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Education Lab Blog

Education Lab is a yearlong project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: Highline School District

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March 28, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Guest: High-school internships offer strong path to STEM careers


Julie Burr

If you’re raised in a family with a mom who’s a computer programmer and dad who’s an aerospace engineer, chances are you’ll take the right high school classes and consider pursuing a bright future in a STEM career.

If you come from a different background, the fields of science, technology, engineering and math — collectively known as STEM — might seem uninviting. Upon graduation from high school, you won’t suddenly develop an interest in a STEM career. If you do, you likely won’t be admitted or succeed as a STEM major in college if you have a lack of high school preparation. With the huge shortage of skilled workers in STEM fields, this seems a travesty.

Highline Public Schools’ new Raisbeck Aviation High School serves as a model for how schools can help fill the local skills gap and give hope to students with limited opportunities. The school’s internship program, in particular, enables students to start exploring STEM careers early on in their high-school careers while gaining important real-world experience.

Raisbeck students are surrounded by caring professionals from aerospace careers on a daily basis. A scaffold approach to STEM career exploration begins with the freshman-level Career Choices class, where a constant stream of STEM professionals come to inform and inspire. Students become comfortable networking with professionals, and many doors are opened, such as tours to commercial space flight company Blue Origin or Planetary Resources, the asteroid mining company.


Comments | More in Guest opinion, Math and science, Opinion | Topics: Highline School District, Raisbeck Aviation High School, STEM

January 27, 2014 at 5:00 AM

Highline schools cut suspensions, expulsions in half

Screenshot of a graph from Highline School District

Screenshot of a graph from the Highline School District

The Highline School District recently set a goal of ending expulsions and out-of-school suspensions by 2015, except in cases of student or school safety.

It’s already well on the way to reaching that target.  

As of the end of November, the district was projecting about 847 out-of-school suspensions and expulsions for this school year, which would be just a little more than half of last year’s total, and less than a third of the 3,193 in 2007-08.

In some schools, the decrease has been even more dramatic. Cascade Middle, for example, suspended just three students from September through November this school year, compared with 41 the year before.


Comments | More in News | Topics: discipline, expulsions, Highline School District

October 30, 2013 at 1:00 PM

Watch: Replay of live chat with White Center Principal Anne Reece

Anne Reece, principal of White Center Heights Elementary in the Highline School District, has overseen a striking and rapid increase in test scores at the high-poverty school. Her approach to group-based learning was the subject of an Oct. 27 feature story by reporter Claudia Rowe. Reece and Rowe participated in a live chat with readers on Oct….


Comments | Topics: Anne Reece, Highline School District, live chat