Hemet Unified School District was one of nine school districts in the state to receive the U.S. Department of Education’s 2014 School Climate Transformation Grant. The funds were used to support and create multi-tiered behavioral programs for students.

With some of these funds, HUSD staff members began implementing Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports into its schools three years ago. Now the California PBIS Coalition has recognized the district for having all of its schools implement the programs.

Idyllwild School was one of 24 HUSD schools that participated in the PBIS implementation. For its work, Idyllwild received Silver Level recognition from the California PBIS Coalition.

In an effort to provide support to its students, the district’s four comprehensive middle and high schools are introducing an alternative to suspension class this year. The class leads students through restorative practices and activities so they can understand how their behavior has affected others, as well as how they can correct their behavior in the future.

Students also are able to have academic instruction, which allows them to not fall behind due to the time lost during a suspension. Last year, this class was piloted at Tahquitz High School and the school found that its suspensions decreased, attendance increased and the majority of students that attended this class for behavioral issues did not re-offend.

Now that schools have the foundation of providing behavioral support for students, the district as a whole has begun adding more support for social-emotional needs and academic support. As a part of this new initiative, the district has partnered with various mental-health and medical organizations to provide support for students and their families.