The Alliance for Education and Seattle Public Schools today announced a multi-year agreement to sustain the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Rainier Beach High School, which has been at risk of being discontinued at the end of the current academic year due to lack of funds.
The Alliance for Education has pledged $50,000 per year in philanthropic funds for each of the next three school years – 2016-2017, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019 – for a total of $150,000. This pledge has been made possible through the early support of the Thomas B. Foster Endowment and the John Stanford Fund. Seattle Public Schools will fund the remaining costs of the program and will be examining mechanisms to sustain the program beyond the 2018-2019 school year.
“This is a community solution that celebrates students and helps sustain opportunities for kids,” said Alliance for Education President and CEO Sara Morris. “Rainier Beach has put Seattle at the vanguard of leveraging advanced learning as an equity driver. We are inspired by the extraordinary efforts and accomplishments of Rainer Beach students, faculty and community and are thrilled to play a role in supporting their continued success.”end of press release
“Many enrichment programs are supported by their local school communities,” said Betty Patu, Seattle School Board President. “This is a case where the broader community is stepping up and embracing a school on the move. It’s a testament to Seattle’s generosity and a powerful statement on holding equity as a community value.”
Rainier Beach High School has made IB a part of every student’s academic experience. As opposed to establishing IB as an academy within the school in which only some students participate, every Rainier Beach High School student takes at least one IB course. IB has been credited with the schools’ 25-percent increase in graduation rate since 2011.
“High expectations and hard work are at the core of our students’ success,” said Ivory Brooks, principal of Rainier Beach High School. This support is greatly appreciated and is definitely a move in the right direction for our RBHS School Community. Our students are proving that with high expectations and a world class academic program they can and will compete in college career and beyond. Rainier Beach High School is on the rise."
Representatives from the Alliance for Education, Seattle Public Schools and the City of Seattle joined together to make the announcement this morning at the Alliance for Education’s annual community breakfast.
I have mixed feelings on this announcement. Great! is the first one but then some sadness. One, because while $50K is going to really help, my understanding is that it takes more money than that to sustain a program (especially one that is school-wide.) Two, what about Ingraham and Chief Sealth which also need help.
I wanted to advocate that money for IB come from the Families & Education levy which is using $7M for Early Learning on top of the stand-alone Pre-K levy. It would seem that maybe the City could help Ingraham and Chief Sealth's programs which are also worthy of support.
I also wish that the line about RBHS having IB for every student was not contrasted with the more limited programs at Ingraham and Chief Sealth. Those are big comprehensive high school that would need many more resources to match what the much smaller RBHS does.
But good for RBHS.