Tribes Learning Communities,  aims to engage all members of the educational community —  school administrators, teachers, family members, and community members — in ongoing, goal-oriented collaboration to create a caring and supportive environment that establishes positive expectations and promotes the active participation of all students from kindergarten onwards.

The Tribes process includes four community strategies: attentive listening, appreciation/no put downs, the right to pass—the right to participate, and mutual respect.

Key program structures and educational practices supported by the program include cooperative learning groups (comprised of three to six students) that work together throughout the entire school year and Community Circles, which provide opportunities for students to work together to solve classroom problems and build relationships.