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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien,WA 98166

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District News

Students in class

The 2017-18 school year is one to remember! We raised our graduation rate, passed a levy, broke new ground and did what we do best--graduate students prepared to choose their future. Look back at what we did together.

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Emmanuel Cruz Soria & Rahel Ambachew

Our graduating class of 2018 represents a richly diverse group of young people. They demonstrate perseverance, humility and excellence. Their goals are big, and their future is bright. They are determined to change the world for the better—and we wholeheartedly believe they will. These two seniors are examples of the outstanding young leaders graduating from Highline ready to choose their future.

Read More about 2018 Extraordinary Graduates
New High School Schedule in 2020

After a two year process of researching school schedule options and taking feedback from staff, students and families, we have arrived at a decision on a new high school course schedule. Highline will switch from a semester system with a six-period day to a trimester system with a five-period day, starting in fall 2020.

Read More about New High School Schedule in 2020
Teacher of the year leads with heart.

What started off as a simple check-in with a few of students has turned into a movement at Chinook Middle School. Several years ago, Reid Sundblad and his teaching colleagues were analyzing data to find out what was working and what was not. They noticed something about the school’s Latino male students. As a young teacher at that time, Reid was ignited by the team’s discussion to take action. Today, hundreds of students have been impacted.

Read More about Teacher of the Year Leads with Heart
Rookie Teacher of the Year

Every morning, dual language teacher Isel Betancourt Sanchez greets students as they walk through her classroom door with a high-five and “Buenos dias!” in her native Spanish. Isel hopes the Spanish skills she is teaching her students today will open doors for them tomorrow. Her dedication to language learning is one of the many reasons she is our Rookie Teacher of the year.

Read More about Rookie Teacher of the Year Inspired by Diversity
Tiara Staley, Beverly Park Elementary School, Teacher - Grade 6

If you are looking for real-life superstars, look no further than Highline. All of our teachers are stars, and we want you to meet a few who earned gold stars this year from someone who especially admires their commitment to know every student by name, strength and need.

Read More about 17 Superstar Teachers
2018 Gold Star Winners

The Highline Schools Foundation announced the winners of the 2018 Gold Star Awards at the annual Gold Star Awards BASH on March 8. The Highline community gathered to root on the award nominees. Congratulations to all the Gold Star winners and nominees. You make us all Highline Proud! 

 

Read More about Gold Stars Recognized
You Are Invited!

You Are Invited!

Families, students and community members are invited to join community conversations with Highline Public Schools Board President Joe Van and School Board Director Angelica Alvarez.  

The sessions will be open conversations. Participants can ask questions, bring up concerns and discuss possible solutions.

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Foundation Awards $110K+ in Grants to Teachers

Impact Grant winner Elizabeth Nelson (center) with Chinook Principal Karin Jones, Foundation Board Trustee members Patti Gifford and Aileen Cronin, and Alaska Airlines Pilot Carlos Zendeja. 

Grants totaling more than $110,000 are going to teachers this month. The Highline Schools Foundation awarded a $10,000 Impact Grant and 82 Excel Grants to teachers across Highline. The Foundation gave out more dollars this year than ever before.

Read More about Foundation Awards $110K+ in Grants to Teachers
Students coding in class.

How do Highline schools inspire, motivate and prepare students for 21st-century careers? We give them opportunities to explore computer science and technology through innovative courses and programming. And the first spark just might be 60 minutes spent learning to code.

Read More about 60 Minutes of Code
Seattle Times Features Highline's Rising Grad Rate

The Seattle Times featured Highline's rising graduation rate in a news story. Our graduation rate is up for the fourth year in a row. The class of 2017 graduated at 78.8%, an increase of four points over last year. Graduation rates are rising for all student groups with students of color seeing the greatest gains. Gaps between student groups have decreased substantially.

Read More about Seattle Times Features Highline's Rising Grad Rate
New Health Sciences Building Opens

How many new high school buildings have a working dental lab, a hospital ward with eight beds, and a medical laboratory with a centrifuge and cell incubators?  There is one in Highline.

On September 6, medical and dental students at the Puget Sound Skills Center opened the doors to real-life work experiences in a brand new Health Sciences Building.

Read More about New Health Sciences Building Opens; RSVP for Sept. 22 Grand Opening
First Day Bus Delays

Many school buses were significantly delayed on the morning of the first day of school due to extremely heavy traffic. Two very serious accidents at the same time -- one on Pacific Highway and one on I-5 -- caused gridlock while buses were on morning routes. We regret that this caused an inconvenience to students and families.

Read More about First Day Bus Delays
Members of the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) meet.

The hometown heroes of the last school bond are rolling up their sleeves again. Volunteer representatives from all four high school service areas in Highline Public Schools met June 14 to tackle boundary changes and continue planning for the future.

The Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) will complete the district’s long range facilities plan and monitor progress on current bond-funded school construction. Members will also study and make recommendations on school boundary revisions.

Read More about School Bond Heroes Get Back to Work
Abdi & Sophie

The Class of 2017 inspires us daily by demonstrating perseverance, empathy and excellence. The two seniors profiled here are examples of the outstanding young adults graduating from Highline ready for college, career and citizenship.

Read More about 2017 Remarkable Grads
New Dual Language Schools Selected

Hazel Valley and Midway elementary schools have been selected as Spanish-English dual language schools starting with kindergarten students entering in the fall of 2018.

In the dual language program, students receive half of their instruction in English and half in Spanish so they are able to read, write, and learn in both languages. 

Read More about New Dual Language Schools Selected
What's Your Opinion? We Want to Hear from You.

We want to know if you are getting the information you want and need about our schools, the way you want to get it. We've launched a survey to check the effectiveness of our communication with community, families, and staff. 

The survey will tell us what is working and what we need to do better. The more families and community members who participate, the more we will learn about how to improve. 

Read More about What's Your Opinion? We Want to Hear from You.
Art Drives Families to the Classroom

Once a month, every Midway Elementary School classroom buzzes with students and families working side-by-side on art projects. The schoolwide tradition is bringing art to life in the classroom and simultaneously building family partnerships.

"I wanted something unique that combined arts, culture and family engagement," says Principal Rebekah Kim

Teachers and staff credit the success of Family Art Fridays to a three-year partnership with the Seattle Art Museum (SAM).

Four to five times a year, artists from SAM show teachers how to incorporate art into the classroom. Teachers also walk away with art projects to teach families and students during Family Art Friday. The projects honor all cultures and encourage families and students to collaborate.  

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Discovering Art + Nature

We are sculpting our students into artists with the help of the Seattle Art Museum (SAM).  

Second graders from seven elementary schools are exploring art first-hand during field trips to SAM's Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle as part of a pilot partnership this year. While touring the park, students learn about both the artwork and the local ecosystem through a program called Drawing from Nature. 

"We want to have an impact. Our number one goal is to reach students who wouldn't normally be able to visit the museum," said Anna Allegro, SAM manager of school and education programs.  

Read More about Discovering Art + Nature
See Our New Schools Take Shape

The architects and design review committees will host community meetings to share progress on the early design of the new schools approved by voters last November. Your questions and feedback are important and welcome. 

Community Meeting | New Middle School at Glacier 
Tuesday, June 6
7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Hilltop Elementary School cafeteria

12250 24th Avenue South, Burien 

  • You are invited to see the progress on schematic designs by Integrus Architecture.
  • The future middle school will be located at the site of the former Glacier High School, 2450 South 142nd Street, SeaTac, WA 98168. 
Read More about See Our New Schools Take Shape
30 (Gold) Star Teachers

In a school district where all teachers are stars, it's hard to pick out just a few who are stellar. Highline has a whole constellation of great teachers, but here are 30 who shine particularly bright. 

In celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week, we are putting a spotlight on teachers who were nominated for a Gold Star award through the Highline Schools Foundation.
 

Read More about 30 (Gold) Star Teachers
Delila Leber works with students.

Delila Leber's kindergarten dual language classroom is a place of magic.

At the beginning of the year, young learners are cautious and nervous, but Delila guides them to become strong, independent, empowered learners. Her students enter her classroom at different levels in academics, school experience and social-emotional growth. They all leave at or above grade level and ready to tackle first grade.

Read More about Equity Guides Teacher of the Year
4 Schools Selected as Possible Dual Language Schools

Demand for language immersion programs in Highline is growing, and we have been gathering input from staff and families on expanding our dual language program.

After considering the feedback and other factors that make a school a good candidate for dual language, four schools have been identified as potential sites for dual language expansion.

The four schools are Cedarhurst, Hazel Valley, Midway, and Seahurst. Two of these will be selected to transition to full dual language schools.

Why are we expanding language learning opportunities? The ability to speak, read and write in more than one language is a major asset. We have a goal for students to graduate bilingual and biliterate by 2026. 

Read More about 4 Schools Selected as Possible Dual Language Schools
A student tries on a prom dress.

Prom is a celebration, a milestone no high school senior wants to miss. But add up the cost of a dress, shoes and accessories, and it can quickly go from big celebration to big financial burden. 

"There is a lot of pressure. I don't have that type of money. I kept telling myself I don't really need to go to prom," explained student Adara Thao. 

Read More about Project PROMise: A Cinderella Story
Give Your Opinion, Win a $40 Gift Card

This is your chance to tell us how we are doing with communicating what you need and want to know. Help do better by taking an online survey by Sunday, May 7

To get a true picture of how the community views district communications, enough people need to participate to make the survey statistically sound.

As of Monday…

  • Only 119 staff members have taken our survey on district communications – but we need at least 811 responses.
  • For families, we need 1,050 responses – but only have 234.
  • Finally, we need 1,103 community responses – but have received only 33.

Your response will make a difference.

Read More about Give Your Opinion, Win a $40 Gift Card
Seeking Family Action Committee Nominations

The Superintendent's Family Action Committee (FAC) works to strengthen our partnerships with families. We are currently seeking nominations for this important committee. The application deadline is Friday, May 12.

For the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years, this committee is charged with:

  1. Holding the district accountable for progress on goals outlined in the strategic plan. District staff will report out on specific metrics each time the FAC meets.
  2. Providing the superintendent and staff with input on strategies for meeting the strategic goals. 
  3. Participating in sub-committees that will focus on various topics, including Common Core, Family Engagement, School Safety, Language Learning, and other important issues.
Read More about Seeking Family Action Committee Nominations
A student in the Montessori Preschool reads a book with a Wesley Home resident.

What happens when you put a preschool inside a retirement community? Magic! And it's happening for Highline pre-kindergartners at Wesley Homes in Des Moines.

Four days a week, a group of four-year-olds attend a new preschool located on the 45-acre Wesley Homes campus. The Montessori classroom supports student learning through self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play.

Read More about A Preschool in a Retirement Home? Oh, Yes!
Students work together in social studies class.

People are quick to form opinions-- sometimes too quick, when it comes to complex issues like international conflict, national policy, or local initiatives. Understanding all perspectives, debating respectfully, separating fact from fiction, and coming to a common understanding require critical thinking, empathy, and problem solving. 

Read More about The State of Civics Education
White Center Heights Elementary Earns State's Top Education Award

Ongoing hard work and dedication is paying off at White Center Heights Elementary. The school has been honored with a 2016 Washington Achievement Award (WAA) for Math Growth and English Language Arts (ELA) Growth. The honor is the state’s highest education award.

“I am incredibly proud of our students and staff at White Center Heights Elementary,” Superintendent Susan Enfield said. “This recognition is a testament to their hard work and dedication.” 
 

Read More about White Center Heights Elementary Earns State's Top Education Award
Weigh in on Dual Language Expansion

The survey closed on Friday, April 21, 2017.

Highline plans to expand Dual Language programs in 2018. Take an online survey to give feedback and come to a meeting to learn more.


Highline will select two elementary schools to transition to dual language schools, starting with students entering kindergarten in September 2018. Each year as students move to the next grade, the schools will make that grade fully bilingual.

Read More about Weigh in on Dual Language Expansion
Celebrating Staff Who Support Our Students

Can you guess how many people support a given student on a single school day? The answer might surprise you. 

Fifth-grade student Rosalyn Orellana typically interacts with at least three staff members at Hazel Valley Elementary School before she sees her teacher in the morning. By the end of the day, it’s not uncommon for Rosalyn to have gotten support from up to 13 staff members. 

"Every person that I see at school, they are trying to be nice. They are kind and respectful,” said Rosalyn. “They come to school every day to help me learn. They are all important because we learn so much from them all.”

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600 Acts of Kindness

In Highline, all students are important and valued in our schools. That message came across loud and clear at Chinook Middle School, where all 600 students received a special welcome as they arrived at school on Valentine's Day.

The group of students behind this gesture are members of a mentorship program called Los Siete, (the Seven Principles), led by physical education teacher Reid Sundblad.  Los Siete students gave each of their classmates a small gift with an important message attached to it. 

Read More about 600 Acts of Kindness
A student in class with heart graphics.

What does the word love mean? The world's greatest poets, authors, musicians, teachers, and philosophers have struggled with that question for centuries. For Valentine's Day, we asked the smartest and most thoughtful people we know-- our students. 

Read More about The Meaning of L-O-V-E
Are You Coming to COLLEGECON?

Did you know 96% of Highline families want their children to go to college? But only 61% of families feel confident that they have a step-by-step plan to get there.

To help our families and students create a successful pathway to college after high school, Highline Public Schools is excited to host the first annual COLLEGECON, a college-bound conference for middle school students and families.

Read More about Are You Coming to COLLEGECON?
Community Shares 2,500+ Ideas with District

Over the course of ten days, nearly 700 citizens provided input in a three-part online conversation about what we're doing right and how we can improve. More than 2,500 ideas were shared. Now, we need our community's help to prioritize the submissions.

In the second phase of the conversation, the community is invited to place a star on ideas they agree with or value most. Get started on the Star phase in English or Spanish. 

Read More about Community Shares 2,500+ Ideas with District
Poster in classroom that reads we love all Midway students.

KING 5's Natalie Swaby visited Midway Elementary School on Wednesday to interview teachers showing support of all students and families through handmade posters and special events.

The Highline Education Association (HEA) has planned special events across the district for students and families as they arrive at school this month with banners and greetings that express to all students that they belong and are loved.

Read More about KING 5 Features Teachers Showing Support of All Students
Highline Issues Strong Statement of Support for All Students

The Highline School Board is sending an unequivocal message of protection and reassurance to all students and families in the district. At its meeting on Wednesday, January 19, the school board adopted a resolution that ensures all students feel safe, welcome, and respected at school.

A copy of the resolution was sent to all families and staff, along with a message from Superintendent Susan Enfield. Read the letter to families and the resolution passed by the school board Wednesday evening: 

Read More about Highline Issues Strong Statement of Support for All Students
Ready, Set... Enroll Now for Kindergarten

Do you know a child who will be five years old on or before August 31? The time to register for kindergarten this fall started January 17. The first 500 families to register will receive two free tickets to the Woodland Park Zoo. Learn about other opportunities if you register now!
 

Please visit your neighborhood school during regular school hours. After the zoo tickets run out, those who register early will receive a new book.

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Partnering with Preschools Pays Off

Students begin learning long before they enter kindergarten. A child's first learning experience happens at home, daycare, and preschool. Children who have high-quality early learning are much more likely to be successful in school. With that in mind, we are partnering with local early learning providers to help them get preschool-age students ready for kindergarten.

We are already seeing the benefits of this partnership. Students are assessed in six different areas when they enter kindergarten: physical (gross/fine motor skills), social and emotional, math, literacy, language, and cognitive. This year, 73 percent of our students were kindergarten-ready in five or six areas. That's up from 61 percent four years ago, when we began partnering with early learning providers. 

Read More about Partnering with Preschools Pays Off
Kindergarten teacher Emily Gunn works with a student during class.

Highline is working hard to get all students at or above grade level by Grade 3. It's one of our big strategic goals. To get there, we are investing in our teachers and staff. Teachers collaborate, learn together, and share their expertise with each other.

Our kindergarten through third-grade teachers have had opportunities for intensive professional learning, much of it led by teachers supported by our early learning team.

Read More about Investing in Teacher-Driven Training
What Is Important to You? Tell Us

What is important to you? How can we partner to make our schools better? It's time to share your thoughts with us. We want your feedback and ideas for our schools and students.

After you share your ideas, we'll show you what others are saying. You will also find out what is important to our community as a whole. 

Here is what we want to know:

  • What are some concerns you have about our school this year?
  • What are the things you appreciate about our school this year?
  • What are some other things you would like to share about your experience at Highline Public School?
Read More about What Is Important to You? Tell Us
Highline Takes First Step Toward New Schools & Safety Upgrades

Highline voters approved the sale of $299 million in school construction bonds last November, and today the first set of bonds was sold. The $236.8 million proceeds will fund a majority of the school construction and improvement projects in the bond package, including:

  • Electronic door locks for every classroom in the district
  • Upgraded video surveillance systems at every school
  • Design, permitting, and construction of Olympic interim school
  • Design, permitting and initial construction of Highline High School, the new elementary school at Zenith, and the new middle school at Glacier
  • Replenishment of the capital fund, which pays for critical needs and emergency repairs
Read More about Highline Takes First Step Toward New Schools & Safety Upgrades
Fall 2018: Which High School Class Schedule is Best?

Help us decide between options. A change in Washington graduation requirements will affect the high school class of 2021. We need your feedback now about which class schedule will be best for our high school students in Highline starting in Fall 2018. Learn about the options and take the survey.

Preparing Students for New Graduation Requirements
Washington state has updated requirements for high school graduation. The new Career- and College-Ready Graduation Requirements (also known as Core 24) increase the number of credits needed to graduate.

Read More about Fall 2018: Which High School Class Schedule is Best?
Interact with Our Digital Annual Report

Check out our online, interactive Annual Report that puts a sharper focus on student progress. The digital tool gives our community the opportunity to dig deep into the data, celebrate our success, and includes videos that tell the stories behind the numbers and goals. 

Use the interactive report to learn more about the types of assessments use to measure student success, examine results broken out by school, see progress over time, and watch videos that tell the story behind Highline’s bold strategic goals.

Read More about Interact with Our Digital Annual Report
Meet Tomorrow's Female Tech Leaders

An innovative after-school program is transforming the lives of our young female students by engaging them in science, technology, and engineering learning. Through role models, hands-on activities, and career exploration, Techbridge is empowering girls to realize their dreams in STEM.

Techbridge has been a partner in Highline since 2014.  The program serves more than 200 students and operates in six elementary schools, two middle schools, and on one high school campus. 

Read More about Meet Tomorrow's Female Tech Leaders
Elementary Students Teach Coding

This week, 40 students at Mount View Elementary will lead their classmates and school in a one-hour introduction to computer programming, commonly called coding.

The students are members of the school's Coding Club. They spend every Thursday afternoon mastering their computer science skills. This week, they will fan out across their school to teach a coding lesson in every classroom.

Read More about Elementary Students Teach Coding
Highline's Dual Language Program Sets Statewide Example

Nohan Mahgoub with Rep. Mia Gregerson's office meets with students the White Center Heights Vietnamese dual language program. 

Highline's Dual Language program is being recognized as a statewide leader. Representatives from the offices of State Rep. Tina Orwall and Rep. Mia Gregerson toured White Center Heights Elementary to get an up-close look at the dual language program. 

Read More about Highline's Dual Language Program Sets Statewide Example

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