In 2012, Highline school Superintendent, Susan Enfield, made a promise to students. It’s a promise that’s now core to the Highline School District strategic plan. The “Highline Promise” states that each student is known by name, strength, and need.
Most educators come to the job with this spirit. With the intent of knowing each student in this way. But accomplishing this with thousands of students can be a challenge. Sometimes students fall between the cracks.
Enfield challenges Highline’s educators’ to seek out the students that don’t have natural connections with teachers on campus.
Enfield says, “We’ve done an exercise where principals have taken photos of every single student and laid them out in the cafeteria for a staff meeting. And had staff members go and put a sticker next to a student that they knew really well.”
The teachers then step back and see which of those photos don’t have any stickers next to them.
“Those are the kids that we have to assign someone to,” says Enfield.
Power of one
Enfield is a big believer in the power of one.
“We want to make sure that every student can say that they have an adult at their school who they trust, who knows them, who cares about them, and whom they can go to if they need help or support.”
She says that by identifying the gifts and the talents that each students brings, allows their teachers to build student confidence and resiliency.
To learn more and hear how Highline school districts works to live up to the Highline Promise, listen to Episode 183 of Class Dismissed on your favorite podcasting app or iTunes.