School Climate & Culture

    ​​​​​​​​​​The social and emotional development of our children is of utmost importance to the Heatherwood community.

    The Heatherwood staff takes pride in creating a warm, welcoming and safe learning environment where all children are accepted.  The Heatherwood student body developed the Heatherwood Constitution that fosters diversity and acceptance. 


     Buddy Program

    ​​The cross-grade buddy program teams children from the upper grades (3-5) with children from the lower grades (K-2) in an effort to foster friendships throughout the school. Buddies meet frequently in each other’s classrooms to work on projects together and share learning.

    Heatherwood has adopted the WIN/WIN guidelines for conflict mediation.  This has helped students learn to successfully manage and mitigate conflict and fosters a positive classroom and playground environment. The school has also proactively implemented the BVSD bully-proofing program to further support an inclusive and positive school environment.


    PAWS for Applause is the positive behavior reward program at Heatherwood. Teaching positive, proactive social skills is a major part of the curriculum in a school using Positive Behavior Systems (PBS). At Heatherwood, PBS is used in our daily routines and in our individual work with students. 
    Each year during the first five weeks of school, students learn about the Heatherwood PBS Matrix which is a chart that explains the positive behavior expectations in key areas of the school. These behaviors are taught in the regular classroom, in specific areas of our school, and during our PBS field trip. When followed, these positive behaviors result in students receiving PAWS for Applause. 
    "The 4 P's "-- Four Qualities of Good Behavior are:
    • Pride & Respect
      (for example: treating others nicely, taking care of your surroundings, having walking feet & quiet voices in hallways)​​
    • Personal Responsibility
      (for example: completing assignments and helping others in need)
    • Perseverance
      (for example: trying new things that are difficult, not giving up, always finishing what you start)
    • Peacefulness
      (for example: good listening, good team play, communicating calmly)

     Positive Behavior Intervention & Support

    ​​A major advance in school-wide discipline is the emphasis on school-wide systems of support that include proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments. Instead of using a patchwork of individual behavioral management plans, a continuum of positive behavior support for all students within a school is implemented in areas including the classroom and nonclassroom settings (such as hallways, restrooms).

    Positive behavior support is an application of a behaviorally-based systems approach to enhance the capacity of schools, families, and communities to design effective environments that improve the link between research-validated practices and the environments in which teaching and learning occurs. Attention is focused on creating and sustaining primary (school-wide), secondary (classroom), and tertiary (individual) systems of support that improve lifestyle results (personal, health, social, family, work, recreation) for all children and youth by making problem behavior less effective, efficient, and relevant, and desired behavior more functional.

    For more information please visit the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Website.

     Bully Proofing

    ​​Bully Proofing Your School is a system-wide prevention program designed to help students and adults work together to create a safe and caring school community where teachers can teach and students can learn. The program utilizes a team approach involving administrators, teachers, support staff, students and the community to change the climate in the school. Curriculum is available for early childhood programs as well as elementary, middle and high schools.

    Bully Proofing Your School is a comprehensive program with five key components:
    • Staff training
    • Student instruction
    • Intervention with the Bullies and the Victims
    • Parent involvement
    • Developing the Caring Community
    BVSD bully-proofing programs further support an inclusive and positive school environment.