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Student Behavior and Well-Being program

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SRI Education’s mission is to promote evidence-based mental health and behavioral interventions within multi-tiered systems of support, to improve student outcomes and eliminate disparities in school discipline policies and practices.  

SRI Education’s researchers work with partners to select, implement and evaluate programs that elevate students’ positive behaviors in prekindergarten to postsecondary schools and classrooms. With our partners, we aim to improve school climate and safety, enhance student–teacher relationships, support social and emotional development, increase student academic engagement and foster emotional health and well-being of students and educators. 

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How are we supporting positive behaviors in schools and classrooms?

SRI Education cares deeply about providing safe, healthy, inclusive and positive learning environments for all students. To accomplish this goal, we work with educators and administrators to implement equitable and culturally appropriate policies and practices that support students’ mental health and well-being.  

SRI Education’s researchers collaborate with teachers, administrators and community members at all grade levels, from prekindergarten to postsecondary, to promote positive learning environments. We also work with developers, policymakers and education leaders to select, adapt, implement and evaluate interventions and supports that reduce students’ aggressive and oppositional behaviors; lessen anxiety, depression and traumatic stress; and increase coping, well-being and academic engagement and performance.  

SRI Education’s goal is to help our partners apply effective strategies and equitable policies that foster inclusive practices, positive behaviors and students’ motivation to learn and succeed. 

Evidence of effective strategies for student behavior and well-being

Educators need usable data and evidence to make cost-effective decisions about equitable policies and practices that benefit all students’ mental health and well-being.  

SRI Education helps our partners bridge the worlds of education research and education policy and practice. Our researchers design and implement rigorous studies to evaluate school-based behavioral and mental health programs for students of all ages. We then provide high-quality evidence and actionable recommendations that our partners can use to improve students’ emotional, behavioral and academic competencies. 

Research on positive learning environments

Positive learning environments must be equitable and inclusive. Yet expulsion and suspension rates for Black students are more than twice as high as the rates for other racial or ethnic minority groups and four times higher than the rates for White students. To disrupt such disparities, educators need a deeper understanding of nonpunitive, nonexclusionary and proactive policies and practices that support positive behaviors.  

SRI Education provides technical assistance, research and evaluation services to help our partners implement evidence-based programs and provide professional development to foster positive learning environments. Together, we aim to increase a sense of inclusion, equity and trust for staff, students and families, which in turn improves relationships among school staff, students and communities. 

Promoting social and emotional development and academic success 

Social and emotional skills, such as empathy, problem-solving and self-regulation, are closely linked to academic engagement and performance. Teachers need evidence-based strategies to help young learners develop these skills. However, many education systems continue to place more emphasis on developing academic skills than on social and emotional learning. 

SRI Education’s technical assistance, research and evaluation services are tailored to help our partners find and practice effective strategies to develop and improve students’ social and emotional skills. These strategies can lead to greater student success in school and beyond. 

How are we supporting teachers to create positive learning environments? 

Teachers cite students’ behavioral issues as one of their most pressing daily concerns—and one they are ill-prepared to deal with. Up to a third of students may struggle to learn due to emotional and behavioral problems that interfere with their engagement in school. Educators need effective strategies to support students who have or are at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders and who experience acute or chronic trauma, so they are healthy and thrive in their learning environments.  

SRI Education works with our partners to implement and evaluate professional development programs and school or classroom interventions that aim to decrease students’ disruptive behaviors; improve their coping, resilience, mental health and social and emotional skills; and ameliorate the impact of traumatic stress. 

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