Minnesota - Social-Emotional Learning or Character Development: Programs and Services (S/D)

Area: 
Programs And Services
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law requires districts to integrate social-emotional learning or character education into the school curriculum.

Minnesota Statutes 2018 Education Code, Chapter 121A Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Behavior 121A.031 School Student Bullying Policy

Subd. 5.  Safe and supportive schools programming.
(a) Districts and schools are encouraged to provide developmentally appropriate programmatic instruction to help students identify, prevent, and reduce prohibited conduct; value diversity in school and society; develop and improve students’ knowledge and skills for solving problems, managing conflict, engaging in civil discourse, and recognizing, responding to, and reporting prohibited conduct; and make effective prevention and intervention programs available to students. Upon request, the school safety technical assistance center under section 127A.052 must assist a district or school in helping students understand social media and cyberbullying. Districts and schools must establish strategies for creating a positive school climate and use evidence-based social-emotional learning to prevent and reduce discrimination and other improper conduct.

(b) Districts and schools are encouraged to:

  • (1) engage all students in creating a safe and supportive school environment;
  • (2) partner with parents and other community members to develop and implement prevention and intervention programs;
  • (3) engage all students and adults in integrating education, intervention, and other remedial responses into the school environment;
  • (4) train student bystanders to intervene in and report incidents of prohibited conduct to the school’s primary contact person;
  • (5) teach students to advocate for themselves and others;
  • (6) prevent inappropriate referrals to special education of students who may engage in prohibited conduct; and
  • (7) foster student collaborations that foster a safe and supportive school climate.

Minnesota Statutes 2018 Education Code, Chapter 120B Curriculum and assessment 120B.232 Character development education.

Subdivision 1. Character development education.

(a) Character education is the shared responsibility of parents, teachers, and members of the community. The legislature encourages districts to integrate or offer instruction on character education including, but not limited to, character qualities such as attentiveness, truthfulness, respect for authority, diligence, gratefulness, self-discipline, patience, forgiveness, respect for others, peacemaking, and resourcefulness. Instruction should be integrated into a district’s existing programs, curriculum, or the general school environment. To the extent practicable, instruction should be integrated into positive behavioral intervention strategies, under section 122A.627. The commissioner shall provide assistance at the request of a district to develop character education curriculum and programs.
(b) Character development education under paragraph (a) may include a voluntary elementary, middle, and high school program that incorporates the history and values of Congressional Medal of Honor recipients and may be offered as part of the social studies, English language arts, or other curriculum, as a schoolwide character building and veteran awareness initiative, or as an after-school program, among other possibilities.

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