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As a recipient of ESSER 3 Funding, Highline Public Schools is required to maintain a publicly available Safe Return to In-Person Instruction and Continuity of Services Plan. This plan was updated in July 2021, January 2022, March 2022, and July 2022 in accordance with federal requirements; maintaining compliance for the 2021-2022 school year.
As a recipient of ESSER 3 Funding, Highline Public Schools is required to submit and make publicly available to OSPI an “Academic and Student Wellbeing Recovery Plan”. This plan was submitted to OSPI in June 2021, and is publicly available on our Washington LEA Academic and Student Well-being Recovery Plan web page. OSPI required a secondary attestestation to this plan in January 2022 that was submitted directly in the format required via google forms; maintaining compliance for the 2021-2022 school year.
In alignment with our values as a district to engage the community in the fund planning process, Highline Public Schools has engaged students, families, staff, and leadership in the following ways:
The 2021-2022 Budget was publicly proposed with time for public comment during a special board hearing in June 2021and again in June 2022.
In preparation for the 2021-2022 school year, a return to learn webinar with an open thought exchange was offered to the broader community. This feedback helped inform next steps for the district in terms of safety planning and the development of our work regarding CARE.
The Committee for Allocating Resources Equitably (CARE), composed of 25 staff, family, and student members was convened between September and December 2021 to provide guidance on how to spend a portion of COVID relief funds in Highline schools. This group's initial proposals were brought to the Family Action Committee in January of 2021. From both groups, many proposed guiding principles, outside of the individual projects proposed for the district to initiate, were also used to help the district budget the remainder of ESSER for the 2022-23 school year.
In preparing for the 2022-23 budget process, staff and leadership had the opportunity to submit a decision package for ESSER funds in February 2022. Similar to a grant application, those submitting these packages collaborated with their teams, school communities, students, and families, to complete the package and speak to the impact, especially in relation to equity, the proposed project could have.
Additional 2021-22 Impact Highlights
34% of our total ESSER budget was successfully expended during the 2021-22 School Year; approximately 86% of projects were successfully executed.
Our overall investments in student wellbeing expanded behavioral and mental health services to over 10 schools and provided support to an additional 250 students; ESSER funded staff facilitated over 95 MTSS and Wrap-a-Round Meetings in Schools and facilitated professional development to more than 75 staff. According to the Spring Perception survey, 74% of families felt their student and family basic needs were met throughout the 2021-22 school year.
Our investments in staff included additional pay for teachers who increased their responsibilities to cover classes between January-June, additional substitute availability across the district, and additional sick leave for staff who tested positive for Covid. With 73% of our daily absences occuring due to illness, these investments ensured we didn't have to close a single school during the 2021-22 school year, even during times when community cases were high.
Note: Most of the 2022-23 Budget for TLL is in Curriculum Adoption & Implementation, which will likely encumber all at one time once the committees make their recommendations this spring. Other components of these budgets are subject to reduction based on staff vacancies and other project challenges during the Spring of 2023.
October 2022: Every school has completed and executed their plans for utilizing over $1.6M in ESSER funds to support unique learning acceleration, mental health, and social-emotional strategies that are aligned to their AAP/SIP goals or based on their unique i-ready or panorama data. Many planned investments focus on celebrating student success and cultivating a positive school culture.
Initiatives in Student Support and Family Engagement
Note: Most of the 2022-23 Budget for SS&FE is encumbered in staff salaries and community contracts. The total budget for SS&FE is subject to reduction in the event of early staff vacancies in the Spring of 2023.
October 2022: The increase of our teen parent social worker to a full-time (1.0) FTE has allowed us to provide more intensive case management and advocacy, specifically for emerging bi-lingual students. This increased advocacy has resulted in a newly formed cross-functional team that is working on creating a Multi-Disciplinary Team at key secondary sites to support the unique needs of teen parents; we expect to see an increase in students graduating and staying engaged in their academic goals.
Note: Most of the 2022-23 Budget for Operations and Maintenance is in Capital Projects (HVAC, Waskowitz Roof, etc.) which will likely encumber all at one time in January. Other components of these budgets are subject to reduction based on the reduced need for PPE, Air Filtration, etc.
Note: Much of the 2022-23 Budget for CAREs is in Capital Projects (Playground Equipment) which will likely encumber/expend all at one time in the summer of 2023. Other items such as contracts or staff salaries, may not have encumbered at the time of this particular report, but are in motion.
Key Highlights: October Update Provided at October 13th Board Meeting - Over the summer, we began the hiring and Request for Information (RFP) processes needed to implement these various strategies, and many projects officially began on the first day of the 2022-23 school year:
The district has contracted with Seneca to provide increased mental health support for students and an additional $500,000 has been invested in partners who serve our middle schools and historically marginalized communities across all of Highline.
We doubled the capacity of one of our teen parent coordinators, providing the support needed to help teen parents stay on track with their educational goals and a budget/workgroup has been identified to support the development and implemention of school-based wellness centers in collaboration with students.
We are providing paid professional development to in-school suspension staff and contracting with Choose 180 to develop a framework for a restorative, healing-centered approach to in-school suspension (ISS).
We are also using funds to develop and implement a comprehensive school counseling framework based on the ASCA model in partnership with Hatching Results and a newly hired team of counseling implementation coaches.
The district has hired two family and community engagement specialists who work in special education to enhance the service experience for students and families. Additional funds to support district-wide professional development and translation templates to increase language access within Special Education Programming accompany our investments in staff.
Working with the King County Directors Association (KCDA), we began the playground equipment planning and procurement process in July 2022. By August 2023, we will have replaced playground structures at Beverly Park, Hilltop, Madrona, and Seahurst, and updated playground equipment at other elementary schools as needed.
We have also contracted with the YMCA to provide a new program that supports students in developing skills around self-awareness, communication, interpersonal relationships, and emotional regulation during lunch recesses at least twice each week. Des Moines, Hazel Valley, Midway, Shorewood, and White Center have the opportunity to opt into this new program. In addition, all elementary schools saw an increase in their Physical Education program by 0.1 FTE, to support positive play and SEL programming.
A pilot program for site-based student leadership teams has been developed and will empower student agency, elevate student voice, and increase collaboration with school leaders. Each school’s budget includes additional funds for ADA accommodations and translation support, to ensure this leadership opportunity is accessible by every student. Additionally, an advisory team has launched and will include students in the fall.
Note: Most of the 2022-23 Budget for Human Resources is encumbered in staff salaries. Other components of these budgets are subject to reduction based on the reduced need for leave coverage and any remaining vacancies at the conclusion of January 2023.
Peer Mentor Update for October 2022: 3 Additional Peer Mentors were hired and deployed to provide ongoing support for new and continuing early career educators.
Leadership Pathways Update for November 2022: Hiring for this role has proven challenging, both for match to profile and the limitation of its posted duration. In response to the delay in securing a hire, we are partially pivoting strategy to outsource some of the intellectual capacity to key regional expertise.