COVINA – Covina-Valley Unified School District is bolstering its mental wellness efforts through a new partnership with Yale University’s Center for Emotional Intelligence, which will promote the significance of social and emotional learning (SEL) across the District.

Through this partnership, Covina-Valley Unified has implemented social-emotional taskforces at their schools and is aiming to teach students and staff the RULER program—an acronym that stands for recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing and regulating emotions.

Through RULER, students and staff use four primary tools—Charter, Mood Meter, Meta-Moment, and Blueprint—to learn how to establish goals and foster accountability to build the positive climate they envision (Charter), expand their emotional vocabulary to recognize the full scope of their emotions (Mood Meter), think before expressing their emotions (Meta-Moment) and learn how to effectively manage conflict (Blueprint).

“Yale’s course of study has provided me with a framework for thinking about socio-emotional learning,” Las Palmas Middle School Principal Dr. Roy Umana said. “As a leader who reopened a school after a pandemic, it was important for me to correctly recognize the emotions my staff and students were experiencing. Beyond understanding my own emotions and dealing with them in my own way, the program taught me to change my perspective and recognize that each person uniquely experiences the world through their own lens.”

Covina-Valley Unified has augmented its counseling services since the start of the 2021-22 school year—sharing mental health resources on the District website, opening wellness centers at their schools and employing an on-site counselor at each school to ensure students have the resources they need to support their emotional wellbeing.

The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence has designed effective approaches over the past two decades on teaching SEL, supporting school communities in understanding the value of emotions and building and sustaining positive emotional climates in homes, schools and workplaces. Yale’s RULER program has been adopted by thousands of schools worldwide.

“During these unprecedented times, one of the most important skills for all of us to develop is social and emotional learning,” Covina-Valley Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Eminhizer said. “This partnership with the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence will equip our dedicated teachers with the skills, resources, and knowledge to help students receive all of the social and emotional support they need.”