You can start calling it “Chief Sealth International High School”

Just in from Seattle Public SchoolsChief Sealth is now an International High School, the first one in the district. That matches it with Denny International Middle School, with whom it will share a campus starting in 2011. Coincidentally, we were just over at the construction site (shown above – renovating Sealth/building a new Denny) for a hardhat tour this morning; that story’s still in the works but this news can’t wait. Read on for the official district announcement:

Superintendent Maria L. Goodloe-Johnson, Ph.D., has announced the designation of Chief Sealth High School as the district’s first international high school, completing a K-12 international program pathway in West Seattle that reinforces Seattle Public Schools’ commitment to international education.

In 2009, Concord Elementary and Denny Middle – both in the same attendance area as Chief Sealth – received International School designations. Now all three schools will offer major components of an international education, such as language immersion at the elementary and middle school levels, academic excellence in all content areas, world language proficiency and global perspectives incorporated into each class.

“Adding Chief Sealth to the international program pathway gives us a predictable feeder pattern in West Seattle that ensures students can be immersed in international education from kindergarten through their senior year of high school,” said Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson. “The continued expansion of international programs is one of the strategies we are using to ensure that every school is a quality school and that we provide Excellence for All.”

The international education program integrates global perspectives into daily learning, with an emphasis on multicultural literature, world economics, global health and arts, music, dance and drama from around the world. Students will also learn about a variety of cultures and countries using an international social studies curriculum that explores current challenges and issues facing the world community. The mission of the international education program is to educate and prepare all students with the cultural competence and skills to achieve in a global community and economy.

Chief Sealth already offers the highly regarded, rigorous International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) program, a demanding college preparatory series of international education courses and exams for juniors and seniors. The program, which is also offered at Ingraham High School, follows a two-year ninth- and tenth-grade comprehensive program that incorporates the best elements of college preparatory programs from a number of countries.

The international focus, coupled with the IB curriculum, promotes international understanding and world citizenship, which is reflected in Chief Sealth’s rich cultural diversity, where 1,049 students speak more than 25 languages. The school already offers world language classes including Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, and student exchange programs to China and Guatemala.

“The International School designation will provide all students at Sealth with a global perspective that will benefit everyone, including those planning to complete the International Baccalaureate program,” said Chief Sealth Principal John Boyd. The IB Diploma program will now include a two-year, ninth- and tenth-grade comprehensive program that incorporates the best elements of college preparatory programs from a number of countries, Boyd said.

This designation coincides with Sealth’s return to its original building, which is being remodeled and is set to open in September for the 2010-2011 school year. As part of the designation, the school will officially take the name Chief Sealth International High School, and the change will be reflected in the remodeled school’s surroundings. “The old courtyards of the permanent school are being completely renovated, with each centered on one of the three languages we currently teach – Spanish, Japanese and Mandarin,” Boyd said. The $125 million project that will provide a remodeled facility for Chief Sealth and a new facility for Denny Middle School is funded by the 2007 voter-approved Building Excellence III (BEX III) bond. The project includes shared facilities to support the international program, such as language labs, a common area for community events, and space for teacher collaboration.
Of the other two schools in the K-12 pathway, Concord Elementary offers a dual immersion Spanish program at Kindergarten and first grade. Reading, writing and math are taught in a Spanish immersion environment. Other subjects are taught in English. Denny Middle School, meanwhile, offers dual language for Spanish/English program, Spanish classes for heritage and native speakers of Spanish, an enhanced Spanish class for beginning Spanish speakers, and Mandarin Chinese classes. Arabic language classes are a possible offering.

“Research shows that language immersion and other world language programs promote academic achievement for English Language Learners as well as English-speaking students,” Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson said. “Students with a global perspective have a better understanding of the world around them, the language skills to communicate across cultural boundaries, and a deeper knowledge of the connections that link our community to those of the world at large. These skills help our students and our country to thrive in an increasingly global society.”

Seattle Public Schools began its strong commitment to international education in 2000 with the launch of the John Stanford International School. With the addition of Chief Sealth High School, the District now offers six international school programs. John Stanford and Hamilton International Middle School offer language immersion in Japanese and Spanish; and Beacon Hill International School offers Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and English immersion programs. The school district is committed to expanding those international school programs to include a full K-12 pathway similar to what the West Seattle program now offers, although exact feeder patterns have not yet been determined.

12 Replies to "You can start calling it "Chief Sealth International High School""

  • NGKL April 8, 2010 (3:14 pm)

    Are they going to add more international elementary schools? I can’t see how one elementary school is enough to supply pupils for the middle school and high school programs.

  • NGKL April 8, 2010 (3:34 pm)

    By which I mean, more elementary schools in West Seattle. I suppose Beacon Hill could be considered part of the pathway.

  • Donna Pierce April 8, 2010 (4:28 pm)

    Or, as my daughter now calls it, CSI High!

  • Ms Evelyn April 8, 2010 (8:35 pm)

    I hope there is enough security to keep all of those kids safe!

  • Schmoopie April 8, 2010 (8:39 pm)

    How can a high school call itself “international” and only offer 3 different languages? Our daughter is a French student and didn’t consider CS High because they don’t offer a French program. What about Somali or Amharic?

  • ws April 8, 2010 (9:51 pm)

    ““Adding Chief Sealth to the international program pathway gives us a predictable feeder pattern in West Seattle that ensures students can be immersed in international education from kindergarten through their senior year of high school,” said Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson.””

    This is a lie. Our child is in Denny now, from “out of area” and has no predictable path to Chief Sealth. Good for Sealth, but why do they even put out these garbage press releases.

  • Connor April 8, 2010 (10:17 pm)

    I can definitely agree with you, ws. I think that all kids throughout South Seattle should be able to have access to an international education (the north end having Ingraham’s IB program.) It really isn’t fair that you can only get an international education if you live within a certain boundary. As a student at CSIHS I believe everyone should be able to receive an international education, regardless of their address.

  • interesting...but April 8, 2010 (10:22 pm)

    Why Japenese? That seems so 1980’s. The more languages, the better, but I don’t even see why that is in the top 10!

  • SeattleTeacher April 9, 2010 (8:10 am)

    It is difficult for Chief Sealth, a relatively small high school, to offer more than 2 or 3 world languages. The funding simply isn’t there. A school with 2000+ students can offer more languages. It is a shame that French is gone, but some people may say in response to the comment “Why Japanese? That seems so 1980s” with “Why French?” Of course, we know that French is spoken widely around the world, but the perception is out there. But while the demand from students for French is there, it is much lower than it used to be. Denny doesn’t teach it and Sealth’s longtime French teacher retired several years ago and the program took a major hit. Keep in mind, too, that about 6 or 7 years ago, Sealth had just 1 Spanish teacher, 1 French teacher and 2 sections of Japanese. Today, we have 3 Spanish teachers, a Japanese teacher and a Mandarin teacher. In addition, students are taking Arabic after school (and receiving academic credit for it).

    By the way, Japanese is not an outdated language. Many teenagers today really connect with elements of Japanese pop culture like manga and anime. Just take a look at which books are checked out most frequently from the school’s library. Kids are pleased that we now have a thriving program with a full-time teacher.

  • Eliza April 9, 2010 (10:20 am)

    There is a huge business market in Japan and those who speak the language have a leg up on those who don’t. It is a huge asset to have Japanese or Chinese in your repertoire, and it is best to start as young as possible.
    Kudos to CSI High!

  • Jan Cook April 10, 2010 (10:56 am)

    I am a Concord parent working on creating a pathway through high school for kids in the Dual Language Program. The idea would be that once they are in the program they are automatically enrolled in the next level (middle school or high school) even if they are not in the attendance area.
    Please contact me if you are interested in being part of our group. I am currently working with a small group of Concord PTA members to petition the school board for this. I can be contacted at
    This issue will be affecting a lot of kids in our area due to the new attendance areas.
    It is important to email all school board members, the chief academic officer and the superintendent on this matter. Let them know this is a issue and that we would like a K-12 pathway for these programs.

  • CSI High Student April 10, 2010 (12:58 pm)

    The name change has further helped the students in becoming increasingly proud of their school. We now can say with gleaming smiles and eyes that we attend Seattle’s first International High School (nicknamed CSI High). One that is extremely diverse and where high school cliques and popularity mean nothing to the students. We may be known as a small 3A school (enrollment rates are increasing) but that does not mean that we do not have one of the most rigorous academic programs in the Seattle School District.

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