Safety is a community-wide issue.
That came out loud and clear at the community safety meetings we conducted last spring in partnership with community leaders.
The White Center Community Development Association compiled the input gathered at the meetings and generated a report that can guide our work to enhance safety in our community and our schools.
In addition to the report, we want to share steps we are taking at schools across the district.
Community input was grouped in three main categories:
- a vision for the community
- priority issues that should be addressed
- strategies for addressing these issues and achieving the community’s vision
Community vision primarily consisted of:
- an inclusive social environment
- safe public spaces
- safe schools
- empowered community members
Priority issues in the community included:
- community climate
- mental health and substance use
- crime and violence
- child and family support
- government and politics
- law enforcement
- socioeconomic systems
- school climate
Participants suggested community-based, school-based, and individual-level strategies for addressing priority issues and achieving community vision. Suggested strategies included:
- improving the social and physical community environment
- providing services to community members
- improving partnerships across stakeholders including with law enforcement
- school emergency planning
- prioritizing student and community voices
- increasing civic engagement
Here are some of our strategies responsive to this report:
- We have an extensive emergency preparedness and response plan, including tabletop drills.
- We are focusing efforts on building positive school culture to create safe school environments.
- We have committed significant resources to social-emotional strategies for both adults and students, including Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports, RULER and restorative practices.
- We have numerous partnerships (both on and off school campuses) that provide extended learning opportunities for students, mental health and social-emotional supports, and gang prevention/intervention.
- Our student conduct policies provide a range of disciplinary measures, including parent conferences, restitution, in- and out-of-school suspensions, and expulsion. If a student presents a safety threat, they will be suspended or expelled.
- Our crisis team provides social and emotional support to students and staff in crisis situations.
Safety in Highline
Student safety is our top priority. Read about our ongoing safety efforts.
Superintendent Susan Enfield and other district leaders are working closely with law enforcement leaders from Burien, Seatac, Normandy Park, Des Moines and King County to identify how we can partner to improve the safety of our whole community, including our schools.
"I have great faith in our ability to come together and find solutions that will ensure Highline is the safe, welcoming community we all want it to be," Dr. Enfield said.