by Patheresa Wells
Highline Public Schools Native Education Program will host an Indigenous Voices Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 27, 1–7 p.m., highlighting and honoring the work done by Indigenous earth/water protectors and First Nations food sovereignty leaders. The event will include viewings of two films, AWAKE: A Dream from Standing Rock and GATHER, as well as discussion about issues of importance to Indigenous communities — including the sacred work of water and land protectors — and sharings from Highline Native Education.
Highline’s Native Education Program is a legacy program established in 1974 with the passing of the Indian Education Act. The program was started as a way to address the culturally related needs of American Indian and Alaska Native students. Since its inception, the program has had its own history of growth, but in 2013 it was relaunched with, as program manager Sara Ortiz says, a desire to be “visionary in our approach to native or Indian education … to include as many artists, as many culture keepers, scholars, elders, media makers, [and] language teachers [as possible].”
Continue reading Highline Indigenous Voices Celebration Features Art, Education, Stories
by Chamidae Ford
On Sept. 2, Maritime High School opened its doors to its first class of ninth graders. The new project-based-learning high school is located in the Highline school district and is a recent addition to the five other career-focused high schools in the district.
At Maritime High School, “Student learning will center on the environment, marine science, and maritime careers working on or near the water,” as stated in the school’s mission.
Although the high school is just now opening its doors, it has been in discussion and development for nearly two years, having been slowed down by the pandemic. Maritime High School is a partnership between The Port of Seattle, Northwest Maritime Center, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, and Highline Public Schools.
Stephanie Burns, the program director at Maritime High School, mentioned in an interview with the Emerald that the school was a long time coming, given our region’s vibrant maritime community.
“There’ve been conversations in this region for a long time about the need for a maritime high school. And a couple of years ago, one of the commissioners for the Port of Seattle, Ryan Calkins, started driving the idea of creating a maritime high school,” Burns said. “It would be committed to supporting workforce development for the maritime industry. It would be committed to equity and access to the maritime industry because historically it hasn’t been very representative. Then also really addressing some of our big challenges and problems around climate change and environment and those sort of aspects of our communities.”
Continue reading New Maritime High School Offers Project-Based Learning for Ninth Graders
by Ben Adlin
At locations across South Seattle and much of the rest of the state this summer, schools and community groups will provide free lunches for young people regardless of their ability to pay. Some sites will offer lunches on all weekdays, while others will have seven-day meal packs available for pickup on a weekly basis.
Lunches will be available to anyone 18 and under, whether or not they’re enrolled at that school. Parents and guardians may also pick up meals on behalf of their children.
The service is part of an expanded federal program that typically provides lunches only in areas where more than half of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. During the pandemic, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) opened eligibility to all areas.
“USDA has said anybody can operate a summer site. You don’t have to qualify with this 50% or more needy children,” said Leanne Eko, director of child nutrition services at the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), which oversees the program in the state.
Continue reading Free Lunches for Youth All Summer Long at Schools and Community Centers
by Jack Russillo
Rose Davis doesn’t get offended when people have misconceptions about her people, the Muckleshoot Tribe, as just the owners of a casino. Instead, she views those instances as opportunities to set the record straight.
“I think that it serves as the perfect way to educate more about who we are and where we come from,” said Davis. “And that way we’re people behind the casino and hopefully people in the U.S. know us as a people more than just as a casino.”
Davis was asked by a student whether she got offended when people asked about her people’s relation to the casino while speaking during her virtual presentation on January 11 as a part of the ongoing Highline Black and Native Speakers Series. She spoke virtually in front of Highline High School students to share her experiences as a mixed heritage Native and Black woman and also as a language teacher and cultural preservationist. Davis currently educates teachers and students about the Muckleshoot dialect Lushootseed at Highline’s Native Education Program.
Continue reading Highline Black and Native Speaker Series Provides Opportunities for ‘Rewriting History’
by Ari Robin McKenna
In a general membership meeting of the Highline Education Association (HEA) Monday night, teachers voted to begin a phased return to in-person learning for elementary students beginning with “Pre-K, kindergarten, grade 1, and students served in Intensive Academic Center (IAC) K–12” on March 11, and ending with grade 4 and grade 5 on April 1. A week earlier, the union’s general membership had voted to delay the return to in-person learning until April 19.
This about-face follows an intense, three days last week in which Highline Public School (HPS) Superintendent Susan Enfield announced she would be enlisting as a substitute teacher, a letter sent from HPS Human Resources to teachers who had not been granted remote teaching placement threatened them with “progressive discipline” for not returning to work, and a parent petition circulated claiming a “profound lack of confidence” in Enfield and the HPS school board. It also follows a weekend of further bargaining where “supplemental measures” to the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two sides were developed.
Continue reading Highline Teachers Approve March 11 Return, Seattle Begins Limited In-Class Learning March 29
by Chamidae Ford
On Wednesday evening, Feb. 17, the Academy for Creating Excellence (ACE) hosted their second installment of the Black Educators Cafe, a series dedicated to helping Black people in the education field find community and support.
In August of 2020, ACE received a grant from the City of Seattle as part of an initiative to invest in youth mentorship and diversity programs. By partnering with the City’s Department of Education and Early Learning, ACE has been able to expand its reach beyond students and has begun working with Black educators as well.
These events were created to provide a safe space for Black educators, providing a virtual place where they can discuss issues that their Black students face and also their experiences working in a predominantly white field.
Continue reading Academy for Creating Excellence Supports Young Black Men and Black Teachers
by Marcus Harden
(Black History Today is published in collaboration with Rise up for Students.)
“Listen, if you choose to believe nothing else that transpires here, believe this: your body does not have a soul; your soul has a body, and souls never, ever die.”
—Bernice L. McFadden
Continue reading Black History Today: Kisa Hendrickson, a Voice for Those Who Would Be Kept Voiceless
by Andrew Engelson
After a strong windstorm hit Washington state with winds of up to 70 miles per hour in the early hours of Wednesday, Jan. 13, more than 500,000 people in Western Washington lost power and could be without electricity into the rest of today. Numerous areas in South Seattle were still without power by midday Wednesday with outages hitting the Central District, Rainier Valley, Skyway, Georgetown, Beacon Hill, as well as Highline, Burien, and other areas of South King County.
Continue reading Strong Windstorm Knocks Out Power to 74,000 in and Around Seattle, South End Especially Hard Hit