White Center Heights Elementary to offer dual-language program next year

September 6th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Education, Highline School District, Schools, White Center news 1 Comment »

From Highline Public Schools:

More Highline Kindergarteners will learn a second language at school starting next fall. Highline will open new dual language programs at White Center Heights and Madrona elementary schools. Each school will have two dual-language Kindergarten classes starting in fall 2013.

Madrona will offer Spanish immersion. At White Center Heights, there will be one Vietnamese immersion and one Spanish immersion class. Half of the students in each program are native English speakers and half are native speakers of the other language. Students spend 50 percent of every day learning in English and the other 50% learning in the second language.

Each year, the schools will add a grade level as students progress through each grade and new Kindergarteners enter the program every fall.

Hilltop and Mount View elementary schools were the first two schools in the district to offer Spanish dual language programs. The first cohort at Hilltop will enter 7th grade in 2015. Highline plans to expand dual language to middle school at that time.

Demand for dual language classrooms in growing in Highline. “We anticipate expanding to other elementary schools in the next three to five years,” said Bernard Koontz, Director of Language and Cultural Arts.

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First day at Holy Family School: New dual-language program debuts

September 4th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Education, Holy Family, Religion, Schools, White Center news 1 Comment »

Big smile from Holy Family Parish School principal Frank Cantwell – it’s the first day of school and the first day of a new program that will continue growing over the years. Holy Family is debuting its dual-language program. The principal explains, “We have hired seven bilingual teachers from Mexico, South America and Spain. Our Pre-School, Pre-Kindergarten, and Kindergarten students will be learning half their subjects in Spanish and half in English. Each year, we will include the next grade up. For now, all the students in Grades 1 through 8 will be taught in English, but learning Spanish in the more traditional approach.” One of the new teachers is Flori Muñoz from Argentina:

Here’s her kindergarten classroom from another angle:

Assistant principal Anca Wilson was conducting parent orientation:

Also happening this week at Holy Family – the annual Street Fair is coming up Saturday and Sunday (September 8-9). Principal Cantwell says, “We will be having Mexican, Filipino and Vietnamese foods, as well as hot dogs and hamburgers. We will have pony rides again this year, and we have built a water slide that I am sure will be a big hit with the kids. We will also be having a variety of ethnic music and dancing. We expect it to be bigger and better than ever.”

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First day of school for Highline – and new superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield

August 30th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Education, Highline School District, White Center news Comments Off on First day of school for Highline – and new superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield

(Photo by Nick Adams for White Center Now)
Be careful out there! It’s the first day of school for Highline Public Schools. In our photo, that’s new Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield at a bus stop this morning, headed for White Center Heights Elementary; she’s also scheduled to visit Mount View Elementary and Shorewood Elementary. More later.

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Three more days of summer vacation for Highline Public Schools

August 26th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Education, Highline School District, White Center news Comments Off on Three more days of summer vacation for Highline Public Schools

Before this week is out, thousands of Highline Public Schools students will be back in class. Thursday is the first day of school. Last day: June 13, 2013.

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Go to college without leaving White Center! Highline Community College to hold classes

March 20th, 2012 Tracy Posted in Education, Greenbridge, White Center news Comments Off on Go to college without leaving White Center! Highline Community College to hold classes

Starting next month, Highline Community College will offer a class, Introduction to Communications, in Greenbridge. Here’s the official announcement.

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South Seattle Community College offers workshop for Pacific Islander families

March 2nd, 2012 Tracy Posted in Education, White Center news 1 Comment »

White Center CDA is among the community partners for this upcoming workshop at South Seattle Community College:

Families of prospective Pacific Islander students at South Seattle Community College are invited to attend a FREE workshop to will learn how to support the educational progress of their family member attending the college. Parents, grandparents, siblings, partners, children, and spouses can all positively impact the success of a college student, and this informative workshop will provide them with the tools they need to make a difference.

Attendees will learn about what it is like to be a Pacific Islander college student at South; obtain information about campus resources to help students; and discover the many important ways they can help their student get the most out of the college experience. The workshop is ideal for new students and their families to encourage them to get a strong start on their college career. It is also extremely useful for current Pacific Islander students and their families as well.

Admission is free, but advance sign-up is requested.

Contact & RSVP: (206) 934-6487
e-mail: Rochelle.Fonoti@seattlecolleges.edu

Tongan and Samoan interpreters will be available.

This workshop was developed and presented by South’s AANAPISI grant; Student Outreach, Admissions and Recruitment; 13th Year Scholarship program; the Cultural Center; and TRiO Student Success Services. Community partners include U.T.O.P.I.A. Seattle, Southwest Youth and Family Services and White Center Community Development Association.

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Financing deal closes for Technology Access Foundation project in White Center

February 1st, 2012 Tracy Posted in development, Education, Lakewood Park, White Center news 4 Comments »

(Rendering of new center)
Announced today via news release (read it in its entirety here): A financing deal that’s part of the package for the TAF center in Lakewood Park has closed. Here’s how the $ shakes out:

Financing for the facility was supplied by multiple public and private partners. Enterprise Community Investment, one of the largest allocatees of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC), provided $12.5 million in NMTC allocation. A $2.9 million bridge loan was financed by Enterprise Community Loan Fund, which used proceeds from the sale of its Enterprise Community Impact Note to fund part of the loan. The Seattle Foundation made a $1 million investment in the Note last April as part of its commitment to support development of projects that promote the health of local communities. Impact Capital participated in the bridge loan by providing $1.46 million of the $2.9 million in bridge financing. Other financing included $2 million from King County, $1.5 million from the State of Washington; $1 million from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; a $500,000 federal appropriation arranged by Senator Patty Murray; and $300,000 from Microsoft Corporate Community Affairs.

The three-story facility is expected to be open before year’s end.

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Highline’s interim superintendent visiting ’50 sites in 50 days’

September 1st, 2011 Tracy Posted in Education, Highline School District, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on Highline’s interim superintendent visiting ’50 sites in 50 days’

Here’s a unique way to experience today’s first day of school in Highline Public Schools – and 49 more days after that: Interim Superintendent Dr. Alan Spicciati is planning to visit “50 sites in 50 days,” and he’s writing about it here. He started with writing about his Tuesday Madrona Elementary in SeaTac, and it looks like he plans to write about visiting a few more schools on this actual first day of classes. (In case you’re wondering, on the other side of the line, Seattle Public Schools don’t start till next Wednesday.)

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Let the construction begin! Groundbreaking for Technology Access Foundation’s ‘Bethaday Community Learning Space’ in White Center

August 27th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Education, Lakewood Park, White Center news 2 Comments »

(From left: Dow Constantine, King County Executive; Miya McClain, TAF Alum; Biruk Araya, TechStart Student; Trish Millines Dziko, TAF Executive Director; Ken Birdwell, Valve Philanthropist; Joe McDermott, 8th District King County Councilmember; Alan Spicciati, Highline Interim Superintendent)
Story, photos, and video by Deanie Schwarz
Reporting for White Center Now

The Technology Access Foundation‘s long-awaited White Center facility has just celebrated its ceremonial groundbreaking.

Dignitaries gathered for the event celebrating the now officially named “Bethaday Community Learning Space” in White Center’s Lakewood Park A large gathering of neighbors and dignitaries gathered on a rise of gently sloping green space, a building site chosen with the environmental goal of minimal disturbance to and inclusion within the existing natural surroundings.

Nearby groves of trees will be preserved for cooling the building, as well as a number of other innovations in design and materials for the energy and water efficient building.

TAF executive director Trish Millines Dziko explained to the gathering that the new official name of the facility is a consolidation of two inspired individuals in education and science, Mary McLeod Bethune and Michael Faraday. Dziko also noted that 92% of the fundraising has been completed and encouraged the participants to support the final efforts to secure the remaining funds as the construction begins.

The 24,000 sq. ft. Bethaday Community Learning Space will create opportunities for White Center community members to participate in computing, financial-planning, job training and other classes, according to TAF; groups will also be able to rent spaces in the building at a low cost so programs can be operated which benefit the community, including out-of-school options.

Ken Birdwell, founder of Valve, and a philanthropist supportive of TAF, told WCN that he is looking forward to coming back to Bethaday in ten years to hire the future engineers he will need in his own computer game industry who will have been inspired to pursue science and technology careers within the Bethaday Learning Community.

Friday’s festivities also included performances – here’s the WC-based Tanoa Polynesian Dance Group:

For more about the project, check out this webpage.

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Date announced for Technology Access Foundation groundbreaking at Lakewood Park

July 29th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Education, Hicks Lake, Lakewood Park, White Center news Comments Off on Date announced for Technology Access Foundation groundbreaking at Lakewood Park

It’s been a long time in the making, but Dick Thurnau of Friends of Hicks Lake tells WCN Technology Access Foundation has announced August 26th as the groundbreaking date for the long-long-awaited learning center in Lakewood Park (home of Hicks Lake). They have raised 92 percent of the $13 million needed for the three-story, 25,000 square-foot building, where students will have access to science, technology, engineering, and math (often shortened to STEM) coaching and learning. The building will be south of Lakewood Park’s upper parking lot; enter from SW 108th; the August 26th event is set for 10:30 am-noon, all welcome.

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Baby sign language classes start Thursday at Dubsea Coffee

July 18th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Education, White Center news Comments Off on Baby sign language classes start Thursday at Dubsea Coffee

Parents who want to try communicating with their babies via hand signs – American Sign Language – are invited to join new classes starting up this week at Dubsea Coffee in White Center, presented by Little Creative Hands:

Two Available Beginning Classes:

①. Thursday Classes, at Dubsea Coffee (9910 8th Ave SW, Seattle), 1:30 pm-2:30 pm : July 21, 28, August 4, & 11.
②. Saturday Classes, at Dubsea Coffee (9910 8th Ave SW, Seattle), 11:00 am-12:00 pm : July 23, 30, August 6, & 13.
*For ages 0-2. Attendees are you, your spouse, and/or caregiver, with option to bring your baby/toddler.

Class fees:
Full Session (4 classes) – $100

Pay per class – $30

*fees include flashcards for each class.

You can find out more, and register, by e-mailing the instructors at LittleCreativeHands@gmail.com. They’re also on Facebook.

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Highline Public Schools hires new executive director for White Center schools – and he’s not moving far

July 13th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Education, Highline School District, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on Highline Public Schools hires new executive director for White Center schools – and he’s not moving far

Just announced: The longtime principal of West Seattle’s Chief Sealth International High School, John Boyd, is coming to Highline Public Schools as executive director of the north region, which includes White Center. Here’s the story we just published on West Seattle Blog.

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Reminder: Voting deadline tomorrow for Highline Public Schools measure

February 7th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Education, Highline School District, White Center news 1 Comment »

Your ballot has to be postmarked by tomorrow for it to count in the special election for Highline Public Schools‘ levy. As the district’s infopage points out, the levy will supply about a fourth of the district’s operating budget. If you still have questions about it, here’s the info on the district site;

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Congratulations, Class of 2010! New Start and Choice Academy graduate

June 14th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Education, Highline School District, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on Congratulations, Class of 2010! New Start and Choice Academy graduate

(White Center Now photos by Evan Miglorie)
“This is the biggest night in our school’s history.”

That’s what New Start High School teacher Ann Magyar told White Center Now about tonight’s graduation ceremony for New Start and Highline CHOICE Academy, the alternative programs in Highline Public Schools. You can see it in the leaping exuberance of Dewane Sauni, who’s graduating a year early (two months ago, he was chosen White Center Kiwanis Student of the Month):

Our photojournalist covering the ceremony, Evan Miglorie, reports that Dewane gave an “emotional speech,” and that another excellent speech was given by CHOICE Academy grad Megan Johnson, honored this past spring as one of America’s top youth volunteers:

The graduation filled the Log Cabin at White Center’s Steve Cox Memorial Park with xx people. Between the two schools, the grads numbered about 40 – three-fourths of them from New Start.

But according to Ann, more than 400 people showed up to cheer on those 40 grads!

“These students have worked incredibly hard and overcome a great deal to walk across that stage,” she added. Our congrats to the grads; here’s the schedule for the other graduation ceremonies coming up in the Highline district.

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Cascade Middle School’s invitation for 6th-grade parents

May 13th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Education, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on Cascade Middle School’s invitation for 6th-grade parents

The folks at Cascade Middle School e-mailed to ask if we’d share their invitation to parents of 6th graders in the White Center area, getting ready for 7th grade – You’re all invited to Cascade’s parent-night meeting May 25, 6:30-8:30 pm, where you’ll find out about the school’s transformation and get to meet the new principal. Here’s the official flyer.

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Video: Educare Early Learning Center dedicated at Greenbridge in White Center

March 27th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Education, Video, White Center news Comments Off on Video: Educare Early Learning Center dedicated at Greenbridge in White Center

With that ribbon-cutting ceremony a little more than an hour ago – check out the little boy jumping for joy! – the Educare Early Learning Center at Greenbridge is now open, a year and a half after the ceremonial groundbreaking. (Lots of background here on the facility designed to serve at least 134 children, birth-5.) Big crowd on hand:

Among the crowd of hundreds, all three 34th District state legislators – from left, Rep. Eileen Cody, Sen. Joe McDermott, Rep. Sharon Nelson:

Those attending also included Bill Gates Sr. and Mimi Gates. The event started with about 45 minutes of speeches – we’ll add video of highlights – and then, the gala ribboncutting, followed by tours.

ADDED: Two speech excerpts from the pre-ribboncutting event in adjacent White Center Heights Elementary School. The most memorable speaker was Beatrice Harper, a White Center mom whose son Angelo has attended precursor programs for the past two years:

And on behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which made a major contribution to get the center built, Greg Shaw said he had a request for everyone present:

Through White Center Early Learning Initiative, WC is one of two “demonstration areas” in the state for early-learning initiatives; the other is East Yakima. Also, our regional-news partners at the Seattle Times take a closer look in this article that’s just gone online.

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Four days till Educare Early Learning Center’s grand opening

March 23rd, 2010 Tracy Posted in Education, Greenbridge, White Center news Comments Off on Four days till Educare Early Learning Center’s grand opening

White Center Now was there a year and a half ago when ground was broken for the Educare Early Learning Center in Greenbridge – our video shows U.S. Sen. Patty Murray helping with the ceremonial shovel-turning – and we’ll be there this Saturday for the grand-opening celebration. It’ll start with speeches at 1 pm, followed by an open house with tours 2-4 pm. It’s adjacent to White Center Heights Elementary. Read on for the official announcement: Read the rest of this entry »

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Big changes ahead for 2 Highline district middle schools

March 4th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Education, Highline School District, White Center news Comments Off on Big changes ahead for 2 Highline district middle schools

Highline Public Schools has released more information on its plans for Cascade and Chinook Middle Schools, both of which are eligible for potential federal grants because they’re on the state’s list of lowest-performing schools. Read on for the district’s news release: Read the rest of this entry »

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Event planned in White Center for area child-care/education providers

February 5th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Education, White Center news 1 Comment »

From Sarah Airhart at the Community School of West Seattle, which as you may know is right on the WS-White Center boundary along Roxbury, word of the 3rd annual Early Learning Fair and Conference, coming up March 6 at White Center Heights Elementary, presented by the White Center Providers’ Group, “for anyone who takes care of young children or is interested in doing so.” You need to register by February 12 – so you have just a week to go. Here’s the official flyer with all the information you need.

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From Highline Public Schools: Refinancing that’ll save you $

December 10th, 2009 Tracy Posted in Education, Highline School District, White Center news Comments Off on From Highline Public Schools: Refinancing that’ll save you $

News release received Wednesday night from Highline Public Schools:

Highline Public Schools has refinanced 2002 bonds, resulting in a savings to taxpayers of more than $8 million over the next five years.

The savings flow directly to taxpayers through reduced tax levies. The dollars cannot be used for District expenses. “This is a direct savings to our community members in the form of taxes they expected to pay, but will not have to pay,” says Superintendent John Welch.

The District was able to exceed its savings target because of recent low interest rates. Interest rates averaged 6.31% on the new bonds compared to 5.33% on the old debt.

After the refinance, Moody’s Investment Services reaffirmed the district’s Aa3 bond rating on the district’s outstanding debt. The rating reflects the district’s satisfactory financial operations and its manageable debt levels. The district has a AA- rating from Standard and Poor’s.

The Highline School Board approved the issuance of refunding bonds at its December 9 meeting. The original bonds funded the replacement of ten aging schools, which opened beginning in 2004.

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