What are some common barriers I might encounter with PATHS®?

One common issue with PATHS® program implementation is teacher buy-in and lack of administrative support both of which are crucial to successful PATHS® implementation.  It is important to pre-plan with the Director of Curriculum for your school district on how to address this issue.  Demonstrating the connection between the PATHS® program and the PA Department of Education’s Academic Standards and the ease of integrating the PATHS® program into multiple academic areas helps to create buy in with both teachers and administrators.  The PATHS® program can help students meet the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts, the American School Counselor Association standards for academic, career, and personal/social development, and the Head Start Standards of Performance.  Resources to support these standards can be found on the PATHS Program website https://pathsprogram.com/

It is also important to emphasize how the PATHS® program creates a positive classroom and school climate and therefore lessens the need for behavior management in the classroom and more time is available to be spent on learning.

Getting all staff in a school engaged in PATHS® implementation is another common barrier.  Generalizing PATHS® concepts throughout the school day is an integral part of the program and having all staff know and using the general PATHS® concepts for identifying feelings, stopping to calm down and problem solving is important so that students are being given consistent messages.

Other common barriers that need to be addressed in the planning stages are creating a system for collecting data, developing a system for fidelity observations, and engaging parents.  Consulting with your PATHS® trainer will help you address any specific concerns related to barriers to implementation for your site.

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