Highline School Board Summary: 11/2/22
4 members – (Garcia, Van, Howell, Hagos) Superintendent – (Duran), one excused absence – (Alvarez)
- School Presentation – North Hill Elementary
- Principal Kimberly Jones
- Assistant Principal Kaitlyn O’Leary
- Tamara VandenBerg (Bond) – Questioned the promotion of the school construction Bond 2022. A tax rate of $3.86/$1000 property assessment was changed to a $4.40 tax rate without announcing the change. Why not promote it accurately? If Proposition 1 passes, her own taxes will most likely increase. Renters and the elderly will also be impacted.
- Katie Kresly (Bond) – Questioned the promotion of Bond 2022 to rebuild schools based on “replacement of expiring bonds/levies,” so “no tax increase for most homeowners.” She mentioned the King County tax transparency tool predicts the opposite. Why a need for larger schools if the number of students is decreasing? Will new schools help our failing academic results? Is this the right time to build?
- Patricia Bailey (Pronouns) – Requested that educators affirm the objective reality (ancestral, genetic, biological) that there are two genders (sexes) — male and female. Teaching gender fluidity denies this reality and leads to widespread depression and confusion in our youth. Gave examples of confusing pronoun usage pulling children away from objective truth, fulfilling education, and success in life.
- Brandice Tranholt (shared life of a teacher & the impact of inclusion) – Current Highline teacher shared her personal childhood trauma and how the Highline Promise and schools turned this around for her. Promoted rebuilding the schools, social justice, race and identity, SEL, and students feeling validated when called by their pronouns. She is overworked as an educator and needs more support and more staff.
- Alex Myrick (Student safety and wellbeing) — Child Protective Services social worker, 30 years mental health, teacher, and lecturer; agreed that the extremely rare “gender dysphoria” mental disorder was real. However, are we treating this as a physical disorder instead of a psychiatric one?
- Elizabeth Cook (Mathematic curriculum at Mount Rainier High School) —Parent of Mt Rainier HS student. Due to unannounced curriculum changes, her son is being forced to retake Algebra I course as a freshman, even though he passed it with an “A” in 8th grade. Why is he compelled to take a class he has already passed? Why are there no other advanced options for him? She requests Highline stay aligned with other districts in core subjects to stay competitive, create better testing standards, and keep parents informed.
- Alex Myrick (part 2, Katy Radelich ceded her time) (Gender Dysphoria) – He continued discussion on peer pressure (possibly) leading to the current, massive surge in gender dysphoria, as well as dangers of puberty blockers (brain maturation, bone growth/density, cardiac, reproductive development). Additionally, 98% of patients on puberty blockers continue on to use cross-sex hormones. However, if allowed to experience adolescence, 80-95% of those with gender dysphoria chose to identify as the sex they were born with.
- James Payne (Strategic Plan) – North Hill parent. Suggested that poor testing outcomes and plummeting enrollment may result from the district’s attempt to provide equity, but it cannot because “the district is not God.” Instead, he challenged the district to create realistic and attainable goals. Provide the best education opportunities equally – not equitably – because providing equal educational outcomes to all kids is impossible. Discard leftist political advocacy because it never works as intended.
- Annmarie Kebre (Test Scores) – Discussed huge drops in test score results based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Reversal of decades-long student progress in math and reading. Proficiency rates are lower in 8th graders than in 4th graders. Additionally, the covid pandemic closures increased mental health needs, and “students’ reading performance lost 30 years of progress.” However, even before 2020, the core proficiencies in math and reading were falling. (Epoch Times article cited.)
4.1 Labor Partner Update – Melanie Bowman, Business Agent Teamsters Local 763
4.2 Catherine Carbone-Rogers and Becca Chen (financial)- Proposition 1 (Construction Bond 2022). Catherine explained why the district did not inform the public (in any district-wide promotions) when the promoted tax rate (of 3.86/$1000 assessed property value) reverted to the current rate of $4.40/$1000. Explained that voters were voting for a dollar amount, not a tax rate. They “didn’t want to confuse folks.” Reiterated why the bond was a good idea.
Dr. Duran – Superintendent Student Leadership Team, shared highlights of the retreat for 20 students last Saturday.
School Board Reports
5.1 Legislative Report – Director Garcia
- WSSDA Regional Meeting last week at Puget Sound Skills Center
- The next Legislative Priority will be on Special Education Funding- reach out to your legislators
5.2 Director Reports
- Director Hagos – commended Dr. Duran.
- Director Howell – none
- Director Van – attended leadership day, and invited the community to continue reaching out for coffee with any of the directors, even after the listening sessions.
Consent Agenda (4-0 Approved)
6.1 Approval of Minutes, October 19, 2022, Board Meeting
6.2 Approval of Accounts Payable Vouchers, Director Hagos and Director Howell
6.3 Approval of Personnel Report
6.4 Motion to approve annual Title III Grant. Approval of this motion approved acceptance of the 2022-23 Title III grant funds. (** Generates $822,081 in revenue – “for students to become fully English proficient” supports dual language **)
6.5 Motion to amend the existing contract with Maxim Healthcare Staffing Services, Inc., to increase the contract amount. Approval of this motion approved the contract amount increase of $300,000 Maxim Healthcare Staffing Services, Inc., which increases the total contract amount from $245,000 to $545,000.
6.6 Motion to approve T-Mobile Project “10Million” Student Hotspots Renewal Approval of this motion approved the annual renewal of T-Mobile Project “10Million” Student Hotspots for $328,320. (** using ESSER funds, Highline voted to upgrade to Unlimited 4G LTE data instead of accepting the FREE OPTION 100GB/year per device. Monthly Data Cost: 1,824 Hotspots x $15 x 12 months **)
Items Removed from the Consent Agenda
8.1 Motion to Approve the Second Year of the Washington State Department of Health Grant Award. Approval of this motion approved the grant from the Department of Health.
(** ESSER funds $776,504 – supports COVID testing **) (4-0 Approved)
8.2 Motion to approve Resolution No. 16-22- Evergreen High School, New Authorization to Enter Covenant to Retain Improvements and Restrict Use with King County. Approval of this motion approved entering Covenant to Retain Improvements and Restrict Use with King County, Resolution No. 16-22, which allows the district to fulfill King County’s requirement to construct across and near internal parcel boundary lines as part of new Evergreen High School Replacement Project. (4-0 Approved)
8.3 Motion to approve annual State Transitional Bilingual Program (STBP) funds. Approval of this motion approved acceptance of the 2022-23 State Transitional Bilingual Program grant funds.
(** 9.6 million dollars to help “students to become fully English proficient” **) (4-0 Approved)
8.4 Motion to approve the new purchase of Apple iPads for PreK, K, 1st Grade, and Special Education Students. Approval of this motion approved the purchase of Apple iPads for PreK, K, 1st Grade, and Special Education students in the amount of $416,122.95
(** pays for 1000 – iPad 10.2 64GB broken/aging devices **) (4-0 Approved)
Introduction and Action Items
10.1 Motion to approve New Evergreen High School Replacement Project – Approval of Educational Specifications. Approval of this motion would approve the Educational Specifications for Evergreen High School Replacement Project.
10.2 Motion to approve New Tyee High School Replacement Project – Approval of Educational Specifications. This motion would approve the Educational Specifications for Tyee High School Replacement Project.
10.3 New Motion to Approve Resolution No. 17-22, Purchase and Sale Agreement for a 66′ Strip of Land in Camp Waskowitz. Approval of this motion would approve Resolution No. 17-22 Purchase and Sale Agreement for the 66′ Strip of Land in Camp Waskowitz.
10.4 Motion to approve annual Perkins Grant for CTE. Approval of this motion would approve the 2022-23 Perkins Grant and the 21-25 CTE four-year planning (formally known as District Wide Plan).
Items added to the Consent Agenda.
- Deborah Lipp – A bus driver asked if the bond included repairing their disgusting break area and moldy employee bathroom.
- Kalimar Avila Petitt – Her child was attacked by another student at school, so she asked why we “do not have a disciplinary action in place?” She asked the board to review district disciplinary policies. She supported the bond.
- Marliza Melzer – Proposition 1 (bond) – questioned the board on their transparency regarding bonds. She requested that all board members pay attention to the people speaking during public comments.
- Martin Barrett – Gem of the Sound (local newspaper) – told Catherine Carbone-Rogers he had promptly responded to her email the day before. She was welcome to send her article to him, and the Gem would post.
- [Dr. Duran requested the opportunity to post regularly in the Gem of the Sound.] Mr. Barrett acknowledged.
Sandy Hunt – HEA President – promoted the bond.
Adjourned at 7:43 pm
NEXT Meeting: November 16, 2022, 6 pm
** School Board Special Meeting – Executive Session on Potential Litigation – 4:30 pm (they will have a private board meeting, then public at 6 pm)
General Meeting Information:
- Highline School Board meetings are generally held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month at 6 pm in the Central Office Boardroom.
- Community members can give four-minute verbal commentary in Scheduled Communications.
- Call the District Office at 206-631-3070 by 12:00 pm on the day of the meeting to be included on the agenda.
- Board Meetings can be viewed via Live stream highlineschools.org/boardlivestreams.
Calendar (for all district events, visit Highlines website)