Committee for Children Blog

Teaching the Second Step Middle School Program? Check Out These New Features for Fall

Middle School Program

We’re happy to share that updates and improvements have been made to the Second Step Middle School Program. If you currently teach the program, here are some useful new features and resources you can start exploring now to get ready for the new school year.

Grade 8 Updates

We’ve included fresh Real Voices videos, added brand-new artwork and illustrations, and modified lesson content to broaden experiences and viewpoints to appeal more directly to this age group. In the fall release, we’ve updated Units 1 and 2.

Added Program Training

A new Professional Development section includes existing professional learning resources as well as some new content that we think you’ll welcome: program training for staff. Here’s what you’ll find:

  • “Teaching the Second Step Program” helps educators who are new to the program get comfortable with the content so they can teach lessons more effectively.
  • “Building Your Second Step Advisory Program” offers ideas and strategies for incorporating advisory activities into your schedule in combination with SEL lessons.
  • “Teaching Unit 1” and “Teaching Unit 2” provide helpful pointers and background on the skills and concepts taught in these units.

Additional training modules will be added throughout the year. Stay tuned!

Improved Summative Assessments

Summative assessments, a resource currently included in the program, now include multiple-choice and short-answer question formats that are easier to administer. You’ll also find these PDF assessments easier to access in the teacher portal. After completing all the lessons in a unit, use that unit’s Review and Assessment lesson to complete an informal “flash review” of the skills and concepts before handing out the PDF assessment for a more traditional knowledge check.

Other updates to improve your experience have been made throughout. We hope you like them!

Other Timely Reminders

  • Check Your Subscription: Don’t let your program lapse! If you purchased a one-year Second Step subscription last fall, now is the time to renew. Log in to your account at Review the options, which include a schoolwide license and one-year, three-year, or five-year licenses. Longer-term agreements are discounted. Renew by following the directions in the Digital License Summary or by contacting us at 800-634-4449, ext. 1 or
  • Professional Development: To set the stage for a successful start in the fall, we recommend building time into in-service days to review the new program training modules as well as the professional learning we offer in the Middle School Program. Simply navigate to the Professional Development section of the teacher portal to get started.
  • Engage Families: To augment what students are learning in school through the Second Step curriculum, we developed a family resource site called ParenTeen Connect. It’s filled with unscripted videos of teens and adults talking about all kinds of topics, from divorce to homework struggles to screen time. The site also features expert advice from renowned adolescent parenting expert Dr. Laura Kastner. Visit

Thanks for being part of our community! We hope you enjoy the rest of your summer and wish you a successful 2018–19 school year.