LET’S GROW! Fall open house celebrates New Start High School’s Shark Garden

September 15th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Gardening, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on LET’S GROW! Fall open house celebrates New Start High School’s Shark Garden

This garden has teeth! The New Start High School Shark Garden hosted a community open house last Saturday; thanks to Gill Loring for the photos.

It was more than a chance to see the community garden and those who tend it – it was also a resource fair, with local nonprofits on hand.

The garden was founded in 2015; you can read its story here. (Scroll down that page to see how the garden has donated literally tons of food to the White Center Food Bank!)

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VIDEO: Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School students protest gun violence

May 28th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Schools, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Also published on partner site West Seattle Blog)

Students across the country demonstrated Thursday and Friday to plead for an end to gun violence, days after the massacre in Uvalde, Texas. Among today’s protests was a walkout Friday morning organized by the Student Council at Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School. Participating students left their classrooms at 9 am to demonstrate outside the school at 20th and Roxbury.

They began with a prayer, followed by a student-written poem:

Walker Mae read the poem, “How Many More?” (the author wished to be anonymous), after Rianna led the prayer. Then the students stood in silence for 10 minutes.

Rianna is the Student Council president and invited us to cover the demonstration, explaining, “We are demonstrating that we are against school shootings, gun violence, and to show support to all the lives lost due to this tragedy.”

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CORONAVIRUS: Highline Public Schools will be masks-optional starting next week

March 10th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Highline School District, Schools Comments Off on CORONAVIRUS: Highline Public Schools will be masks-optional starting next week

The state and county indoor-masking requirements end for most establishments and venues after tomorrow. So here’s what the Highline Public Schools policy will be, as announced today:

On Tuesday, the Washington Department of Health (DOH) issued updated guidance for COVID safety in schools. These changes reflect declining COVID case rates and hospitalizations in King County and Washington state.

As we have since the beginning of the pandemic, we will continue to follow DOH guidance. Here are some key points in the updated guidance, effective Monday, March 14:

-Masks: Masks are no longer required for staff, students and visitors in schools in most circumstances. Some staff and students may choose to continue to wear masks. Masks provide an additional layer of protection and are especially important for those who are or who live with someone at higher risk for severe COVID disease.
-Quarantine: Students and staff who are exposed to COVID are encouraged to get tested and monitor for symptoms. They are not required to quarantine unless they show symptoms.
-Positive COVID cases: If you test positive, you must stay at home (isolate) for at least 5 days. You can return to school if you test negative on or after day 5, are fever-free for 24 hours, and have resolving symptoms. Masking is strongly recommended upon return through day 10. If you do not test, you must isolate for a full 10 days.

Keeping our staff and students safe and healthy is our priority. Highline will continue to follow all DOH requirements and maintain current safety practices, including:

-Stay home when sick: If you have symptoms, stay home and get tested.
-Care rooms: Schools will continue to isolate students with symptoms in a care room until they can be picked up. PPE is required in care rooms and nurse clinics.
-Positive case notification: We will continue sending notifications of positive COVID cases.
-COVID testing: We will continue to provide access to COVID testing.
-Staff vaccination: Staff must be vaccinated for COVID unless they have an exemption. Boosters are not required.
-Student vaccination: We strongly encourage all students over age 5 to be vaccinated. We will continue to host vaccination clinics for students. Please visit our vaccination web page for vaccination opportunities.
-Ventilation: We continue to maintain upgraded ventilation systems.
-Physical distancing: We will maintain distancing to the extent possible.
-PPE: We will continue to provide appropriate PPE to staff and students

We recognize that while other safety measures remain in place, going to optional masks is a significant shift. We will respect each individual’s decision on masks. A mask or lack thereof will not limit a student’s participation in school, although masks may be required in some specific situations like athletics and instrumental music.

Please remember that if you want your student to wear a mask, they will be responsible for keeping their mask on. Staff will not be expected to remind students to put on or pull up their masks.

We know students will have a range of questions and reactions, from excitement to worry. We have developed class lessons to help students navigate this change.

We also encourage you to talk with your student. Here are some key points to discuss:

There are many reasons why someone may choose to wear or not wear a mask. We should not judge or question another person’s choice. We are still in this pandemic together. It is important to show concern and kindness to one another. Schools will not tolerate harassment of any student over masks or anything else. Encourage your student to tell an adult if they witness or experience mistreatment or bullying.

As we have learned over the past two years, circumstances can change unexpectedly. Public health leaders may reinstate masking or other measures if cases or hospitalizations increase. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to your principal.

To the north, Seattle Public Schools also will make masks optional as of Monday.

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Meet the three finalists for Highline Public Schools superintendent: Dr. Keisha Scarlett, Dr. Concie Pedroza, Dr. Ivan Duran

February 11th, 2022 Tracy Posted in Education, Highline School District, Schools, White Center news 1 Comment »

Who will lead Highline Public Schools when Dr. Susan Enfield leaves as superintendent? The district has announced three finalists, and town halls next week during which you’ll hear from them, one finalist at a time. Here’s the announcement:

The Highline Public Schools Board of Directors named three finalists for the position of superintendent of Highline Public Schools, following a community engagement process.

The finalists are:

Dr. Concie Pedroza
Dr. Keisha Scarlett
Dr. Ivan Duran

“Through our community process, Highline Public Schools community members laid out high expectations for our next superintendent,” said School Board President Aaron Garcia. “These highly qualified candidates are a result of that community process and each of them reflects the qualifications and characteristics our constituents told us they value.”

Dr. Concie Pedroza began her career as a classroom teacher and later served as an elementary, K-8 and high school principal. She currently serves as the associate superintendent in Seattle Public Schools, the largest district in Washington state, overseeing schools, academics, student services and African American male achievement.

Dr. Keisha Scarlett is chief academic officer for Seattle Public Schools and formerly served as chief of equity, partnerships, and engagement. Dr. Scarlett has dedicated her career to advocating for academic opportunities and environments that tap into students’ inherent brilliance, particularly those furthest from educational justice.

Dr. Ivan Duran is a proud product of public education. An early passion for reading and learning sparked his interest in being an educator. He has served more than 30 years in public education and is currently chief of acceleration and recovery for the Renton School District. From 2017 to 2021, Dr. Duran was superintendent of the Bellevue School District.

To read more about the finalists, visit the Highline website at: highlineschools.org/finalists

Next week, the finalists will each spend a day in Highline where they will tour schools and meet with students, a few stakeholder groups and school board members. Each day will end in a virtual town hall. At the end of each town hall, the community will immediately have an opportunity to provide feedback on the finalists through an online form.

Town Hall with Dr. Concie Pedroza
Monday, February 14
6:15-7:00 p.m.

Town Hall with Dr. Keisha Scarlett
Tuesday, February 15
6:15-7:00 p.m.

Town Hall with Dr. Ivan Duran
Thursday, February 17
6:15-7:00 p.m.

The questions to be asked of the candidates at the town halls are pre-selected. Some of the questions were generated through a community-wide ThoughtExchange. Student moderators will emcee the town halls and ask the questions.

To watch the town hall, visit the Highline website at: highlineschools.org/townhalls

To provide feedback on the finalists, visit the Highline website at: highlineschools.org/feedback

The School Board anticipates appointing a superintendent following the finalists visits. The new superintendent will begin on July 1, 2022.

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CORONAVIRUS: Highline Public Schools offering vaccination, testing in White Center this week

January 3rd, 2022 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Highline School District, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on CORONAVIRUS: Highline Public Schools offering vaccination, testing in White Center this week

Highline Public Schools is offering COVID-19 vaccination and testing around the district this week. Here are the White Center times, dates, locations:

TESTING: From the full listEvergreen High School (830 SW 116th), 3-4:30 pm Tuesday (January 4th). According to the district, “Testing is available to students, families, household members, and staff.”

VACCINATION: From the full listCascade Middle School (11212 10th SW), 9-11 am Saturday (January 8th). HPS students only. According to the district, “Vaccines will be available first-come, first-serve. No registration is required ahead of time.”

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SCHOOLS: 2-hour delay for Highline Public Schools on Monday

January 2nd, 2022 Tracy Posted in Schools, Weather, White Center news Comments Off on SCHOOLS: 2-hour delay for Highline Public Schools on Monday

Just announced by Highline Public Schools: Because of the weather – as all that snow turns to slush – all schools will be on a 2-hour delay tomorrow (Monday, January 3rd). From the district website:

Buses will stop at regular stops – two hours later than normal.

There will be no breakfast, no morning or afternoon classes for preschool and ECEAP, and no morning classes for PSSC. Afternoon classes for PSSC will be on time. All before-school programs are canceled, including clubs, activities and in-school daycare. No transportation will be provided to schools outside of our district.

Schools will dismiss at regular times.

Staff Instructions
Staff are expected to report to work as close to on time as possible. Please use your judgement on whether it is safe for you to travel to work. See an outline of expectations for employees for inclement weather on the Staff Hub.

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BACK TO SCHOOL: White Center start dates

August 28th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Schools, White Center news Comments Off on BACK TO SCHOOL: White Center start dates

Summer’s ending and school’s about to start. Here are five start dates of note for White Center and vicinity:

September 2 – Highline Public Schools (1st-12th grades)
September 7 – Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School
September 8 – Highline Public Schools (kindergarten)
September 8 – West Seattle Montessori
September 9 – Explorer West Middle School

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Benefit concert next week at White Center Heights Park

August 12th, 2021 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Music, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on Benefit concert next week at White Center Heights Park

The Community School of West Seattle at 22nd/Roxbury invites your support at a fundraising concert in White Center Heights Park:

Go here for tickets.

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In-person or remote next year? Highline Public Schools asking families to choose by Thursday

May 24th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Highline School District, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on In-person or remote next year? Highline Public Schools asking families to choose by Thursday

If you’re a Highline Public Schools family, the district is asking for your decision for next school year – in-person or remote learning. They’ve set Thursday (May 27th) as the decision deadline. You can go here to make your choice; for more info on the 2021-2022 plan, go here.

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YOU CAN HELP: White Center Co-op Preschool fundraiser @ Full Tilt Ice Cream

April 26th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Full Tilt Ice Cream, How to Help, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on YOU CAN HELP: White Center Co-op Preschool fundraiser @ Full Tilt Ice Cream

Here’s a tasty way to help the White Center Cooperative Preschool:

We need you to eat ice cream, cookie dough, and cotton candy for a great cause!

The past year has brought all sorts of challenges for schools. Our local preschool, the White Center Co-Op Preschool (part of the larger South Seattle College Cooperative Preschools) has seen a huge increase in financial assistance requests, and outdoor classes and remote learning has meant new demands for class materials. But through it all, the school has kept kids learning and playing, and given families invaluable support through community and the parent education program. Now we are offering our newest and most sugary Covid Pack ever to help raise money for this incredible school.

The Sugar Rush Covid Pack includes a pint of ice cream, a pint of vegan chocolate chip edible cookie dough, and a quart of cotton candy. You’ll also get a one of kind piece of art from one of the kids you are supporting. The cost is $30, with half going straight to the school.

Order online now through Thursday, April 29 and pick up starting Friday, April 30th at Full Tilt in White Center.

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TONIGHT: Learn about Highline Virtual Academy

January 28th, 2021 Tracy Posted in Highline School District, Online, Schools, White Center news 1 Comment »

Tonight and tomorrow, Highline Public Schools is presenting informational sessions about a new – permanently – online option. Here’s the announcement:

The Highline Virtual Academy launches for students in 6th through 12th grades in Fall 2021. Students who thrive in independent and online learning are good candidates for Highline Virtual Academy.

“We’ve learned that despite all of the challenges of remote learning, some of our students thrive in this environment–they like learning online, and some of our staff like teaching online,” Superintendent Susan Enfield said. “We’re excited that online learning will become a permanent option for students here in Highline.”

Students will attend classes from home rather than coming into a school building. Flexibility and self-pacing are two components of the academy’s learning model. The staff at the academy will provide face-to-face experiences in an online environment and build relationships with students and families to deliver on Highline’s promise to know every student by name, strength and need. The school will accept a limited number of students in 6th through 12th grade.

Highline students can engage in athletics through their neighborhood school.

Students and families can apply for the academy now. If interest exceeds enrollment capacity, students will be selected by lottery. Students living in the Highline service area will be prioritized over students from other districts.

Learn More About the New Virtual Academy
Information sessions will include a 30-minute presentation and 15 minutes of Q&A.

Thursday, January 28
6:00 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
Zoom Link

Friday, January 29
4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Zoom Link

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VIDEO: Highline Public Schools’ historic start

September 12th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Highline School District, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on VIDEO: Highline Public Schools’ historic start

Regardless of how it ends, the 2020-2021 school year’s start for Highline Public Schools made history, with thousands of students and teachers connecting online. The district made this video featuring dozens of scenes from Day 1.

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Highline Public Schools will start 2020-2021 without in-person classes

July 22nd, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Highline School District, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on Highline Public Schools will start 2020-2021 without in-person classes

Highline Public Schools has announced that the 2020-2021 school year will start without in-person classes:

Highline Superintendent Susan Enfield announced today that Highline schools would begin the school year with distance learning, where students in all grades will learn from home. The district had been planning for in-person instruction on alternating days to allow for social distancing.

“I have been fiercely hoping to have our students back in our schools this fall,” said Superintendent Enfield. “But after reviewing all the data and feedback, and as the person who ultimately bears responsibility for the health and safety of our students and staff in our schools, I cannot in good conscience open schools for in-person instruction in September,”

In a survey of all employees, over 35 percent of staff reported they are in a high-risk group for COVID infection, and nearly 29 percent of teachers say they live with or care for someone who is at high risk.

This announcement comes on the same day as five other south King County districts announced similar plans.

Countries that have successfully reopened schools in-person have done so with declining infection rates. COVID-19 cases are rising in King County, and over half of all new cases are among people ages 20-39 according to Public Health – Seattle & King County.

When infection rates decrease, the district plans to move into a hybrid model. Families will have the option to continue distance learning, with students remaining with their teachers and classmates while learning from home, or choose in-person instruction two to four days a week, depending on grade level and special needs.

For more information, visit highlineschools.org/coronavirus.

Neighboring Seattle Public Schools made the same announcement today.

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TODAY: ‘Graduation’ day for Evergreen High School’s Class of 2020

June 14th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Evergreen High School, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on TODAY: ‘Graduation’ day for Evergreen High School’s Class of 2020

Starting at 11 this (Sunday 6/14) morning, Highline Public Schools will stream the Evergreen High School Class of 2020 graduation celebration here:

As announced by the district:

Congratulations to the Evergreen High School Class of 2020. Our seniors have worked hard, and they deserve to be celebrated. Although a traditional graduation ceremony is not possible due to the pandemic, we have a creative way to celebrate commencement.

Seniors and families will be scheduled to rotate through a drive-through graduation ceremony at Evergreen High School on Sunday, June 14. Wearing their cap and gown, each student will receive their diploma cover, get a professional photo taken, and be cheered on by teachers and staff with appropriate social distancing. Students will also receive senior awards, yearbook, graduation programs and Class of 2020 memorabilia.

It will be different than a traditional commencement with the whole class together. However, everyone will have a chance to be honored in front of their families, see the teachers who have supported them, and be at their school one last time.

Location: Evergreen Parking Lot
Address: 830 SW 116th St.
Date: Sunday, June 14
Time: 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Full details for grads and their families are here.

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With governor’s countywide order, Highline Public Schools closing too

March 12th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Highline School District, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on With governor’s countywide order, Highline Public Schools closing too

Now that Gov. Jay Inslee has announced all K-12 schools in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties must close no later than Tuesday, Highline Public Schools are closing too. Here’s the announcement:

We have kept our schools open as long as possible, as recommended by state and local public health authorities. We know that in addition to education, schools provide vital support to our communities and that closure will have a major impact on our families.

At 2:00 p.m. today, Governor Inslee issued an executive order closing all schools in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties until at least April 24. All Highline schools will close to students, effective Monday, March 16.

Today, Thursday, March 12 is the last day of school, including athletics, activities and clubs. Friday, March 13 is a non-student day as normally scheduled. School offices will remain open through Friday, March 20 so families can pick up their student’s medication and other personal items.

We understand that extended school closure will create hardship for many families. The school day is the centerpiece of the lives of many people. Children count on the reliable routine that a school day offers, from the classroom setting to the many people at school who know them, care for them and provide recognition of them five days a week.

Families, too, count on that routine and the knowledge that their children are cared for during the day. It allows them to tend to their workday or focus on the other pieces of life that need to be taken care of–and there are many.

Contemplating weeks without that structure and care may seem overwhelming. Please know that we are doing our very best to make decisions that will help care for all of us through this time.

Meals for Students

Meals will be available to all students under the age of 18 starting this Monday. Locations for Monday are as follows:

Glacier Middle School | 12:00-12:30 p.m. | 2450 South 142nd Street, SeaTac
Central Office | 12:00-12:30 p.m. | 15676 Ambaum Blvd SW, Burien
White Center Heights Elementary | 12:30-1:00 p.m. | 10015 6th Ave SW, Seattle

More locations will be added

No forms or registration are required. Students can drop by to pick up a meal.

Over the next few days, we will communicate additional meal locations, as well as our plan to support families in the following ways:

Providing learning support materials online, via email and hard copy. These are not meant to be a substitute for classroom instruction but will help students practice their skills and learn independently during the closure.

Providing child care for our families who need to continue working during our closure.

Providing support to our 12th-grade students to ensure they complete graduation requirements.

We will be sending frequent updates with information and resources via email, text messages, the website and social media channels.

We are so grateful for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through this difficult situation. We will get through this challenge together. We are Highline.

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SCHOOLS: No Highline closure yet

March 11th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Highline School District, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on SCHOOLS: No Highline closure yet

Now that Seattle Public Schools has decided to close for at least two weeks, you might be wondering if Highline Public Schools will do the same. No decision yet, according to the district website:

This is the first of several communications over the coming days based on the rapidly evolving coronavirus situation.

This morning, Governor Inslee and Public Health Seattle & King County asked school districts in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties to prepare for potential school closures that could last weeks or months. We are anticipating an order to close in the coming days.

We know this raises all kinds of questions and implications including childcare needs for our staff and families, school meals, graduation, and much more. We are working on plans to address a range of impacts, and we will be in constant communication as we work through these issues.

Superintendent Susan Enfield says, “The coronavirus outbreak is an unprecedented regional crisis. It will take all of us working together to get through it–and we will get through it.”

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CORONAVIRUS: Updates from Highline Public Schools

March 7th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on CORONAVIRUS: Updates from Highline Public Schools

Like most districts in the region, classes continue at Highline Public Schools. But some changes are taking effect next week. From the district’s newest update:

The health and safety of our students and staff is paramount, and we are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19.

We have no known cases of COVID-19 among students or staff in Highline.

As Coronavirus continues to affect our region, we want to reassure you that the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Public Health Seattle & King County is not currently recommending that schools proactively close unless they have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff member or student.

Public Health has shared this rationale:

-Children are not known to get seriously ill from COVID-19

-Closing schools may not be effective because some children may congregate anyway at other locations

-Many parents, such as healthcare workers, need to be at work. If these critical workers stay home with children it causes significant impacts on the healthcare system and other institutions that are essential for our community to function

-If schools close, some children might have to stay home with alternative caregivers, such as elders, who are more vulnerable

-We don’t know how effective children are in spreading this disease

-Learn more about how Public Health makes this decision.

MARCH 6, 2020

All school cleaning: This weekend, all schools will get extra cleaning and disinfection. Surfaces not covered with papers, books and other materials will be wiped down with Clorox hydrogen peroxide wipes.

Field trips: We are suspending all school day and overnight field trips, including Camp Waskowitz, starting Monday, March 9 through Friday, March 20.

School events & athletics: All school events and athletics after 5:00 p.m. are canceled, with the exception of school conferences, to allow custodial staff time to thoroughly clean schools. This is based on Public Health recommendations to postpone events that bring together large groups of people. After-school activities sponsored by schools or partner organizations must conclude by 5:00 p.m. These restrictions on events and activities will be in effect Monday, March 9 through March 20.

Make-up school work: If your child is absent from school due to illness or safety concerns, your child’s teacher will provide assignments and opportunities for learning.

Remote learning: If Public Health advises us to close schools, we will not offer remote learning options. This decision is rooted in our commitment to equity and ensuring all students have an equal chance at success.

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CORONAVIRUS: White Center Heights Elementary precautionary cleaning tonight

March 4th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Coronavirus, Health, Highline School District, Safety, Schools, White Center news Comments Off on CORONAVIRUS: White Center Heights Elementary precautionary cleaning tonight

Thanks to the White Center Heights Elementary community member who forwarded this:

We have learned that a staff member who has been out ill this week has symptoms that may be related to Coronavirus. The individual is staying home and being monitored by a doctor. The doctor has not recommended a COVID-19 test at this time.

We are treating this with an abundance of caution. White Center Heights will get a deep cleaning this evening. School will be open tomorrow. We will continue to monitor this situation.

For more information about Coronavirus, please visit our website or call the district Health Services office at 206-631-3011.

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SCHOOLS: Tuesday morning White Center info

January 14th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Schools, Snow, White Center news Comments Off on SCHOOLS: Tuesday morning White Center info

The snow moved further south this time. So we have:

(updated 7:48 am) HIGHLINE PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Now *closed* today

HOLY FAMILY: 2-hour delay

In Burien:

(updated 7 am) KENNEDY CATHOLIC HS: Now *closed* today

Got a change? Text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!

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SCHOOLS: Monday morning White Center info

January 13th, 2020 Tracy Posted in Schools, White Center news Comments Off on SCHOOLS: Monday morning White Center info

The expected snow had uneven effects on our region, to say the least. But just in case you’re wondering:

*Highline Public Schools, opening on time, no changes
*Holy Family Bilingual Catholic School, opening 2 hours late

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