Book Dr. Payno-Simmons for your event

About RPS

In our current educational landscape of race-based learning and discipline gaps, schools, researchers and policymakers are working to support the learning of all students. Efforts to create systems of support that consider the role race and culture plays in equitable practices for students has become a key part of school improvement process as schools are realizing that:

  • Multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) and positive behavior interventions and support (PBIS) highly effective when implemented with fidelity and have been proven to increase positive academic and behavioral outcomes for all students but has not closed learning and discipline gaps for African American and Latino students.
  • Race and culture plays a major role in educational outcomes.
  • Schools are now being held accountable for decreasing academic and behavioral gaps.
  • Research is now linking achievement and discipline gaps to opportunity gaps and implicit racial bias.
  • Schools and other educational entities are wanting to understand how to support African American and Latino students who are represented in these gaps.

Our mission - to build and promote culturally nuanced and sustaining educational systems of support across the state of Michigan and abroad that closes both opportunity and discipline gaps for all students, especially those who have been systemically and historically marginalized.

RPS Educational Impact provides professional development and implementation support to school districts and other educational entities to increase cultural understandings of the realities Black and Latino students face daily. The goal is to support schools in:

  • Effective continuous school improvement.
  • Creating culturally sustaining systems.
  • Promoting equitable practices.
  • Closing the opportunity gap by providing equitable practices, access, and opportunities.
  • Decreasing disproportionate exclusionary practices for students who have been systemically and historically marginalized.

Dr. Ruthie L. Payno-Simmons

Dr. Ruthie L. Payno-Simmons

Dr. Payno-Simmons (formally Ruth Riddle) is a national speaker, trainer, lead consultant and founder of RPS Educational Impact. Dr. Payno-Simmons is committed to issues of excellence and equity in education and understands the role that race and culture plays in the success of students of color, particularly African American and Latino students. Her primary objective is to improve educational opportunities for all students. Over the last 20 years, Dr. Payno-Simmons' experience as a researcher, teacher, principal, central office administrator and national equity specialist has provided her with a broad depth of knowledge and expertise in culturally sustaining practices, culturally relevant curriculum, multi-tiered systems of supports (MTSS), school-wide positive behavior supports (SWPBIS), and implementing sustainable educational systems. In her role as building principal, Dr. Payno-Simmons worked with her staff to implement (MTSS) and promoted equitable learning which earned the state designation of Rewards School for closing the achievement gap between the top 30% and bottom 30% students performing on the state assessment. Dr. Payno-Simmons leadership experiences and responsibilities over the last decade has included coordination of K-12 educational programs, instruction, curriculum, staff professional development at all levels, school improvement, district accreditation, and evaluation of systems, assessment and processes. Her supervisory experience involved administrative and oversight responsibilities for teachers, teacher leaders, coaches, principals, special education director, ELL staff, pupil accounting personnel, data personnel, curriculum secretary, and support staff.

Dr. Payno-Simmons provides consulting, training and coaching that support schools and other educational entities with the knowledge and skills needed to create culturally sustaining systems that promote equitable practices aimed at increasing academic access and opportunities and decreasing disproportionate exclusionary practices for all students especially those who have been systemically and historically marginalized. Through her work, Dr. Payno-Simmons help educators recognize institutionally oppressive and supportive practices that shape school climate and the identities of students they serve. In addition to her work as of founder of RPS Educational Impact Consulting, Dr. Payno-Simmons currently serves as an Equity Specialist with Michigan Integrated Behavior Learning Initiative (MIBLSI) which involves working with a team of experts at the state and national level to develop and deliver professional learning content, materials and resources to address the implementation of SWPBIS and contributing factors related to significant disproportionality involving discipline and race. Dr. Payno-Simmons also, currently works with various educational, governmental and equity based organizations to support the growing body of research and support related to PBIS, culturally nuanced systems of support, racial disproportionality of discipline, and issues of equity.

We Provide Personalized Professional Development

Services

Our list of services include:

  • Consulting related to the school improvement process, and systemic innovations (see below for a list of innovations)
  • Professional development and training related to the implementation of educational systems and innovations
  • Coaching support related to the implementation of educational systems and innovations
  • Professional development and training related data collection and analysis based on implementation of innovations
  • Workshops on a variety of innovations
  • Keynote speaking
  • Keynote for graduations

Core professional compentency/innovations areas:

  • Continuous School Improvement Plan Development
  • Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) Content Development
  • Data Collection & Analysis
  • Effective Meeting Facilitation
  • Building Strong Relationships
  • Collaboration
  • Use of Problem-Solving Model to Inform Decisions
  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Cultural Relevant and Sustaining Practices
  • Multicultural Instructional Strategies
  • School-wide Positive Behavior Supports (SWPBIS)
  • Discipline Disparity Issues
  • Equity Issues in Education
  • Equity Issues in Education
  • Cultural Mismatch Theory
  • Social and Cultural Reproduction Theory
  • Curriculum Planning Implementing & Evaluating Systems
  • Program Planning and Development
  • Grant Funding
  • Grant Writing
  • Redistricting
  • Professional Development Coordination & Facilitation
  • Teacher Training
  • Team Leadership
  • Survey Development & Results

Clients & Venues

Dr. Payno-Simmons has experience working with diverse groups and in various settings. She will personalize professional development and practical application based on your organization's data and needs. Whether providing training for teachers, administrators, support staff, or other stakeholders, Dr. Payno-Simmons fosters systemic innovations. The following is a list of current and past organizations that have successfully utilized Dr. Payno-Simmons services as well as venues where she has presented.

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Media

Testimonials

"Dr. Payno-Simmons is an inspiring, hardworking educator with the knowledge and expertise to change hearts AND minds. I have never met a more well-respected, knowledgeable, and hardworking educator as Dr. Payno-Simmons. She is a dynamic and inspiring leader that is well-versed in effective behavior practices. There are few people in education that so thoroughly understand the theoretical and practical aspects of culturally-responsive behavior practices as Dr. Payno-Simmons."

- Nathan A. Stevenson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Special Education
College of Education, Health, and Human Services
Kent State University

"Dr. Ruthie L. Payno-Simmons is a remarkable scholar, whose work overflows with cultural sensitivity, situated in the concerns and cares of the vulnerable. She has a wealth of experience working to transform lives through education, and change education systems through the brilliance of her unique perspective. Among the top educators I’ve had the pleasure to work with, Dr. Payno-Simmons is a rare intellectual who has something genuinely new to contribute to our efforts to transform failing systems of education."

- David E. Kirkland PhD JD
Executive Director | NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools
Associate Professor | English and Urban Education
New York University | Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development

"Dr. Payno-Simmons is a truly inspiring educator. She has engaged our students (mostly future teachers) with powerful ideas, combining compelling personal narratives with rich professional experiences."

- James Damico, PhD
Department Chair & Associate Professor | Literacy, Culture, & Language Education
Indiana University | Faculty Profile
Director, INSPIRE Living-Learning Center | Co-Director, Harmony-Meier Institute for Democracy & Equity in Education

"I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Ruthie Payno-Simmons within the public school setting. Dr. Payno-Simmons has a keen ability to support leadership teams as they make connections between surfacing concerns with student achievement and systemic issues. When collaborating with teams, Dr. Payno-Simmons harnesses her incredible intellect, wealth of experience, and relentless passion to focus leadership and instructional efforts for maximum impact."

- Amanda Lantz, M.A, Ed.S
School Psychologist, Holt Public Schools

"Dr. Ruth Payno-Simmons is a woman of passion and integrity. She tackles tough topics with compassion and challenge. You need to hear her story; for when you do, you will see yourself and the world through a different lens."

- Tammy Shorna, M.A.
Educational Coach, Ingham Intermediate School District

"Dr. Payno-Simmons provided our entire staff with professional development that caused us to reflect deeply about our implicit biases and the impact they have in the classroom. Dr. Payno-Simmons provided a safe environment where participants were comfortable having honest conversations."

- Mrs. Yvonne. Thomas, M. Ed
Principal, Windemere Park Charter Academy

Publications

  • Payno-Simmons, R. (2017). Supportive Practices for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in PBIS Schools: Part 1. Association for Positive Behavior Supports, 15(2), 1-3.
  • Damico, J.S. & Riddle, R. (2006). Exploring Freedom and “Leaving a Legacy”: Enacting New Literacies with Digital Texts in the Elementary Classroom. Language Arts.
  • Damico, J.S. & Riddle, R. (2004). From answers to questions: A beginning teacher learns to teach for social justice. Language Arts, 82(1), 36-46.

Presentation, Training & Workshops

  • Payno-Simmons, R. (June 2016 – June 2017) Keynote Speaker for 8th Grade Graduation, Windemere Park Academy. Lansing, MI
  • Payno-Simmons, R. (June 2016 – June 2017) School-wide Positive Behavior Supports that promotes Cultural Responsiveness and Equity in Schools, Windemere Park Academy. Lansing, MI
  • Riddle, R. (March 2017) Infusing Equitable Practices In SWPBIS: Moving from Theoretical Principles to Culturally Relevant Practices. Association for Positive Behavior Supports 14th International Conference, Denver, CO
  • McIntosh, K., Hill, B., and Riddle, R. (October 2016) Reducing the Effects of Implicit Bias in School Discipline. 2016 National PBIS Leadership Forum, Chicago, IL
  • Hornak, A., Amey, M., Ampaw, F., Farrell-Cole, P. and Riddle, R. (June 7, 2016) Women in Education: An inside look at their experiences, ACES Annual Conference. Lansing, MI
  • Riddle, R. (April 11, 2016) Disproportionality Discipline Issues and Bias: Supporting Historically Marginalized Students in CRPBIS School Systems, Mid-Michigan Leadership Academy. Lansing, MI
  • Riddle, R. (March 4, 2016) Disproportionality Discipline Issues and Bias: Supporting Historically Marginalized Students in CRPBIS School Systems, Lansing Charter Academy. Lansing MI
  • Colligan, L. Hornak, D. and Riddle, R. (January 22, 2016) A Partnership to Create Sustainable Practices through the Lens of Teachers Learning Together (TLT) with Dr. Kevin Feldman, Michigan Network of School Improvement (MDE). Lansing, MI
  • Riddle, R. (January 20, 2016) Disproportionality Discipline Issues and Bias: Supporting Historically Marginalized Students in CRPBIS School Systems, Lansing Public Schools. Lansing, MI
  • Riddle, R. (January 18, 2016) Cultural Mismatch the Need to Move Towards More Culturally Nuanced Systems of Support, Ingham ISD – All Staff. Mason, MI
  • Riddle, R. (November 23, 2015) Disproportionality Issues and Systematic Bias, Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI
  • Riddle, R. (November 19, 2015) Black Leaders Still Matter: Culture Mismatch and the Experiences of African American Educators in Majority White Institutions. National Alliance of Black School Educators Conference. Washington D.C.
  • Riddle, R. (October 2, 2015) Disproportionality Issues and Cultural Competency, at Indiana University College of Education. Bloomington, Indiana
  • Riddle, R. (October 1, 2015) Disproportionality Issues and the Need to Move towards More Culturally Nuanced Systems of Support. Ingham ISD – Administration Staff. Mason, MI
  • Riddle, R. (May 15, 2015) Keynote Speaker for Spring Convocation, Career Quest. Lansing, MI
  • Riddle, R. (May 22, 2015) Supporting Historically Marginalized Students in School Systems, NYU TAC-D Summer Institute, New York, NY
  • Riddle, R. (April and August 2015) Disproportionality Issues and Cultural Competency Ingham ISD – Special Ed Staff Mason, MI
  • Riddle, R. (March, 2015) Cultural Mismatch and Silenced Voices: Historically Marginalized Elementary Students’ Experiences within SWPBS. Association for Positive Behavior Supports 12th International Conference, Boston, MA
  • Riddle R. (November 2014) A Talk on Teaching and Cultural Understanding at Indiana University College of Education. Bloomington, Indiana
  • Riddle, R. (November 2014) Cultural Mismatch and Silenced Voices: Historically Marginalized Elementary Students’ Experiences within SWPBS. National Alliance of Black School Educators Conference. Kansa City, MO
  • Riddle, R. (May 2014). Persevering. Key Note Speaker at Career Quest Spring Convocation (Lansing, MI)
  • Damico, J., Baildon, M., Yazzie-Mintz, T., Riddle, R., & Exter, M. (2009). Symposium: Diversity (Diverse IT): Using a technology tool for curriculum innovation in teacher education. American Educational Research Association Conference, San Diego, CA.
  • Riddle R. and Fifth Grade Students (2003) Exploring Freedom: Using Technology to Inquire and Solve Problems. MACUL Conference. Detroit, MI