Nathan x over 5 years ago

Students in highline have been pressured and cajoled into signing up for AP classes despite clearly not being able to handle the fast paced and demanding environment. Staff is advising students based on the best interests of the College Board, NOT the best interest of the students.

Don't believe me? Check into the failiure rates for AP classes. They are unacceptably high. Students should not be allowed into an AP class at all unless they KNOW they can handle it.

Wa Sykes over 5 years ago

Teach critical thinking skills from elementary school up.  This is a radical, game changing skill, essential to all members of a properly functioning civil society.  This skill is difficult to quantitatively assess, thus it is not a “no child left behind” core feature.  In the USA, teaching methods for the skill sets needed to communicate, analyze data, and accept authority in the public school systems have been well developed and heavily promoted.  Teaching mechanical and technological skills are important, never the less, I believe that critical thinking is one concept that should never be neglected after we have assured our students first: a safe learning environment, proper nutrition, and an abundance of love. Regardless of our varied chosen life paths; plumber, physician, parent …, we need every member of society to be able to listen to discussions, ask enlightening questions, and formulate rational personal responses. 

There are a lot of very good ideas here that address the variety of issues that today's schools face on a daily basis. But the core of all of these problems is money. What schools need is a viable way for them to rally the community around them to fulfill the unique needs of their children.

With the support of community organizations such as the Community Schools Collaboration and the White Center Community Development Association, we have developed a local search platform that allows you to help local schools fund their needs by booking appointments with local service providers. This is program that allows schools to take an issue to the community and empowers that community to effect real change. What could a community accomplish when it comes together over a shared goal?


Idea: Support

Terri Ainardi over 5 years ago

1.  Support for teachers/students has dramatically decreased over the past five years.  When I started teaching in 2008, in our building was a full time literacy interventionist, full time math interventionist, a math coach and each new teacher had a district mentor that met with them at least once per month to observe lessons and provide feedback.  We now have a .75 time literacy interventionist, a .6 time math interventionist, no coaches, and essentially no mentors for new teachers.  At that time we also had a sheltered ELL room and therefore general education teachers did not work with the enormous range of language development.  We now have level 1 – 3 students in our classes and a .4 ELL facilitator.  We need a full time interventionist for both math and reading, coaches in each area, and a full time ELL facilitator. 

2.  Beverly Park Elementary has been subject to fluctuating/decreasing enrollment for the past five years, and possibly longer.  Yet schools within a few miles of us are overcrowded and do not have enough space.  The current solution is to “balance” students from year to year between these schools.  This is not healthy for students and their families as they are unable to create the bonds needed to succeed.  It also creates fluctuations for the staffing of the school.  My grade level team has changed every year for the past five years.  This does not allow teachers to create consistency and it also means that new teachers are continually passing through without an ability to fully develop their teaching skills and collaborate with the same team over time.  The solution is to change the boundaries slightly to create stability for families and teaching staff.

3.  A real “game changer” would be to put two teachers in a room of 27 – 30 students, at the intermediate level; possibly lower numbers of students at the primary level.  Each teacher could focus on one or two subject areas, yet be available to work with small groups in any academic area when not leading his/her given subjects.   There are many benefits to this idea.  Teachers could focus on, and become experts in, one or two academic areas.  A built-in interventionist is in the room to work with small groups of students all day.  Teachers could receive PD during the day without the expense of subs and the fear of a “lost teaching day”. 

4.  Given the increased time demands on principals with the new review system, each building MUST have an assistant/co-principal.  Having been part of the pilot program, I can say with firsthand knowledge that principals are going to be pushed beyond their limits to carry out the increased observation duties required by this system and will be hard pressed to carry out all of their other important duties such as support for discipline issues, budget management, SIP plans, PD planning, etc. 

Idea: Tech Tosas

Marianne Shibly over 5 years ago

Highline schools should have Tech Tosas that help train teachers to integrate technology in the classrooms and better prepare our students as well as make learning more meaningful to students.

What a waste of time to have a higher level class be the same as it's prerequisite the semester before! How boring!

One special education teacher in the Highline School District considered all young people in special education as hopeless! In her opinion there is no sense teaching them because they can't learn. How wrong she is!!

 I would like to see more time spent in the classroom focused on teaching and learning.

Teaching in ways that support the different learning styles as much as possible would be very helpful.

Students should be given the opportunity to understand new tasks and ask pertinent questions before homework is assigned and class has been dismissed.

Young people need time to learn what is important, they are not computers that spit out data that is entered!

Lovelyheart x over 5 years ago

You can't communicate in writting with poorly spelled words, it's too hard to understand. Who can teach the future and write documents, if no can spell well enough to be understood??? Calculators didn't do away math, the radio and TV didn't do away with reading and a spel chker izint going tu du uwa with speling! Bring bak speling!

These are the following needs that need to be addressed:

1. The drinking water looks dirty and tastes bad and it's safeness is questionable.

2. Healthier meals in place of the more expensive unhealthy food that is offered.

3. Working heaters. Imagine being in a room with a heater that doesn't turn off and no windows to open!

4. Windows that open and close help control temperature and allow fresh air in the classrooms. They are also handy in case they need to escape from a fire.

5. Books for all students and whiteboards or overhead projectors as needed. Having neither in a math class is ridiculous.

6. Chairs and desks.

1.  Technology training for teachers – nice that we have these new schools with technology but we have not had good training on how to use the software and equipment, it would be great to have some training in technology use.

2.   Keyboarding or Typing software for students.

3.   District subscription to Online Resources such as Discovery Education Streaming, Brainpop.

4.   Online gradebook so parents can see current grades.

Imagine if most of the high schools in the district did not have a football team, or if elementary schools did not have softball teams or Field Day.  Few people would stand for that, and for good reason.  But just as all schools should encourage physical excellence, they should encourage academic excellence, as well.

Academic excellence does not mean getting a perfect score on a test in class, just like physical excellence does not mean doing 20 push ups in PE, although both are great.  Academic excellence means reaching beyond the classroom and testing ourselves against others.  This isn't just for a few superstar students; there needs to be a team to support them, just like the star quarterback needs a team to support him and a team to compete against.

I believe the district should require/pressure/encourage schools to create math clubs, robotics clubs, chess clubs, creative writing clubs, language clubs, etc. to a much larger extent than they currently do.  I understand that not all schools will be able to have every possible club, but to have few or none should be unacceptable.

The district could provide mentors for teachers or parents who are unsure how to run such clubs, and could provide small stipends that build over time until such "positions" are filled.  To really be pursuing academic excellence, clubs should be encouraged to attend regional competitions and events to measure themselves against their peers from other schools and districts.