If you believe HCC should stay as a cohort through high school, now is the time to make your voice heard!

The School Board is reviewing a Resolution (file here) this Wednesday, January 17th, that will “localize” HCC students who enter high school in 2021-22 and beyond. This means HCC students will be served at their neighborhood attendance area schools. In other words, HCC would no longer be a cohort.

The Resolution will be up for a vote on Wednesday, January 31st. In that very short window of time, we need to convince four (4) School Board members to vote together to not move forward with this resolution.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Sign up tomorrow at 8 a.m. to testify on Wednesday at the Board meeting (Meeting is held at the John Stanford Center, 2445 3rd Avenue S, 5:15 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., testimony starts at 5:30 p.m.). Here is the link to sign up.
  2. Email the School Board with your thoughts at SchoolBoard@seattleschools.org (all board directors and cabinet-level staff or SPSDirectors@seattleschools.org (only school board directors).
  3. Attend School Board members’ community meetings and voice your concerns in person:
    • Director Scott Pinkham (District 1) Saturday, January 20 10:30am-12:00pm Lake City Public Library 12501 28th Ave NE
    • Director Leslie Harris (District 6) Saturday, January 20, 2018 3:00-5:00 p.m. Seattle Public Library – West Seattle Branch 2306 42nd Ave SW
    • Director Rick Burke (District II which includes Cascadia) Sunday, January 21 2:00-4:00pm Fremont Public Library 731 N 35th Street
    • Director Betty Patu (District 7) Saturday, January 27 9:30am – 11:00am Raconteur 5041 Wilson Ave S

Background information:

All HCC families received an email on January 12th outlining new potential high school pathways for HCC students. The Board is considering three regional pathway schools for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years (Lincoln high school for North, Garfield high school for South, West Seattle high school for West Seattle and Ingraham as a choice assignment option, available to all highly capable students who apply through Open Enrollment).

The School Board is reviewing the resolution (see link above) that will “localize” HCC students who enter high school in 2021-22 and beyond that will serve students at their neighborhood attendance area schools.

What does this mean for our children?

This means that HCC children would no longer be a cohort

What is driving this?

The district and Board are concerned about equity issues and the continuing opportunity gap.

Talking points:

  • We need an implementation plan spelled out for HCC While having localized services at neighborhood schools seems great in theory, it isn’t clear what the implementation plan is for localizing HCC. Without a plan how can the Board vote on a resolution? I would like SPS to have a definitive implementation plan with cost implications and analysis on equity impact before this Resolution is passed.

Here is what is needed to analyze whether this resolution makes sense:

  • A cost analysis – does SPS have the funding to create and support HCC at each school on an ongoing basis to ensure the course progression that is necessary?
  • Projections for future growth / capacity at high schools – what happens to all students in 2 years? Do we have boundary redraws and HCC shifts? How much disruption will this cause to all students/families – both Gen Ed and HCC?
  • What happens if critical mass isn’t achieved at a specific school? Will courses not be offered as a result?
  • HCC community engagement in decision making – the Resolution outlines what select Board members feel is best for kids outside of HCC but what about HCC kids themselves? How do we support these kids with special needs?
  • An analysis if this would truly accomplish increased equity – have the Principals at all potential schools been interviewed to understand whether they can and will support/implement this effort? Will this create equity or increase segregation across the city further?

Tips for an effective email to Board Members:

  • Make your subject line clear like “Create an implementation plan for HCC in high schools before deciding to localize”
  • Always have a specific ask – what do you want from the Board members?
  • If you believe you have a possible alternative and/or solution and how you might contribute to helping work toward a better resolution, highlight it!
  • Personalize your email but don’t make it solely about your kid, acknowledge the bigger picture and the broader issues at play
  • Be polite and respectful (this may seem obvious but apparently this happens regularly – they will ignore emails that include personal attacks on Board members or are disrespectful)