Excel Grant Stories – PBIS

Building a Positive School Culture at Pacific Middle School

Building a Positive School Culture - hidden figuresPositive Behavior Interventions and Supports are a school wide effort to encourage positive behavior and discourage negative behavior. HPS has made a huge push for PBIS in all of our schools. Best practice has shown us that this is the best way of promoting positive behavior in our schools. PBIS encourages students to make good decisions and do the right thing before negative behaviors become an issue. Anyone who has worked in a school can tell you that classroom management and behavior can be the two most influential factors in a successful or unsuccessful school year. Teaching students to be successful and make good choices for themselves in Middle School is a big step in reaching our goal of 95% of students graduating high school ready for post secondary options.

With this grant we were able to purchase items for our student store to help encourage students to make good choices. We use the student store as a way to reward students who are showing the community values of Pacific, Positive, Accepting, Compassionate, Inspired, Focused, InteGRITy and Courageous. We were also able to bring a group of 120 deserving students on a field trip to see the movie Hidden Figures. These students exemplified the above values and were able to “purchase” a ticket to the movie by spending their well earned Liveschool points. In using the Grant to plan this trip and help encourage students we were able to build a stronger more positive Pacific community.

This Grant has allowed us to support positive behaviors in our school by recognizing students who go above and beyond what is expected and those who live our community values each day. Students are recognized for the work they do and for how they treat one another.

“There was so much interest in our first semester PBIS field trip that we had to add 30 extra seats for students!” ~ Loren Liwanag

Sharing Our Success at McMicken Heights Elementary

Sharing Our Success - badge makerIn kindergarten, students work hard to master basic academic skills which are essential to their future academic success. This project involves creating buttons that students will wear for the day at school when they have reached their goals.

I purchased a button maker and button supplies for our classroom and made three sets of buttons for my kindergarten students. The buttons said, “I can count to 100,” “I know my letters” and “I know my letter sounds.” When the kids reached each milestone, they were given their button to wear at school for the day and then take home. The school staff knew about the significance of the buttons so they were able to congratulate the students when they saw the buttons being worn around campus.

The students felt great when they reached their academic milestone and when they received each button they wore it with pride throughout the day.  They were also very excited to take them home to show their families.  The buttons helped build community in the school as other teachers and students congratulated the kindergartners on their success.  In addition, the classroom environment was enriched as students learned to congratulate their peers and celebrate each other’s success.

“Thank you so much for providing these grants and for making the process streamlined and easy for us!” ~ Dawn Elwell


Since 1999, the Highline Schools Foundation has been supporting innovation and excellence in Highline Public Schools. Our funding priorities focus on programs to improve academic achievement, supporting college and career readiness, grants to teachers for engaging classroom projects, the arts, athletics, and programs that keep students in school and productive. Highline is a district full of need and opportunity. The Highline Schools Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated to all schools in our district—our goal is to help as many students as possible be successful!

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