Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila, Seattle and four other South King County cities were named All-America Cities by the National Civic League on July 2 based on the region’s ambitious plan to ensure that more children are reading at grade level by the end of third grade.
Chosen from a field of more than 100 entries, the proposal for Seattle and the cities of Auburn, Burien, Federal Way, Kent, Renton, SeaTac and Tukwila was submitted by the Road Map Project, a cradle-to-college-and-career initiative aimed at improving education in South Seattle and South King County. The community was one of 14 awardees selected from 32 finalists.
The awards were handed out at the conclusion of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading conference in Denver. Awardees will compete again in 2016 based on results obtained from efforts to improve third-grade reading.
In Alan Spicciati’s final board meeting as interim superintendent, the Highline School Board was presented with a $194 million operating budget for the 2012-2013 school year.
The board is scheduled to approve the budget on July 25. There were no citizen comments on the budget during a public hearing.
Susan Enfield will move south from Seattle to take over as Highline’s superintendent on Monday, July 9. Spicciati will return to his position as chief accountability officer.
Assistant Superintendent Susan Smith Leland said there will be no significant program or staff cuts for the coming year but also no restoration of $18 million in previous cuts.
New positions are still frozen in support services and 1.5 furlough days will still be taken by staff, according to Leland
Expenditures will increase for rising fixed costs such as unfunded salaries and benefits as well as a new teacher evaluation system.
Salaries for certificated staff account for 44 percent of the general fund budget. Combined certified and classified salaries along with benefits make up 83 percent.
Madrona Elementary and Shorewood Elementary have achieved designation as Level Two Green Schools through the King County Green Schools program.
The program has three levels, which involve students and staff in learning about and practicing conservation of natural resources.
Level One requires expanding recycling practices and focusing on waste reduction strategies, such as decreasing paper use.
Schools achieve Level Two by engaging in energy conservation actions, such as turning off lights in unoccupied rooms.
Level Three schools learn about and engage in water conservation practices.
“Staff and students at these schools have embraced recycling, reducing waste and other conservation actions,” said Dale Alekel, Green Schools Program Manager. “Simple steps, such as turning off lights in unoccupied rooms and recycling paper, bottles and cans, add up to big benefits.”
Alekel said most participating schools report cuts in operating expenses after maintaining successful waste reduction and recycling programs and reducing energy and water use.
There will be no “Kids and Cops” Initiative on the Burien ballot this November.
Without a formal vote, Burien City Council members decided June 18 to not move forward on the proposal.
As introduced by City Manager Mike Martin the six-year initiative would have funded a surge in Burien police officers and provide grants to some Burien elementary schools.
The initiative would have been funded by an increase in utility taxes and would have needed voter approval.
The city council’s decision came after three influential school leaders roasted the proposal at a June 5 Highline School Board meeting.
The three leaders said the initiative would make it harder to pass school district levies and bonds because Burien voters would think they already had voted on funding the schools.
They also noted the school board is elected to decide funding priorities. Providing direct funding at the discretion of school principals would circumvent the process, they argued.
The Des Moines Area Food Bank will be offering a summer feeding program to children in the area.
The summer meals program has developed over the past three years in response to the high need for food among children in the area.
Two out of three students in Des Moines’ local elementary schools qualify for the federal free and reduced meal program and 1 in 5 children in South King County live in families that 'often' or 'sometimes' run out of food.
Program partners include the Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department, the Des Moines Farmers Market, New Futures, Para Los Niños and the YMCA.
The program will be operating seventeen sites. Thirteen sites will be serving both lunch and snacks, and three sites will be serving only lunch. Three of the sites will also have recreation/activities for children.
One new highlight will be providing suppers for children at the Wednesday evening summer concert series to be held in Des Moines. Site information can be found at www.myfoodbank.org/summermeals.
Here is the schedule of locations:
Parkside Elementary School (2104 S. 247th St, Des Moines)
Two Highline students were awarded first place honors in the state-wide literary competition “Escribo en español” for writing by native speakers of Spanish.
Annie Araya, a senior at Global Connections High School, won first place in the prose category. Highline High School’s Yohan Lara, a junior, took first place for poetry.
Highline High School had two other winners: Junior Ileana Vega took second place and junior Sara Chang received honorable mention, both for poetry. Global Connections junior Andrea Sánchez received honorable mention for her prose entry.
The contest was sponsored by the Center for Spanish Studies, a partnership between the University of Washington and the Embassy of Spain. The theme of this year’s competition was “My Life in Ten Years.”
“[Annie and Andrea] were very excited to be recognized for their writing skills in their first language,” says Global Connections teacher Jennifer Wittenberg. Annie will attend the University of Washington in the fall.
Free meals will be available for children age 18 and younger this summer at designated schools and other sites around the district.
Children do not need to be enrolled as students of Highline Public Schools.
The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was established to ensure that children in lower-income areas would continue to receive nutritious meals during long school vacations, when they do not have access to school lunch or breakfast.
Here is the schedule of times and locations:
Big Picture Breakfast: 9:00-9:30 June 25-July 26 Mon-Thur
440 S 188th St Lunch: 12:00-12:30
Bow Lake Lunch: 11:30-12:00 June 25-Aug 10 Mon-Fri
18237 42nd Ave S Snack: 3:00-4:00
Cascade Breakfast: 8:30-9:00 July 9-Aug 2 Mon-Thur
11212 10th Ave SW Lunch: 11:35-12:05
Chinook Breakfast: 8:00-8:30 June 25-Aug 10 Mon-Fri
18650 42nd Ave S Lunch: 12:00-12:30
Evergreen Breakfast: 7:30-8:00 June 25-July 19 Mon-Thur
830 SW 116th St Lunch: 11:00-11:30
Gregory Heights Lunch: 11:30-12:30 June 25-Aug 10 Mon-Fri
Four students from Aviation High School are among the 160 high school juniors from across the state who have qualified for a spot in the Washington Aerospace Scholars (WAS) Summer Residency program.
Savannah Mattson, Tran Tonnu, Jacob Wagner, and Dustin Werran competed against nearly 300 students for acceptance into the Summer Residency.
They began in December by completing eight online lessons and a final project developed by NASA. Their academic performance on the WAS Phase One curriculum qualified the four AHS students for the Phase Two residency program.
As their final project, students created a proposal for a future colony on Mars. They were challenged to design a colony capable of sustaining 30 colonists for an extended period of time and to create a visual design of their colony. Top designs will be displayed at the Museum of Flight.
Burien’s plan to pump up to $400,000 into some city elementary schools was strongly opposed June 5 by three influential school district leaders.
City Manager Mike Martin presented an outline of the proposed “Kids and Cops Initiative” at the school district’s board meeting.
He said the Burien City Council would be considering the initiative on Monday, June 18 with the goal of placing it on the November election ballot.
If approved by Burien voters, the initiative would target some Burien elementary schools with between $300,000-$400,000 over a four year period.
The funds would be direct grants from the city to specific schools with educators in each school determining which programs would be funded.
As a companion to the “kids” portion of the initiative, Burien cops would receive a surge in funding for two years to hire 8-10 additional police officers at a cost of $1.8- $2.3 million.
Martin said the funding for police would alter a misperception about the amount of crime in the city.
“Burien is thought to be the wild west as compared to neighboring cities,” Martin declared. “That is a myth.”
Jamie Ewing, a fifth grade teacher at Mount View Elementary, has been selected as a first round finalist in Microsoft’s Partners in Learning 2012 US Forum.
The competition recognizes teachers and school leaders for innovative ways of incorporating technology into curriculum.
Ewing is one of 44 teachers from 15 states who will participate in the national competition this summer at Microsoft’s Redmond campus.
Ewing was selected for developing a virtual science fair for his fifth grade class. The project, eLAB: Science in the Cloud, combines traditional learning about the scientific method with new technology skills.
Students begin by exploring earth systems and designing related science experiments.
Students will present their experiments as interactive web games, videos or PowerPoint presentations. The digital presentations will be stored on a Windows Live SkyDrive, so students can bring their ideas to other schools around the world.
Once data is collected and experiments are finished, student groups will use their findings to produce a community-based project addressing environmental damage.