RHS is a PBIS school.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students to achieve social, emotional, and academic success. We use a continuum of positive behavior support for all students in the classroom and non-classroom settings across the campus.

Outcomes of the PBIS approach

  • High academic and behavior standards are endorsed and emphasized by students, families, and educators.

  • Improved, evidence-based practices to achieve individual and school-wide goals.

  • Increased use of data to evaluate impact of PBIS interventions.

  • Sustainable systems and supports for students and teachers.

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RHS School Rules

  1. We take care of ourselves.

  2. We take care of others.

  3. We take care of our school.

We acknowledge and practice monthly school values to nurture the best in kids.

“Sammy the Squirrel” is our school mascot. We give out “Sammy Shout-Outs” to celebrate student effort and positive behavior.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Core Competencies

Social and emotional learning (SEL) is a process through which children and adults develop fundamental life skills. These are skills we all need to handle ourselves, our relationships, and our work in effective and ethical ways. Everyone strengthens their social competencies to connect across race, class, culture, language, gender identity, sexual orientation, learning needs, and age.

At RHS, we see social emotional learning (SEL) as an essential part of the educational experience. Building on existing best practices and SEL standards from OUSD and other schools, RHS focuses on developing 21st century SEL skills -- such as collaboration, student agency, growth mindset, emotional intelligence, communication, conflict resolution, confidence, and teamwork, among others – in the classroom, on the play yard, and throughout the campus.

SEL Core Competencies (OUSD SEL Standards)


There are five core SEL competencies that can be taught in many ways across many settings. They are:


Self-Awareness - The ability to accurately recognize one’s own emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior. The ability to accurately assess one’s strengths and limitations, with a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism, and a “growth mindset.”


Self-Management - The ability to successfully regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in different situations — effectively managing stress, controlling impulses, and motivating oneself. The ability to set and work toward personal and academic goals.


Social Awareness - The ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others, including those from diverse backgrounds and cultures. The ability to understand social and ethical norms for behavior and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.


Relationship Skills - The ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. The ability to communicate clearly, listen well, cooperate with others, resist inappropriate social pressure, negotiate conflict constructively, and seek and offer help when needed.


Responsible Decision-Making - The ability to make constructive choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on ethical standards, safety concerns, and social norms. The realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and a consideration of the well-being of oneself and others.

SEL Programs at RHS

We offer a range of programs to supplement our curricular work in SEL.

Helping Us Grow Stronger (HUGS)

We know that for students to be successful and achieve, all of their needs must be addressed. The HUGS program supports our students’ social and emotional needs.  Students who need support can be referred by a teacher, the principal, a parent or caregiver, or even self-refer to receive one-on-one support or group support from a counseling intern.  Our HUGS counselors are interns from an LMFT and LCSW program from schools such as JFK University, California State East Bay, and other accredited graduate programs.  HUGS counselors also lead class discussions about issues that come up in the course of the day at school – for example, name calling, different types of families, gender identity, ethnic diversity, and respect.  A HUGS counselor may also be available to provide support in the office if a student comes in and is upset about an incident on the play yard or in the classroom.  The counselor helps students process the incident and identify positive next steps.  


Caring School Community

The Caring School Community (CSC) program is a nationally recognized, research-based K-6 program that builds classroom and school wide community. It focuses on strengthening students' connectedness to school-an important element for increasing academic motivation and achievement and for reducing drug use, violence, and delinquency. The U.S. Department of Education has highlighted the Caring School Community program's research base and effectiveness.

Visit the Caring School Community website 
Download the RHS Caring School Community Policy
Download the RHS Approach to a Peaceful Campus document
Download the Group Email Policy


Restorative Justice

Restorative Justice (RJ) is a set of principles and practices used in the Oakland Unified School District to build community and respond to student misconduct, with the goals of repairing harm and restoring relationships between those impacted. The RJ program in OUSD pilots a three-tiered model of prevention/ intervention/ supported reentry in response to conflict/harm. The RJ program works to lower our rate of suspension and expulsion and to foster positive school climates with the goal of eliminating racially disproportionate discipline practices and the resulting push-out of students into the prison pipeline.  For more information, visit the OUSD website.


At RHS, when there is conflict among students, we ask:


  1. Who has been hurt?

  2. What are their needs?

  3. Who has the obligation to address the needs and put right the harm?


Through this process, students learn how to manage their relationships with adults and peers and become better equipped to understand how their behavior impacts others. This encourages accountability, improves school safety, and helps students develop skills so the school community can succeed.

SEL on the Play Yard


RHS is creating a place for every child on the play yard to feel included, be active, and build social and emotional skills.


The play yard is an essential and flexible learning space at RHS where we can help children to build a culture of play that is rooted in mutual respect and our school rules: Taking care of ourselves, each other, and our school.

RHS collaborated with Playworks -- the leading national nonprofit leveraging the power of play to transform children’s social and emotional health – to create its ongoing recess program. Recess plays an important role in the elementary school day, contributing to physical activity among children, as well as improved student outcomes, including attendance and achievement. A high quality recess program can help students feel more engaged, safer and positive about the school day, according to Stanford research.

Impacts of this approach include: Reduced bullying and more focus on learning

Enhanced feelings of safety at school

Increased vigorous physical activity during recess

More readiness for class (better concentration)

More time for classroom teaching

Every child deserves the opportunity for safe, inclusive and meaningful play!


A Message from the RHS Play Yard Coach, Zoe Cronin:

“Two of our ongoing goals on the RHS playground are to enable students to initiate play and negotiate disagreements independently.

To support kids in starting games by themselves, we've established several core games with consistent rules (3-lines basketball, knockout, 4-square, 2-touch) that are available every day. Many of the regular players know exactly what equipment to get, how to line up, and expectations of game play. With some guidance, these players become fabulous leaders who are able to recruit and teach new players. Additionally, we have several games that we rotate between each week (kick-basketball, 5-lines soccer, kickball) to offer variety and bring together new groups of kids. Each game has a different  cohort of students that love it and look forward to it, and, again with guidance, these players become leaders and teachers for the other students.

Negotiating disagreements with patience and love is a tall order for adults, let alone elementary school kids, but we've established some key practices that set them up for success. Dividing teams

for big group games is always a sticky spot--team captains can leave people feeling devalued, adults aren't always available to split kids up, and no matter the method it seems the losing team is convinced that the teams were "unfairly" divided from the start.

With a little trial and error, we've landed on a somewhat randomized method of partnering up with someone to play Ro Sham Bo. The winners of Ro Sham Bo are on one team and the losers on the other. And happily enough, in this circumstance, the word "loser" is not a shameful label, but rather an expected source of team pride. The Ro Sham Bo "loser" team often places their fingers in an "L" shape on their forehead at the beginning of the game as a sign of solidarity with one another. This extraordinary phenomenon is indicative of a larger change in playground culture. Losing is okay! And winning is okay.

Unfairness in ability level is inevitable. There are no value judgments during recess. Ultimately, we all want to play and have as much fun as possible. So, together we are learning that you can kick the highest, fastest, farthest kick in kickball, someone can catch it and get you out, and you can still be proud of that amazing kick. You can run back to home base and get high fives from your teammates and be excited for the other team for making such an incredible out.

We've been learning similar lessons in smaller group games like 4-square and 2-touch. Disagreements are unavoidable--one student knows that the ball hit the line and the other swears it didn't. Well, disagreeing is okay! But it's easy to get caught up in being right and lose sight of the fact that arguing about it takes up play time and creates lots of furrowed brows and negativity. So, we're slowly learning to shake off the small stuff, play Ro Sham Bo if we disagree, and get on with the game.

All of the social emotional learning on the playground has a consistent underlying message--that first and foremost we need to value ourselves and each other in order to create a safe, inclusive, and fun environment. If you're getting angry playing a game, go take a break! You don't have anything to prove to anyone. If you find yourself yelling at a teammate for getting out, take a step back and think how you could encourage them instead. And if you find yourself getting yelled at, you can laugh it off, because you know you are more important than a score. We can all work together to disrupt the spirals of negativity and ensure that we are boosting each other up whenever we can.”