You’ll see more kids out and about all week, since it’s Spring Break for Highline Public Schools. School’s back in session April 14th.
You’ll see more kids out and about all week, since it’s Spring Break for Highline Public Schools. School’s back in session April 14th.
January 9th, 2014 Tracy Posted in Highline School District Comments Off
7 pm next Thursday (January 16) at the Evergreen campus cafeteria (830 SW 116th), it’s your chance to tell Highline Public Schools what you think should be done to deal with its growing crisis – old schools, overflowing. Here’s today’s announcement:
Facing serious challenges with school facilities, leaders from Highline Public Schools are asking citizens to weigh in on potential solutions.
“Last year the community came together to set bold goals for students,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “In order to meet those goals, we must provide a learning environment that allows students to experience excellent instruction and today’s learning technology.”
Highline’s student population is growing for the first time in over a decade, and the district is projected to see an additional 2,100 students over the next 8 to 10 years. Elementary schools are currently full, and there is no room for growth. In addition, there are a number of aging buildings that must be replaced or undergo major renovations. A few facts:
· Elementary schools have no room to reduce class sizes, even though the state is offering additional funding for smaller classes in grades K-3 starting next fall. If the district is unable to create more classroom space, it will have to turn away up to $2.2 million in state funding.
· All but one of the middle and high schools are over 50 years old and in need of replacement or major repairs. As the buildings age, repairs and maintenance are becoming more and more expensive, draining money away from the classroom. Aging infrastructure prevents the installation of educational technology.
District leaders are working to come up with a responsible solution to both issues. Highline Public Schools is seeking community input on how to accommodate enrollment growth and address conditions in aging school buildings. There are a number of opportunities for the public to get more information, take a closer look at potential solutions and provide feedback, including:
An online survey covering key issues and potential solutions, available mid-January on the district’s website. This tool is easy to access and is a convenient way to learn more about the issues ahead and share input and ideas. The survey will be posted at www.highlineschools.org/yourvoice.
Citizens are invited to three community meetings being held to gather input from community members. These meetings are an opportunity for citizens to hear details about the challenges ahead, give input on the proposed solutions and join with district leaders in shaping a meaningful and lasting solution.
5:13 AM: It’s snowing, as predicted, and expected to continue into the late morning. We’ll publish major updates here, including roads, transit, and schools, as we get them.
5:53 AM: Trouble on Olson Place already, per the scanner – a bus partly blocking at 3rd.
6:07 AM: Highline Public Schools has just tweeted that it’s CLOSED for the day.
7:10 AM: Metro buses are all on snow routes.
7:27 AM: Remember that King County is plowing fewer roads – although the snow is not so heavy that this is likely to be a major problem, this time. Also – an added school closure in White Center: West Seattle Montessori is closed.
3:13 PM: Metro is back to regular routes.
As announced in a news release, Highline Public Schools is one of the latest districts statewide seeking to authorize charter schools:
The State Board of Education (SBE) received notices of intent from Tacoma, West Valley (in Yakima) and Highline school districts that they plan to submit applications to become charter school authorizers in 2014.
Charter authorizer notices of intent were due October 1, 2013, and charter authorizer applications are due December 31, 2013. The SBE will rigorously evaluate the applications and approve or deny them by April 1, 2014.
A charter school authorizer is an entity with the powers and duties to review, approve or reject charter school applications; enter into, renew or revoke charter contracts with nonprofit corporations seeking to operate charter schools; and oversee the charter schools the entity has authorized. Eligible authorizers are:
· School district boards of directors that have been approved as authorizers by the SBE, for charter schools located within the school district’s own boundaries;
· The Washington Charter School Commission, for charter schools located anywhere in the state.
Last month the SBE approved Spokane Public Schools as the first school district authorizer. Spokane is now soliciting applications from nonprofits to operate charter schools within their district.
More information about charter schools can be found on our website at: www.sbe.wa.gov/charters.php.
If you have a child in Highline Public Schools and can donate money and/or food to local food banks – the district-wide food drive’s second and final week starts tomorrow (Monday, April 22nd). As is pointed out in the official announcement, beneficiaries include White Center Food Bank – and one dollar donated to a food bank can have the spending power of up to four! Plus, donations before the end of April count for more at food banks such as WC that are participating in the Feinstein Challenge.
You might recall the recent controversy over Highline Public Schools‘ security plan – the district said regional-media reports were inaccurate. But the district is consulting law enforcers to talk about security – here’s a news release sent out today:
Superintendent Susan Enfield and members of her leadership team met (Thursday) with the top law enforcement officials of the five municipalities in Highline to discuss recommendations for strengthening school safety.
At the meeting, Burien Chief Scott Kimerer, Des Moines Chief George Delgado, Normandy Park Chief Chris Gaddis, SeaTac Chief James Graddon, and King County Sheriff’s Captain Patrick Butschli all agreed to assist Highline with recommendations.
“We are grateful for the partnership and expertise of our local police officials as we develop security standards that will provide the safest possible environment for our students and staff,” said Dr. Enfield. “We look forward to working with our police chiefs throughout the process of evaluating and updating our security program.”
Since last spring, the district has been in the process of evaluating its current school security program and studying state-of-the-art practices and standards. District staff is currently drafting recommendations for updating the security program. Draft recommendations are expected to go to the school board in the coming weeks. Parents, students, staff, and the public will have opportunities to provide feedback on the recommendations before the school board takes action.
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.
(Photos by Nick Adams for White Center Now)
White Center Heights Elementary kindergartener Roeesah Thanh not only started school today – she met new Highline Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield. WCH was the first of three schools Dr. Enfield visited this morning; for White Center Now, photojournalist Nick Adams joined the tour. Dr. Enfield rode the bus to get to the first stop:
Lots of smiles as students including Ana Marie waited:
WCH 4th grade teacher Megan Foster‘s class got a visit:
And Dr. Enfield talked with parents in a community room at the school:
Amid the back-to-school clamor, there were quiet scenes too:
Mount View Elementary in White Center is where Edwin Campbell read to 1st grader Angelita Espinoza while waiting to finalize enrollment. Mount View students are wearing uniforms today; at least one teacher also showed up for school in something distinctive:
That’s fifth-grade teacher Jamie Ewing, one of 16 educators in the nation honored by Microsoft’s Partners in Learning U.S. Forum earlier this year.
Accompanying Dr. Enfield on this morning’s tour was the district’s communications director, Catherine Carbone Rogers:
You can keep track of district news this year via the HPS website.
(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.
Just last night, Highline Public Schools announced that it had offered its superintendent job to Dr. Susan Enfield, who’s been interim superintendent for Seattle Public Schools. This morning, Enfield announced she’s accepted. Details from our partners at the Seattle Times; we’ll add Highline’s formal announcement when it arrives.
After public forums last week, the Highline Public Schools board has already made up its mind which of three superintendent candidates it would like to hire. It’s offered the job to Dr. Susan Enfield, interim Seattle Public Schools superintendent. Here’s the news release sent to media outlets this evening:
The Highline School Board has offered the superintendent position to Dr. Susan Enfield, pending successful contract negotiations and a background check. The board is expected to vote at its meeting Wednesday evening to formally approve Enfield for the job. She would start in Highline on July 1.
Dr. Enfield and School Board President Angelica Alvarez will be available to the news media at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow at Highline Public Schools central office. Please contact Catherine Carbone Rogers to make arrangements.
Dr. Enfield is currently the Interim Superintendent for Seattle Public Schools. She came to Seattle as Chief Academic Officer from Evergreen Public Schools in Vancouver, WA where she served as the Deputy Superintendent from 2006 to 2009.
Before moving to Washington, she was the Director of Teaching and Learning for Portland Public Schools where she oversaw curriculum, instruction, federal programs and professional development district-wide.
Prior to coming to Portland, Dr. Enfield served as the Bureau Director for Teaching and Learning Support for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. In this role she worked with legislators, state department and district leaders to develop education policy and implement standards-based curriculum and professional development for over 500 school districts.
She began her career in education as a high school English, ESL and journalism teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. After seven years in the classroom she joined the UC Berkeley Teaching and Learning Alliance as a high school support provider coaching principals and assisting middle and high school teachers engaged in whole-school, standards-based reform aimed at closing the achievement gap.
Dr. Enfield is a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley and earned master’s degrees in education from Stanford University and Harvard University. She also earned a doctorate in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University with a concentration in the Urban Superintendents Program.
“The school board feels that Dr. Enfield’s skill, passion, and educational leadership will match the expectations we and our communities hold for the children of Highline Public Schools,” says School Board President Angelica Alvarez. “We made our decision after much consideration, and an extensive process involving staff, community members, business leaders and especially parents.”
In making its selection, the school board weighed input from teachers, staff, parents, and community members. Starting last fall, staff and community helped identify the characteristics the new superintendent should possess. The resulting candidate profile was used to recruit and screen applicants. When the candidates were narrowed to three, staff and community had the opportunity to meet and provide feedback on all three finalists. Each candidate answered questions at a staff/community forum, which was televised and streamed on the internet to provide people with multiple opportunities to participate in the process.
The interim superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, who has said she doesn’t want the permanent job there, is one of three finalists to become Highline’s next superintendent, according to an announcement from the district late today:
The school board has named three finalists in its search for Highline’s next superintendent. They are:
Dr. Susan Enfield
Dr. David Engle
Dr. Joshua Garcia
Biographical information is posted at www.highlineschools.org.
As part of the interview process, each candidate will spend a full day in Highline, meeting staff, parents, and community members. Each day will culminate in a public forum, where the candidate will answer questions from the audience.
Public forums will be held at the Burien City Council Chambers at 400 SW 152nd Street on February 22, 23, and 24, 6:00 – 7:15 p.m.
People who can’t be present at the forums can watch it live on channel 21 in Burien or on the internet. Viewers will be able to send in questions via email or Twitter. Video of the forums will also be posted online, so people can watch it later.
Each candidate’s day-long visit in Highline will include a breakfast with community leaders; a school visit; meetings with principals, senior leaders, and an advisory committee made up of staff, parents, and community members; and a final interview with the school board. The board will review feedback generated in the public forums and by the other groups who have met the candidate before making a final decision.
The board expects to announce the new superintendent by March 1.
Dr. Enfield’s biographical information is here; the information for Dr. Engle, most recently a superintendent in Nebraska, is here; and for Dr. Garcia, currently assistant superintendent in Federal Way, it’s here. Enfield also is in the running to lead Bellevue’s district, according to our partners at the Seattle Times.
(White Center snow fun photo courtesy of Gill)
UPDATED THURSDAY MORNING:
Highline Public Schools have now announced they’ll be closed Thursday too.
ADDED THURSDAY 8:29 AM: White Center Food Bank closed.
Most trash pickups around the region are also canceled for today. And King County government is opening late, 10 am.
ADDED THURSDAY 10:29 AM: Via Facebook, we see the White Center CDA office is closed.
We also have received word that the White Center Kiwanis‘s Key Club dinner tonight is postponed – since the school’s closed! We’ll update the calendar listing with the new date (note – that’s 6:30 pm February 16th).
Any other closures/changes, please let us know – firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call our 24-hour phone line (at West Seattle Blog HQ), 206-293-6302.
We’re watching the forecast warning of even more snowfall on the way, particularly Tuesday night into Wednesday. In the meantime, with some snow expected overnight tonight, school districts are starting to make their decisions. We haven’t heard from Highline Public Schools yet, but Seattle Public Schools has made its call – 2 hours late tomorrow. We’ll be watching HPS as well as other local schools; if you get word of a school change you don’t see here, please let us know – email@example.com. Thanks!
Not sure exactly when the new look/location launched, but we looked at some Highline Public Schools webpages within the past few days and they didn’t have the new look or new domain. The district is finally at highlineschools.org and the website’s gotten an overhaul.
Thanks to Josh for the tip: ESPN.com takes an in-depth look at the tale of Tyrone Curry, whose election as Highline Public Schools board member is about to be certified – though of course, with his coaching achievement and post-lottery philanthropy, that’s only a sliver of his story. Read it here.
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.)
From Highline Public Schools:
Community members, parents, and Highline staff are invited to a program honoring Superintendent John Welch on Wednesday, August 24, 5:00-6:00 p.m. at the school district central office (ERAC) at 15675 Ambaum Blvd SW in Burien.
The event will be “open mic”, giving people an opportunity to make remarks thanking Welch for his work in Highline.
Welch has served as Highline’s superintendent since July 2005. On September 1, he will become the new superintendent of the Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) in Renton. PSESD is a regional educational agency that serves all school districts in King and Pierce counties.
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.