Public Schools

Highline Community College press release:

The Highline Community College Library Exhibit and Art Gallery is pleased to announce the arrival of the collection, “Indonesian Cultural Arts from Tanah Air Kita—Our Homeland, Our Land and Water.” This collection will feature traditional Indonesian pieces and crafts such as Batik, woven and dyed textiles, ornamental arts and theatrical crafts.

The exhibit comes to Highline through the efforts of 10 visiting Indonesian faculty members with the Community College Faculty and Administrator Program for Indonesia (CCFA). The CCFA professional development program allows instructors and administrators from Indonesia’s technical colleges to witness how community-based institutions of higher education in the United States deliver quality technical and professional education to vital sectors of society. The faculty arrived at HCC this summer and will stay until mid-December.


Highline Public Schools press release:

Thanks to the very generous Highline community, the Global Connections High School wind ensemble will travel to Washington, D.C. January 18 to perform at the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Music Festival.

“I am delighted to announce that our $60,000 goal has been met and exceeded,” said Rick Harwood, Principal of Global Connections High School. “Our community has demonstrated in a big way just how much it cares about all students.”

Many individuals and organizations pitched in to reach the goal. Parents hosted potlucks, and students sold Entertainment Books. More than 50 percent of the funds were raised at a special event, An Evening of Jazz and Friends.

The largest individual donation came from Congressman Adam Smith, an alumnus of Tyee High School. Rep. Smith made a personal visit to the Tyee Educational Complex, where Global Connections is located, to congratulate wind ensemble students.


Highline Public Schools press release:

Highline families have the opportunity to sign up for low-cost broadband service. Of the 8,700 Highline families who are eligible, only 260 have taken advantage of this inexpensive option.

Families with students who qualify for free- or reduced-priced lunch can get low-cost broadband service through Comcast's Internet Essentials program. The program was started last year by Comcast as a federal requirement after Comcast acquired NBC Universal.

Program participants receive:

■Residential Internet service for $9.95 a month plus tax;
■No price increases, no activation fees, or equipment rental fees;
■A voucher to purchase a low-cost computer for $149.99 plus tax;
■Access to free internet training.

Families may visit or call 1-855-846-8376 to determine if they are eligible.


Press release:

An Evening of Jazz and Friends, a fund-raising event benefiting the Global Connections High School Wind Ensemble, was a sell-out success! Generous individuals, businesses, and community organizations contributed more than $27,000 to send the Wind Ensemble to Washington, D.C., to play at the Presidential Inauguration Music Festival. The school, where nearly 80 percent of the student body qualifies for free- or reduced-price lunch, needs $60,000 to pay for travel and accommodation for the band members.

The success of this event was made possible by many community members and organizations. “Our community extended its generosity to these students in a way that I have seldom witnessed,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “I thank each and every individual, business and organization for their tremendous support. They demonstrated how very deeply our community cares about its students, as well as the power of community collaboration.”


Press release:

New Futures, the King County Housing Authority, and many partners including Woodridge Park residents, Congressman Jim McDermott, Burien Mayor Brian Bennett, and Highline School District Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield, will celebrate the grand opening of the new Woodridge Park/New Futures community center on Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 5:30 p.m.

Please join us! Community members and New Futures' Board of Directors, staff, participants, and supporters are invited to attend. The facility is located at Woodridge Park Apartments, 12424 28th Ave. South, in Burien.


Press release:

A group of Central Washington University faculty and staff leaders will visit Des Moines on Thursday, October 18.

Called the “Wildcat Caravan,” the purpose of the visit is to meet with community college and and area business leaders to find out what they consider to be the most pressing education needs in Des Moines.

“We want them to share ideas with us so that we can be even more effective partners through CWU-Des Moines and increase educational opportunities in the community,” said Margaret Badgley, CWU assistant vice president for University Centers, who is heading up the caravan.

CWU-Des Moines is among the eight university centers CWU operates across Washington. Those centers offer upper division courses in selected degree areas and are designed for place-bound and time-bound students who have completed their associate degrees.

“Our campuses are co-located with community colleges in order to make the transition from two- to four-year degree programs easy,” Badgley pointed out.

Hotel committee declines to fund symphony that does not put 'heads in beds'

Because times have changed from what many adults remember about their school experience, SeaTac Police Chief Jim Graddon told SeaTac lawmakers Oct. 9, a full-time police officer is needed at the Tyee High campus and Chinook Middle School.

The council members agreed and unanimously voted to renew the School Resource Officer (SRO) contract for the adjoining campuses.

Councilmember Pam Fernald noted constituents question her about the program.

The police chief said that a police officer has much more authority than a school district security officer. With arrest powers, a police officer can deal more effectively with weapons, drugs or an unruly student at school. The officer can also handle problems off school grounds, he added.

With the officer already on site, there are fewer 911 calls from the school, which would have taken officers off patrols, he added.

Especially in the middle school, a police officer can also develop relationships with students and serve as a mentor, he said.

“Just one person deciding not to go in the wrong direction would be worth it,” Graddon declared.

New teacher, principal evaluation program unveiled

Several years ago, the Highline School District broke Evergreen and Tyee high schools into small schools.

Evergreen in White Center was divided into Arts & Academics Academy (AAA), Health and Human Services High School (HS3) and Technology Engineering and Communications High School (TEC.) They are all housed on the Evergreen campus but have separate classrooms, separate students, separate teachers and separate principals. The schools even have separate graduation ceremonies.

The idea was students would do better in school if they had teachers and classmates who knew them well and cared about them personally.

On Oct. 10, three students, with the support of a former school board president, pleaded with Highline board members to allow Evergreen campus students to graduate together in a joint ceremony.

They presented a petition they said was signed by 500 people, including 95 percent of Evergreen seniors.

Senior Sinamarietta Vili said the students feel like one family and refer to themselves as Evergreen students.

“We are not divided as friends and family,” Vili declared.


Falling interest rates in the bond market means Highline Public Schools will save taxpayers around $4.6 million on repayment of two construction bond measures passed in 2002 and 2006.

The school board authorized Sept. 26 the district’s finance team to refinance $40-$65 million of the bonds. The team will monitor the bond market and is expected to resell the bonds the week of Oct. 29, if the district can achieve at least a 5 percent savings.

Voters approved a $189.5 million construction bond at the March 12, 2002 election. A $148 million bond was subsequently passed in the March 14, 2006 election. With funds from the two bonds, the district has rebuilt most of its elementary schools and Mt. Rainier High in Des Moines.

District officials are hoping to pass a third bond measure to finance rebuilding or remodeling of the district’s middle and high schools. However, they have held off on proposing another bond because of the poor economy.


With council members Pam Fernald and Dave Bush absent because of illness, the SeaTac Council held a short, non-contentious meeting on Sept. 25.

Lawmakers met with the Highline School District’s dynamic new superintendent, Susan Enfield.

Enfield noted the district had received a “nice bump” in the latest state test scores, particularly in math.

She said the district is forming a new strategic plan and described teachers, principals, family and community partners and central staff as essential elements in providing a good education to students.

Enfield agreed with Deputy Mayor Mia Gregerson that the district has issues with truancy and discipline. She noted that African American and Latino students have a suspension rate three times that of other groups. She vowed to work on the disparity.

Enfield told Councilmember Barry Ladenburg that the district is seeking to graduate all students prepared to enter a four-year college. College should be a viable option but students should choose what path they want to take, she noted. She added that students haven’t been exposed enough to vocational options.

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