Community Meeting at Rainier Beach High School


I saw this notice in the Rainier Valley Post (the best source for SE Seattle News) and thought it would be a good idea to pass it along to the SSS blog readers. Other than posting this notice I have no connection to this meeting

The community is invited to join the Rainier Beach High School PTSA next Wednesday, November 10 for a community at the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Center at Rainier Beach High School (8815 Seward Park Ave. S.) from 6:30 to 8 pm.

This meeting is open to all Rainier Beach area residents, as the PTSA would like to know what programs interest the community the most and encourage residents to send their children to Rainier Beach High School.

There are five programs currently being considered for implementation at Rainier Beach High, including International Baccalaureate, Law Magnet, IT (that includes a vocational track), Sports Medicine, and an Arts Program.

For more information, please contact Carlina Brown at or Rita Green at

I hope many of you who have contributed your thoughts on Rainier Beach HS will be able to attend.


Anonymous said…
Michael, while the RVP may be a good source for news about the valley, the comments on this story (and others like it) indicate that the residents in that area who read that blog think that RBHS is a giant cesspool of drugs, out-of-control youth, and to quote one of them, that an IB program there would be a "f*ing joke" while another would send her kid (who's still in a stroller) there "over her dead body".

I fear that the parents who want to turn the school around and get a buy-in from the more upscale area residents will not succeed in attracting any of them.

However, since I have a middle schooler who will hit high school just as whatever changes made to RBHS begin showing results, I will be at that meeting. I know some of the parents and students of kids who chose the school deliberately and want to support them.
Boy, I wish they had picked a night without a district meeting; that's the same night at the NE Regional meeting. We'll have threads for both and hopefully, there will those attending both.
SolvayGirl said…
Even though we're pretty much set for high school, I'm planning on attending. I want RBHS to be a successful school for the whole attendance area.
Jet City mom said…
Isn't the reason why magnet programs were placed at Garfield originally, was because it was as popular as RBHS?

I hope the community not only gets their say- but is acknowledged.
Anonymous said…
Yes, Emeral Kitty, Garfield was once not a school of choice-it was a school only neighborhood kids were "stuck" at. Moving APP there (and at the time it was NOT well-received) has helped to make it a "popular" school. But don't be fooled-there is a two-tier system there that's existed ever since.

My daughter who swam for Franklin (yes, it really does have a swim team) was appalled to see that even at sporting events that Garfield students did not sit together and cheer for their teams as a group, but segregated themselves. And I've heard stories from minority parents and students for a decade about being quietly discouraged from enrolling in the AP classes.

If APP or another popular program moves into RBHS, parents are going to have to work like dogs to make sure that doesn't happen there. It's going to require a buy-in from parents, teachers, counselors, AND community, and of course the district. Having seen the way locals talk about RBHS I'm not sure they can pull it off.
Jan said…
Agibean: how recent is your information? When I go to Garfield events (and my child swims), I don't see groups separating themselves, and they all seem to cheer for each other, and the same is true of basketball. And the last I knew, there was a strong effort within the school to get minority kids to take AP classes.

I don't suggest for a minute that the school is totally colorblind --getting kids to mix across some really disparate income and culture barriers is an ongoing challenge, but what I see (still too few minority kids in the A orchestra and in jazz band, but plenty of mixing in drumline and some other activities) is not what you describe. Am I just oblivious, or are things maybe continuing to change since you got your information?
Jan said…
I do agree with Agibean, though, that if RBHS attempts to increase enrollment by siting a magnet program that draws from heavily OUTSIDE its neighborhood -- it will be hard, at least at first, which is why my assumption is that the RBHS community will be looking for something that improves the school for ITS community. One of the things that I think has helped Garfield over time is that the school is more mixed than it is often described. Not ALL the nonminority kids are APP. Many are just kids from Leschi, Madrona, the CD, Capital Hill, etc. for whom Garfield is their neighborhood school -- and that creates a very different vibe than if there are just two opposing cohorts -- the neighborhood kids (who need "improving") and the imported, out of area cohort brought in to "improve them."
Anonymous said…
My daughter graduated from Franklin a year and a half ago, so pretty recent.

We were also told on a tour of Washington Middle School last spring that the kids (many of whom go to Garfield) segregate themselves by program (which are mostly also segregated by race). We heard this from two of the counselors and from several parents already at the school.

Garfield admin has been trying very hard since at least the 1990's to bring more minority kids into the advanced classes. I know one principal deliberately mixed the classes up on the floors so that there wouldn't be a "black floor" and a "white floor" of classes and kids would be more willing to "cross the boundries". But not all the faculty buy into that, and there have long been stories (and I've heard them first-hand) from parents and kids about being discouraged from trying.

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