The Highline Public School District (HPSD) continues to shape its long-term strategy. The new Superintendent, Dr. Ivan Duran, and Board members have introduced a feedback-gathering campaign using ThoughtExchange conversations. Starting in the Fall of 2022 with their Listening Tour, Highline administrators scheduled five (5) public forums at district schools (and two virtual forums) for stakeholders and constituents to come and share their input.
After hearing from the community during the Listening Tour, Highline’s proposed Strategic Plan may include the following:
“Culture of Belonging”
Will these goals reasonably net the outcomes parents and taxpayers expect from the school district?
The next step in developing the plan is a virtual “Thought Exchange,” where participants can share thoughts and rate thoughts on a scale of 1 to 5, with five as the most critical item.
Now is your time to provide the district with concise comments on their goals and rate the comments already there. The feedback series closes on Wednesday, February 22nd.
New administrations, such as Dr. Duran’s, commonly embark on programs where they collect feedback. However, since comments can easily be weighted with a bias toward specific objectives, supporting a desired future strategy, it is critical that the community give their input at this time. The Highline district values community and student “voice,” so now is the time for families to candidly share their children’s “lived experiences.” Ideally, your direct comments will help the district construct a healthy and academically robust learning environment.
Additionally, enrollments are dropping in Highline as well as many other districts. Are Equity and Anti-racist efforts that date back to board policies approved in 2016 working? Are “Instruction on Race and Identity” (IRI) and “Ethnic Studies” efforts (perhaps) leading to polarization and causing academically-minded families to exit the district?
How does Highline measure up to the rest of Washington State?
Missing from the Exchange introduction is any context of how Highline students are currently doing. According to the State of Washington, only about 30 percent of Highline students are testing at or above standards. This lack of meaningful academic instruction burdens the most “marginalized” groups, particularly the poor and immigrant families who, unlike wealthier families, have limited alternative educational paths for their children.
The district claims to want “equitable outcomes” for all the students, but if the current educational policies create sub-standard results, how is this helping ALL students to develop the “future they choose,” as Promised by the Highline School District?
We hope participants in the ThoughtExchange will raise and “bubble to the top” comments about topics such as these.