FAQs – Getting Started

Frequently Asked Questions


What is Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and why is it important? See “What is TOOLBOX?

What resources are utilized with TOOLBOX? See “TOOLBOX Products” for a full description of our resources.

How are TOOLBOX materials used over multiple years?

Our curricula (TOOLBOX™ Primer, its supplements: TOOLBOX™ Lesson Plans K-3 and/or 4-6, and TOOLBOX classroom materials) address multi-year sequencing through exploring TOOLBOX in relationship to children’s’ developmental stages. Each Tool unit includes multiple lessons that may be taught over several years and/or repeated according to the new developmental lens.

  • First-year implementation: focuses on introducing the Tools, building the common language, and using the skills and practices in regular consistent ways.  The TOOLBOX™ Primer is designed for the first year of implementation. “Creating the Foundation for Optimal Learning” in the Primer guides you through a sequence of activities to introduce TOOLBOX to your school.
  • Second-year implementation: focuses on broader practice/skill-building, using the Tools as part of an overall positive behavioral support plan, integrating the Tools into academics, and putting the Tools to work in all contexts. TOOLBOX™Lesson Plans K-3 and/or 4-6 are designed as supplements to the Primer. Teaching practices are outlined for a robust first-year in combination with the Primer, or following use of the Primer in subsequent years of implementation. 
  • Third-year and beyond: focuses on applying the Tools in more challenging social situations, integrating TOOLBOX into the life of children, faculty & staff, parents, and the school community. Lesson Plans K-3 and 4-6 are designed for deepening the learning in subsequent years after an initial year of implementation.

How much does a school or district implementation cost? – back to top

What is the initial cost for implementing TOOLBOX in a K-6 school?

  • Dovetail learning offers three customizable packages to meet your school or district needs. To learn more about our Standard, Value, and Primer packages, please contact us here.
  • The actual cost depends on the number of students in the school, class sizes, and the package option chosen.
  • District or multi-school implementation costs less per school due to shared training opportunities.

How are costs allocated?

  • About 50% of a first-year implementation cost is for a one-time materials expenditure. The remaining cost is for training(s) and services.

How much does it cost to continue using TOOLBOX over multiple years?

  • TOOLBOX material costs are minimal for subsequent years. The Photocopy Masters (available through the Web Portal) allow teachers to make their own TOOLBOX consumables year after year. Schools can also choose to purchase reasonably priced TOOLBOX consumables from Dovetail Learning, Inc.

How can I bring TOOLBOX to my K-6 school? – back to top

We focus on whole school and district-wide implementation and will send our trainers to you.

For schools or districts in the United States and Canada:

  • If you are interested in a school or district-wide implementation and training we will send you a cost estimate.  To request a school or district cost estimate, please contact us here.
  • You can also purchase TOOLBOX materials or register for one of our regional trainings directly through our online store.

For schools outside of the United States and Canada:

  • Our trainings and materials are primarily in English. Some student materials are also offered in Spanish. While we are focusing on serving the U.S. and Canada, we are developing future online introductory trainings to serve schools and districts outside of the U.S.
  • If you would like an email notification about future training opportunities in your area, please join our mailing list here.

Do you have TOOLBOX curricula for Middle School or High School? – back to top

The Tools are universal and can be applied and practiced by all grade levels (including adults of all ages). We are currently seeking funding to develop a middle school curriculum. While we don’t currently offer specific TOOLBOX lessons for grades 7 and 8, we have a number of K-8 schools and middle schools making use of the 4-6 curriculum, particularly when their students have learned the Tools in the elementary grades and have matriculated to middle school. We do not yet offer a high school curriculum.

How can individuals or CBOs (community-based organizations) get TOOLBOX training and/or materials? – back to top

  • To those of you from hospitals, mental health settings, prisons, law enforcement, community centers, and elsewhere: We see the relevance of this work in a variety of environments and it is already being used effectively with children and adults in a few of each of these settings.
  • Visit our TOOLBOX Training page for information regarding upcoming regional TOOLBOX Trainings. Our regional trainings are geared towards teachers, however all individuals are welcome to attend.
  • To purchase TOOLBOX materials or to register for a regional trainings, visit our online store.


The TOOLBOX Project is a seminal work in translating the great wisdom traditions into a secular “common language” for children, their families, and communities. TOOLBOX brings a re-humanization and transformation of our culture through the teaching of universal concepts of self and other.”

—Angeles Arrien, PhD Former President, Foundation for Cross-Cultural Education and Research; Fetzer Institute Board Member

To learn more, contact us using this information form.

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