Here's the kind of news that I want to hear about from our district. It's about a new (and seemingly flourishing) program in sports medicine at 3 SPS high schools. From the PI story:

"Ballard's sports medicine program and similar ones at Chief Sealth and West Seattle high schools are still in the early stages, but district officials hope to build a two-year track that will prepare students for sports medicine careers by studying subjects such as anatomy, medical terminology and injury prevention.

Students can earn both high school and college credit for the courses, as well as pick up professional certifications and training in first aid, CPR and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Real-world experiences like Palmesano is getting are also an important part of the curriculum, said Roxanne Trees, a Seattle Public Schools career and technical education specialist who is helping develop the district's sports medicine program."

This is the kind of program that kids who like hands-on work go for plus they get certification that can help them with a lifeguard job or camp counselor job. It might encourage some to go on to other areas of sports medicine like physical therapy or even med school.

As usual, funding is a problem.

"Seattle Children's hospital, which contracts with Seattle Public Schools to provide part-time athletic trainers at the district's high schools, has helped pay some of the startup costs, and a representative sits on the advisory board that oversees the district's sports medicine programs.

The schools get about $1,500 a year for supplies, which at Ballard is supplemented by grants from the school's foundation.

Still, with the district facing a projected budget shortfall next year, Murphy is kicking around the idea of organizing a 5K fundraising run in Ballard in May to help sustain the program. He grows animated when talking about the race, and about his ideas for next year's classes."

Note that Ballard's foundation is able t0 supplement so thank you Ballard alums. This sounds like program that needs sustaining.


Ananda said…
What about the programs at WSHS and Sealth? This is my concern about Alums funding things, great that Ballard has a wealthing foundation, but what about the other schools?
Well, I know that West Seattle has a pretty good alum association so they may kick in. To my mind, here's a forward-looking, fairly low-cost program (seriously, if 3 schools have it for $1500 and Ballard gets some supplemental and say it's at $3000? that's a good investment for real training and hands-on learning). Maybe the Alliance for Education would kick in.
Maureen said…
So what happens under the new assignment plan if you have a kid who would thrive in a sports medicine program but you live in the Garfield reference area? Will the (possible but not confirmed) 'open' seats be for the special programs (like this, Biotech, drama, jazz band...) or just general ed? Will you have to get in to the school first and then apply for the program (as is the case with Biotech at Ballard now)? Or could a kid list the sports med programs first (through third) as a preference and then still go to Garfield (eg) if they don't get in to the special program?
Unknown said…
Mel, glad you liked the article. It was fun to write -- a nice break from all the school-closures stuff lately.

Maureen, I don't know what the new assignment plan will look like, but I can tell you that the people organizing the SPS sports medicine program want to expand it to all the high schools ASAP. I don't think they're planning for it to be its own Academy (a la Biotech); I think there isn't enough funding for that. But they want to make it a 2-year sequence of courses that would get kids ready for careers in the field, help them earn their basic certifications and get college credit, too. Hope that answers at least part of your question! If you have other questions about this, feel free to e-mail me at

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