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Support Services » Social and Emotional Learning

Social and Emotional Learning

In recent years, an increasingly large body of scientific and empirical evidence has been presented proving that high levels of social and emotional intelligence (SEL) increase the academic performance of students and lead to healthier, happier kids who transition to college and careers with more resilience and success.

Students who feel socially and emotionally secure do better in school. To this end, we have developed an effort designed specifically to support this type of intelligence, as a necessary component of a Pacific Collegiate education.

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. (

SEL as Part of Student Support

As a component of Student Support Services at PCS, all 7th to 12th grade students, staff and parents are served. We form a highly involved team including students, teachers, and the administration. The Academic Support Specialist’s office is a physical place to go where active listening, mentorship and support are provided.

Student Need

Student needs fall under one or more of these four categories:

  1. Academic
  2. Physical
  3. Social
  4. Emotional

Student Services

  • Intervention: Apply emotional first aid and support to stabilize student
  • Assessment: Determine need: physical, academic, social or emotional
  • Advocacy: Provide appropriate support with assistance of teachers, administration, family, and/or professional providers
  • Referral: Connect student and/or family with needed services

How to Access SEL Services

Students are welcomed to drop in during school hours or make an appointment by emailing Isaac Valdez or calling 479-7785 ext. 3121.  All students are allowed to simply ask to be excused from class to come and see Mr. Valdez, no questions asked, if they feel they are in crisis.

All interactions are confidential, except in cases of mandated reporting, or harm to self or others.

Parents are seen as the most crucial part of a child’s support system. You will be notified if your child is in crisis and supported in finding appropriate services beyond what we can provide, as needed. For example, you may be referred to a local mental health agency for professional support for your child and/or family if this is your desire. Parents are welcomed to call, email or make an appointment.

Teachers often refer students and will excuse them from class, if your child is struggling. Teachers are well-trained and empathetic, and if there is an issue in a class, we ask that you please make teachers aware and give them an opportunity to assist your child before contacting Mr. Valdez or the administration.

The goal of each interaction is to serve the student and then return them to class prepared to learn with as little disruption to their learning time as possible.  

How Social and Emotional Intelligence (SEL) Skills and Tools are Integrated at PCS

Skill integration takes place through new teacher training, parent education, staff development, new student orientation, class meetings, one on one mentorship, individual and small group education and restorative discipline.

Ms. Rivers teaches seminars on how to develop health and wellness and will be offering healthy, fun activities during the lunch hour beginning this year.

Assembly Bill 2246: Suicide Prevention and Education

California Assembly Bill 2246

Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) RESOURCES

Daniel Goleman

Goleman is a co-founder of the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (, originally at the Yale Child Studies Center and now at the University of Illinois in Chicago. CASEL’s mission centers on bringing evidence-based programs in emotional literacy to schools worldwide.

What is Emotional Intelligence VIDEO: What is Emotional Intelligence?

The mission of CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, is to help make evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) an integral part of education from preschool through high school. CASEL and its broad network of collaborators are working together to turn momentum for SEL into a national movement.

Adolescent and Family Mental Health Services

Santa Cruz County Mental Health Services

The Access Team evaluates all requests for non-emergency services for anyone not currently receiving services from County Mental Health, or community providers, who are part of the mental health system. Their team is comprised of bilingual senior mental health clinicians and may include psychiatrists who provide assessments and referrals to mental health services and who are trained to address your concerns. They will help you determine if you are eligible for services and where services can be obtained.

Santa Cruz County Adolescent and Child Health Services

Services include assessment: individual, family, and group therapies; school based treatment; family support, and evaluation for psychiatric hospitalization. Services are located at multiple school and community sites.

Family Service Agency of the Central Coast

Your child may be having problems at home or in school and may be anxious or depressed. They may be experiencing social or behavioral challenges, such as aggression, self-harm, bullying, or hyperactivity. They may be going through a transition, such as a divorce or a death in the family; or are living in a difficult family situation. Therapists work with the child, and family members when appropriate, to learn skills and strategies that will improve mood and functioning.

In Santa Cruz, please contact us at: 831-423-9444

 -after hours leave a message at ext. 200

In Soquel/Aptos, please contact us at 831-346-6767

 -after hours leave a message at ext. 200

NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness

Office Line (831) 824-0406

Help Line (831) 427-8020

NAMI Santa Cruz County offers practical experience, support, education, comfort and understanding to anyone concerned about mental illnesses and treatment. In addition, they work with public and private organizations to increase knowledge of effective ways of treating the illnesses while advocating for improved services for individuals with mental illness.

Eating Disorders

The Lotus Collaborative

Eating Disorder Recovery Center


They serve clients of all genders and sexual orientations, ages 14 and up. TLC specializes in the treatment of anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, orthorexia and disordered eating. ​

Addiction Recovery

Camp Recovery

Adolescent and Adult Addiction Recovery

(831) 269-5578

Encompass Youth Services

They provide a variety of mental health and substance abuse outpatient services, which function as early intervention and/or "step-down" from more intensive system of care services. These are Contract EPSDT programs, which include:

  • Counseling services at the Youth Services offices, at school and in the community.
  • YES Recovery High School helps students establish and maintain a clean and sober lifestyle.
  • Escuela Quetzal High School provides support services to help students make positive changes in their lives.
  • Tyler House provides residential substance abuse treatment for teens.

Suicide Prevention and Education

Suicide Prevention 24 hour toll-free Suicide Crisis Line

Suicide Prevention 24 hour toll-free Suicide Crisis Line

1-877-ONE-LIFE / 1-877-663-5433

(Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Benito Counties)


(Santa Cruz County)

Residents of Monterey, Santa Cruz, or San Benito Counties may call the 24-hour toll free, multilingual suicide crisis line. Callers will talk to someone who is compassionate, supportive, and accepting of anyone experiencing suicidal thoughts or a general life crisis.


The Trevor Project


Suicide Hotline, prevention and education for LGBTQ and Queer Youth.

Trained counselors provide support 24/7. Young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgment-free place to talk, should call the Trevor Lifeline at 866-488-7386.

Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

Bay Area Women Against Rape

24 hour Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline (510) 845-7273

What to do if you are raped:

Get to a safe place IMMEDIATELY. Call a friend or BAWAR for support.

It is important to think about medical treatment even if you have chosen not to report. You may go to a hospital, clinic or your own doctor for an examination. Get a complete check-up if you are in pain. Getting medical treatment is very important due to the high incidence of sexually transmitted diseases. If you are concerned about AIDS, contact a counselor, or call 800 FOR-AIDS. Be sure you are tested for all transmittable diseases within 4 to 6 weeks after the assault.



Sexual Assault and Incest Hotline

GET HELP 24/7: 1-800.656.4673 LIVE CHAT


Domestic violence, abuse and assault awareness, education and support
1-888-900-4232: 24-Hour Bilingual Crisis/Hotline/Línea de Ayuda