Our Classroom Environment

All students who attend Rochester Public Schools will discover their individual passions along with a strong sense of self and purpose. At RPS, we will make educational equity a reality by ensuring every student experiences high-quality teaching and learning in a culturally responsive environment.

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching (CLRT)

CLRT, or Culturally and Linguistically Relevant Teaching, is a classroom management strategy used throughout the Rochester Public School District. Our staff have been trained in Responsive Classroom Management, Responsive Academic Vocabulary, Responsive Academic Literacy, and Responsive Academic Language through the teachings of Dr. Sharroky Hollie, a national educator who provides professional development to thousands of educators in the area of cultural responsiveness.  

Educational Non-Verbal Yardsticks (ENVoy)

ENVoY, or Educational Non-Verbal Yardsticks,  is a classroom management technique utilized district-wide at Rochester Public Schools. Research shows that over 80% of communication is non-verbal. Our staff receive training to focus on how to systematically and effectively use eye contact, voice patterns and body language. This establishes an educational environment that nourishes positive relationships, which leads to increased student achievement.

Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS)

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports or PBIS is an effective framework for preventing problem behavior and supporting students’ social, emotional, and behavioral needs.Comprehensive PBIS plans include intervention strategies designed to decrease disruptive behavior and promote positive choices. Supports include modifying students’ environments, teaching students new skills, and controlling staff responses.

Agreements and Data

On September 1, 2015, the Rochester Public Schools District entered into a voluntary Agreement to resolve a Title VI compliance review that OCR initiated regarding the equitable discipline of students. The District has achieved compliance per the OCR Resolution Letter on January 25, 2019.

On September 4, 2018, the Rochester Public School District entered into agreement with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights to participate in statewide efforts to address issues related to disparities in student discipline and equity issues in education, conference, and conciliation. 

Title VI: Discipline: Rochester Public Schools (District) (MN) (05-10-5003)

According to the Agreement, the District will review its Student Behavior Handbook and make revisions, as appropriate, taking into account any recommendations or suggestions made by the District’s consulting expert and other relevant parties; designate an employee to serve as a Discipline Supervisor and designate administrators who will address complaints regarding matters related to its disciplinary policies; require teaching and support staff to employ a range of corrective measures before referring a student to administrative personnel; instruct the established team at each school to discuss and make recommendations on the equitable implementation of discipline policies, practices, and procedures; place a link on its website to OCR’s Civil Rights Data Collection data for the District and a link to updated data concerning referrals for discipline, suspensions, expulsions, and referrals to law enforcement, disaggregated by race and other factors; ensure that it has in place a system of supports, such as mentoring or counseling, to assist students who display behavior problems; provide annual training programs on discipline to District personnel and students and make informational programs on the District’s discipline policies and procedures and an updated Student Behavior Handbook available to parents or guardians on the District website; collect and evaluate data on an annual basis regarding disciplinary referrals, suspensions, expulsions, and reports to law enforcement; evaluate whether it is implementing its student discipline policies, practices and procedures in a non-discriminatory manner; establish uniform standards for the content of student discipline files at all schools; examine how disciplinary referrals occurring at each school compare to those at other District schools and explore possible causes for any racial disproportion and consider steps that can be taken to eliminate the disproportion to the maximum extent possible; and limit the role of police liaison officers to investigating crimes or potential crimes and not include the officers in recommending or determining student discipline.

View this information on the OCR Website.


Equity Team

Billy Brown
Equity Specialist

Kimberly Eversman, Ph. D. 
K-12 Equity Implementation Associate

Regan Holm
American Indian Liaison

Rodney Sharp
Equity Specialist

Shavana Talbert
Coordinator of Equity

Toby Taylor
Equity Specialist

Willie Tipton 
Equity Specialist

The district is continually making strides to improve our classrooms, schools, and district as a whole, and this is just the beginning of process and growth in equity.