It's time to share results from our community meetings and online conversation about course offerings at the high school level.
Our high schools will switch from a two-term semester schedule to a three-term trimester schedule in the fall of 2020. Students will have five (longer) class periods a day, rather than six (shorter) periods. The trimester schedule gives students the opportunity to take more courses and earn more credits in four years of high school.
In March 2019, families, staff, students and the community were invited to share feedback to help us plan course offerings as well as consider future graduation requirements.
On March 1, we launched an online conversation through Thoughtexchange. The online conversation provided an opportunity for families, community and staff to share priorities and ideas about our high school trimester schedule change.
Nearly 500 people contributed hundreds of comments and ideas. The Highline community gave nearly 12,000-star ratings through the process, with several themes rising to the top.
Thank you to those who participated in this conversation. We invite you to explore the feedback through our online, interactive report.
We also held a series of community meetings across the district to gather in-person feedback. The following is a list of priorities identified at the different meeting locations.
- Tyee High School - March 4
- Evergreen High School - March 7
- Raisbeck Aviation High School - March 11
- Mount Rainier High School - March 14
- Highline High School - March 21
- Financial literacy
- Practical skills
- Interviewing skills
- Communication skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Goal setting
- Organizational skills
- Understand the importance of HS and the opportunities
- Long term thinking skills – future orientation
- More time to process content and practice skills
- Supporting ideas with evidence
- Students on committees
- Course taking: how do we involve parents in the process?
- Fine arts seem limited, are there others?
- Digital arts: blending technology with arts
- How do we give information on courses to both students and parents?
- Orientations for incoming families: parents are left out of the process
- Developmental strategy: positive outlets for energy, “activism” extending civic responsibility
- Not tying kids to a specific career pathway, let them explore
- Link up the after school activities
- Logical alignment k-12: the skills
- Preparing for leaving your high school and going somewhere else
- Don’t know how to do excel, power point, writing a professional email
- Teaching academy
- Professional skills
- World religions
- Financial Literacy (maybe in advisory?)
- Personal Management (maybe in advisory?)
- Study habits: scaffold through Advisory, learning how to learn, college guidance, college essay writing
- Interpersonal skills: Advisory: public speaking skill, presentation skills
- Add some depth to Algebra 2, Geometry, challenge problems (add)
- Digital literacy: social media literacy and privacy, media: understanding bias, know what’s real: critical thinking
- Literature: Science fiction
- 9th grade transition course: study skills, organization (21st century skills)
- Alternatives to AP/College in the HS: (costs can be prohibitive)
- Hands-on, collaborative learning experiences (slightly more time in class)
- Fewer classes at a time (to manage course load and homework)
- More ARTS!!!
- More world language: expand offerings and length of program
- Leave some time for sports: students could align sport with trimester schedule
- Add 2 periods of health
- Add statistics, economics and US Government
- Use college requirement as guides to add, enhance, refine the schedule
- Prepare students for the college experience: essays, social, academic, writing
- Challenge, honors, gifted, underserved: differentiated: how to train staff to meet needs of all students
- Extra curricular
- How do we mix IB and Running Start?
- Go to college
- Read, write, analyze
- Higher level courses
- Build confidence!
- Secondary language opportunity
- Extended engineering
- Extensions for the 3rd trimester
- Parent partnership with course selection
- Financial literacy/FAFSA etc
- Getting into college
- First Aid
- To know what applications each subject might have.
- I’d like her to get a taste of what’s out there (job shadowing, etc)
- To figure out what she enjoys and would like to focus on more so she can start heading in a direction after high school
- Team work – projects
- Achievement recognition – more teacher comments
- I’d like to see her teachers in addition to student led conferences. I’d get more out of it.
- Show Screenagers – have to request a screening
- Financial literacy courses
- Choir at all schools (HHS)
- Equity of course options across schools
- Ensuring logistics are not barriers to access for all
- Freshman orientation course (organization, time management etc)
- College preparation (ready to apply, studying, cover letter, resume etc) course for seniors
- More dual credit courses vs. running start as the only robust option. Some running start students miss out on connections and information about their school. How can running start students have access to school information? (recording meetings)
- Technology courses: minimum requirements for All? Basic computer skills
- Political science courses: preparation for citizenship, voting etc.
The trimester transition steering team, made up of principals, teachers and central office staff, will use input gathered in this exchange and the community meetings as they develop and approve new courses. In addition, the Superintendent's Student Advisory Committee will share their ideas for new courses. Next fall, we will conduct student focus groups to get additional input.