A variety of agencies, advocacy groups, educators, centers, schools, and districts are working to improve school climate in Georgia. Read more about the partners involved in this effort and the resources they have developed on improving school climate below.
Georgia Department of Education has been working since 2008 to provide training and ongoing technical assistance to over 800 Georgia schools in Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). PBIS is a universal, school-wide prevention framework that is shown to reduce disruptive behavior problems and improve school climate. Schools implementing PBIS adopt a positive, preventative set of research based practices that include creating rules that are consistently and fairly applied in all settings; actively teaching positive behaviors, recognizing people for doing the right thing, using discipline data to identify trends and strategies for prevention; providing individuals and groups evidence based interventions, developing equitable discipline practices to keep students in school; and continuously evaluating how things are working and how to make changes.
Georgia’s suspension rates have been on a steady decline since 2008 and schools report drops in office discipline referrals from 30% – 60% in the first year of implementation. Beginning in the 2014-15 year, the Georgia legislature provided funding for School Climate Specialists located at each Regional Education Services Agency. These specialists work closely with the GaDOE PBIS team to provide support to districts and schools in the implementation of PBIS.
Learn more about Georgia schools implementing PBIS: GaDOE PBIS
Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning is working with staff from the Pyramid Model Consortium to support the implementation of the Pyramid Model for supporting the social and emotional competence in infants and young children in early childhood settings across our state.
Like PBIS, the Pyramid Model provides a framework of evidence-based practices that is shown to promote social emotional development, prevent challenging behaviors, and improve school climate. This tiered framework provides universal supports promoting the social emotional development of all young children, as well as additional supports for children and families with more complex needs. Based on evaluation data over the last eight years, the Pyramid Model has shown to be a sound framework for early care and education systems.
Demonstration sites across the state will be chosen to receive training and support in program-wide implementation of the Pyramid Model framework with on-going training and technical assistance provided to ensure fidelity of implementation.