• What Is School Climate?

    School Climate Overview

    School Climate encompasses culturally relevant, restorative practices with a racial equity and social justice lens, as well as school wide social emotional learning opportunities for all students in their classrooms.

    Multi-Tiered System of Support

    School climate is an essential component of the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) framework.  MTSS is a proactive, data-driven practice used at Portland Public Schools to support all students. It uses evidence-based instruction, intervention and assessment practices to ensure that every student receives the appropriate level of support based on their level of need.  Within an MTSS structure, all students receive sustaining universal supports (Tier I). Tier I support is the  collective responsibility that all Sitton staff and teachers take for all students. In the classroom, Tier I looks and feels like joyful teaching, positive reinforcement and narration, productive struggle, classroom break spaces, restorative conversations, social emotional learning, and rich academic discourse.  Additional support is provided for students that need it through targeted  interventions (Tier II). Tier II interventions look like push in support for academics, Check in Check out (an opportunity for students to develop positive relationships with many adults in the building), friendship groups, regulation spaces outside of the classroom.  Tier III individualized interventions are provided for students that need strategic support in order to access Tier I learning. At Sitton Elementary, we believe that teachers control the weather in their classrooms, and we employ MTSS in a manner that works toward greater inclusion and curricular accessibility. The framework below provides a snapshot of what we do at Sitton to support the learning of our students. 

    Schoolwide Values and Common Area Expectations

    Our School’s Core Values are 


    We can build eachother up, not tear eachother down. 


    We can bend and not break when things change.


    We can work together to do our best learning. 


    We can have the confidence to do what we know is right.


    We can find what brings us joy at school. 

    Si Se Puede

    We can keep trying even when things are hard! 


    Posters (with student, staff, family & community-produced values) have been made and distributed throughout the building in order to make them visible to students, staff and families. The intention is to send a consistent message about what our school community values and how it looks different in various common areas. This will help Sitton Elementary ensure that our school values are inclusive and affirming.

    Our values are important for the Sitton Elementary school community because these are qualities that guide students along the path of a successful life. Our students need to understand and exercise the core values on a regular basis to master the skills to be successful and prepared to be college and career ready.These values are woven into our regular teaching practices in every lesson and in every class period throughout the grade levels, naming them with consistency and strategically teaching and reviewing them throughout the school year.

    Common Area Expectations

    Common Language from PBIS Areas






    Problem Solving STEPS: 

    SAY the problem without blame. 

    THINK of solutions, 

    EXPLORE consequences, 

    PICK the best solution




    EAT, CLEAN, GREET, SANITIZE - Head to Class!


    PACK, GOODBYE, Head out!


    Teaching Common Area Expectations

    All students are taught the common area expectations at least three times a year after long breaks. 

    23-24 Common Area Expectations Lessons

    Schoolwide (Tier 1) Climate Practices

    Each Sitton Falcon deserves to come to school and feel seen, safe and valued.  In order to make this happen, adults across the school intentionally support all students by implementing the following:

    • A warm greeting by name each morning
    • Attendance Awards
    • Daily Falcon Awards for demonstrating core values
    • Classroom Community Agreements
    • Community Circles
    • Spirit Tokens redeemed at the Spirit Box (a vending machine containing prizes)
    • School counselor classroom lessons
    • Social Emotional Learning classroom lessons
    • Common Area Expectations after long breaks
    • Calming spaces in each classroom
    • Flexible seating
    • Think Sheets to help reflect on behavior

    Student Intervention Team:  Additional Behavior & Academic Supports (Tier II and Tier III)

    When Tier 1 classroom and schoolwide supports are not enough to ensure student success, students may be brought to the school Student Intervention Team (SIT) to develop and implement Tier II and III interventions. 


    The Student Intervention Team (SIT) is a collaborative, general education solution-generating team made up of a variety of school perspectives. The purpose of the SIT is to

    • support teachers in reflecting on and enhancing their Tier I practices and
    • implement targeted Tier II and III behavior and Tier III academic interventions when needed.

    Utilizing an equity lens, the team considers the whole student when making decisions that affect their long-term educational experience and sense of belonging in PPS. SIT works to provide every student and adult what they need to thrive in the general education setting. Families are notified about student strengths and challenges, as well as planned interventions, at all points in the process.


    Example Tier II Behavior Interventions

    Function: Access/Obtain

    Check In/Check Out

    Meaningful Work 

    Social/Emotional Skills Group 

    Check and Connect

    Function: Escape/Avoid

    Breaks are Better

    Check and Connect

    Social/Emotional Skills Group


    Example Tier III Behavior Practices & Intervention



    Safety Plan

    Supervision Plan

    Planning for Managing Escalating Behaviors (with FBA/BSP)



    Individualized interventions outlined in the FBA/BSP


    Defining Stage 1 and Stage 2/3 Behaviors

    Behavior level calibration will be conducted by building staff in order to properly reflect the evolving needs of our community and to accommodate the diverse racial, cultural, linguistic and developmental needs of our school.

    Defining Behaviors

    For the 2024-2025 school year, the Sitton leadership team has adopted the Caring School Community social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum. This curriculum is designed to teach students how to grow as caring, responsible members of our school community and to build student capacity for self-discipline, helping them regulate emotions, empathize with peers, make responsible decisions, and act independently and collaboratively. This curriculum defines common behaviors that K-5 students might exhibit, as well as responsive strategies for teacher and administrator response. Here is a non-exhaustive list:

    • Aggression
    • Bullying: Active
    • Bullying: Passive (Bystanding)
    • Cheating
    • Defiance
    • Disengagement
    • Disruptive and Off-task Behaviors
    • Excluding others
    • Inappropriate Language 
    • Inappropriate Touching
    • Social Isolation
    • Stealing and Vandalism
    • Tattling

    As with any human endeavor, context matters, and the behaviors above may elicit a tier one, two, or three response depending on the severity of the behavior and whether there is a history of the behavior, in addition to a myriad of other contextual factors. As with everything we do at Sitton, ultimately, it is our true north that guides our response.

    Effective Classroom Practices Plan

    Every teacher will have an Effective Classroom Practices Plan (ECP Plan). ECP Plans will be shared with administration no later than the day before back to school night.  Co-creating classroom practices reduces variability between classrooms and makes it more consistent for students. Some sample plans are provided below and professional development time will be provided in the first two weeks of school to complete these documents.

    The Effective Classroom Practices Plan template, covers the essential features of effective classroom practices: Structure, teaching expectations, acknowledging positive behaviors, and supporting regulation & restorative practices.

    Sitton’s Effective Classroom Practices Plans

    Schoolwide Guest Teacher Support System

    Feedback and Acknowledgement Systems

    Research shows that when staff observe and acknowledge students exhibiting appropriate behaviors, those behaviors will increase and misbehaviors will decrease. Specific praise is extremely important in increasing the recurrence of appropriate behaviors. When observing appropriate behaviors in the common areas/ classrooms/ buses, all staff acknowledge students exhibiting our core values verbally through positive narration (describing the actions of students who are following expectations and demonstrating our core values). In addition, we give students spirit tokens for going above and beyond.


    Family Involvement & Feedback 


    Sitton Parade, Popsicles & Ice Cream Social

    First Day: Red Carpet

    Kindergarten Ramp up


    Stroll to Sitton Begins

    Back to School Night

    Padres Latinos

    Principal’s Coffee


    Wellness Wednesday

    Spirit Week

    Padres Latinos

    Principal’s coffee

    Fun Run


    Principals Coffee

    Padres Latinos


    Site Council Meeting

    Climate Team Meeting


    Walk and Roll to School Day


    Black Excellence Celebration

    Sitton Read-A-Fun!


    Pie Day

    Padres Latinos


    Día del Niño


    Community Coffee

    Site Council Meeting


    End of Year Carnival

    5th and Kindergarten continuation ceremonies

    Site Council Meeting

    Climate Team Meetings


    Fidelity Data

    Culturally Responsive Tiered Fidelity Inventory (CR-TFI) & Fidelity Implementation Tool (FIT)

    This School Climate Plan is under continuous review using both the CR-TFI and domains in the  FIT Assessment that pertain to strong and positive school culture and inclusive behavior/social emotional instruction. These tools guide the action planning for the implementation of a positive school climate and connect directly with this School Climate Plan and the School Continuous Improvement Plan. 

    Current Improvement Plans: CR-TFI Action Plan 


    Successful Schools Survey (SSS)

    • Completed once a year in November by all students (grades 3-12), staff, and families.
    • Reviewed by the School Climate Team and shared with staff, students and families. Used to monitor and adjust climate initiatives.
    • Accessed via the Panorama dashboard

    Recent SSS data: 22-23 Successful Schools Survey