Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Seattle Schools' Academies Recognized for Excellence

A BIG congratulations and hats off to Ballard High's Academy of Finance, Franklin High's Academy of Finance and Chief Sealth International High's Academy of Finance and Academy of Hospitality and Tourism for their award from the National Academy Foundation as "Model Academies."

From SPS Communications:

The high schools' three programs are supported by the District's Career and Technical Education Department. Students select a career pathway of their choice and take all other course work for graduation. Students have many opportunities to connect with the business partners who make real life experiences for our students. These work-based learning opportunities make the connection with the classroom and what the "real world" is asking of graduates. 

There are only eight academies in the state of Washington, and four of those are in Seattle Public Schools. These programs have a long history of success at the three high schools, but this is the first year that the programs have qualified for the award.

In 2012, 98 percent of seniors graduated, 88 percent plan to go to college, 10 percent plan to enter the military or other, and 41 internships were completed, providing students an economic benefit of $73,800. 


Update:  I asked about the demographics of the students in these academies and Mary Davison, the CTE Manager for SPS, was kind enough to provide them to me.


Out of 374 students:
  •   27%    Hispanic/Latino
  • 4.55%   Native American/Alaska Native
  • 17.65% African-American, Black
  • 34.49% Asian
  • 37.70% White
  • 5.35%  Other/Muli-Racial
  • 62% were F/RL (based on school stats, not individual)
Those are programs that are reaching across all the demographics of our district.

End of Update. 


Just as we all can be critical friends of the district, we also have to pause and realize the really good things happening our district.  These are alternative pathways that give students real-world experience and a choice of direction for their academic lives.  I note that these academies exist in many regions of our district. 

I also note that once again, Seattle Schools DOES lead the pack in this state in innovation.  Many of the kinds of programs that SPS has - like the academy system, like the dual-language/international system, like our STEM schools - are all programs that in other areas of our state and nation come only via charters.

SPS didn't wait around for charters to get these fine programs up and running.  They did it on their own and should be lauded for it. 

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised to see Franklin's AOF on that list. My kid is a recent graduate and got into every college to which she applied, both public and private, including some selective programs. The irony is that some "locals" think Franklin is a "failing" school with no advanced classes and so send their kids elsewhere. I'm glad to see the school get the recognition it deserves.

Franklin Mom

Anonymous said...

Franklin Mom - that is great news. I'd love to hear more about Franklin on this blog from people with first hand experience. (Sorry Melissa if this is off topic.) I've heard it's a great place, especially for high achieving kids.


AND - congrats to all the schools and students who were recognized! It's nice to hear some good news.
- southpaw

Melissa Westbrook said...

Franklin really is a hidden gem and yet another great SPS high school.

From what I know, great principal, steady teaching corps, and steady enrollment. What's interesting about Franklin is that it used to be the go-to school for QA/Magnolia until Ballard was rebuilt. That steady shift then changed the demographics but the school carried on well.

Franklin parents, could you help Southpaw out?