General FAQ

Becoming a RULER School

RULER is an evidence-based approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) developed at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. It supports school communities—leaders, educators, students, and their families—in understanding the value of emotions, building the skills of emotional intelligence, and creating and maintaining positive climates at school and at home.

RULER is an acronym for the skills of emotional intelligence:

  • Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
  • Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
  • Labeling emotions with a nuanced vocabulary
  • Expressing emotions in accordance with cultural norms and social context
  • Regulating emotions with helpful strategies

Research shows that RULER skills help people of all ages to use emotions wisely, opening opportunities for adults and students to succeed in school, at work, and in life.

RULER integrates seamlessly with many other school-based initiatives and its goals and methods overlap with those of other SEL and character education programs. In general, RULER becomes the backdrop with a common language and a positive and safe climate in which to teach other academic and SEL topics.

RULER is based on the premise that all emotions matter, and that individuals experience emotions uniquely based on their differences. RULER tools focus on building positive emotional connections across similarities and differences, creating awareness around our own emotions and the emotions of others, managing emotion with our best selves, resolving conflict with empathy and perspective taking, and restoring communities affected by conflict. In this way, RULER focuses on the development of the skills and language necessary to achieving equitable practices.

RULER curricular content addresses many of the Learning for Justice (formerly known as Teaching Tolerance) standards with lessons and activities focused on appreciation of similarities and differences in race, gender identity, cultural background, and experiences, as well as developing solutions to challenges within each unique school community and classroom. RULER does not teach a “correct” way to express or manage feelings, nor does it condone any one-size-fits-all approach to behavior. RULER helps diverse learners discover what strategies and behaviors work for them personally, with a focus on how our actions affect ourselves and others. When discussing and providing practice with the skills of emotional intelligence, educators choose reading material and other learning content that will resonate with their students’ lives. Students create and choose scenarios that represent their own experiences so they can practice applying emotion skills to actual situations in their lives in ways that make sense to them. In this way, RULER’s design encourages and reinforces culturally responsive teaching practices. We also are currently working on adaptations of RULER to serve students with diverse learning needs, including best ways of providing access to SEL for students of all abilities.

The first step to bringing RULER to your school is to attend the RULER Institute Online. This training provides the foundational skills and tools needed to implement RULER in your school. Visit our “Train Your School Team” page to learn more about our RULER Institute Online and apply!

Existing RULER Schools

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RULER Institute Online (RIO)

Getting Started

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Online Training

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Price and Payment

$6,000 for a team of 3 (plus $1,000 per additional participant up to 5 total participants).  

This cost also includes the following:  

  • Years 1 and 2 
    • Six-week online training institute for a team of 3 to 5 school staff/faculty (2 hours of work per week per person) 
    • Virtual group coaching sessions 
    • Electronic newsletters to support with RULER implementation 
    • Support webinars covering topics that strengthen implementation 
    • Access to the RULER Online platform for all school staff
    • An annual assessment that gauges your school’s RULER implementation progress 

After two years, your school has the option to continue support services with a subscription. Learn more about our continued subscription.

We accept credit card, check, and wire transfer payments.

Attendees who complete the training can access a certificate of completion via the training portal. This certificate includes clock hours.  Teachers have used the clock hours to fulfill PD requirements though we do not offer CTEs. Please note that it is the responsibility of the attendee to obtain their certificate as proof of completion. The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence is unable to provide completion information to school or district leaders.

Training comes with two years of implementation support that includes:  

  •  Years 1 and 2 
    • Six-week online training institute for a team of 3 to 5 school staff/faculty (2 hours of work per week per person) 
    • Virtual group coaching sessions 
    • Electronic newsletters to support RULER implementation 
    • Support webinars covering topics that strengthen implementation 
    • Access to the RULER Online platform for all school staff  
    • An annual assessment that gauges your school’s RULER implementation progress 
  • After two years, your school has the option to continue support services with an annual subscription. Learn more about our continued subscription. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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In-Person Training

In-Person FAQ

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RULER is a CASEL SELect program.

Join Us for RULER Training!

Take the first step toward bringing RULER to your school.

Attend the RULER Training Institute online or in person this July.