Committee recommends SecondStep be added to K-8 curriculum

ALPENA — The Alpena Public Schools Curriculum and Technology Committee recommended the implementation of the SecondStep K-8 Social Emotional Curriculum during Tuesday’s meeting.

Meaghan Gauthier, director of K-12 curriculum/state and federal programs, said Hinks Elementary and Lincoln Elementary have been piloting the curriculum and have seen positive outcomes despite the curriculum starting in the middle of the school year.

“The mid-year start was tough,” Gauthier said. “The first unit is a foundation unit that worked really well when our classrooms are setting up and teachers are setting up their routines at the start of the year so it was kind of a rough start, but we saw really good outcomes.”

Gauthier said the good outcomes were in kids learning strategies for self-regulations. The results of the pilot were shared with the other elementary schools.

“The remaining elementary schools, including Hinks and Lincoln, all stated that students lack of social and emotional skills are strong contributing factors to some of the outcomes that we’re seeing in our math and reading scores,” Gauthier said. “The research behind the social and emotional learning is that if we don’t address that, some kids might not have the readiness to learn.”

Thunder Bay Junior High has decided to implement an advisory model as opposed to Pride Time, Gauthier said. The purpose of the advisory model is to strengthen the relationships with students and help build social and emotional skills to help the students with the tough social issues they deal with in middle school.

“They piloted some lessons from the middle school SecondStep program as well as some other lessons and felt that SecondStep would be the best fit,” Gauthier said.

The committee recommended the implementation of the curriculum.

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688