Behavior/SEL: Tier 1

Tier 1 Overview

In an effective behavioral and social-emotional core, preventative supports are provided to all students. There is a consistent and instructional approach to both behavioral health and social-emotional learning. Based on research by Zins and Ponti (1990), successful individual student behavior support is linked to school climates that are effective, efficient, relevant, & durable. Schools with such climates use the smallest number of evidence-based practices needed to produce those outcomes, specifically:

  • Common, positively stated social and behavioral expectations are defined, taught, and supported
  • Use of consistent, instructional, and restorative continuum of supports for social and behavioral errors

Schools should utilize a team-based approach to building and sustaining an effective behavioral and social-emotional core. This Tier 1 team supports the adults in the building to meet the needs of all students. Teams should focus on behavioral and social-emotional outcomes for all students by implementing a common language and instruction and using data to guide decisions.


High School Considerations

Though the core features of an effective behavioral/social-emotional core are the same at the high school level, there are certain contextual factors that need to be carefully considered when planning implementation.

  • Size - high schools are typically larger and departmentalized. It can be challenging to reach everyone in the building, and implementation typically takes longer as a result.
  • Organizational Culture - high schools have a laser-like focus on academic content. While important, teaching behavior and social-emotional health is equally important, and is the responsibility of adults in the building.
  • Student Age - older students will want greater input into decision making that directly affects them. Consider soliciting feedback from students while building and maintaining the behavioral/social-emotional core.


Social-Emotional Learning Standards

In October of 2017, the Rhode Island Council for Elementary and Secondary Education endorsed the RI SEL Standards: Competencies for School and Life Success.  These standards apply to all age groups, from preschool through adulthood, but SEL skills look different at various age/grade spans. The SEL Indicators provide examples of what the standards might look like at different grade spans. For more information about the Social-Emotional Learning standards in Rhode Island, visit RIDE’s SEL webpage.

Last modified: Wednesday, April 7, 2021, 12:59 PM