The Montgomery Virtual Program’s (MVP) mission focuses on building partnerships with our local schools and districts while researching and partnering with premier virtual education companies to provide a well-rounded virtual curriculum and program offerings for our districts.  Last year, our team expanded that mission to include a focus on creating opportunities for learning and engagement for our students, families, and partners beyond just our virtual curriculum.  

As we worked through the design and content of these resources, it became apparent that intentional social-emotional learning (SEL) alignment was an opportunity to foster growth in the important five SEL competency areas as defined by CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. This post is the third in a five-part series around our team’s mission to build resources around each competency. 

Responsible Decision-Making


According to CASEL, responsible decision-making is the ability to make caring and constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions across diverse situations. This includes the capacity to consider ethical standards and safety concerns and to evaluate the benefits and consequences of various actions for personal, social, and collective well-being.

Responsible Decision-Making is exhibited in the ability to:

  • Keep an open mind and embrace different perspectives
  • Use information, data, and facts to make reasoned judgments
  • Seek out solutions for personal and social problems
  • Comprehend and reflect on the consequences of one’s actions
  • Value critical thinking skills 
  • Focus on promoting personal, family, and community well-being
  • Impact themselves, others, and their community with their actions
Watch a video on Responsible Decision Making on PBS

MVP Resources Aligned to Responsible Decision-Making

MVP Top Tips

Our journey began with a dedicated exploration of best practices tailored to support online special education students in the areas of academics, executive functioning, and self-advocacy. However, we soon discovered the immense value of a comprehensive toolkit that benefits all students.

This realization led us to develop the “MVP Top Tips for Student Success,” a series focused on developing skills that support student success across varied academic environments. Consisting of resources to encourage responsible decision-making throughout their school day, the series contains video tutorials and digital links to foster students’ social-emotional growth, executive functioning skills, and self-advocacy.

By embracing responsible decision-making, we aim to cultivate a learning environment that nurtures critical thinking, ethical reasoning, and good judgment among all our students. Our commitment to their success extends beyond academics, encompassing the development of well-rounded individuals prepared to navigate life’s challenges with confidence and integrity.

Opportunities for Responsible Decision Making are fostered in:

  • Setting their Schedule 
  • Goal Setting
  • Communication with Instructors and Self-Advocacy
  • Leveraging the Available Supports

Visit our MVP Top Tips for Student Success to read about each tip and see the additional resources provided to our students. 

Virtual learners must take ownership of their learning by setting a schedule and advocating for themselves through communication with their instructors.  Our data has shown that students who start promptly and use the supports provided have success in their coursework. “Top Tips for Student Success” provides our MVP learners with the tools they need to learn successfully in a virtual environment.

While we focused on our “Top Tips for Student Success” series, MVP also addresses responsible decision-making through other resources and programs. Our goal in this series is to highlight how the SEL competencies can support a virtual program and how these resources can be adapted for any school format. As this series continues, we will look at the other social emotional learning competencies from the CASEL framework.


CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional learning are leaders in the field of Social-Emotional Learning with their SEL framework.  The SEL framework centers around 5 competencies that offer areas of growth throughout one’s life:  Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Skills, and Responsible Decision Making. You can learn more about CASEL and SEL by visiting our OOPL SEL resources.


The Montgomery Virtual Program (MVP) resides in the Office of Organizational and Professional Learning within the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. We partner with districts and schools in Montgomery County and beyond to provide virtual learning opportunities for their students.  We are in our 7th year and have seen tremendous growth in enrollment that has remained constant, even long after pandemic school closures. 

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