Students must navigate through 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

The SEB Academy offers two tracks. Each track provides the following supports:

SEL and Mental Health Track:

  • Customized TA (including in-person meetings) to school and/or district teams offered by SEL and mental health experts
  • Webinars on timely topics, such as bringing a trauma-informed lens to SEL and mental health, using data to inform SEL and mental health supports, and identifying and implementing targeted school-based mental health supports
  • Peer-sharing calls by topic, including SEL and mental health supports in vocational schools, using SEL assessment tools and implementing Tier 2 supports
  • Tools and resources developed by the academy’s team
  • A library of short videos on key topics related to SEL and mental health

PBIS Track:

  • In-person and virtual trainings focused on PBIS Tier 1
  • In-person and virtual trainings focused on PBIS Tier 2
  • Customized TA and coaching
  • A library of short videos on key topics related to PBIS
  • Monthly school-based coaches calls with PBIS experts


  • To date, the SEL and mental health track (previously the SEL and Mental Health Academy) has worked with over 80 schools from more than 60 districts across Massachusetts
  • The PBIS track (previously the PBIS Academy) has worked with more than 100 schools in over 70 districts across Massachusetts

Learn More

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