Evaluation of Second Step Social-Emotional Learning Curriculum

About the Program

Second Step is a Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) program that has been implemented in selected schools.  The short-term goals of SEL programs are (1) to promote students’ self-awareness, social awareness, relationship, and responsible decision-making skills and (2) to improve student attitudes and beliefs about self, others, and school. These in turn provide a foundation for better adjustment and academic performance, as reflected in more positive social behaviors and peer relationships, fewer conduct problems, less emotional distress, and improved grades and test scores.

SEL programs are part of a tiered approach to supporting positive behaviors in SDP called Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS), which is led by the Office of School Climate and Safety (OSCS). The PBIS framework has three tiers: universal, targeted and intensive. The first tier, universal, requires that schools develop and teach norms and expectations around behavior. SEL programs are considered Tier 1 strategies in SDP. Details about the Second Step program can be found here: https://www.secondstep.org/. Twenty schools implemented Second Step in the 2018-19 school year, with another twenty schools planning to implement in the 2019-20 school year.

About the Evaluation

ORE’s 2018-19 research brief examined the following research questions:

  1. Do teachers report implementing Second Step with fidelity?
  2. Do teachers feel adequately trained, prepared, and supported to implement Second Step?
  3. What benefits and challenges have teachers experienced with Second Step?
  4. What additional supports do teachers feel they need to implement Second Step successfully?

An evaluation of schools currently implementing Second Step is planned for the 2019-20 school year.

For More Information

Evaluation Report 2016-17

Evaluation Report 2017-18

Teacher Perspectives on Implementing Second Step, 2018-19 (Research Brief)