Carpentersville, IL

Schoolwide Success with Social-Emotional Learning

An opposing pair of yellow quotation marks.
Staff can see students really responding and changing their behavior.

Brittany Porsche, Principal

Community Unit School District 300—the sixth-largest school district in Illinois—started Second Step in one school in 2012, and since then the program has spread rapidly based on strong buy-in from schools.

When it reached Lakewood School (fifth and sixth grade), teachers praised its engaging content, but struggled to fit it into their schedules. So Lakewood built in a dedicated Second Step period every Monday and paired each core teacher with another teacher or staff member to co-teach the lessons. Now everyone from the principal to the paraeducators teaches the same social-emotional concepts at the same time. This whole-school approach has led to an improved school climate, where students can calm themselves down, choose appropriate actions, and resolve conflicts.

“We all had the same common language, so when any staff member asked students to apply specific skills, they knew what we were asking them to do,” Principal Brittany Porsche says. “Staff can see students really responding and changing their behavior.”