedded in: staff meetings, collaborative days, classrooms, 
  • school wide events  (inclusive)
  • play music before and after school over the PA
  • comfortable and supportive physical spaces/ opportunities for physical movement (e.g. Don’t Walk in the Hallway, spin bikes, alternate seating, tower gardens)
  • positive messaging throughout school (bulletin boards, morning announcements, recognition of positive acts)
  • newsletter messaging around SEL
  • Parent PD
  • multi-age groupings (e.g. reading buddies)
  • mentorship between staff members/ mentorship of students
  • inclusive support groups (e.g. LGBTQ)
  • healthy nutrition options/  education
Second Step

Second Step

Committee for Children’s research-based Second Step SEL Program gives teachers an easy-to-implement, engaging way to teach social-emotional skills and concepts. The Second Step Program is designed to help children thrive and be more successful in school—ultimately setting them up to be thoughtful and productive adults.

Second Step is a packaged, guided, prescriptive program, with many complementary resources:

How SEL Is Taught in the Classroom

  • The teacher explains a concept with words, pictures, video, and/or audio
  • Students practice the concept through skill practice, group discussion, individual writing, or partner work
  • The teacher continues reinforcing the concept throughout the week
  • The teacher sends information home for students to work on with parents
  • The teacher checks for understanding
  • The teacher re-teaches where necessary

CESD Contact: Raelynn Notley

Alberta Education: Wellness Resources

Alberta Education: Wellness Resources

The vision of wellness education in Alberta is for students to be educated, informed and contributing members of society and to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to be well in every sense of the word—emotionally, intellectually, physically, socially and spiritually. Wellness education incorporates the needs of all students.

Healthy Minds Healthy Children

Healthy Minds Healthy Children


The Healthy Minds Healthy Children site provides education and consultation for Alberta professionals working in child and adolescent addictions and mental health.


  • Consultation to professionals
  • Clinical education for professionals
  • Continuing education for professionals
  • Resources

Professional Development

Important Information