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

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

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District News

Photos of eight seniors from the class of 2022.

The graduating class of 2022 is full of changemakers. They demonstrate a deep commitment to their communities. With big goals and the determination to make a positive impact, we wholeheartedly believe they will change the world for the better. 

Here are the stories of eight graduates who are examples of the outstanding young leaders graduating from Highline ready to choose their future. 

Read More about Stories from the Class of 2022
Susan Enfield visits a Bow Lake Elementary classroom.

With grateful hearts, it is time to say goodbye to our fearless leader Superintendent Susan Enfield. Her last day in Highline is June 30. To honor her, Sylvester Middle School teacher Joe Bourgeois wrote a song titled Pass the Mic. Watch the video to hear the song and see photos from the last decade under Dr. Enfield's leadership.

Read More about Goodbye, Susan Enfield!
Students in class at Highline High School

Highline and its community partners have been awarded a grant for $1,596,798 over two years by King County. We will work closely with grant partners Highline College, Northwest Education Access and Becoming a Man to form the Highline Promise Partnership which will provide enhanced college and career exploration and experiences, family engagement, post-secondary transition support and intensive retention and completion services for males of color. 

Read More about Highline Public Schools & Community Partners Awarded $1.6 Million Grant from King County
hands in a circle, coming together

Words are inadequate to convey the heartbreak and anger I feel following the senseless loss of life in Uvalde, Texas yesterday. Let’s come together and do what needs to be done, for the sake of today’s children and generations of children to come.

Read More about Tragedy in Texas
Joe Bourgeois in class

For many of our educators in Highline, teaching is a calling. Some were always drawn to the profession. Others found it later in life.

In recognition of Teacher Appreciation Week, we are sharing the stories of three Highline teachers. We asked what inspired them to become educators and what keeps them motivated. While each story is unique, they all share a deep commitment to student success. 

Read More about My Highline Story: 3 Educators Share Their Teaching Journey
Staff member takes a student's temperature at school.

You may have heard the federal government is giving millions of dollars to schools to address COVID-related expenses. Congress is providing these funds through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Act (ESSER). 

These are one-time funds to help schools maintain operations through the challenges of the pandemic and to respond to the impacts of the pandemic on student academic progress and socio-emotional wellbeing.

Here is a look at some of the ways we are investing COVID-relief funds in Highline. 

Read More about Federal COVID-Relief Dollars at Work
Fred Swanson

The Highline Schools Foundation’s Board of Trustees has named Fred Swanson the Foundation's new executive director. Fred’s experience as an executive director for more than two decades, combined with a deep passion for promoting community support and educational equity, will help advance the mission of the Foundation. Fred is also a proud Highline parent and member of the Family Action Committee. 

Read More about Highline Schools Foundation Announces New Executive Director
2022 gold start winners

The winners are.... The Highline Schools Foundation announces the winners of its 2022 Gold Star Awards, highlighting the outstanding efforts of educators, staff, volunteers and others in Highline. These seven extraordinary individuals live and breathe our Highline promise to know all students by name, strength and need.

Read More about 2022 Gold Star Winners
Updated COVID Guidance for Schools

On Tuesday, the Washington Department of Health (DOH) issued updated guidance for COVID safety in schools. These changes reflect declining COVID case rates and hospitalizations in King County and Washington state. 

As we have since the beginning of the pandemic, we will continue to follow DOH guidance. New guidelines are effective Monday, March 14.

Read More about Updated COVID Guidance for Schools
What's Up With Masks?

Governor Inslee has announced that the statewide mask mandate for indoor spaces, including schools, will be lifted on March 12. The Washington Department of Health (DOH) is expected to release new guidelines for schools on Monday, March 7. As we have since the beginning of the pandemic, we will follow DOH guidelines.

Read More about What's Up With Masks?
Design the Tyee and Chinook Logo!

This fall, the communities of Chinook Middle School and Tyee High School chose new mascots, and now they have the opportunity to design new logos for the Tyee Titans and the Chinook Dragons. We are currently seeking a graphic designer to give life to these new mascots! Read about the scope, deliverables and requirements and submit your interest by March 11.

Read More about Design the Tyee and Chinook Logo!
graphic: hand giving another hand a heart

The impacts of global conflict are often inconceivable and reach far beyond physical borders. Images and descriptions of war in the news may be traumatizing for students who have experienced war or wartime conditions. Images of war can be frightening to students even if this is not part of their lived experience. With the situation unfolding in Ukraine, we want to share some resources with families about how to support and talk with students about war. 

Read More about Resources for Talking with Students About War
COVID 19 test

Starting March 1, all Highline schools and departments will begin offering the Test-to-Stay program. Test-to-Stay is a strategy to minimize the spread of COVID and maximize time in school. It offers a modified quarantine option for people who are not up to date on their COVID vaccines and are identified as close contacts. Participation is voluntary.

Read More about Test-to-Stay Offered Districtwide
Student working

Governor Inslee announced today that as of March 21, the state will not require masks in indoor spaces, including schools. Local health jurisdictions may still require masks after the state mandate is lifted.

Masks are still required in all schools and district buildings at this time

Read More about Update on Masks in School
Southern Heights students in class

You may have heard Governor Inslee and state schools superintendent Chris Reykdal talk about the possibility of lifting the masking requirement in schools. While state leaders are beginning to discuss ending the mask mandate sometime this spring, nothing has changed yet. 

Read More about Mask Requirement Update

As we enter the two-year mark of the pandemic, staff throughout Highline are reflecting. Is the work still worth doing with all this craziness? We asked Highline teachers, office staff, paraeducators and principals what inspired them to become educators and what keeps them motivated. Everyone's story is different. But one common theme is children—all Highline staff want to see students succeed.

Read More about Staff Voice: My Highline Story
COVID 19 test

Starting next week, some of our schools will begin a new Test-to-Stay program. Test-to-Stay is a strategy to minimize the spread of COVID and maximize students' time in school. It offers a modified quarantine option for people who are not up to date on their COVID vaccines and are identified as close contacts. Participation is voluntary.

Read More about Phase 1 of Test-to-Stay Program
Superintendent Search

Out of a pool of 60 people who were recruited, recommended or expressed interest in becoming Highline's next superintendent, 23 people submitted applications. The school board will interview the semi-finalists on February 9 and 10. After the semi-finalists' interviews, the school board will select up to three finalists. Each finalist will spend a day in Highline, ending with a virtual town hall. 

Read More about Who Will be Our Next Superintendent?
Secondary Report Cards

First semester ends Thursday, January 27. Due to the recent surge of COVID-19, teachers will have additional time to input first semester grades for middle and high school students. We now expect grades will be entered by February 17. Report cards should arrive in early March.

Read More about Secondary Report Cards

With staff absences trending down this week, we will begin to dial back the number of central office staff being deployed to schools starting next week. We will continue to monitor COVID cases and absences and will increase school support again if needed.

Learn the considerations for shifting to remote and watch Superintendent Enfield's video message on the outlook for the coming weeks.

Read More about COVID Trends Improving

Volunteer. Student advocate. Leader. These are just a few words to describe our school board members.  Our five board members volunteer their time and energy to lead our public schools and ensure students graduate prepared for the future they choose. During these especially challenging times, we appreciate their commitment to serving our students, staff, families and community.

Read More about Celebrating Our School Board Members
Cedarhurst staff member works one-on-one with a student.

It's report card time for Highline! We invite you to dig deep into data and track our progress using our interactive annual report. Our digital report card includes metrics that show how we are doing in becoming a more equitable school system. View results by goal, school, year and student group. Scroll over numbers and graphs, and read pop-ups with more information.

Read More about Dig for Data & See Progress

Our director of Camp Waskowitz and WELS, Dr. Roberta McFarland, has announced she will retire at the end of this school year. Dr. McFarland’s leadership of Camp Waskowitz for nearly 25 years has built upon and strengthened the long legacy of Camp Waskowitz in our community and beyond.  She developed and has been a tireless advocate for our WELS program. We are grateful for her leadership.

Read More about End of an Era and New Chapter for Waskowitz/WELS
2 students in classroom

Our Promise is to know every student name, strength and need so they graduate prepared for the future they choose. One way we do that is by offering schools that match student needs and interests. To support students in preparing for their future, we give secondary students the opportunity to attend their neighborhood school or apply to one of our schools of choice

Read More about Secondary Students Have Options
teacher teaching in class at Cedarhurst

In the past 20 months we’ve gone from school closures to distance learning to hybrid learning and now to full-time, in-person learning with remote options. Families, secondary students and staff have the opportunity to share feedback, input and ideas on how to support learning experiences in Highline so we can adapt to current needs. Hearing from you is the key to addressing what isn’t working and capitalizing on what is. 

Read More about How Can We Help? Tell Us In our Learning Experience Survey
mascot meeting

Chinook Middle School and Tyee High School will choose new mascots this month. The Thunderbird and Totem mascots must be retired by December 31, in compliance with a new state law prohibiting schools from using Native names, symbols, or images as mascots, logos, or team names. The law reflects many years of advocacy by tribes in Washington state. 

Read More about New Mascots for Chinook & Tyee

We want to provide opportunities for families, secondary students, and staff to share feedback, input and ideas on how to support learning experiences in Highline. We recognize that this is an overwhelming time for many of you and we appreciate hearing from you. Your participation is completely voluntary, and we value your feedback. The survey closes on Friday, December 17. 

Read More about Tell Us What You Think - Learning During a Pandemic
Superintendent Susan Enfield holding an award with School Board Members Angelica Alvarez and Fa’izah Bradford.

Highline Superintendent Susan Enfield has been named Superintendent of the Year by the Washington School Administrator's Association (WASA). 

“Since 2012, when Dr. Enfield was named superintendent of the Highline Public Schools, she has led with a consistent and unrelenting focus on achieving more equitable outcomes for all students in the district,” said WASA Executive Director Joel Aune.

Read More about Dr. Enfield is Washington Superintendent of the Year

After 18 months of distance and hybrid instruction, you may be concerned about whether your student can master this year’s grade level. Highline teachers are committed to a strategy called grade-appropriate learning, which prioritizes content for the current grade level and reviews skills from previous grades only when students need them to learn current grade-level work. Watch a video to see how one teacher uses grade-appropriate learning to capitalize on her student's strengths and support students when they need it the most.

Read More about High Expectations for All: Grade-Appropriate Learning
Students in the library at Tyee

During distance and hybrid learning, you likely had a front-row seat to your child’s learning. We want to continue to work as partners in learning, even when most of our students are back to learning in person, full time. Conferences are one opportunity to connect with your child’s school and teacher(s). We want you to get the most out of conferences. To help, here are seven questions to ask during your conference. Use these questions to build a stronger partnership with your student’s teacher and school. 

Read More about 7 Questions to Ask at Conferences
Familie outside of North Hill Elementary School

We know some students need different support following 18 months of distance and hybrid instruction. This year, our teachers are committed to a strategy called grade-appropriate learning. We want feedback from families. What questions, concerns or comments do you have about this strategy? Participate in our ThoughtExchange to give your input.

Read More about Grade-Appropriate Learning: What Questions, Concerns or Comments Do You Have?

This year we are experiencing challenges we have not seen before. We have had to adapt menus around supply chain shortages. Due to product availability, we may have to substitute one school favorite for another more frequently.  

Read More about Food Supply Issues
300 Take Self-Guided Tours of HHS

"Impressive." "So much light and wood." "It's beautiful." "It feels like a college student union building." These are comments we heard during the self-guided tours of the new Highline High School, offered on October 22 and 23 after the grand opening events were postponed. Approximately 300 alumni and community members walked through the new school. See photos.

Read More about 300 Take Self-Guided Tours of HHS
Password icon

To make the Staff Hub more secure, all staff are now required to log in to view and access information. Starting Friday, October 29, you will sign into the Staff Hub using your regular Highline network username before being directed to ClassLink to enter your password. Once authenticated, you will be able to navigate the Staff Hub. 

Read More about Login Now Required for Staff Hub

Schools and district facilities have been experiencing persistent internet outages over the past couple of weeks. Our Tech Services team has identified the problem and is working with our internet service provider on a permanent fix.

Read More about Internet Outages
Highline Public Schools Education Levy Renewal - Nov. 2, 2021 Wordmark logo

The four-year levy would provide $208.5 million for educational needs not fully funded by the state. Prop. 1 would allow the district to collect up to $268 million if the state Legislature raises the levy cap. This will protect critical student services from cuts if the Legislature cuts state funding.

Read More about What Will the Levy Cost?
Middle School Teacher

Middle and high school students have access to free live tutoring 24/7 in all academic subjects through Paper tutoring. Students connect with Paper's tutors online through live chat. Get help with homework questions or get feedback on a written assignment. Help is on-demand and unlimited.

Read More about Free Live Tutoring
Susanne Jerde

Chief Academic Officer Susanne Jerde has announced that she will retire from Highline at the end of December 2021. Susanne has given more than 37 years in service to Highline students as a teacher, principal, director, ILED, and since 2014, as CAO. We are deeply grateful for her leadership and dedication to delivering on our Highline Promise.


Read More about CAO Susanne Jerde to Retire
icon person at computer

The Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA) and the Washington Comprehensive Assessment of Science (WCAS) are typically administered in the spring. Due to the pandemic, the tests were postponed until this fall. The fall tests will be reflective of the grade students were in during the 2020-21 school year to assess their prior year of learning. They will take the spring assessment again for their currently enrolled grade level.

Read More about Fall 2021 Testing

Highline educators and staff are again navigating uncharted territory as we begin the new school year. With schools open for in-person, full-time learning, the buzz of students we once took for granted has filled our schools once again. But there are still many challenges facing staff as we get through the pandemic together.  We checked in with 12 staff members from across our schools to see how they feel about being back to school in person and how they are managing health and safety. 

Read More about Staff Voice: Keeping a Focus on Health & Safety
It's a Grand, New Pirate Ship!

From bow to stern, the new Highline High School is drawing Pirate praise. "It's gorgeous. And that's an understatement," says Scott Logan, district chief of operations. “We’ve been flooded with positive early reactions from staff, students, community and alumni to the beautiful rebuild of a school with nearly 100 years of history, delivered on time and within budget."

Read More about It's a Grand, New Pirate Ship!
Mom and students on the first day of school wearing masks.

We have answers to questions about our return to in-person learning this fall. The questions were generated during and after the informational webinar for families regarding the start of school. We have posted answers to the questions rated as most important by participants.

Read More about Fall Questions Answered
A message from Superintendent Susan Enfield

In this video message, Superintendent Susan Enfield looks ahead at her 10th and final year at Highline Public Schools. Dr. Enfield assures families, students and staff that together we can create a safe, happy, healthy school year. Let's go, Team Highline!

Read More about Team Highline
Student wearing a mask working on class work.

While the transition to hybrid in-person learning will start with our youngest learners, we want everyone to be prepared for when it's their turn to go back to school. What should students expect when going to school in-person? What do families need to know? Our safety expectations and plan are based on current information from local, state and federal public health agencies. Each layer of protection keeps us safer.

Read More about Back to School, Safely
breakfast at Des Moines

Free breakfast, free lunch, full bellies! During the 2021-22 school year, all enrolled students can participate in their school’s breakfast and lunch program at no cost.

Certain school funding is based on the percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced-priced meals. See how you can help us qualify. 

Read More about No Cost Meals for 2021-22

The King County Housing Authority along with other community partners will host a health fair to provide COVID-19 vaccines for anyone ages 12 and older. Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson will be available. 

Read More about Health Fair 2021
conversation bubbles

Six individuals have applied for the school board position vacated by Bernie Dorsey. Dorsey stepped down in June because he is moving out of state. 

The open position represents District 4, which geographically encompasses Marvista, North Hill, Madrona, and Bow Lake elementary schools, Chinook Middle School, and Tyee High School, as well as other educational sites. Applicants must live within the boundaries of District 4. 

The School Board will appoint one of the candidates to the open position at its August 4 meeting. The successful candidate will be sworn in on August 18. 

The public will have the opportunity to meet the applicants at a Meet and Greet on Thursday, July 29 at 5:00-6:30 via Zoom.  

Read More about Meet Applicants for School Board Vacancy
COVID 19 test

To maintain the health and safety of our students, we are offering additional protocols beyond masking and social distancing which will allow safe participation in summer school and athletic programs. Starting July 12, we will offer weekly COVID-19 tests for students participating in summer school at Mount Rainier High School (MRHS) and students participating in summer athletics programming. 

Read More about Weekly COVID-19 Test Available for High School Summer School Students
2021 graduate at the Mount Rainier High School graduation.

It was the graduation celebration the Class of 2021 hoped for... in-person and with their classmates. After more than 15 months apart in remote or hybrid learning, the Class of 2021 was made whole again. Seniors came together in person for the first time since before the pandemic to celebrate the end of high school.  

Read More about Celebrating the Class of 2021
student and teacher in classroom

McMicken Heights is one of 38 Washington schools cited in a just-released study of schools that have successfully removed barriers for Black, Latino/a, American Indian/Alaska Native, and students experiencing poverty. 

The study concluded that "these schools demonstrate that it is possible to illuminate the strengths of diverse students and dismantle unproductive systems put in place when the US public school system began."

Read More about McMicken Heights Breaks Barriers