Nurture a Culture of Belonging
To proactively avoid negative behaviors that result in suspensions, HTH is focused on further developing a culture of belonging. To achieve this goal, HTH teachers practice a learner centered, inclusive approach that supports student wellness and challenges each student. All students are known well by their teachers, engage in and create meaningful work, and are challenged to develop growth mindsets as they meet high expectations beginning in kindergarten and extending through grade twelve. HTH students are encouraged to think of themselves as inquisitive, resilient lifelong learners, who have agency in their learning and achievement.
Structures such as morning and closing meeting, and an emphasis on productive group work contribute to a sense of belonging among, students, as well as an atmosphere of safety and collaboration. Data from the nationally normed YouthTruth survey indicates HTH students are in the 89th percentile nationally in their agreement with the statement, “I feel a part of this community.” HTH students’ agreement with the statement, “Discipline is fair” is in the 87th national percentile. Since research suggests that “restorative justice is a useful method of keeping students in school while promoting positive relationships,” (Owen, Wettach, and Hoffman, 2015) HTH seeks to use restorative practices to reduce the rate of suspensions while supporting the development of a nurturing school community.