Committee for Children Blog

SEL for Today: A New Second Step® Elementary Digital Program Is Coming Spring 2021

A teacher standing in front of her students teaching a lesson from the new Second Step® Elementary Digital Program

This blog is part of an introductory series by our Vice President of Product, Polly Stansell.

For more than four decades, Committee for Children has worked with district administrators, principals, and other education leaders to help children thrive through social-emotional development. Our long-standing commitment to listening to these leaders’ voices has helped us continuously improve our research- and evidence-based social-emotional learning (SEL) programs. Today, that commitment brings us to an exciting announcement: the release of our new, fully web-based Second Step® Elementary digital program this spring.

A Modern Approach to SEL
The Second Step Elementary digital program takes a modern approach to SEL, one that builds on the latest social-emotional and developmental research and the changing needs of children and educators. From honoring the lived experiences of both learners and educators with culturally relevant and age-appropriate content, to simplifying facilitation so teachers can focus on helping students connect and thrive, the program is designed for today.

The program’s digital format also enables us to make continuous improvements. Over time, the Second Step Elementary digital program will not only be updated to reflect the most-recent research, but will also reflect updated scenarios and applications of social-emotional skills that resonate with learners. Students are more likely to engage if they feel content is relatable and represents their experiences. Accordingly, we’re working to ensure all our Second Step® programs speak to culturally and ethnically diverse student populations, with content being reviewed by experts in culturally relevant curriculum.

We’re incredibly excited about what the Second Step Elementary digital program offers in terms of increased accessibility, flexibility, inclusivity, and scalability. Through digital delivery, we’re well-positioned to continue evolving our offerings to meet the needs of the communities we serve. Our researchers, product managers, and instructional designers continue to conduct extensive field-tests in classrooms across the country (both in-person and virtually), and are using this information to make improvements to the program.

kids in a circle together

Your Classroom, Your Choice
The Second Step Elementary digital program is our second fully digital program, following the introduction of Second Step® Middle School in 2017. The elementary program will be offered as part of a flexible K–​8 subscription to allow elementary schools to select the grades that align to their school sites. We know that many elementary schools prefer or have a technological environment where print-based classroom kits make more sense, while many others will prefer this web-based curriculum. By offering both the digital program and classroom kits, our goal is to meet the needs and preferences of as many elementary schools as possible.

The Second Step Elementary digital program works within our newly expanded Second Step family of programs to offer a holistic approach to SEL. Holistic SEL reaches the child across developmental stages throughout their school career and provides SEL throughout their day, including in after-school and other out-of-school time settings. Holistic SEL also supports educators’ social-emotional competencies and well-being, and promotes a positive, schoolwide implementation environment.

We expect the new Second Step Elementary digital program to be available for purchase in March 2021.

For more information or to sign up to receive updates about the timing of the release, pricing, and program details, visit

About the author

polly stansell

Polly Stansell, Vice President of Product

Polly Stansell serves as vice president of product at Committee for Children and has worked in the ed-tech industry for 20 years. She oversees strategic product vision for the organization’s Second Step® family of social-emotional learning programs, and guides product execution through the full delivery cycle. Polly develops products that support the whole child, with programs that support social-emotional development, child protection, and bullying prevention. Learn more about Polly and our executive leadership team here.