Highline Public Schools

Highline Public Schools

At this district, blended learning is a regular practice across all schools and content areas. It has also challenged thinking in the district around how to restructure time and space in the classroom.

State: Washington Number of Students: 19,672
School Type: Public School District   Free and Reduced Lunch: 65.3%
Grade Level: PK-12 English Language Learners: 25.8% 

School Context

Funding: Highline Public Schools received $40 million from the federal Race to the Top grant in 2012 to be divided among a consortium of districts (i.e. The Road Map District Consortium) in the south Seattle area to improve education in high-need schools and communities. The minimum requirements include focusing on personalized learning, performance evaluations, implementing CCSS, and reporting school data and financial data transparency. $440,000 has already been allocated to Highline to support STEM education in their elementary and middle schools. Think Through Math, Educurious and Canvas are a few of the digital tools they have purchased, including Chromebooks. In addition, the district may receive $5 million for a proposed local bond that will be voted on in November 2014 to improve the district’s instructional technology.

Achievement: By 2017, at least 19 out of 20 third grade student will achieve proficiency in all core subject areas. In addition, at least 19 out of 20 ninth grade students will achieve proficiency in Algebra. Lastly, 19 out of 20 students that entered 9th grade in 2013 will graduate from high school prepared for college and careers.

Behavior: By 2015, no students in the district will receive out-of-school suspensions for disciplinary infractions.

Language: Every student in the class of 2026 will graduate bilingual and biliterate.

Technology: Every student in the class of 2026 will graduate tech-savvy, tech-literate.

State of Technology

Mobile App: Highline released a mobile app in 2014. Parents, students, faculty, and staff can use the app to view district news, events, calendars, contact information and more. The content in the app can also be translated to 70 different languages.

STEM Badges: In partnerships with Boeing, the Workforce Development Council of Seattle, and LearningTimes, the district has developed a STEM curriculum for grades five through 12. It includes an online badging component. When students turn 13, any badges they’ve earned on the district’s online platform, BadgeOS, become eligible for them to display online (e.g. on a blog, online resume etc.).

Going Blended: Highline began actively promoting blended learning in 2012 and now it’s a regular practice across the schools. The model started with math tools. K-8 math class would use online math curriculum for 90 minutes each week. Since, blended learning has expanded across content areas and challenged thinking in the district around how to restructure time and space in the classroom.

Getting Personal: Highline participates in a personalized learning initiative led by the Puget Sound Educational Service District and Pacific Lutheran University, funded by the Gates Foundation, called BlendEd. Through this program two schools (Midway Elementary and Cascade Middle School) spent last year researching, visiting other schools, implementing blended learning, and refining their own models. Midway Elementary is implementing a multi-tiered system of support through core content and instructional programs both traditional and technology-based, which will work to meet students at all learning levels through a station rotation model. Cascade Middle School uses a rotation model in all content classes.

Credit Recovery: In 2012 the district began offering online credit recovery courses. According to Highline, it is still fine-tuning its model but it’s happy with the progress it has seen. So far over 70% of enrolled students have successfully earned course credits toward graduation.

Coding: In partnership with Code.org, Highline’s Academy of Citizenship & Empowerment (ACE) High School hosts an after-school coding club as well as classes during the regular day. The club was recently awarded $1000 in recognition of their success, specifically for their level of female participation.

LMS Shuffle: Two years ago the district piloted three separate LMS tools (Canvas, Desire2Learn and Project Foundry). Canvas won and now the district plans to make the tool available for interested schools. Additionally, it plans to use Canvas to share ninth grade social studies curriculum across the district for all the ninth grade social studies students to access. Other schools are using Edmodo as an alternative LMS.

Tech Needs & Requirements

Adaptive curriculum tools are preferred, and curriculum tools must be Common Core aligned. For tools that provide data, it must be easily accessible, actionable and accurate. Preference for cloud-based tools. Highline needs single sign on functionality, and a system for evaluating the effectiveness of tools currently being implemented in the district.


Moving 1:1: Through the BlendEd initative, the district is moving to a 1:1 model. It is developing plans to expand both its infrastructure and give more students access to their own devices.

Language Learning: The district is developing multiple pathways for students to learn a second language through dual immersion programs, traditional foreign language classes that start at the middle school and awarding credit for competency in heritage languages.

*Content from 2014

Get our email newsletterSign me up
Keep up to date with our email newsletterSign me up