Home Education Highline School Board Summary: 12/7/22

Highline School Board Summary: 12/7/22


Highline School Board Summary: 12/7/22 

Roll Call:

All Directors present – Garcia, Van, Howell, Alvarez, Hagos
Superintendent (Dr. Duran) present

Approval of Minutes

November 16, 2022, Board Meeting(Approved 5-0)

Election of New Board Officers for 2023:

Joe Van – President-Elect (unanimous)

Angelica Alvarez – Vice President-Elect (unanimous)


Music for Life – David Endicott, Co-Founder

School Presentation – Mount View Elementary – Laura Kaplan, Principal & Lyon Terry, Assistant Principal.

  • Priority 1: Social-Emotional Well-Being.
  • Priority 2: Bilingualism/Biliteracy. (As emphasis, much of the presentation was in Spanish; however, none of it was included or translated in the Highline transcript.) No mention of academic results in the presentation.
  • Directors Howell and Alvarez expressed concern about how the school will fund programs once ESSER funds dwindle.
  • Director Hagos asked about academic progress and “emotional regulation” strategies. 
  • Mount View answered that academics are complicated by dual language and provided examples of how they are addressing it.

Scheduled Communications:

  • Susanne Rankin (Synergy Grade Book). Math teacher, Highline HS. Asked why HPS has adopted such a low grading scale for high school graduation. 40% is a “C” and is considered a passing grade. Who is this serving? The shutdown is over. Why are grade books still locked to teachers? Our students can do better.
  • Ben Folgers (Student Support) – Mt Rainier HS -10th grade. Chastised speakers and language used during the November 16th meeting as “contentious and bigoted” with “vile rhetoric.” He asked the board to “reaffirm and support our queer children” and to “name these identities [LGBTQ/trans] explicitly in future communications” in order to show District support. Invited conversation, but only to “discuss and learn, and nothing else.”
  • Mike Acord (How to be substitute friendly). Retired WEA. Gave suggestions for working with substitute teachers. Encouraged collaboration.
  • Billy Hetherington (Community Workforce Agreement). 22-year member, Laborers Union. Advisory Committee Chair for Highline CTE, etc. Promoted labor unions and jobs in the construction industry. Mentioned a diverse workforce, good wages, benefits, and transferable skills for graduates. 
  • Renee Agatsuma (Science Education). Evergreen HS teacher. Corrected her misstatement from the previous meeting. She modified her assertion, stating that 1.7% of the population “are born intersex” [not 1 in 20]. Advocated for hiring more “staff of color.”
  • Andrew De Jong (Multicultural Science Education). Evergreen HS science teacher. Explained that he is a “white, cis, heterosexual” man and that he and other teachers “focus on incorporating practices and beliefs of science education that’s grounded in students’ identities and critiquing power and in social justice for marginalized groups.” Expressed difficulties with new Standards-based Grading.
  • Sandy Hunt (Teacher Workload). HEA President. Teachers do not have enough time to collaborate. For example, there are too many Highline initiatives. Standards-based grading and the grade book are teacher concerns and not reflecting the needs. Looking forward to the new strategic plan.
  • Patricia Bailey (Mental Health). Stop the misleading and destructive so-called “gender affirmation.” It causes sterilization, physical and mental damage, division of families, and self-hatred. Kids need psychotherapy, not mutilation.
  • Katie Kresly (Legislative Agenda). Requested that the board remove the legislative agenda item that promotes board “diversity” by eliminating the “citizenship requirement.” It is unconstitutional.
  • Wendy Butzerin (Parenthood). Why are some parents not permitted to know if their child is identifying as a different gender? Highline students have the right to “protect” themselves from their parents (see Highline’s Policy and Procedure 3211 for “Gender Inclusive Schools”), but what about confusion and other exposure at school? Parents should have adequate parental rights and access to their children, not info withheld from the staff. Advocated for a strong parents’ rights resolution.
  • Alex Myrick (Student health and safety) Mental Health professional for 30 years and an associate member of the American College of Pediatricians, said “sex is binary and not on a spectrum,” to refute claims made by a science teacher in recent public comment. Also, challenged the district’s gender “affirming” policies and sex ed curricula which confuse children and create a “school to transgender clinic pipeline.” 
  • Sandra Locklear (Misinformation in proposed K-5 Science curriculum) Advocated that Highline reconsider the proposed adoption of the K-5 science curriculum with “instruction on race and identity and justice and action standards.” Cites examples of how schools are “dismantling differences between the sexes through the manipulation of language and public perception.” “Girl” is being replaced with “menstruating person” because, with “menstrual equity activism,” anyone could feasibly menstruate. This is the goal of transhumanism, and it has nothing to do with science.
  • James Payne (Legislative Agenda) Discussed the proposed Legislative Agenda item to allow non-citizens to become Board Directors with the stated purpose of increasing diversification of the Board. Reminded the directors of their sworn duty to adhere to the constitution, not subvert it. Asked the board to go on record and defend their positions on this item, debate publicly, then vote to strike this item from the Agenda. Expressed concerns about too many teachers being activists instead of focusing on academics. He is also frustrated over the slow response from the public records department. The records belong to the people, not meant to be hidden.
  • Dr. C. Edgar (OSPI Report Card for Highline) She presented OSPI data which suggests Highline high schools are not effective, reflecting poor academics and attendance levels. If students are not in school, what are they doing? Graduation rates are up, but “those are empty diplomas.” Suggested that the directors use their Retreat on Dec 10th to discuss how to effectively prepare their graduates to be part of a productive workforce and informed citizenry.
  • Tim Foley (Sex Education) Cited RCW 28A.300.475 and asked the directors “who is liable” for how Highline is carrying out the State’s Comprehensive Sex Ed program. And what does “State mandate” really mean? Per the RCW, the school board makes the final decision about what is introduced and included in “sexual health education.” Reminded the directors that they are the people in danger of being sued, not the State of Washington because this decision is ultimately left up to the local school board.
  • Martin Barrett (Apology) Publicly apologized to Catherine Rogers and Dr. Duran for miscommunications that occurred during the bond election debates. Emails at the Gem of the Sound (media company) had a delay in delivery, so he did not have all the available information. Speaker felt he had besmirched Catherine’s reputation and character, and so he presented a public apology.
  • Hendrik Ufkes (Evergreen Alumni HS remarks) Grateful for the construction bond passing. Evergreen and Tyee are in especially poor condition. Commented that the community investment will pay massive dividends, supporting students and giving foundational education.
  • Zack Wenman (City of Burien after-school programs) Burien Recreational coordinator. Many sports and activities are in place for students due to grants and ESSER funds. However, the funds are drying up. He asked for help to continue community partnerships and programs for Burien and youth in the community.
  • Bob Korth (Support of Student Community Workforce Agreement) Mount Rainier graduate, 1993. President of IronWorkers [Union] and soon-to-be business manager. He shared his work and success in hiring diverse students for apprenticeships. Wants Highline to support the Student Community Workforce Agreement model similar to the model Seattle District is implementing.

Superintendent’s Update: 

Labor Partner Update – Highline Association of Washington School Principals, Robin Lamoureux, President

School Board Reports:

Legislative Report: none.

Director Reports:

  • Alvarez – Announced local teacher awards and District 2 student events.
  • Van – Expressed gratitude for their vote to make him 2023 Chair. Thanked Director Garcia for his 2022 leadership. The directors attended the WSSDA conference last month.
  • Howell – District 4 eco-events and partnerships. Maritime mentioned in NYTimes.
  • Hagos – Announced Mt Rainier graduate won Ivy League soccer coach award, National Family Involvement Day, Highline’s Transition Night. 
  • Garcia – Thanked community for supporting the bond passage. Highlighted Washington Post article on Highline dual language program. Student solar energy project.

Consent Agenda: (Approved 5-0)

Approval of Minutes November 16, 2022, Special Board Meeting

Approval of Payroll Warrants and Accounts Payable Vouchers Director Howell, Director Hagos

Approval of Personnel Report

Action Items 

Motion to approve 2023 Legislative Agenda (After amendments,Approved 5-0)

Before the board voted, Director Van proposed an amendment to the Agenda, removing the last item to “Attract, Recruit, and Retain Diverse School Board Directors” by eliminating “the citizenship requirement.”

Discussion followed [2:20:01], and a vote was taken to decide whether or not to strike this item.

  • Yays – Alvarez, Hagos, Van (strike it)
  • Nays – Howell, Garcia(keep it)

Vote was 3-2 in favor of striking the clause from the 2023 Legislative Agenda.

Director Hagos made a motion to add an agenda item that would provide universal, free, nutritious school meals. (Approved amendment 5-0)

Motion to approve annual non-matched endorsements (per WAC 181-82-110) & limited certifications (per WAC 181-79A-231) for the 2022-23 school year.(Approved 5-0)

Motion to approve annual Readiness to Learn Partnerships with Lego Play-Well TEKnologies for McMicken Heights Elementary School.(Approved 5-0)

Introduction and Action Item (Approved 5-0)

New Approval of Camp Waskowitz Roof Replacements Contract with Garland /DBS, Inc. Approval of this motion would approve the roof replacements at Camp Waskowitz- Garland/DBA, Inc., Contract Approval through OMNIA State Contract, which allows the district, upon receipt of all submittal requirements, to issue a Purchase Order with Garland/DBA, Inc., under the Omnia Contract, in the amount of $709,870.00, plus Washington State Sales Tax of $61,758.69, for a total of $771,628.69. 

Introduction Item

New Motion to Approve Resolution No. 20-22 Evergreen High School Replacement Project- Resolution Authorizing Use of Alternative Public Works: General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM) and intent to comply with RCW 39.10. Approval of this motion would approve Resolution No. 20-22 Evergreen High School Replacement Project Resolution Authorizing Use of Alternative Public Works: General Contractor/Construction Manager (GC/CM) and intent to comply with RCW 39.10. 

Unscheduled Communication

  • none.

Adjourned at 8:55 pm

Next Meeting: January 4, 2023, 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 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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