Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A New High School Choice for SPS?

Here's something I missed on tonight's Board agenda; okaying a joint agreement with Highline School district (directly south of SPS) as Highline's Aviation High will be housed in the Museum of Flight by fall 2010. There was this article about it in today's PI. From the article:

"Technically, the site is on Seattle Public Schools' turf, about one-third of a mile from the district's southern boundary. So the two districts want to strike a deal, one that would allow Highline to build and operate its school at the new site and to ensure the Seattle district benefits from having the high school within its boundaries."


"There are still key points to work out. Seattle school officials want Highline to promise a certain number of the high school's spots to Seattle students, for example, and that the agreement would be reviewed annually. There are also logistics to consider, such as whether transportation would be provided to the school, and if so, which district would be responsible for paying for it. Highline opened the magnet school in 2004, offering a traditional college-prep curriculum with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math courses.

The school has been housed at temporary locations since it opened. It is a public school, but has capped enrollment at about 400 students and has a rigorous application process."

We don't have any real magnet high schools(okay, Center School) so this would be a first. I looked at their FAQs and they are pretty hardcore on the aviation part. I tried to look up how their admissions process works but could not access the page. I'm not sure how many SPS students would try to access it given how far south it is.


anonymous said...

If the school was a high performing school, I bet tons of south end families would try to get their kids in. Why would a parent choose a low performing south end school if they had access to a high performing, college prep magnet school, especially if it comes with transportation? Of course families of high performing or motivated students choosing the aviation school over RBHS, Cleveland and Franklin would hurt these schools. Enrollment would continue to dwindle, and it would leave the low performers and unmotivated students to populate those schools. Lots to think about.

Jet City mom said...

Seattle didn't want Trish to start a program @ Rainier Beach, but we want Seattle kids to attend a high school another district began?

This is from 2004 release from Kingco-
Aviation High School has landed
Aviation-themed high school a first for the nation
The Aviation High School inaugural class of 2008 landed and taxied into position today as educators and government officials gathered at King County International Airport to welcome a new generation of pioneers.

The group of freshman exited a variety of aircraft at Boeing Field and joined officials, educators and aviation business leaders to celebrate the formation of the first comprehensive four-year aviation high school in the nation. The innovative high school will officially open its doors to 100 students this fall with Boeing Field and more than 150 aviation businesses serving as the laboratory for the school.

anonymous said...

I think the majority of Seattle families very much wanted Tish's Tech Academy at RBHS. I think it was a few loud activists, and some of the administration at the school who opposed it. I wish the district had pushed to make it happen, instead of caving to a small minority. RBHS would be a remarkable option for the south end now, and maybe the district wouldn't have to go to a school in another district.

Charlie Mas said...

Let's not re-open the TAF fight by assigning blame. It will not prove productive.

Let's instead look forward to the update on the Southeast Initiative at tonight's Board meeting and learn what the District is doing to attract families to Rainier Beach High School.

Jet City mom said...

I think we do have magnet schools besides center school.
Roosevelt is known for their theatre programs-& music , Garfield is known for AP classes & music- Ballard for tech, Ingraham & Chief Sealth have the International Baccalaurate academies- how are those things not " magnet??

I wasn't trying to get into a TAF discussion, but if my kid was trying to get into the aircraft academy and was living in the Highline district- I would not take kindly to Seattle taking some slots when they could have started their own program years ago- which in fact could have been a sequeway from Bob Radford's aviation program at Greenwood.

Melissa Westbrook said...

A "magnet" school is really one with a focus and not just programs. Roosevelt is a traditional high school that just happened to develop some great programs. If you look up Aviation High, they put aviation (math and science) into the entire curriculum.

Center School and JSIS are magnet schools.

Jet City mom said...

Interesting that Seattle wants students in a school with an admission process.

When I was involved @ Summit- we had great difficulty with many families- not being involved in the school- I tried to argue that we needed to communicate to families that participation was important- to the point of stating that minimal hours were expected/even if not " required" to prospective parents- but that was shot down as being too " exclusionary".

The result was, new families had no idea of the parental involvement needed for certain programs to continue & they deeply resented it when the same "volunteers" weren't able to keep everything running by themselves.

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