Highline Public Schools seeking feedback on aging facilities & crowding issues

Highline Public Schools announced Thursday (April 23) that it is seeking input from the community on how to address the district’s need to build, repair, and renovate schools to meet educational needs, safety standards, and the community’s growing student population.

After failing to reach the 60 percent vote needed to pass a capital construction bond, both in November 2014 and February 2015, the district must now decide how to address pressing enrollment and facility needs. Student enrollment in Highline is projected to grow by 2,500 students over the next 8-10 years.

“We will not ask the community to vote on a bond in 2015,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “Instead, we will take this year to listen to the community and learn more about what our parents, staff, and community members want to see as a solution.”

To collect feedback, Highline is launching a short online survey on April 23. The survey is easy to access and is a convenient way to share input and ideas. The survey is open until Monday, May 11. All are invited to take the survey.

Results will remain anonymous and input will help the superintendent and school board develop a plan for meeting the needs of students and staff.

To take the 10-minute survey, visit: highlineschools.org/survey

The survey asks questions about building new schools versus repairing aging buildings, and various alternative solutions such as adding portables, creating double-shift schedules, and increasing class sizes.

Community members are also invited to participate in a series of community meetings with Superintendent Enfield, School Board members, and district leaders.

Several conversations with the superintendent and board members are scheduled over the next several weeks. The sessions are intended to be open-ended conversations. The board and superintendent want to hear about the issues that are important to the community.

Conversations with the Superintendent:

  • Monday, April 27, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the Evergreen Campus library
  • Thursday, May 21, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the Tyee Educational Complex library
  • Tuesday, June 2, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the Highline High School library

Conversations with the School Board

  • Angelica Alvarez: Monday, May 4, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the Sylvester Middle School library
  • Tyrone Curry Sr.: Tuesday, June 9, 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. in the Cascade Middle School library

Two community meetings about next year’s budget challenges are schedule for early May. Participants in these meetings will learn the facts about the budget impact of the November and February bond failures and how Highline’s growing enrollment will impact students and teachers next school year. Participates will also have the opportunity to share their budget priorities for next year.

Budget Community Meetings:

  • Thursday, May 7, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. in the Hazel Valley Elementary library
  • Tuesday, May 12, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. in the Midway Elementary library

Highline is also developing a plan to form a long-term facilities planning task force. The district will seek family, student, staff, and community member volunteers to from the task force, which will help develop a plan for the next capital construction bond measure.

Information about participation in the task force will be shared with the community soon.

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