Highline Schools Foundation for Excellence Programs
We are working to become the single point of contact for members of the community, local and national business, service organizations and other foundations to connect their philanthropic efforts with a single school or the entire district. The Highline School District is one of the largest school districts in the state of Washington, serving Burien, Des Moines, Normandy Park, Boulevard Park, SeaTac and White Center. The demographics for the District are: 75% ethnic minorities; 68% receive free or reduce-price meals; 21% are English Language Learners, representing over 80 countries with more than 150 languages spoken.
Inspiring Innovative Teaching
The difference between a satisfactory and a great learning experience is difficult to measure, but providing teachers with extra help can result in creating the extraordinary. District teachers are provided opportunities to fund innovative learning experiences for students through the Foundation’s Excel Grant program; the goal is to distribute at least $100,000 through individual grants.
The Arts - Not Required, but Essential!
The Foundation supports the district's music program by partnering wtih Music4Life to help strengthen the elementary instrumental music program and ensure strong music programs throughout Highline Public Schools.
State funding cuts have forced school districts to institute a “sports participation fee” in recent years meaning all middle and high school students in our district have to pay to play sports. Many students cannot afford the participation fee, so Highline Schools Foundation helps these students. In 2011, we were able to fund EVERY MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT who needed help in this area. In 2012, high schoolers were added and now our goal is to raise enough funds to reach all middle and high students who need assistance.
Building A Path to College and Career
The Foundation is developing a program to connect every middle school student in the district with a hands-on experience with colleges and career opportunities. Students will be attending classes on college and university campuses as well as getting involved in technical trainning expereinces availble through apprenticeship programs. We hope to raise $25,000 to fully fund this program. One of the Foundation's goals is to reduce financial obstacles that often prevent deserving students from reaching their potential. The more successful students are, the more likely they will be to contribute to our community as adults. The Foundation is working to raise $500,000 for university, community college, and technical school scholarships.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Recently the Highline Schools Foundation has enjoyed great success by partnering with two local charity organizations, The Cove to Clover 5K, and the Burien Brat Trot 5K. Both “fun runs” are located in the heart of Burien—the center of the school district that we serve, and work to engage the entire community. The race organizers work closely with the Foundation to help encourage student participation—and have successfully procured donations of running shoes and transportation to and from the race to needs based students. Proceeds from each “fun run” benefit the Highline Schools Foundation.
We need more support for all the programs we offer. Currently, we are only able to fund a third to half of the classroom grant requests we receive. College and career readiness programs are underfunded by 50%. Arts and sports related programs are woefully underfunded in this current economic climate.