Students grapple with stress stemming from academic and social pressures, trauma, discrimination, and more. Stress can lead to mental and behavioral challenges, including depression, anxiety, violent behaviors, substance misuse, and suicide. A growing body of research shows that proactive support of students’ social and emotional learning (SEL), targeted mental health supports, and positive behavior interventions can help students cope with stress and thrive at school, at home, and throughout their lives. While many school districts recognize the need to provide these supports, they do not always have access to the training, resources, and infrastructure to do so.

To address this challenge, EDC is partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and the May Institute to offer the Social, Emotional, and Behavior (SEB) Academy. The academy offers trainings, customized technical assistance (TA), and tools and resources focused on SEL and mental health, as well as positive behavior interventions and support (PBIS). EDC is working with school and district teams to build multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) that are data-driven, sustainable, and culturally responsive.

Key Activities

EDC’s SEB Academy provides school and district teams with a two-pronged model of support:

  • Delivering targeted coaching:
    • Needs assessment, prioritization, and planning
    • Goal setting to help teams focus their efforts on strengthening MTSS structures and processes
    • Monthly coaching by SEL, PBIS, mental health, and school climate experts
  • Engaging teams in learning opportunities:
    • Two academy-wide convenings (fall and spring)
    • Webinars on cross-cutting themes and topics
    • Peer-sharing calls focused on specific challenges and topics of interest
    • On-demand brief content videos


  • To date, the SEB Academy has reached over 196,600 students in 150 schools from more than 80 districts across Massachusetts 

Learn More

Massachusetts Social, Emotional, and Behavior Academy
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education