Second Step Elementary® Digital Program Updates for the 2021–22 School Year
When Are the Second Step® Elementary Digital Program Updates Coming?
Updates were released June 27, 2021.
What Changes Are Happening to the Second Step® Elementary Digital Program for the Next School Year?
We have added resources to support teachers and SEL leaders in planning for and supporting their staff in implementing the Second Step program schoolwide. The following is an itemized list of the new resources we’ve added since March.
Family Open House Materials
Families are important partners and play a crucial role in reinforcing social-emotional skills and concepts at home. We’ve added a family open house presentation and printable flyers that can be used at an open house or curriculum night to introduce parents to the Second Step program, what it is, and why it’s being taught at their child’s school.
The Family Open House Presentation and Flyer can be downloaded from the Keep Families Involved page located in Evaluate, Monitor, and Reinforce section of the Principal Toolkit.
Weekly Family Communications
Keep families engaged with what their children are learning in Second Step® Elementary with these family letters.
The Program Overview Family Letter should be sent home at the start of the school year to provide families with an overview of the program.
Weekly communications are short, weekly letters that can easily be pasted into an email and sent to students’ families. They provide a brief summary of what students are learning in that week’s Second Step lesson, as well as a brief activity or prompt parents or caregivers can use to reinforces what students have learned.
Links to The Imagine Neighborhood™ podcast episodes are also provided in weekly communications for some Kindergarten through Grade 2 lessons to provide families with additional ways to reinforce social-emotional skills and concepts at home. For more information about The Imagine Neighborhood visit the podcast website at www.imagineneighborhood.org.
These family communications are organized by grade and can found under the Program Supports tab on the Engage Families page.
Updated Book Recommendations Pages for Kindergarten–Grade 2 and Grades 3–5
Browse these lists to find children’s books that have been evaluated for their alignment to key social-emotional skills and concepts. These books can be read aloud and used to reinforce skills and concepts taught throughout Second Step® Elementary. The lists are organized by unit based on their alignment to those skills and concepts. Lexile levels are listed to provide students with SEL-aligned books they can read on their own.
These lists can be found under the Program Supports tab on the SEL in Academics page.
Strategies for Adapting Second Step Lessons for Remote and Hybrid Instruction
While the lessons in the Second Step® Elementary digital program were designed to be taught in person, they can also be effective when delivered remotely with some modifications. This resource provides suggestions for how to adapt the instructional strategies most frequently used in the Second Step Elementary digital program for remote teaching.
This page can be found under the Program Supports tab on the Classroom Strategies page.
SEL Leadership Team and Implementation Supports
Research has repeatedly shown that school leader support is the single biggest predictor of whether a schoolwide initiative is successful. Creating an SEL Leadership Team to coordinate schoolwide implementation helps to promote buy-in, ensure the program is being implemented as intended, foster accountability, and ultimately sustain implementation.
We have added resources and instruction to assist principals and building leaders in putting together an effective, committed leadership team that will help schools achieve lasting outcomes. Here you’ll find definitions and responsibilities for key team members, as well as tools to help you monitor and improve your implementation:
- SEL Leadership Team Roster
- Use this roster to develop your school’s SEL Leadership Team. It provides a summary of the leadership team roles and responsibilities in a handy matrix for recording the names of those filling those roles.
- Lesson Observation Rubrics
- These rubrics provide a useful tool to assist you in assessing the overall quality of implementation at your school and how you can best support teachers in their efforts.
- Program Evaluation Guide
- This guide is written specifically for people who want to evaluate a school or district’s implementation of the Second Step program but are not trained in program evaluation and are not working with a professional evaluator.
These resources can be found on the Building an SEL Leadership Team page in the Implement Schoolwide section of the Principal Toolkit.
- Implementation Readiness Survey
- Found on the Getting Started for School Leaders page in the Implement Schoolwide section of the Principal Toolkit, the Implementation Readiness Survey collects information about teachers’ readiness to begin teaching lesson content and can help you determine what implementation needs your staff may still have and identify how you can support your staff’s preparedness to teach Second Step Elementary.
- SEL Leadership Team Checklist
- The SEL Leadership Team Checklist is an easy, step-by-step guide that walks school leaders through the specific steps they can take throughout the school year to plan and support staff in implementing the Second Step program. It can be found on the Planning for Schoolwide SEL page in the Implement Schoolwide section of the Principal Toolkit.
- Mid-Year & End-of-Year Presentations
- For social-emotional learning to remain a priority, research says that time should be set aside throughout the year for staff to focus on practicing their skills. These presentations have been designed to foster thoughtful reflection and ideas for improvement with school staff at key points during the school year. As their titles imply, they are meant to be delivered halfway through the school year and at the end of the school year. Both these resources are located on the Reflect and Improve page of the All-Staff Meetings section of the Principal Toolkit.
Training and Support Videos
We have added instructional videos to support leaders and staff in implementing Second Step Elementary.
- Implementation Snapshot Overview Video
- The instructional video that accompanies the implementation snapshot is now uploaded and can be found on the Planning for Schoolwide SEL page in the Implement Schoolwide section of the Principal Toolkit. This video provides important context on how to use the Implementation Snapshot to plan a schoolwide implementation of the Second Step program.
- All-Staff Unit Overview Videos
- Getting your entire staff on the same page is a critical step when rolling out any new program or initiative. All-Staff Unit Overview videos include a high-level summary of what students will learn and the research behind the unit’s skills and concepts. They also offer simple tips for reinforcing the content that all adults in the building can use both to model the behaviors and strategies taught in the program and to recognize and praise them in students. There are four overview videos, one for each unit in the program, and they’re located on the Start Off Right page in All-Staff Meetings section of the Principal Toolkit.
- Second Step Elementary Program Walkthrough
- This video provides a brief walkthrough of how to use the tools provided by the Second Step program. It covers topics such as creating a class, where to find lessons and support documents, and how to teach lessons. Start with this video to get an overview of the essential features of the Second Step Elementary digital program and how to use them. It’s found on the How the Program Works page under the Training tab.
The posters are a much-loved aspect of the Second Step Elementary classroom kits, and we’re pleased to offer a selection of printable digital mini-posters (similar to those provided as online resources for the classroom kits) to liven up classrooms and the school environment. Posters are offered as PDFs in 8.5" x 11" and 11" x 17" sizes. There is a series for the STEP process and a series for Ways to Feel Calm. The Mini-Posters page is found in the Classroom Strategies section of Program Supports.
Review of Research
The research summary document found on the Getting Started for School Leaders page in the Implement Schoolwide section of the Principal Toolkit has been replaced with a full Review of Research that expands on the more concise summary document.
Integrating Other Second Step Programs
We have added guidance on how to integrate the Bullying Prevention Unit and Child Protection Unit into a schoolwide Second Step Elementary digital program implementation to the Integrating Other Second Step Programs page found under the Training tab.
Are There Any New Features or Bug Fixes We Should Be Aware Of?
We have added a Provide feedback about this lesson link to the end of each lesson that you can use to send us feedback on lesson content, issues you might have experienced, or suggestions as to how we might improve your or your student’s experience. This link is functionally identical to the one that has been in use for the Second Step Middle School digital program and is located at the bottom of the dialog box that appears when you have marked a lesson as complete. We’d love to hear from you!
It was brought to our attention that an incorrect American Sign Language (ASL) sign was used at one point in a video in Kindergarten Lesson 18 (“Apologizing Can Help”) where an actor teaches students how to apologize using American Sign Language. We replaced the footage of the incorrect sign with an actor presenting the correct sign.
What Is Class Reset, and How Do I Prepare for It?
On Sunday, June 27, 2021 all current classes for Second Step Elementary will be reset, or cleared, to create a fresh start for the 2021–22 school year. It’s therefore highly recommended that you create classes for the 2021–22 school year on or after June 28, 2021.
If you’re using a class before the reset, you’ll need to recreate the class after the reset. You can take note of your current lesson to resume teaching where you left off.
Class reset also affects the Second Step Middle School digital program. For more information on Class Reset, visit Annual Class, Training, and Reporting Reset FAQs - June 2021.
How do the Second Step Elementary Digital Program Updates on June 27, 2021 Affect Me?
Since the Second Step Elementary digital program was launched in March 2021 and has not yet been implemented in a school year, it is unlikely that you would be significantly affected by this update. When you log in after June 27 you may wish to review the list of new resources we have provided to familiarize yourself with what is available to you and how you might incorporate it into your back to school planning activities.
What Updates Are Coming for Second Step® Middle School in 2021–22?