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School Culture and Climate Supports

Equitable School Culture and Climate Services within Indianapolis Public Schools encompasses issues such as the physical and emotional safety of students, health and well-being, the orderliness of classrooms and public spaces, and/or the degree to which a school embraces and celebrates racial, ethnic, linguistic, or cultural diversity.

Indianapolis Public Schools is committed to our role as a change agent for more inclusive and equitable educational environments for our children and the adults who serve them. Specifically, we recognize School-wide Positive Behavior Supports, as a framework to reduce the use of out-of-school disciplinary practices like suspension and expulsion and to reduce the disproportionate use of suspension and expulsion with students of color, students with disabilities, and other historically underserved students. We recognize that Equitable School Culture and Climate is most effective in reducing educational disparities and disproportionate discipline when it is used with other promising strategies such as restorative practices, trauma-informed care, and others. 

Implementing Equitable School Culture with fidelity while actively engaging and elevating stakeholder voices creates a prosocial and supportive community that serves as the foundation, facilitates the culturally relevant and equitable implementation and outcomes, and creates environments that support effective instruction.   

The Equitable School Supports Coordinators collaborate with school, district, community organizations and stakeholders to advance supports and interventions for all students in IPS. Our staff provides training, assistance, monitoring and policy development by working collaboratively with districtwide staff and the community at large.

Our coordinators also facilitate the ongoing development and maintenance of restorative justice practices and social-emotional learning districtwide. We collaboratively build systems that address behaviors, strengthen relationships and focus on empathy, as well as build the social skills necessary for academic and life-long success. We also train, develop, implement and maintain positive behavioral interventions and supports at the student, classroom, schoolwide and district levels.

Tiered Interventions and Supports

Tiered interventions and supports provide a systemic implementation of a process called a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS). The MTSS process is a guided decision-making framework comprised of four essential components: screening, progress monitoring, the implementation of evidence-based best practices, and data-based decisions for improving important behavior outcomes for all students. MTSS is not a curriculum, intervention or practice, but instead is a collaboration between district and school staff in designing behavioral support systems for students at each tier.

Restorative Practices

Restorative Communities intentionally promote a positive and healthy school culture by building, strengthening, and (when harm occurs – including institutional and historical harm) repairing relationships through social-emotional learning, circle practice, and restorative dialogue. Restorative Communities honor diversity, identity, and human rights. 

Restorative practices uses restorative justice principles to create alternative dispute resolutions as well as foster empathy, accountability and restoration of fairness to victims and the community in IPS. Educators and school children are being trained to use these skills to work with other students and families to resolve conflicts and restore justice in an effort to end violence and bullying in our schools.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

Welcome to our Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) initiative, a transformative process that equips both children and adults with the essential knowledge, attitudes, and skills to comprehend and navigate emotions effectively. Our SEL approach empowers individuals to set and attain positive goals, cultivate empathy, foster positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

At IPS, SEL is not just a program—it’s a universal, Tier 1 prevention service designed to benefit all students and staff. An SEL curriculum is taught in every classroom to give tomorrow’s workforce the tools for success while educators find it contributes to a positive school climate and increased academic success. Beyond immediate outcomes in the classroom, SEL prepares employees to solve problems, manage emotions and communicate.

We are committed to the districtwide implementation of two impactful SEL programs:

  • Second Steps: Tailored for students in kindergarten through Grade 8, Second Steps is a comprehensive SEL program aimed at fostering emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills.
  • Suite 360: Extended to students in kindergarten through Grade 12, Suite 360 provides a holistic SEL experience, addressing the unique needs of students at different grade levels.

Explore the enriching world of SEL at IPS, where we prioritize the holistic development of our students and cultivate the social and emotional competencies essential for a successful future.

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