Home Education Highline School Board Summary: 11/16/22

Highline School Board Summary: 11/16/22


Highline School Board Summary: 11/16/22 

Roll Call: 4  Directors present – Van, Howell, Alvarez, Hagos,
Director Garcia –  excused absence
Superintendent (Dr. Duran) present


  • American Education Week
  • Recognition of Ms.Clysta Cole – drafted and championed a bill in Washington State regarding the posthumous diploma. She was awarded a Posthumous diploma for her son.

Scheduled Communications:

Board Meeting Recording [see time stamps for board meeting recording for each public comment below]

  • Katie Wilson (Minimum wage) – Wants Burien to raise the minimum wage. [12:32]
  • Emily Acquino (Curriculum, text that represents students) Evergreen HS teacher, Highline graduate. Race and identity work is integral and supported by the district.  Intersectionality, systemic racism, and inequities were discussed in her language arts class. [16:15]
  • Kristin Plischke (LGBTQ inclusivity) Evergreen HS teacher. Mom of a Non-Binary Child. Told us how she (every day) connects the class in a circle with land acknowledgments, salutations, names, and pronouns. Each student states their learning intention for class. Safe Spaces, twinkly lights, pride flag, student rights. Refers to students as “our co-conspirators.” Quoted suicide rates. [20:20]
  • Renee Agatsuma (Science education, teaching true history and identity work) Evergreen HS Science Teacher. Discusses power dynamics, patriarchy, sexism, racism, politics, eugenics, and environmental racism. “Chromosomes do not determine biological sex.” Discussed in the curriculum. [24:17]
  • Heather Kurtenbach (Community workforce agreements). Promoted local vocational/trades and apprenticeship for students (including women, people of color, and veterans) who may not choose a college. [29:00]
  • Sarah Moore (Outdoor gardening opportunities for the community) – Burien City Council Member, parent of Highline HS grad. Highline Seatac Botanical Garden – promoting student gardening partnerships. [32:32]
  • Jeb Binns (Interesting musings) Highline HS teacher, parent, NEA director.  Teachers need support for Standards-Based Grading.  The rollout is rough; the system does not take into account student work – only the test on one day. [35:30]
  • Richelle Monahan (Positive impact of SEL/IRI) North Hill ES (4th grade), parent of trans-child. SEL/IRI is the “salve for the infection of homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and racism that still pervade our schools.” Shared suicide stats [38:50]
  • Benjamin Folgers (Student supports and curriculum) Mt Rainier HS (10th grade), ELA dept chair, HEA, MLK delegate.  Explained support (including mental health) and acceptance needed for queer, trans, and non-binary (LGBTQ) youth. [43:15]
  • Katarina Reka Schmidt (Advocating for our students and community and supporting equity work) Gregory Heights ES (4th grade). Acknowledged the diversity and resilience of students. We are here to support (push, challenge, empower) them. [47:30]
  • Michael Stine Ross (Student supports) Maritime HS teacher, parent. Expressed extreme distress when “people start yelling” and anti-GSA graffiti at Maritime. [51:20]
  • Sandra Locklear (Problems with gender identity curriculum), former 22-year Highline music educator. Refuted the idea that “transgenderism isn’t being taught in our schools.” Referred to the book read at a Highline Elementary School, “I Am Jazz.” Discussed medical, physical, emotional, and sociological dangers and harm to trans-identifying individuals and biological females. Suggested that the Highline School Board avoid litigation by eliminating gender-affirming policies.  [55:00]
  • Amanda Stanley (Sewer smell at Highline High School) Highline HS (Math, Computer) System sewer smells making kids and teachers sick at Highline. Please fix it. [59:12]
  • Veronica Fairchild (IB Learner Profile) – IB coordinator at Mt Rainier HS.  Importance of respect and dignity for all. [1:01:03]
  • Tamara VandenBerg (The Flag) community member. Read a parent’s letter on the LGBTQ+ flag and concerns about children being sexualized at a young age. Parents are told sex-ed is “not to be discussed” in a public forum, yet teachers discuss sex with young children in the class. [1:03:55]
  • Andrea O’Ferrall (Climate change and education), a former teacher. She played an audio recording of herself and held up books on climate change. [1:07:52]
  • Alex Myrick (Student health and safety) mental health professor.  Referenced HSD Board Policy 3211 (allows student gender and pronoun change without parent notification.)  Sex is determined at fertilization, not “assigned” at the time of birth.  Let’s get back to science. The best most people can do is “impersonate the opposite sex.” Called on the board to reverse policy 3211. Parents have a right to know. [1:12:40]
  • Patricia Bailey (IRI), a retired teacher. Spoke about Instructional Racism. IRI is taught at Highline  Instruction on Race and Identity HSD Policy. Challenged the idea that we (as a society/country) are irredeemably racist, identified many successful people of color. Encouraged HSD to nourish children instead of teaching them to be labeled as victims and oppressors based on skin color. [1:16:57]
  • James Payne (Public Records Act) parent, former military. Reminded Dr. Duran that the Highline public records department is still broken; the Public Records Act (information requests) needs to be honored. Explained that Highline’s 2023 Legislative priority to “Diversify” by allowing non-citizens to become Board Members is illegal and unconstitutional.  Elected officials are required to be US citizens.  Directed the board to remove this clause. [1:21:10]
  • Katie Kresly (Parenthood) – community member. Promoted “Parenthood” and described how parents are losing their rights. Read the new WSSDA resolution acknowledging parents/families as “important stakeholders.” She offered that It should read “most” important stakeholders. Schools and teachers’ unions should not have more control than parents. [1:25:40]

Superintendent’s Update: 

  • Labor Partner Update – Sandy Hunt, Highline Education Association
    • Wants to add 40% additional substitute teachers.

School Board Reports:

Legislative Report: none  (but on November 2nd, Director Garcia announced they would be voting on 2023 Legislative Priorities soon.  Check them out and reach out to your legislators.  Director Van invited the community to reach out to the Directors.)

Director Reports

  • Director Hagos
    • Reported on student-led conferences and progress reports
    • Veterans Day event in DesMoines – appreciated student leadership
    • Reported on CollegeCon at Highline College
    • Announced Substitute Educators Day this Friday
  • Director Howell
    • Reported on the success of her own daughter’s student-led conference
    • Report Cards are coming out. They are updated due to Standards-Based Grading
    • School of Choice Applications are open, Dec 7th Information Night
  • Director Alvarez
    • Thank you to community for passing our bond
  • Director Van 
    • Gave details of bond passing
    • Congratulated Highline High School Football team for advancing to State Playoffs
    • Joined Dr. Duran at Chinook’s MS Veteran Day Assembly
    • Attended Highline Schools Foundation Auction – Raised over $60,000

Consent Agenda:   (UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED 4-0)

Approval of Minutes November 2, 2022

Approval of Payroll Warrants and Accounts Payable Vouchers Director Van, Director Alvarez

Approval of Personnel Report

Donation Raisbeck Aviation High School


Motion to approve New Evergreen High School Replacement Project – Approval of Educational Specifications  

  • Dr. Hagos asked why there wasn’t a replacement project for Pacific MS – Scott explained it would happen later, close to the time of construction

Motion to approve New Tyee High School Replacement Project – Approval of Educational Specifications

New Motion to Approve Resolution No. 17-22. Purchase and Sale Agreement for a 66′ Strip of Land in Camp Waskowitz. Purchase price $15,778

Motion to approve annual Perkins Grant for CTE [Career and Technical Education]

Approved the 2022-23 Perkins Grant and the 21-25 CTE  four-year planning (formerly known as District Wide Plan). Grant amount $144.107.

Introduction and Action  Item: (UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED 4-0)
New Motion to Approve Resolution No. 15-22 for Recertification of Debt Service Fund Excess Property Taxes 

Approved annual taxes of $60,250,000 to be collected, an increase from $43,700,000

  • Director Van asked Becca Chan (CFO) to share why this vote was necessary, what impact this would have on taxes, and why it differs from what we were led to believe before the election.

    She responded that it was simply voting to affirm the people’s vote in favor of the bond. On October 19, the board voted to recertify this amount if the bond passed.
  • Director Hagos asked what if we did not pass this Resolution.

    Ms.Chan’s answer: “you would deny the will of the people.”

Introduction Items:

Motion to approve 2023 Legislative Agenda

Approval of this motion would approve the attached 2023 Legislative Agenda.

    • Fully Funding Special Education (currently – 2,669 special needs students cost $55 Million annually, $15 Million from local levies)
    • Mastery-Based Learning (MBL)
    • Transportation
    • Regionalization
  • Capital Facilities Designed for Educational Strategies  (Proposes changing the bond approval from 60% supermajority to 50% simple majority)

Approval of this motion would approve the non-matched endorsements, according to WAC 181-82- 110, and the limited certifications, according to WAC 181-79A-231, for the 2022-2023 school year.
Motion to approve annual Readiness to Learn Partnerships

This motion would approve the Readiness to Learn Partnerships with Lego Play-Well TEKnologies. 

Unscheduled Communication:

  • Tim – parent of Highline School student. Concerns about sex ed requirements for young children. Dr. Duran referred him to Derek Severson, who said, “it was a state mandate; they passed a bill.” Severson referred him to the OPSI and Highline websites. Tim read a statement from the FLASH Guidelines on the website:  “Essentially, in Washington, the State Superintendent leaves the decision about WHETHER to teach sexuality up to the local school board.”  RCW 28A.300.475
  • BrandiceTranholt Britton McMicken Heights (5th grade). She shared (explicitly) how she teaches sex ed to children of Highline. Explained that she has created a “Safe Space” where kids feel safe asking her about sex (instead of asking their parents) because sometimes their homes “are not as safe.”

Adjourned at 8:03 pm

NEXT Meeting: December 7th, 2022, at 6 PM (last board meeting this year)

NEXT School Board Retreat: December 10, 2022, 9 AM – 3 PM (public is welcome)

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 commentaries in Scheduled Communications.
  • Call the District Office at 206-631-3070 by 12 PM on the day of the meeting in order to be included on the agenda.
  • Board Meetings can be viewed via Live stream.      

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