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Open Circle

About This Resource

Open Circle is a whole-school social and emotional learning program designed to improve school climate and foster social and emotional skill development in grades K-5. Since 1987 Open Circle has reached nearly half a million children and trained over 10,000 educators. A program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College, Open Circle is currently used in 262 schools across 98 communities in the Northeast. Open Circle strives to develop safe, caring and cooperative learning environments and develop children's self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship and decision-making skills. The Open Circle approach involves 15-minute, twice-weekly class meetings with active lessons from the grade-differentiated, spiraling Open Circle Curriculum. In addition, teachers, administrators, support staff, and parents infuse Open Circle concepts throughout the school day and at home. Teachers receive extensive training and coaching, while other school community members receive training tailored to their specific roles at school and at home.

Learn More:

Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) Registry
National Dropout Prevention Center Registry

Rating: Strong Evidence


What Works Clearinghouse Registry

Rating: No Evidence


Cost Information: 

No cost information


Parent Letters available in Spanish.

Who This Resource Is For


  • Academic Support
  • Behavioral Health
  • Social-Emotional Learning
  • Support Tier: 

  • Tier 1
  • Tier 2
  • Age Range: 

  • Elementary
  • Language: 

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Ethnicity: 

  • Not Specified / Any
  • Community Type: 

  • Inner City
  • Rural
  • Suburban
  • Tribal
  • Urban