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

Office Hours:

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Native Education

Oki! (Blackfeet)

Guwaadzi`! (Keres`)

Osiyo! (Cherokee)

Boozhoo! (Ojibwe)

Hau! (Lakota)

Yá'át'ééh! (Diné)

Wáa sá iyatee! (Tlingit)

Scəlacəɬdatil! (Lushootseed)



Sara Marie Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo)
Native Education Program Manager

Amanda Rambayon
Native Education K-8 Literacy Liaison

Native Education Program

The Native Education Program is invested in Native student success!

Program Overview

We help American Indian and Alaska Native students:

  • Qualify for specialized academic services and non-academic support. 
  • With placement, transfers, discipline, truancy questions and concerns.
  • Access behavioral mental health and chemical dependency services.
  • Access various district and program engagement opportunities
  • Navigate post-secondary and career pathways. 
  • Grow their culturally-responsive leadership capacity. 

The Native Education Program also:

  • Supports the integration and ongoing development of the Washington State Since Time Immemorial Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum.
  • Advocates for Native students and their families.
  • Serves as a liaison between students, families, school staff and community agencies.
  • Provides information and advisement about tribal affiliation and enrollment processes to American Indian or Alaska Native students.

All American Indian and Alaska Native students and their families are strongly encouraged to enroll in the program and participate in program activities.

Program Enrollment


To be enroll in the Native Education Program, please complete the following forms: 

Please do not leave the tribal affiliation space blank on the form. Be sure to sign and date the form. Think you may have filled out this form in the past? It is critical that this form is current, complete and on file for each student. Please contact us if you have questions are unsure.

Federal Eligibility Form

To better provide quality programs and services to Native students in Highline, we ask families to fill out this form. The information we collect h us to better identify strengths and needs of every Native student attending Highline. 

Native Education Student Form

This brief form helps us improve education for American Indian and/or Alaska Native students in Highline. 

Student Success Questionnaire 

How to Submit the Forms 

There are several ways to submit the forms.


Highline Native Education Office @ Highline Central Office 
ATTN: Sara Marie Ortiz 
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW 
Burien, WA 98166 

In person: 
You may also submit the the form at your school office or to Sara Marie Ortiz at Central Office, using the address above. 


Please contact Sara Marie Ortiz at 206-631-3162 if you have any questions or concerns. 

Commitment to Native Students

The Native Education Program is committed to working with, and on behalf of, Native students and families:

  • To provide authentic, culturally relevant, responsive and competent academic support to Native students.
  • To actively support the academic success of our Native students in high school and prepare them for college, successful career, and meaningful citizenship.
  • To highlight programs, services, and resources in Highline Public Schools, currently available to all students, and support Native students and families in accessing these resources to maximize Native student success.
  • To empower students and their families to be positive change-makers in their communities by providing quality academic advancement and leadership development opportunities.

Program Successes

Successfully executed programs and services include:

  • Native student/family advocacy
  • Direct academic support provided to American Indian/Alaska Native students across grades
  • College/career readiness advisement and mentoring
  • Native art, culture, Indigenous Knowledge Frameworks, and community leadership exposure
  • District-wide implementation of the Washington State Since Time Immemorial Tribal Sovereignty Curriculum
  • Program development/capacity building and donor relationship building
  • Ongoing implementation of/adherence to the Highline Public Schools Native Education Board Policy (2197)
  • Support of HPS leadership/admin/staff's service to Native students across grades, schools, and content areas
  • Strategic and intensive community partner/stakeholder engagement and support
  • Cross-district scaling of promising practices in Native K-12 education, inclusive of co-teaching/learning opportunities with the Western Washington State Native American Education Consortium, Washington State Indian Education Association, Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, National Indian Education Association, Urban Native Education Alliance, University of Washington, Highline College, and other key Native education stakeholders
  • Intensive family engagement for families of Native students in Highline and support of high level community/family/tribal participation in development of district policies/procedures and programming to ensure Native student success
  • Extension of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported Partnering for Early Native Learner Success Project, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe-supported Plan for Native Student Success, Native Student Secondary Success strand, and the ongoing enhancement of the Highline Public Schools Native Family Advisory Council
  • Ongoing development and full support of the Native Student Literacy Success Summer Academy and Native Education K-8 Literacy Liaison who works across the district to support the improved literacy proficiency of our Title III qualified Native students K-8 with limited support also provided to students in grades 9-12


(NEW!) Resurgence: Restructuring Urban American Indian Education

NIEA Native Education 101

Native Youth Report from the Executive Office of the President of the United States 2014

36 Questions To Ask on A College Visit 

Best Colleges College Financial Aid Resources 

United Way King County Vision for the Urban Indian Community Report 2014

National Congress of American Indians Native Youth Programs

Washington State Indian Education Association

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe (Highline's Closest Federally Recognized Tribe)

College Scholarships for Minority Students 

National Urban Indian Family Coalition Report 2015

State by State College Affordability Guide 

Western Washington Native American Education Consortium 

Northwest Justice Project: Low cost or no-cost legal services for Native families

University of Washington Native Student Resources

Puget Sound Head Start

SW King County Chamber of Commerce: SUCCESS Foundation/Ed Committee 

Duwamish Tribal Services Cindy Williams, Chairwoman, Cecile Hansen

Catching the Dream Native American Scholarship

American Indian Graduate Center

American Indian College Fund

College Horizons/Graduate Horizons: college visit/readiness program for Native high school & college students

Tulalip Lushootseed Language Program

Internet for Low Income Families

24/7 Crisis Line

Domestic Violence Resources King County

Seattle Indian Center

United Indians of All Tribes Ina Maka Family Program

Cowlitz Tribal Health Seattle (Located in Tukwila)

Urban Native Education Alliance/Clear Sky Native Youth Council

Washington Tribes

Chief Seattle Club

United Indians of All Tribes/Daybreak Star Cultural Center/Labateyah House 

Potlatch Fund

Lummi Nation Youth Services 

Northwest Indian College


UW American Indian Student Commission

Evergreen Native Programs

Seattle Public Schools Native American Education Program

Seattle Indian Health Board

Native Arts & Cultures Foundation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Seattle Foundation

Washington STEM

Longhouse Media/SuperFly Native Film Bootcamp

Northwest Indian College Traditional Plants and Foods

American Indian Women’s Service League info

Red Eagle Soaring, Native Youth Theater Program

OSPI/Office of Native Education Since Time Immemorial Native Sovereignty Curriculum

Native B.R.I.D.G.E

Seattle Art Museum Salish Resource Guide from/in conjunction with permanent exhibit @ SAM

White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education

Title VI Indian Education Eligibility Form (Expires 2019)

Title VI Indian Formula Grant Programs Parent/Family Committee/Council Roles & Guidelines

Urban Native Ed Listening Session Transcript: May 2012 (Seattle, WA)

United States Office of Indian Education (Department of Education)

U.S. Department of Education Office of Indian Education 
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Room 3E201, LBJ Bldg.
Washington, DC 20202-6335
Phone: 202-260-3774
Fax: 202-205-0606

Association on American Indian Affairs

Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Office of Native Education

ONE Supervisor - Michael Vendiola (Swinomish) 

WA State OSPI Office of Native Education 
Old Capitol Building
PO Box 47200


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Native Student Literacy

The Native Student Literacy program supports and provides equitable access to high quality, culturally responsive language and literacy learning opportunities for American Indian/Alaska Native students in grades K-8.

Program Overview

We believe that highlighting the importance of American Indian and Alaska Native cultures, history, language and knowledge systems can improve academic outcomes for American Indian and Alaska Native students in grades K-12.

The Native Education Literacy Liaison promotes in-home and community literacy learning strategies which support American Indian and Alaska Native learners. 

liłlaqəxʷ wiẁsuʔəxʷ kwi łasluud tiʔeʔ cədił sx̌ʷudx̌ʷud čəł. [gʷəł čəwatil əlgʷəʔ.]

Future youngsters will be the ones to hear our talk. [and they will learn.]**(Source: Lushootseed phrase)

Program Enrollment

We encourage you to contact the Language Learning Department, to find out if your student is eligible to participate in our program. 

Students are initially screened for the program if they demonstrate academic need–in recent years the F&P and high school grades have been used to identify students for screening. If students score at levels 1, 2, or 3 on the WELPA placement test they qualify for Native American Title 3 supports. They continue to qualify until the score at level 4 (proficient) on the WELPA annual test, at which point they exit. 

ELPA21 is used to assess both Native American Title 3 and ELL students because both groups of students have a demonstrated need in developing their language skills, regardless of their primary language. The ELPA21 is an important way for schools, the ELL Department, and the Native Education Program to work collaboratively to identify student strengths, needs, and to calibrate programming to meet individual student learning needs.

Program Services

The Native American Title 3 Program provides supplemental academic supports focusing on language skills for qualified American Indian/Alaska Native students. 

The Title VII/Native American Program works with the Native Education Program and the Language Learning Department to coordinate Title 3 services that promote and develop the language skills of students in the Native American Title 3 program. This includes engaging the American Indian/Alaska Native community to reinforce in-home, in-community literacy/English language development, and enhance the cultural-responsivity of literacy/language support strategies already in place in our district. The Title 3 programs supports the Native Education K-8 Literacy Liaison, who plays a significant role in developing and administering the Native Student Literacy Success Project, including a summer Native Student Literacy Academy.


Do all Native American/Alaska Native students take the ELPA21?
No. Only students who are screened for initial testing or already qualified are assessed (see question above about how students qualify for the program).

Are students in the Native American Title 3 Program considered to be ELL students?
No. English is not the primary language for ELL students, and therefore their learning needs in language are unique and differ significantly from those of ELL students. If an American Indian/Alaska Native student does not speak English as a primary language, she may qualify for ELL, but would not qualify for the Title 3 Native American Program. 

How are parents informed about their children's identification for, and participation in, the Title 3 Native American Program?
Students' parents/guardians are notified before and after testing, and then notified every year thereafter about the results of the annual ELPA21. Additional communication regarding specific programming and services administered by the Native Education Program may also occur.

Do students who qualify for the Native American Title 3 Program have to participate?
No. Once identified, screened, and qualified, students are not obligated to participate in any particular programming offered.

Can parents of students in the Native American Title 3 program decline to have their students take the ELPA21?
Yes. Like other state exams, parents may opt out of the exam for their children. Contact the Accountability Department for more details. Please note that while parents may opt out of testing, the school will need to offer them testing on the ELPA21 annually.

Where can I learn more information about how the Native American Title 3 Program works in Washington State?
Visit the State of Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction website for additional information.

What can I do if I, or parents/guardians/family members, have more questions?
Please contact the Language Learning Department at 206-631-3035.

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