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

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District News

2019 Gold Star Award Winners

The Highline Schools Foundation announced the winners of the 2019 Gold Star Awards at the annual Gold Star Awards BASH on March 14. 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! 

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people working together graphic

All 11th-grade students will participate in FutureU on Wednesday, March 27 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:20 p.m. at Green River College.

Read More about FutureU
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.

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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.

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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! 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.  

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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. 
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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.
 

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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.

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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.” 
 

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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.

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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: 

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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.

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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.

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