School Climate Transformation

  • The School Climate Transformation program is supporting efforts to promote positive learning environments for students attending several middle schools and high schools throughout south central Washington.  The work will help the participating schools establish an ongoing system of student programs designed to increase young people’s safety, promote mental health, and improve attendance.  The interventions in these areas are also designed to carry over into improving academic results for the students enrolled in the consortium’s schools.

    Funding for the program is through a five-year federal grant of $3,747,440 from the U.S. Dept. of Education that was awarded in the fall of 2019 to a consortium of education organizations in the region that involves the Grandview, Granger, Mabton, Mt. Adams, Sunnyside, and Wahluke school districts, plus the Yakama Nation Tribal School, as well as the consortium’s lead agent, Educational Service District 105.  The grant is designed to generate an overall impact on 6,500 area youths attending the grant consortium’s schools. 

    The 12 school buildings involved in the project are Grandview’s Grandview High School and Grandview Middle School, Granger’s Granger High School and Granger Middle School, Mabton’s Mabton Junior/Senior High School, Mt. Adams’ White Swan High School and Mt. Adams Middle School, Sunnyside’s Harrison Middle School and Sierra Vista Middle School, Wahluke’s Wahluke High School and Wahluke Junior High School, and the Yakama Nation Tribal School.

    Much of the work being funded by the grant will help establish or more fully implement the use of an intervention approach called “multi-tier system of supports” at each school.  This practice involves scaled procedures of one-on-one help and small group interventions addressing a student’s behavior, social and emotional needs, and absenteeism.  Schools are able to use a multi-tier system of supports framework to identify struggling students early in order to initiate assistance and resolutions more quickly.  This process of addressing social and emotional learning issues involves developing a student’s skills in managing emotions, setting goals, and making responsible decisions toward building a foundation for a student’s increased success in school and life.

    The grant is funding work from ESD 105 provide training and coaching to school educators in implement the multi-tier system of supports, and in providing classroom curricula designed to promote positive personal choices that will facilitate stronger learning opportunities. 

    This work from the grant has several goals, including:

    • Having all 12 of the schools fully implement an MTSS framework
    • A 10% annual decrease in student suspensions at all the schools
    • A 10% annual increase on student proficiency in state math and English scores
    • Suicide prevention strategies implemented in each school during each year
    • Implementation of opioid abuse prevention strategies in all participating schools by next September
    • A 10% annual decrease in student opioid use, a 10% annual decrease in student alcohol use, and a 5% annual decrease in student drug abuse at each school