Dear Rainier Ram Families,
I am very excited to be serving in the Highline community as Principal of Mount Rainier High School. My dedication to educational excellence and equity for all is my passion. This passion began as a young person raised to value education, integrity, and the goodness in all people. These values along with my educational philosophy that all children are gifted and have the right to an education that accesses their gifts or strengths to build knowledge and understanding to their highest potential is the expectation I hold myself to and anyone who works with our students. I feel so fortunate to be working and collaborating with staff who values the same.
Many of our staff met this summer to continue with the work they have already started to ensure our curriculum is rigorous and aligned with the expectations of the International Baccalaureate program (IB), Middle Years Program (MYP) and Common Core. We will also be submitting our Application for Authorization to become an I.B. recognized Middle Years Program school on October 1st. I.B. will be conducting a site visit in the Spring of 2017. In the meantime, 9th and 10th grade students will move forward with the M.Y.P. curriculum, Approaches To Learning Skills, Personal Project and the Learner Profile. As we move towards becoming more International-Minded we will be offering Arabic in the World Language department.
On August 15th and 16th our Ignite Mentors gathered for their annual leadership kickoff. Students from both Pacific Middle School and Mount Rainier worked with the Ignite trainers in building their leadership skills through many thought provoking and mindful activities that were interesting, rewarding and fun. Some of the leadership skills our students worked on included how to facilitate advisories and collaborate with others, as well as contributing to building a strong community. Our mentors are excited to be working with our freshman students during Advisory to provide academic and social support for an easier transition into high school. A school-wide benefit of the Ignite mentorship program is it provides a strong and equitable platform for the student voice, which is an area that continues to grow at Mount Rainier.
August 25th was our Back to Basics Day where students and families paid fees, picked up their schedules, got pictures taken, received their student IDs and toured the school. We had a tremendous turn out and at times the lines in our gymnasium looked like the traffic on I-5, but the positive side of this was, we were thrilled with the number of parents and students who attended this event. What an honor to be working with such a dedicated community! We will be looking at ways to improve this event for next year.
This year we will continue to work towards reaching the district and school goals of our strategic plan. While our graduation rate continues to climb, our most current estimate is 72.4%, we recognize we have work to do. We are extremely confident that using all of our resources efficiently and wisely, we will continue to make the gains needed to reach our goal of 19 out of 20 seniors graduating. On behalf of the administrative team at Mount Rainier, we look forward to partnering with our families in this hard, but most rewarding work we are so fortunate to be a part of.