‘Reward’ for 2 Highline schools, some other Highline, Tukwila schools eligible for help

Southern Heights Elementary School and Health Sciences and Human Services High School (HS3) have been named “Reward Schools” by state schools superintendent Randy Dorn. HS3 is on the Evergreen High campus in White Center. Southern Heights is in north Burien.

Both Southern Heights and HS3 are “high-progress schools.” That means they are in the top 10 percent of schools based on their performance and their improvement on state assessments over three years.

In addition, they have no significant gaps in performance among subgroups of students. Subgroups include ethnicity, socio-economic status, Special Education, and English Language Learners.

“I am so proud to work with such a dedicated staff who has worked diligently over the past 3 years to increase the academic rigor for all students,” said Southern Heights Principal Deborah Holcomb.

“It is thrilling to be a part of such a successful learning community that includes teachers, support staff, students, parents and community members who are committed to making HS3 a wonderful learning environment,” said Principal Jenni MacDonald.

A total of 75 Washington schools achieved Reward status. Schools were identified using three-year averages (2009-10 through 2011-12) of reading and math scores from the statewide tests and/or graduation rates.

“The Reward School designation speaks to the hard work of our staff and students, and to the support of parents and the community,” said Superintendent Susan Enfield. “I am proud of the excellent work going on at Southern Heights and HS3.”

Highline also placed schools in three categories that make them eligible for additional state support and services.

Cascade Middle, Chinook Middle and Odyssey-The Essential School on the Tyee High campus were named Priority Schools.

Priority Schools consist of the lowest performing 5 percent of federally funded Title I schools in the state, using state test scores and/or graduation rates for the “all students” category over three years.

Named as Focus elementary schools were Beverly Park at Glendale, Bow Lake, Hilltop, Madrona, McMicken Heights, Mount View and White Center Heights. Sylvester Middle was also named as a Focus school.

Focus schools consist of the lowest performing 10 percent of Title I schools, using the state test scores and/or graduation rates for 11 subgroups over three years.

Emerging schools were Arts & Academics Academy at Evergreen High, Hazel Valley Elementary, Midway Elementary, New Start alternative High School and Seahurst Elementary.

Emerging schools consist of the next 5 percent of schools above priority schools for all students, as well as the next 10 percent of schools above focus schools for the 11 subgroups.

In the Tukwila School District, Showalter Middle was named as a Focus School while Cascade and Thorndyke elementaries were designated as Emerging Schools.

Schools identified as priority, focus or emerging are required to take the following steps:

Participate in a needs assessment that will identify strengths and challenges in that school, along with recommendations for improvement; Identify next steps, to be approved by the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, the school will take to improve learning outcomes for its students; Implement those steps and examine a variety of data to ensure the school is making progress; and Engage parents/guardians and the school community in its improvement efforts.

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