School Climate Plan

Gallup Hill School School Climate Specialist:  Principal


Respect for others and respect for self is a daily lesson for our students. Focused instruction on positive behavior traits is the cornerstone of building and maintaining a positive school climate.


The Gallup Hill School community institutes Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). PBIS is a systems approach to teaching and managing behavior in schools. The goal of PBIS is to enhance the capacity of schools, families, and communities to create and maintain positive school environments so that all students can achieve socially and academically.   


PBIS involves a continuum of evidence-based practices for all students, supported by all staff and sustained in both classroom and non-classroom settings (such as hallways, buses, and restrooms). The PBIS model uses a systematic approach so that otherwise isolated parts of the school operate in tandem. Taking a behavioral approach to school-wide discipline creates an environment where staff members are an important part of helping students achieve outcomes by choosing more effective, efficient, and desirable behaviors. 


The primary focus of PBIS is to provide proactive and effective behavior support for all students at the universal level. This is accomplished when the whole school community establishes and maintains universal procedures that contain clear and consistent behavioral expectations. A whole-school community is promoted through the establishment of common expectations for student conduct and instruction provided during our morning newscasts and our monthly whole-school meetings.


Opportunities for student success are enhanced by directly teaching universal expectations and establishing a school-wide system for reinforcing desired behavior. The necessary elements of PBIS include methods to examine needs through data, develop, teach, and encourage display of school-wide expectations, discourage problem behaviors, and monitor implementation and progress towards goals. SERC 2019.


The Gallup Hill School expectations for student conduct are based on the acronym B.A.R.K. which stands for:


Be: Accepting, Responsible, and Kind 


Students at Gallup Hill School (GHS) are taught and expected to follow B.A.R.K. expectations every day. Our GHS B.A.R.K. Mission Statement is: At Gallup Hill Elementary School we are good citizens who work together and through kindness, acceptance, and responsibility we build a positive school community. This school-wide mission provides our students with the tools for success in their social relationships with peers and adults and their academics. Students, teachers, and parents are asked to sign a pledge showing their commitment to B.A.R.K. at the beginning of each school year. Our morning announcements and our monthly All-School Meetings emphasize aspects of B.A.R.K., along with other positive character traits and habits of mind. B.A.R.K. behavior expectation lessons are taught at the beginning of each school year.


The Gallup Hill School PBIS behavior expectation lessons are designed to first teach, and then revisit to reinforce positive behaviors. The lessons also help us to point out inappropriate behavior, and have reflective discussions with our students to ensure that we consistently emphasize appropriate behavior expectations. B.A.R.K. lessons are specifically designed for each area of our school environment to keep behavior expectations consistent throughout our school community. 


Discussions regarding inappropriate behavior follow a common framework: students identify the inappropriate behavior, attempt to determine its cause, and reflect on what they could do to avoid this reaction in the future. As a staff, we are always teaching and modeling B.A.R.K. behavior as the goal for all. PBIS and our B.A.R.K. mission align with and complement our social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum.


We believe it's important to celebrate student success towards behavior goals. Our GHS students are rewarded with B.A.R.K. Paws for exemplary positive behaviors. Our PBIS Team helps to plan monthly celebrations and activities to celebrate positive behaviors.


GHS teachers are supplied with the following curriculum materials and resources to provide direct instruction of the components of PBIS and our B.A.R.K. Mission:

  • The Connected, Respected, and Celebrated  curriculum is used (K-5) to implement social resilience lessons. The program combines direct instruction of proactive strategies, role-play and corresponding mentor text to help inform students about negative character traits and teach them how to “stand up” to negative impulses by relying on their positive character traits.
  • Within each grade level, students are taught positive social behaviors through the use of various mentor texts.  Examples are: Chester and the Big Bad Bully, Hooway for Wodney Wat, One, Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon, Chrysanthemum, How Full is Your Bucket?, Billy Bully and How to Handle a Bully, The Recess Queen, What are you so Grumpy About?, When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry.
  • The following Special Education Resources are available for staff and parents:  How to Stop Bullying and Social Aggression, Cultivating Kindness in School, Lively Lessons for Classroom Sessions, All about Boundaries, I Didn’t Know I Was a Bully, Asperger’s Syndrome and Bullying, and No More Meltdowns.


Gallup Hill School adheres strictly to all laws and responsibilities related to stopping bullying at Connecticut schools. In accordance with and in addition to that law: 


Gallup Hill School maintains a PBIS/School Climate Team. The committee members consist of: the principal, teachers, and a parent representative. During monthly meetings, the PBIS team reviews our school climate and related data that include discipline and bullying referrals. If patterns are evident, the PBIS Team develops an action plan to address the identified area(s) of concern.

  • Classroom lessons are provided at the beginning of each school year defining the conditions which lead to bullying, how to recognize bullying, and how each student has a responsibility to eradicate and report bullying as an active bystander. 
  • All students and parents are informed of the school procedures and consequences associated with bullying.


All staff members are informed of the Anti-Bullying law and its implementation in accordance with Ledyard Board of Education policy.

When students struggle socially and emotionally, several programs are in place to provide support:

  • Scientifically Research-based Intervention (SRBI) Team meetings are conducted at least three times a year to monitor students with Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) and individualized support plans. During SRBI meetings, individualized behavior goals are crafted and progress towards goals are monitored to ensure timely response to identified interventions. Individualized team meetings, to include parents/guardians, are conducted as needed to further monitor positive behavior goals. 
  • Ledyard Youth Services supports our students by providing individual support as needed. 
  • A school Mentor Program consisting of certified staff members provides identified students an additional positive adult relationship within the school. Mentors meet with student mentees at a regularly scheduled time throughout the school year. Typically, this meeting takes place during lunchtime. Often mentor/mentee relationships remain consistent as students progress through grade levels. Parent permission is required for participation.
  • The Military Family Life Counselor offers support to military families and their children. 
  • The district also has a BCBA (Board Certified Behavioral Analyst) to address significant behaviors when necessary. A school social worker and school psychologist are on site to provide additional support for social emotional learning and behavioral needs. These faculty members collaborate with families to create a partnership that supports student behavioral and social emotional learning expectations. 
  • Gallup Hill School supports several events and activities designed to improve the overall climate of the school. These include our annual Field Day to practice and model teamwork and positive competition. Monthly All-School meetings, with established positive character trait themes, work to provide our school community with a universal positive message towards school climate goals and offer us an opportunity to celebrate our positive behavior success! PTO sponsors events such as the Penguin Patch store for the winter holidays, Book Fairs, and art and science days to provide enrichment opportunities to our students.