“I have learned how to control my feelings better. RULER has helped me to think more positive things in life. It has made me a kinder person.” Elementary student

Partnership Overview

Beginning in 2013, the partnership between Yale University and the Bridgeport Public Schools was formed to implement a district-wide Social and Emotional Learning Initiative to rollout RULER, an evidence-based approach built on the concept that when students can recognize, understand, label, express and regulate their emotions effectively, they can succeed in school and beyond. Rigorous evaluations show that with RULER training, classroom and school climates improve, teachers teach more effectively, and students are more engaged in learning. RULER is designed to be part of the everyday routine of teaching and learning; it is infused into the curriculum, not taught as a separate lesson or set of activities. Since 2014, Bridgeport Public School students, teachers, staff, administrators, senior leadership, security officers, parents, and the community-at-large have received RULER training.

Bridgeport Social and Emotional Learning Initiative Partners

Bridgeport Public Schools in Bridgeport, Connecticut is a large, urban district with 39 schools and over 21,000 students. It is the second largest school system in the state, serves an ethnically diverse and predominately low-income population.

The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence developed the RULER approach to social and emotional learning. In partnership with the school district’s SEL Coordinator(s), this center at Yale University is responsible for providing RULER implementation support and capacity-building in the Bridgeport Public Schools.

The Consultation Center at Yale is a collaborative endeavor of the Yale School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, the Connecticut Mental Health Center, and The Consultation Center, Inc. (a nonprofit organization) that focuses on community-based research, evaluation, and scholarship. Staff from this center are responsible for the evaluation of RULER and research, data, and evaluation-related capacity-building in the Bridgeport Public Schools.

Community Partners are part of the SEL Task Force, the umbrella group created to support the SEL Initiative throughout the district. Organizations represented in this group include: All Our Kin, Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition (BCAC) at LifeBridge Community Services, Center for Children’s Advocacy, Cooperative Educational Services, First Tee of Connecticut, Greater Bridgeport Area Prevention Program (GBAPP), Greater Bridgeport Council of Churches/Janis Center, Regional Youth Adult Social Action Partnership (RYASAP), Sacred Heart University, and United Way of Coastal Fairfield County/Bridgeport Prospers Cradle to Career.

Bridgeport Public Schools: At a Glance

Grades served: Pre-K through 12

Number of total students served in grades Pre-K-12: 21,000

Number of students served in grades Pre-K-8: 16,873

Number of students served in grades Pre-K-5: 11,615

Geographic area: Bridgeport-wide

Percentage of students eligible for free or reduced lunch: 100%

Tauck Family Foundation Investment


In 2013-2018, Tauck Family Foundation's investments in the partnership between Yale University and the Bridgeport Public Schools included:


1. Annual targeted operating support to partnership members for RULER and Restorative Practices training and implementation throughout the Bridgeport Public Schools.


2. Capacity building support to the partnership, in the following areas:

  • Strategy, program design and implementation consultation;
  • Data collection, analysis, and use for continuous improvement purposes;
  • Funding for a full-time SEL Coordinator; and
  • Other resources and materials to support SEL-related activities throughout the district.