In our current educational landscape of disproportionate academic and behavioral outcomes, schools, researchers, and policymakers are working to support 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 continuous school improvement as educators realize that:
To support educators at all levels build and promote culturally nuanced and sustaining educational systems of support that centers equity 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 culturally and linguistically diverse students face daily. The goal is to support schools and other educational entities in:
Dr. Ruthie Payno-Simmons is a national speaker, trainer, lead consultant, and Founder of RPS Educational Impact, LLC. She also serves as an Equity Implementation Specialist for the Technical Assistance Center on Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) for the Michigan Department of Education and State Cadre Technical Assistance Specialist for the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center (MAP EAC Center) at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. Dr. Payno-Simmons is committed to issues of excellence and equity in education and understands the role that race and culture play in the success of students of color, particularly African American and Latino students. Her primary objective is to improve educational opportunities for all students. Her work involves collaborating with experts at the state and national levels to provide professional learning and technical assistance supportive of developing equity-oriented policies and strategic plans that address significant academic and discipline disparities of minoritized student populations. Dr. Payno-Simmons supports educators and policymakers in considering ways to center educational equity as they work to build and strengthen their systems. Dr. Payno-Simmons' experiences as a parent, researcher, teacher, teacher educator, principal, and district administrator contributes to her broad depth of knowledge and expertise in multiple areas. These areas include equity-oriented policies, culturally sustaining practices, multi-tiered systems of supports (MTSS), positive behavior supports (PBIS), and implementing sustainable educational systems. In her role as building principal, Dr. Payno-Simmons worked with her staff to implement sustainable systems of support focused on promoting equitable learning, which earned a state designation for closing the opportunity gap between the top 30% and bottom 30% students performing on the state assessment. Dr. Payno-Simmons leadership experiences over the last decade include policy analysis and strategic planning, 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.
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