The Montgomery Virtual Program’s (MVP) mission focuses around 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.  This year, our team has 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 second in a five-part series around our team’s mission to build resources around each of those competencies.  



According to CASEL, self-management is the ability to manage one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations and to achieve goals and aspirations. This includes the capacities to delay gratification, manage stress, and feel motivation and agency to accomplish personal and collective goals.

Self-Management growth is exhibited in the ability to:

  • Manage one’s emotions
  • Identify and using stress management strategies
  • Exhibit self-discipline and self-motivation
  • Set personal and collective goals
  • Use planning and organizational skills
  • Show the courage to take initiative
  • Demonstrate personal and collective agency
Visit PBS Learning to view this SEL video:

MVP Resources Aligned to Self-Management Growth

MVP Top Tips

Our team began our mission researching best practices to support our special education students with academics, executive functioning, and self-advocacy. However, we quickly realized the benefit of a toolkit in these areas for all of our students. 

This toolkit was implemented as MVP Top Tips for Student Success. This is an on-going series with built-in tutorials and additional resources to support students throughout their school day.  Additionally, this series has also been translated into Spanish. It  currently includes the following tips: 

  • Set a Schedule 
  • Create a Learning Space
  • Use the Supports 
  • Take a Pause 
  • Successful Communication

Opportunities for Self-Management growth are fostered in:

  • Planning and Organizational Skills
  • Personal Agency
  • Taking Initiative

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

It is crucial that virtual learners 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 in a timely manner 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.

MVP Recess: Career Exploration 

Through our ongoing MVP Recess series, our team sought to provide career and technical exploration opportunities for our secondary level students.  MVP has been fortunate to benefit from a membership with the Pathful Connect platform (formerly Nepris) through our Intermediate Unit. Visit the Pathful Connect platform to learn more about their services.

Via Pathful, we have connected our students with industry professionals in movie making, animation, project management, and medical fields for virtual sessions.  During these sessions, the industry professionals provide an overview of their professions and answer questions about how to get started in the career, education and certifications required, and they answer any questions the students might have. 

MVP Recess has also partnered with local venues for virtual field trips with a career focus.  We recently had a virtual visit to Longwood Gardens to learn more about career paths in the field of horticulture.

Opportunities for Self-Management growth are fostered in:

  • Self-Discipline and Self-Motivation
  • Setting Goals 

Students who are accustomed to learning virtually on a daily basis have a unique opportunity for college and career exploration through our MVP opportunities.  We continue to seek out new experiences that will support our students in their self-management skill growth.

MVP students learn all about the creative process of movie making.
MVP students explore careers in horticulture.

While we focused on MVP’s Top Tips for Student Success and MVP Recess: Career Exploration, MVP addresses self-management through other resources and programs as well. Our goal in this series is to highlight how the SEL competencies can be supported in a virtual program and how these resources can be adapted for any school format. As this series continues, we will look at the other three 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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