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Establishing Consistent Behavior Supports Across the District

Superintendent Joe Gothard

During my State of the District address in February, I presented Phase 1 of our SPPS Achieves Strategic Plan. Since then, action teams have been busy laying the groundwork for implementing the strategic initiative action plans.

One such team, tasked with the 1a strategic initiative, is working toward a culturally relevant Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework at every school that integrates social-emotional learning and supports.

We know that PBIS, restorative practices and social-emotional learning are not mutually exclusive. They should interact with one another to provide a continuum of support for our students and staff.

  • PBIS helps set schoolwide expectations to create an environment where every student can learn, and to reduce the overrepresentation of suspension and referrals for certain student groups.
  • Restorative practices build community and help rebuild relationships
  • Social-emotional learning helps students navigate peer conflict, friendships, bullying, self-regulation, stress and anxiety

We are taking the first step to determine how to implement and support a districtwide model for social-emotional learning. Beginning April 30, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) will evaluate the status of our social-emotional learning support in the district.

This grant-funded review will include site visits at four schools and interviews with various stakeholder groups. The CASEL team will provide the district with an assessment of current social-emotional learning resources and needs, and will develop recommendations to strengthen our strategies districtwide. This will help us provide a more sustainable schoolwide approach.

Though many of our schools are already accomplishing great things through a preventative, educational and restorative approach to behavior, we must establish a ‘common language’ around how we do this. Our strategic plan will provide some much-needed consistency for the important work ahead that supports the safety and well-being of not only our students, but also our staff and teachers.

In partnership,


Joe Gothard

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