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Middle School Program

Empowered with Skills for Life

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Made with Middle Schoolers in Mind

Middle school is a time of change. Second Step helps you teach powerful skills and competencies—like handling strong emotions, setting and meeting goals, making good decisions, and forging positive relationships—while building the safe, supported learning environment middle schoolers need to succeed.

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Best-in-Class Social-Emotional Learning

Second Step Middle School is a first-of-its-kind social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum that’s modern, web-based, and responsive to the needs of today’s students and educators. It’s underpinned by the latest research in adolescent brain development and social psychology. The result is a program that doesn’t just help kids do better in school—it helps them do better in life.

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Relevant to Today’s Middle Schooler

We created dynamic, relevant, discussion-based content that offers practical skills for situations both in and out of the classroom. Many lessons feature videos of real kids talking about issues applicable to their daily lives. There’s a wealth of material, so lessons always feel fresh and interesting.

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Culture of Connectedness

Bringing SEL to every classroom is essential to building a connected school culture. By going schoolwide with the Second Step program, every adult in the building gains access to the program’s lessons, resources, and activities, creating a common language across the school. We know that creating a culture of connectedness is fundamentally important, but we also know that it’s a challenge. That’s why we’ve developed resources that make a schoolwide implementation easy for educators.

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Simple and Effective for Teachers

For any SEL program to be successful, first it has to work for teachers and help them meet the daily demands they face. Extensive field research and piloting have resulted in an intuitive interface teachers are quick to embrace. User feedback has led to a program with unprecedented flexibility—it provides a full year’s lessons for three grades and nearly 200 advisory activities, so teachers can expand or adapt it based on the unique situation in their classroom. The program also requires minimal prep time, and because it’s web-based, everything is in one place.

Best-in-Class Social-Emotional Learning

Second Step Middle School is a first-of-its-kind social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum that’s modern, web-based, and responsive to the needs of today’s students and educators. It’s underpinned by the latest research in adolescent brain development and social psychology. The result is a program that doesn’t just help kids do better in school—it helps them do better in life.

What Educators Say
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What Middle Schoolers Say
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What the Experts Say

What’s Included in the Program?

For each grade, the program is fully loaded with a year of weekly Second Step SEL lessons. There are nearly 200 advisory activities, program training, professional learning, and an abundance of additional resources—such as lesson plans to extend SEL throughout the day, SEL rubrics, and much more. A Principal Toolkit is also included with schoolwide licenses, offering administrative and implementation resources.

Social-Emotional Learning Lessons

The program’s lessons, which take approximately 25 minutes each, are projected from a web-based portal and require little prep time. They address four key areas of SEL.

  • UNIT 1
    Mindsets & Goals
    7 lessons per grade

    Students develop a growth mindset and learn research-based strategies for achieving goals. Lessons can be applied to social and academic aspects of their lives.

  • UNIT 2
    Values & Friendships
    5 lessons per grade

    Students learn to make decisions based on their personal values and to build strong friendships and relationships while avoiding negative ones.

  • UNIT 3
    Thoughts, Emotions & Decisions
    5 lessons per grade

    Students are taught the relationship between thoughts, emotions, and decisions and learn strategies for staying in control when they’re experiencing strong emotions.

  • UNIT 4
    Serious Peer Conflicts
    9 lessons per grade

    Students are taught how to identify, avoid, and resolve serious conflicts. They also learn strategies to prevent bullying and harassment.

Scope & Sequence

A complete list of units and weekly lesson topics for three grades of social-emotional learning.

Download the Full Scope and Sequence
Download the Short Scope and Sequence

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Award-Winning Media Content

A hallmark of the Second Step Middle School Program is its stand-out media component. Seventy videos woven throughout the program bring lessons to life, maintaining a standard of excellence recently honored with the 2018 CINE Golden Eagle Award for Children’s Programming. An extensive range of original content, stop-motion animation, custom illustration, and music infuses the program, adding up to an experience that engages students and makes social-emotional learning relevant to them in their everyday lives. Watch a sampling of the award-winning videos.

CINE award
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Advisory Activities

Educators can create a complete advisory program from the nearly 200 scripted Class Meetings, Class Challenges, and Service-Learning Projects included in the program. These advisory activities can be used with their corresponding weekly lessons to reinforce skills or as stand-alone experiences.

See the Advisory Program Guide (PDF)

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Leadership Team Resources

Administrators can support program success with schoolwide implementation resources and customizable, online presentations that help promote and maintain community buy-in throughout the year.

See the Leadership Team Resources (PDF)

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Principal Toolkit

Administrators can support program success with implementation tools and an online dashboard for monitoring use and progress. Available with purchase of a schoolwide license.

See the Principal Toolkit Summary (PDF)

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ParenTeen Connect

Included in the program, both in advisory materials for students and as an at-home family engagement resource, this online experience features candid videos and the guidance of parenting expert Dr. Laura Kastner. Designed by SEL experts, it helps teens and the adults in their lives communicate, connect, and break through on hot-button topics like communication, independence, responsibility, and screen time.

Explore the Site at

Additional Resources

Sample a Lesson

Take a Product Tour

Look inside the Second Step Middle School Program. This short video tour will show you what it’s like to navigate the modules and use the features within the program.

Watch the Video

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Attend a Webinar

We offer live and recorded webinars so you can hear from experts about our programs and ask us questions.

See All Webinars

  • The Program’s Research Underpinnings

    More is known every year about growth mindset, emotion management, social connectedness, and important skills and concepts that can make a positive difference at this age. The Second Step Middle School Program draws from the latest research to help students handle strong emotions, make and follow through on good decisions, and create strong friendships while avoiding or de-escalating peer conflict.

    See the Review of Research (PDF)

  • Alignment Charts

    See how the program complements your current standards, frameworks, and practices.

    Academic Alignment (PDF)

    CASEL Alignment (PDF)

    ASCA Standards Alignment (PDF)

    Restorative Practices in Schools (PDF)

    Whole Child Alignment (PDF)

Purchase Options

Schoolwide License

What’s a schoolwide license? It allows access to program lessons, activities, and resources for a nearly unlimited number of your school’s educators and staff so all students can be supported in and out of the classroom. It also comes with a Principal Toolkit so administrators can lead and communicate about the program’s implementation effectively and monitor schoolwide progress over time. It’s an investment in a positive school climate, and it brings the benefits of SEL to every classroom.
Read more about what’s in the Principal Toolkit.

1 year


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3 years

SAVE 20%


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5 years

SAVE 36%


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Ready to Purchase?

You can purchase a single-school license in our online store. For multisite pricing, contact us.

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Save 25% on Second Step® SEL for Adults

Your purchase of a Second Step® Elementary and Second Step® Middle School digital programs license unlocks a 25% savings on Second Step® SEL for Adults. Discover the benefits adult social-emotional learning can bring to your school. Offer valid between July 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023.

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Looking for a Kit?

Our Middle School binders are still available for purchase.

Shop for the 2008 Edition Now

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