Highline Community College faculty member Dr. Emmanuel Chiabi has been awarded a Fulbright grant to lecture and perform research in Cameroon, Africa for the 2013-2014 academic year. He will be teaching a hybrid course of American history and government, and cultural anthropology at the Catholic University of Cameroon while continuing his research on the history of Cameroon.
“In the higher education community, it’s a significant honor to be selected for a Fulbright. Beyond the prestige of Dr. Chiabi’s award, the project itself is important,” said Jeff Wagnitz, Highline’s vice president for academic affairs. “His work in Cameroon builds on his prior academic work and will enrich Highline Community College’s efforts in internationalizing curriculum.”
This is Dr. Chiabi’s second time receiving a Fulbright award. In 1993 he was given a Fulbright research grant to the University of Florida, Gainesville, as well as other additional exchange grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Yaoundé, Cameroon. Dr. Chiabi joined the Highline faculty in 1997.
Parents of middle and high school students are needed to help shape a plan that will guide schools for the next three years. It is part of a community effort to create a new three-year strategic plan.
The core planning team responsible for designing the plan is seeking ideas from Highline families and community members. The upcoming public input session will focus on ideas that can shape students’ middle school and high school experience.
“We are working toward very ambitious and necessary goals, to achieve better outcomes and broaden the opportunities for all students, and to better prepare them for their adult, working lives,” said Stacia Jenkins, a member of the core planning team and mother of a student at Pacific Middle School.
All parents are welcome, but middle school and high school parents are especially encouraged to join other families and community members for a meal and a conversation about what we want for our children and our community.
The latest Mensa member is a five-year old boy from the Gregory Heights neighborhood of Burien.
Wikipedia notes, “Mensa is the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world. It is a non-profit organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test.”
Alex Schwieger is a first grader at Gregory Heights Elementary. He entered elementary school at age 4 last September.
According to his father, Bob Schwieger, Alex has been excelling at his educational requirements there.
“This prompted his Mom and I to have him tested and found out that his 135 IQ places him in the 99th percentile,” the proud father reports.
Highline schools superintendent Susan Enfield reported March 13 that the district will present its recommendations on school security changes next month to the community for public comment.
She said the district would hold public meetings on the plan.
Enfield has met with former Des Moines police chief Roger Baker, who is reviewing a whole series of issues around school security. The superintendent said the breadth of Baker’s study impresses her. Enfield has also met with the police chiefs within the Highline district.
A district steering committee studied Highline’s security department and presented a report at a Dec. 12 board study session. That was two days before a gunman killed 20 students at a Connecticut elementary school. The timing fueled public alarm over possible changes.
At the March 13 board meeting, Enfield said the district wants to develop a security model that other districts will adopt.
I am very concerned about the huge dropout rate in America’s urban school districts. Based upon the research that I have done, the high school dropout rate can be traced directly to America’s urban school district’s abandoning the traditional junior high system of 7-8-9th grades and transforming to the middles school system of 6-7-8th grades.
Most ninth graders are unprepared academically, mentally and physically for the rigors of high school and as a result drop out of school.
Tacoma School District is an example of the middle school failure.
In the 2006-2007 school year there were 3059 9th graders attending Tacoma schools, four years later, 2009-2010 there were 1587 12th graders attending Tacoma schools. Over a four year period, 1, 472 students dropped out of Tacoma schools.
In the 2007-2008 school year there were 3040 9th graders attending Tacoma schools, four years later, 2010-2011 there were 1710 12th graders attending Tacoma schools. Over a four year period, 1,330 students dropped out of Tacoma schools.
The Gold Star Award WINNERS will be announced live Thursday, March 21 at the second annual Gold Star Awards BASH. Created in 2012, this red-carpet style event (21 and over) features a night of music, drinks, appetizers, dancing, and a LIVE announcement of the Gold Star Award winners. This year’s list of impressive and well-deserving nominees includes highly qualified staff, volunteers, and administrators.
Please come help us celebrate the outstanding Teachers, Volunteers, Alumni, Staff and Administrators of Highline Public Schools at our district’s version of the Academy Awards!
Event Details: Gold Star Awards BASH
Thursday, March 21, 2013
6:30 - 8:30 pm
The Production Shop, 14624 – 9th Avenue SW, Burien
Tickets are $15 and include appetizers, drinks, music, and celebration at this fun event unveiling the winners of the 2013 Gold Star Awards! (21 and over only)
2013 GOLD STAR AWARD NOMINEES
Outstanding Administrator Nominees
Mark Demick, Principal, Chinook Middle School
Diana Garcia, Principal, Cascade Middle School
Deborah Holcomb, Principal, Southern Heights Elementary School
Highline Public Schools has received two years of funding to update the physical education (PE) program for students, as part of the King County Community Transformation Grant, (CTG). The $36,000 grant will fund high quality PE programs and allow Highline teachers to collaborate as they plan PE learning in grades K-12.
“There are learning standards for PE, just as there are for math, literacy, science, and other subject areas,” said Rick Maloney, Teacher Advancement Coordinator. “The PE curriculum will set out what we want students to know and be able to do at each grade level. It will also provide guidance to teachers on the types of games and activities, such as, basketball, softball, and running, that will help students reach the standards.”
“We are so pleased to receive funding to do this work,” said Christin Lindner, K-12 PE and Health Facilitator. “We will be able to ensure that PE activities build from grade to grade, and also that our programs are consistent from school to school. I am excited to work with my colleagues on this project, and I’m certain that all of our students will benefit.”
Students at Technology, Engineering, and Communications High School (TEC) got the attention of national policy advisors when they gave feedback on an important document about research into climate change.
Comments prepared by Dr. Michael Town’s class at TEC featured prominently in feedback on the policy document. Dr. Town was approached to review the document due to his work as a researcher in polar climate change prior to entering the teaching profession.
The students reviewed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Summary for Policy Makers, which brings together current research, and is used by decision-makers at local, regional, national, and international levels in business and government as they consider changes to policies related to climate change.
The students concluded that the report, as initially drafted, would not be understood by readers who are not experts in climate science. They cited the extensive use of technical scientific jargon, lack of clear explanation of climate science concepts, and graphs that were difficult to understand.
New high tech tools and software will support student achievement for the nearly 3,000 students with special needs who attend Highline Public Schools, thanks to a grant from Lowes.
“We are so grateful, and excited, to receive the grant from Lowes Charitable and Educational Foundation,” said Anne Hickey, speech language pathologist at White Center Heights Elementary. “Students with special needs often have challenges in the areas of reading, writing, and communication. Now we have access to a broad range of technology options that will help students overcome those obstacles.”
The equipment and software, purchased with a $64,581 grant includes iPads, mini laptops, laptops, speech generating devices, and more than 15 related software applications. The applications include a text magnifier with speech for visually impaired students, voice recognition software, and a communication application that assists students who speak in a manner that is difficult to understand.
A team of professionals from across the district worked together to prepare and submit the grant to Lowes.
Experienced educational leader Jessica de Barros has been selected as the Project Director for the Road Map Consortium District Race to the Top grant. de Barros will start March 25 and report directly to the recently established Executive Committee.
As project director, de Barros and the Executive Committee will be responsible for the implementation of the four-year, $40 million federal grant for the Road Map region of Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton, Seattle and Tukwila school districts.
De Barros returns to Pacific Northwest region after spending the last two years serving as the Director of Impact for the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. In her role with the partnership, she designed and implemented a system to achieve aggressive goals across a turnaround network of 22 schools and 40 home office employees.
From 2008 -2011, de Barros served Seattle Public Schools as the Manager of Academic Planning & School Improvement as well as a project director.