Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Screener

Students use the SEL Screener twice a year to share their perspectives on how well their school and community help them develop skills they need to succeed.

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) believes in supporting social and emotional learning (SEL) for all students. SEL helps students develop the necessary skills to succeed in various aspects of life. In FCPS, students use a tool called a "screener" to think about their own SEL skills and experiences at school. This screener helps them evaluate how well their school community makes them feel valued, included, and supported.

The screener works by asking questions or presenting statements that students can think about and respond to. Want to learn more about the screener? This webpage includes information about what the screener is, how it benefits our students, and how screener results are used to create a positive and inclusive learning environment. Learn more about SEL in FCPS.

What does the SEL Screener survey ask?


SEL Screener Notification and Opt-Out


SEL Screener Parent/Guardian Report and Guide

Understanding the SEL Screener in FCPS

Overview of SEL Screener

FCPS collaborates with Panorama Education to develop a research-backed SEL Screener. All students in grades 3-12 participate in the screener twice a year, in the fall and spring. The screener is untimed, though it takes most students about 15 minutes to complete. The screener is translated into 13 languages and schools are encouraged to make use of supports such as read-alouds to help students access the screener. 

Beginning in the 2023-24 school year, there will be different screener versions for students in grades 3-5 and 6-12. 

The updated screener will include the following SEL topics:

  • Self-Management & Responsible Decision Making
  • Social Awareness & Relationship Skills
  • Emotion Regulation
  • Supportive Relationships
  • Belonging
  • Cultural Awareness and Action (grades 6-12 only)
  • Challenging Feelings

Each SEL topic listed above will include 4-10 questions per topic. By focusing on fewer topics with more questions, we are able to provide schools with more data to support planning, and provide students with the opportunity to share more about their perspectives. Families can view SEL Screener content for the Grades 3-5 survey and Grades 6-12 survey.

How FCPS Uses SEL Screener Results

Screener data is used to plan programming for the division, schools, and individual students. Division and school level results, which do not include individual student information, may be used by staff to improve SEL and mental wellness practices. Division and school level results may also be shared with the community to describe the needs of our student body and opportunities for partnership.The SEL Screener makes sure that student voices are heard.  

Individual student data is maintained in secure files and databases accessible only to teachers, administrators, staff, and school officials with legitimate educational interests. In partnership with families, staff review this data alongside other information to plan interventions for students with identified needs

Viewing Your Student’s Results

Parents and guardians will receive an individualized report regarding their student’s screener results following each assessment window. School staff are available to discuss results with families. View a Family Guide to Understanding SEL Strengths, which includes tips for talking to your student about their results, available mental wellness support for students, and copies of the SEL Screener parent/guardian report and guide.

SEL Screener Opt-Out

Parents and guardians who prefer that their child not take part in the SEL Screener can either complete the opt-out in SIS ParentVUE or fill out and return the testing notification letter to your child's school. Parents can find the testing notification letter and opt-out form in the annual notice packet provided to families each fall. Opt-out decisions must be documented each academic year. More information is also available specifically about SEL Screener participation and opting out of participation.

If you are interested in having your child’s screener data deleted from a previous SEL screener administration, please contact your student’s school.

Data Shared With Panorama Education

FCPS shares limited student data with Panorama Education for students participating in the screener. This data includes: student name, student ID, school, student email, grade level, graduation year, gender, ethnicity, Advanced Academic Programs (AAP) status, English learner (EL) status, and special education (SPED) status. If a student is opted out of the screener, FCPS stops sharing new data with Panorama Education. Previous screener results and demographic data remains in the Panorama platform unless a data deletion is requested. 

Panorama Education has signed FCPS data confidentiality agreements that ensures they maintain confidentiality of any data they receive. Agreeing to limit the use of student data to only the purpose for which it is collected is one of the requirements of this agreement. Additionally, Panorama Education complies with all applicable federal laws, including Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), as well as state and local regulations concerning student data.

The SEL Screener Supports FCPS’s Strategic Plan and Educational Equity Policy

FCPS 2023-2030 Strategic Plan Goal 2 emphasizes the importance of highlighting student voice in decision making regarding mental wellness practices, honoring student identities and experiences, and ensuring student safety and well-being in an inclusive school climate and culture. The FCPS Educational Equity Policy further emphasizes the importance of family and community engagement, student agency, and student environments. The SEL Screener is an important tool to help us measure our progress towards these critical goals. 

Screener data helps us to understand how students across grade levels, races, ethnicities, and special programs feel about school and how successfully we are supporting them. By asking specifically about students’ school communities, relationships, and experiences related to race and ethnicity, among many other factors, we are better able to highlight successes and target supports where they are most needed.

Learn more about SEL in FCPS

FCPS SEL Website

View FCPS SEL Instructional Materials

SEL Instructional Materials