Over the last four calendar school years the number of students being suspended by Battle Ground High School has dropped more than 50 percent.
During the 2012-13 school year 387 students were suspended, compared to only 145 during the 2015-16 school year.
BGHS Principal Mike Hamilton points at a number of different elements that has led to a more positive culture in the high school. He said it is a product of all the district cogs operating in unison and making student engagement and relationships a priority.
Led by Superintendent Mark Hottowe (who retires this summer) and the school board, social emotional learning became a focus and the rest of the district staff was quick to get on board.
All of this started coming into play about three years ago when the district secured a $2.5 million portion of a federal grant that then President Barack Obama had put together in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting where 20 children and six staff members were killed in December of 2012.
Although all districts had needs, the district’s director of social-emotional learning Sandy Mathewson said Battle Ground had a motivated team and a “readiness” to bring change with the funding, which helped them secure it.
[For more of this story, written by Jonathan Haukass, go to http://www.thereflector.com/ne...56-936b51857a02.html]