Innovation Spotlight: Louisiana

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The Positive Approaches for Safe and Supportive Schools (PASSS) program offers a solid foundation to implement integrated and comprehensive prevention programs in 43 high schools across Louisiana. These 43 funded high schools selected universal to targeted interventions to meet their specific needs, which range in focus from all high schools implementing PBIS to a few schools implementing alcohol education to a targeted group of students. The team recognized the need for a user-friendly way to assess fidelity across all schools and among all interventions. In collaboration with WestEd, the team developed a fidelity checklist through a web-based platform that teachers and other staff who are implementing the interventions and curriculum could easily complete. The checklist consists of 14 questions. The teachers and other staff responsible for implementing multiple interventions/curriculum can complete the checklist for up to five interventions.

Programs are working…

"I see students having more confidence in themselves. Students are being more vocal in the school building and wanting to make a change for the better."

~ S3 Teacher

Examples of the questions include:

  • Do you teach the lessons as they were written?
  • Did you modify the content and if so, which lessons were modified?
  • How engaged were the students for most of the lessons?
  • How relevant (applicable to their lives) were the lessons for the students?
  • How would you rate the training you received on the S3 curriculum/intervention?

The checklists were completed for the first time in January 2013, with over 190 respondents and over 70% of the schools completing the checklist for at least one intervention. In addition to the checklist, the school climate coaches conduct implementation fidelity visits to observe and monitor the implementation of interventions in the classrooms. The data indicate that the vast majority of staff (81%) are teaching the curriculum or intervention as intended “most” or “all” of the time. The team also uses the data to determine effectiveness of implementation, assist with future planning needs, and provide technical assistance to coaches, teams, and schools.

Moving Forward

The team is discussing administering the checklist in the fall and spring of the 2013-14. Additional response options will be provided for the most commonly used programs—for example, PBIS and Ripple Effects—because these programs do not have a finite number of activities and require a different type of fidelity rubric. In thinking about sustainability, the team is in discussion with the State Assistant Superintendent on the feasibility of developing a “toolbox” that will contain all the survey instruments, the fidelity checklist, and other resources developed through the Louisiana Safe and Supportive Schools initiative.

For additional information and to obtain a copy of the fidelity checklist, please contact Terri Byrd, S3 Project Director, at

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The contents of the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments Web site were assembled under contracts from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Supportive Schools to the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Contract Number  91990021A0020.

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