We are committed to a safe and civil educational environment for all students, employees, parents/legal guardians, volunteers, and patrons that is free from harassment, intimidation or bullying.
We set high standards for student behavior and has a variety of systems in place to support students and families including the following programs and practices.
- Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports
- Restorative Practices
- In-School Suspension Programs
Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS) is a school-wide approach to creating and sustaining positive and effective teaching and learning environments for everyone. In PBIS schools:
- Staff teach, model, and acknowledge positive behavior
- The behavior expectations are taught clearly to students
- Students who have difficulty learning behavior expectations are provided additional support in small groups or on an individual basis
The goal of PBIS is to establish a positive community and culture within a school that has effective systems in place to help ALL students be successful.
Research has shown that punishing problem behavior without positive supports is ineffective and may increase aggression, truancy, and dropping out.
Highline has made the bold goal of eliminating out-of-school suspensions except when critical for student and staff safety. In order to give our students the best education in a safe and positive atmosphere, PBIS is being implemented across the district to create systems to support and prevent problem behavior from occurring.
PBIS strives to provide consistent, fair, equitable, and research-based interventions for all students to learn how to manage their own behavior and build social skills to be successful. Physically and emotionally safe environments will increase instructional opportunities and lead to academically skilled students who graduate ready for college, career, and citizenship.
Cardinal Rule of PBIS: Consistency, Consistency, Consistency!
Restorative Justice is a practice for addressing student behavior through a process that involves the offending student, the offended student, the parent, and community. It encourages accountability, healing and repair.
- Restorative practices use a peace-making circle where students involved in the conflict are able to express the harm that was done and how it impacted them.
- Restorative practices are inclusive of the larger community (in and out of the classroom/school). They build relationships between students, staff and community and provide a process for the offending student to make up for the harm they have caused and make changes to their behavior.
- Several schools have already implemented restorative practices, and more will be implementing this year.
Every middle and high school has an in-school suspension program staffed with a certificated teacher in the role of re-engagement specialist.
- Re-engagement specialists have co-designed an alternative-to-suspension handbook that all re-engagement specialists use in their programs.
- Re-engagement specialists use restorative practices to help students understand how their behavior impacts their peers, teachers, and other adults and to problem-solve how they can make better choices in the future.
- Re-engagement specialists connect with classroom teachers to support students on in-school suspension so students stay caught up on course work.
- Re-engagement specialists meet with one another throughout the year with the support of the Chief Engagement and Partnership Officer and the PBIS team to share what is working, what is not working, and how to improve their programs.
RULER is a researched-based approach from our educational partners at Yale University that helps students develop their social-emotional literacy skills.
Through the consistent use of four anchor tools (Charter, Mood Meter, Meta Moment, and Blue Print), RULER supports students in recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing and regulating their emotions.
After the first year of implementation, RULER strategies are also embedded into reading and writing, helping students develop sophisticated strategies for brainstorming, critically analyzing, debating, perspective-taking, and understanding character development.
RULER is a component of a comprehensive approach in Highline for supporting students emotional development and nurturing behavior expectations across the elementary schools, and compliments the district-wide implementation of PBIS and Trauma Informed Practices. RULER is currently implemented in 2/3 of the elementary schools in Highline.
Learn more about the RULER approach.