Tacoma Whole Child Initiative

You are invited2nd Annual TWCI Showcase Monday March 27th, 4:30-6:00pm @ Mount Tahoma GymSee the INVITATION

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January is Tacoma Whole Child Month

Please join Tacoma Public Schools for the special observance of Tacoma Whole Child Month as well as Whole Child Month for the state of Washington this January, 2017.

What can you expect for Whole Child Month?

Community Partners

Community Partners are asked to join us and also proclaim January, as Whole Child Month for their organization or program.  Use our sample resolution, make it your own, and then share with others that you proudly support Tacoma Whole Child Initiative.


Families might expect to see special notes to them on their student's reinforcement tickets asking them to share on social media about their student recieving the reinforcement #wholechild. 


Students have the opporutunity to participate in the Whole Child Art contest and can enter as many times as they would like.  So feel free to have students work on a project at home, at an afterschool program, or in their class.

Appreciation and Recognition

Special appreciation throughout the month to adults in our schools and community that help support the development of whole children in Tacoma, through the giving of Tacoma Whole Child Community Champion Tickets.  If you would like the chance to give out the tickets please contact Kristi in the Office of Student life at kgreen3@tacoma.k12.wa.us.

Many have heard the statement: It takes a whole village to raise a child. But, it also takes a whole child to build a sustainable school and community.

  • Whole children know how to read, write and solve math problems.
  • Whole children are also socially strong, emotionally resilient, advocators, and self-determined.
  • Whole children know how to build quality relationships with each other as critical thinkers and learners.

How we have started

Through the leadership of the district’s board of directors, and articulated in our strategic plan, building whole children, through social emotional learning is part of our schools action plans. A collaborative partnership, between the Tacoma School District and the University of Washington-Tacoma, is assisting to develop a sustainable school system both now and for the future. 

The TWCI focuses on creating a positive school climate.

We currently have 44 schools – elementary and secondary through a cohort model - focused on developing, defining, teaching, and learning clear expectations to help develop positive behaviors during the school day. All 57 schools will be involved as we continue to move forward. We’re asking questions of staff and students like, “What does being respectful look like in the hallway and in the classroom,” and “What does being responsible look like during lunch time or at recess?”

Where are we now?

The Tacoma School District is in the 5th year of implementation and we are seeing successes within the schools and a decrease in disciplinary issues that result in suspensions, expulsions, and disruptive behaviors. As an example, Blix Elementary (4% decrease 3rd grade/ 7% decrease 5th grade), DeLong Elementary (5% decrease 3rd grade/7% decrease 5th grade), Lister Elementary (8% decrease 3rd grade/4% decrease 5th grade), Lyon Elementary (6% decrease 3rd grade/11% decrease 5th grade), and Roosevelt Elementary (12% decrease 3rd grade/9% decrease 5th grade) have seen overall decreases in suspensions or expulsions from the 2014-2015 school year to the 2015-2016 school year.  From the 2012-2013 school year to the 2015-2016 school year, Truman Middle School has had a decrease in suspensions or expulsions by 12% at the 6th grade level and 15% at the 8th grade level. Over the same time span, Mount Tahoma, a high school that reflects the diversity of the Tacoma community, both ethnically and socio-economically, has had a decrease in suspensions or expulsions at both the 9th and 12th grade levels as reflected in the district strategic plan benchmark.

We are also seeing an increase in alternatives to suspensions or explusions at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, such as student conferencing, letter of apologies, presentations by students, parent-student conferencing, and peer mediation to name a few. 

Through partnership, we continue to expand and grow a behavioral health coalition in supporting students who may have social, emotional, and mental health needs.  We continue to build this coalition with community partners such as Comprehensive Life Resources, HopeSparks, and MultiCare