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Program description

WITS provides a lesson-based approach to SEL with academic integration with literacy. It includes programming for grades K-6 and demonstrates evidence of effectiveness in grades 1-3. Translated materials for WITS are offered in Spanish and French Canadian.

Strategies supporting educational equity

WITS provides strategies for understanding context. This includes a guide for using WITS with indigenous communities.

      • SEL lessons
      • Instructional practices
      • Relationship building
      • Positive classroom management
      • SEL generalization
      • Shared agreements
      • Peer mentoring
      • Community partnerships
      • Family Intervention Component
      • Activities and Resources for Home
    • Onsite in-person training
    • Virtual training
    • Offsite training
    • Train the trainer model
    • Administrator support
    • Coaching
    • Technical assistance
    • Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)
    • Online resource library
    • Self-report tools for monitoring implementation
    • Observational tools
    • Tools for measuring student success

Evidence of effectiveness

Results from a quasi-experimental evaluation conducted between 2006 and 2008 (published in 2011) supported the effectiveness of the WITS Program for elementary school students. The evaluation included 830 students who were in grades 1-3 (13% children from households with annual income of less than $30,000 CAD) from 67 classrooms across 11 schools in a mid-sized city in Western Canada. This evaluation found that students who participated in the program exhibited a significant reduction in physical and relational peer victimization behaviors compared to students in the control group (outcomes reported at post-test approximately 10 months after baseline and at follow-up approximately 15 months after baseline, while controlling for outcome pretest).

  • Evidence shown in grades
    1, 2, 3
    School characteristics
      • Urban
      • Non-US location
    Student characteristics
    • Not Specified
    Percentage Low Income
    • Percentage of children from households with total annual income of less than CAD $30,000: 13%
    Study design type
    • QE
    Greater than 350 students included in study design type
    • Yes
    Multiple school districts included at study design type
    • Yes
    • Improved academic performance
    • Reduced emotional distress
    • Improved identity development and agency
    • Reduced problem behaviors
    • Improved school climate
    • Improved school connectedness
    • Improved social behaviors
    • Improved teaching practices
    • Improved other SEL skills and attitudes

How does WITS support SEL implementation across multiple settings?

“The WITS® group of programs brings together schools, families and community members to help elementary school children learn effective strategies on how to deal with bullying and peer victimization.”

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  • Accepted by CASEL
  • Leadbeater, B., & Sukhawathanakul, P. (2011). Multicomponent programs for reducing peer victimization in early elementary school: A longitudinal evaluation of the WITS primary program. Journal of Community Psychology, 39, 606-620.

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