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RULER Program at St. Andrew’s Schools Made Possible Through Hawai’i Community Foundation’s Pillars of Peace Hawai’i Grant


Mahalo nui ba to the Hawai’i Community Foundation’s Pillars of Peace Hawai’i grant for the Social Emotional Learning (SEL) RULER Program at St. Andrew’s Schools!

Building Peace on a Foundation ofAloha

St. Andrew’s Schools prides itself in creating a caring culture of educational excellence that prepares children for success in school and in life. The implementation of the RULER program is essential for the overall mission of the school. Our goal is to provide a healthy social and emotional foundation for our students, so they are healthy in mind, body and spirit and able to lead meaningful and productive lives.


“I believe that the work St. Andrew’s Schools is doing with their faculty and staff and students and parents is helping to groom ethical and compassionate leaders for our community who will be able to thrive in a global economy.”

The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence’s RULER Approach to SEL is an evidencebased program that incorporates the science of emotions and ecological system theory. RULER stands for:

Recognizing emotions in self and others; Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions; Labeling emotions accurately; Expressing emotions appropriately; and


Regulating emotions effectively.

Director of Programs, Omidyar Initiatives, Hawai’i Community










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RULER Program Interview with Robbie Ann Kane, Director of Programs, Omidyar Initiatives, Hawai’i Community Foundation that it remains a part of their school experience into the future that it becomes standard practice and not a “new program” to be added on top of all of the work their dedicated faculty and staff already do each day. —


In the long term, the Pillars of Peace Hawai’i effort aims to be a catalyst for understanding more about the roles of compassion, diversity, and culture in the practice of peace; to encourage our community to engage in acts of peace and aloha in our daily lives; and to grow ethical and compassionate leaders for Hawai’i’s future. The work the St. Andrew’s Schools team is doing will help us reach these goals.

Please tell us why St. Andrew’s Schools was selected as one of the participating schools for the Pillars of Peace Hawaii Fund.

The interest in Social Emotional Learning (~EL) education seems to be growing. Why do you think that is?

Two things stood out in the application submitted by St. Andrew’s Schools for the SEL grant. One was that all faculty and staff were to be trained in social and emotional literacy using an evidencebased and recognized SEL program called RULER. The program was not just focused on the students but also on the adults at the school. Second, the proposal included a clear plan to assess the program and measure progress and impact.

SEL is not new it has been around in various forms for many years. But in today’s environment with technology, new stressors, and many competing demands, it seems to be needed even more than before. Additionally, SEL seems to have been implemented long enough now that the research is strong enough and reliable enough to demonstrate both immediate impacts as well as long-term benefits for students into their adult lives.

What do you hope your organization will achieve in the near future? In the long term?

In fact, a new study that “looked at a more than 20-year-old program designed to build social and emotional skills in young children found a surprising outcome: Participants had a higher likelihood of voting later in life.” A meta-analysis on SEL also showed an 1100 gain in academic performance, along with the decreases in negative behaviors and increases in pro-social behaviors that might have been expected.

As the team continues to build on their SEL efforts, I hope they will be able to find a strong balance across their various programs to have the most positive impact possible for their Students. As with all of the schools in the Cohort, I hope they are able to embed SEL into their school programming so

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing education today? I think education faces many challenges today one is just keeping up with the rapidly changing world given technological gains. Another is dealing with so many young people exposed to a variety of trauma some very acute trauma in their lives and the impact this has on their behavior and ability to learn. —

Educators are not just faced with educating young people. They must deal with their students’ social and emotional well-being before they can begin to address their academic needs. My mother is a retired elementary school teacher and many of my family members have had careers in education. Educators are expected to do so much more today while facing so many more challenges. HCF’s hope is that by supporting SEL programs in our schools, we are helping educators manage these challenges to give our young people the best chance for a successful future. What would you say are some of the Hawaii Community Foundation’s strongest beliefs and dreams about education? If you believe that people are basically good and capable, and we do, then education helps to empower people and provide the opportunities needed for each of us to accomplish wonderful things, to help make our society healthier, to help build a better place for us all.


St. Andrew's School SEL RULER Program  
St. Andrew's School SEL RULER Program