Expert Instruction Podcast
Social Relationships
Nov 17, 2020

Ep. 4: School Culture vs Climate

In this episode, we're talking to Athena Vernon about the difference between your school's climate and its culture and how to make your schoolwide expectations work for all students.

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This month, we kick off our series about culturally responsive practices in PBIS implementation. In Teach by Design, we defined what we mean when we say a school is culturally responsive; we explored how to use data to determine the impact your existing systems and practices have on specific student groups; and we used Dr. Christopher Emdin’s idea of “content + context” to embed student identity in implementation.

When your school is culturally responsive, you hold all students to high expectations, and you use their cultures to enhance their learning. What do you do when your schoolwide expectations aren’t culturally responsive? How do you know when they are?

In this episode of Expert Instruction, we’re talked to Athena Vernon. Athena is a member of the Desert/Mountain SELPA Prevention and Intervention Team. She is a Prevention and Intervention Lead Specialist with over 15 years of experience in K-12 settings. During our conversation, we talked about the difference between a school’s culture and its climate and how embedding your students’ cultures into your schoolwide expectations benefits everyone in your school.

For more information about the work Athena and her colleagues are doing, check out the Prevention & Intervention team's page.

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Megan Cave


Megan Cave

Megan Cave is a member of the PBISApps Marketing and Communication team. She is the writer behind the user manuals, scripted video tutorials, and news articles for PBISApps. She also writes a monthly article for Teach by Design and contributes to its accompanying Expert Instruction podcast episode. Megan has completed four half marathons – three of which happened unintentionally – and in all likelihood, will run another in the future.

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