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Second Step

What Is Second Step?

second stepSecond Step is a program published by the Committee for Children. It is a social and emotional learning program for students in pre-K through eighth grade. The goal of the Second Step program is to help students be successful in school. The Second Step program teaches social skills and self-regulation. All MPS K–5 and K–8 schools teach Second Step to all students. 

Learn more about social and emotional learning.

Program Topics

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  Early Learning (K3/K4)

Skills for Learning: The goal of this unit is to build skills that help children learn. Students learn how to listen, focus their attention, use self-talk, and ask for help when they need it.

Empathy: The goal of this unit is to help children identify and understand feelings and be kind to others. Students learn to take another person's perspective and show care and concern for others.

Emotion Management: The goal of this unit is to help children know how they are feeling and calm down strong feelings. 

Friendship Skills and Problem Solving: There are two goals for this unit. The first is to help children learn to solve problems in safe ways. The second is to build skills that help children make and keep friends.

Transitioning to Kindergarten: There are two goals for this unit. The first is to practice Second Step skills that children have learned. The second is to help children understand that these skills will help them in kindergarten.

  Elementary (Kindergarten–Grade 5)

Growth Mindset and Goal Setting: Students learn how to develop a growth mindset and make an effective plan for how to get better at a skill.

Emotion Management: Students learn how to identify emotions in themselves and others and apply strategies to manage their emotions.

Empathy and Kindness: Students learn how to use kindness to make and maintain friendships.

Problem Solving: Students learn how to apply their emotion management, communication, and empathy skills to solve interpersonal problems and demonstrate strategies for effectively dealing with interpersonal conflict.

  Middle School (Grades 6–8)

Mindsets and Goals: Students learn how to develop a growth mindset and apply research-based goal-setting strategies to their social and academic lives.

Recognizing Bullying and Harassment: Students learn how to recognize bullying and harassment, stand up safely to bullying, and respond appropriately to harassment.

Thoughts, Emotions, and Decisions: Students learn how to recognize strong emotions and unhelpful thoughts, and they learn to apply strategies for managing their emotions and reducing stress. 

Managing Relationships and Social Conflict: Students learn strategies for developing and maintaining healthy relationships, perspective-taking, and dealing with conflict. 

Violence Prevention Program

6620 W. Capitol Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53216


Social and Emotional Learning Supervisor:

Kimberly Merath
Phone: 414-438-3593

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2023
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