The Highline Schools Foundation announced that it will again offer $10,000 to one school or program in Highline Public Schools this fall through their 2nd annual Impact Grantâ€”created as an effort to “make a meaningful difference in a specific program that aligns with the Highline Public Schools Strategic Plan.” The $10,000 grant is in addition to the Foundationâ€™s Excel Grant programâ€”through which they will award multiple grants of up to $1,000 this year. Global Connections High School was the winner of the Foundationâ€™s first Impact Grant in 2013. The $10,000 Impact Grant funded the creation, training, and implementation of a student leader group at Global Connections, called the Positive Behavior Student Advisory Council, which adopted a peer-to-peer program that supports and intervenes with students with behavior issues that are keeping them from learning. â€œThis program increases student voice, provides leadership opportunities and opportunities for critical thinking,â€ said Scott Gifford, last yearâ€™s Highline Schools Foundation board president.
- In this first year, the Positive Student Advisory Council trained and engaged 41 individual students as leaders in their school, with regularly empowering and meaningful responsibilities. This represents more than 10% of the on-campus student population making a significant commitment to improving their school culture.
- The peer mediation team ended up handling 26 cases, with 23 of those cases arriving at mutual restorative agreements between parties. More than half of these cases were handled in May-June, when the teams were at their most efficient capacity–a positive sign for next year’s work.
- The Positive Behavior Student Advisory Council will certainly continue in 2014-2015, with the benefit of starting from the very beginning of the school year â€“ this year with a club designation and the accompanying small funding.