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

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Instruction on Race and Identity

Students in Highline Public Schools learn about race and identity as part of their K-12 learning

All Highline students are engaged in Instruction on Race and Identity (IRI). This is part of School Board Policy 0010: Equity, Race and Identity and supports our equity strategy because it helps cultivate positive identity formation, encourages students to confront racial injustice and prepares them to live and work in a diverse world. 

As part of this instruction, students in grades K-12 learn about identity, diversity, justice and action--with the goal of developing the knowledge and skills related to both prejudice reduction and collective action. Students also learn content from a variety of perspectives to understand why and how race and identity play a role in shaping our society.

While this is not new in Highline, we have recently aligned this instruction with the Social Justice Standards developed by Learning for Justice, and are also making plans to incorporate the Ethnic Studies Framework developed by OSPI.

The race and identity instruction is developed in collaboration with families and communities through a community advisory council made up of students, families, and community members who join the IRI Design Team to provide feedback on all components of the work. Full implementation is projected for fall 2023.

Implementation Plan

The Instruction on Race and Identity Implementation Plan includes input gathered from convenings of 200+ community members, students and staff during the 2017-18 school year, and recommendations made by the Instruction on Race and Identity Advisory Council that met during the fall and winter of the 2018-19 school year. Input from the superintendent’s cabinet and the Teaching, Learning and Leadership administrator team has further refined recommendations. 

Heritage Month Calendar

Instruction on Race and Identity helps cultivate positive identity formation, encourages students to confront racial and ethnic injustice, and prepares them to live and work together in a diverse world. To help do this, the Instruction on Race & Identity Task Force created a heritage month calendar for teachers and families to use.

Heritage month acknowledgements provide teachers and families with a framework to elevate the many contributions made by Black, Indigenous, Pacific Islander, Latinx, Asian, Middle Easterners, LGBTQ, and other groups of people seldomly highlighted in traditional education curriculum. These are times not only to celebrate, but also to educate students on various groups' histories, contributions to U.S. History, and current contributions.