Social Emotional Learning at Lake Harriet
Monday, November 5, 2012 6:35 AM


All Lake Harriet students from Kindergarten to grade 8 receive social-emotional instruction with the district-approved curriculum, Second Step. Second Step is a nationally-known, research-based developmentally appropriate curriculum. Teachers from Kindergarten to 5th grade teach Second Step lessons in their classroom. Students in grades 6-8 receive Second Step instruction in Health class. To view the Scope and Sequence at each grade level, please visit the following links at the Committee for Children website:

Grades K-5 

Grades 6-8 

We teach Second Step because we value the importance of social-emotional learning (SEL). SEL promotes students’ school success and connectedness and contributes toward a safe and respectful school climate. It also helps prevent problem behaviors, peer rejection, impulsivity, and low academic achievement. Teaching social-emotional learning is as important as teaching math or language.

Here are some benefits to teaching our students social-emotional skills:

  • Students who can self-regulate are better able to participate in and benefit from classroom instruction.
  • Having empathy prepares students to manage their own strong emotions and solve interpersonal problems with others.
  • Students who practice emotion management by recognizing strong emotions and calming down cope better and are less prone to aggressive behaviors.
  • Students who use problem-solving skills to handle interpersonal conflicts with peers, are less likely to engage in impulsive or aggressive behaviors.
  • Students who participate in SEL programs have grade point averages that are 11 percent higher than their peers.
  • Students who participate in SEL programs score higher on standardized tests.  
  • Students who participate in SEL programs are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors that interfere with learning, such as violence and drug and alcohol use.
  • Schools that teach SEL have fewer suspensions and expulsions and better student attendance.


If you have any questions about Second Step, please contact Lake Harriet’s School Psychologist, Julie Hirsch,, or Social Workers, Maggie Quinlan and Lynne McCoy.