Chief Sealth International High School is one of three Seattle Public Schools on the “persistently low-achieving” list released by the state today. That list is compiled annually to show which schools are eligible for a federal grant of up to $2 million over three years – if they pursue one of four federally designed plans of action. The district says that while it is pursuing grants for its other two schools on the list, AS#1 and Rainier Beach High School, whose deficiency is listed as “achievement,” it is not doing so for Sealth, whose deficiency is listed as “graduation.” From a news release sent by SPS tonight:
One other school – Chief Sealth International High School – is also on the state list of eligible schools based on low graduation rates. Seattle Public Schools is not pursing a grant application for Chief Sealth, because the school is well into implementation of a plan to ensure a high-achieving school. “Chief Sealth leadership, staff and families are working very well together, and in cooperation with Denny International Middle School, to create an outstanding 6-12 pathway based on the International Baccalaureate and international education,” said Goodloe-Johnson. “While additional funding would be helpful, we do not want to disrupt the momentum that has been created.”
Seattle Public Schools and its teacher union decided last year that any school for which a grant was sought would follow the “Transformation” type of improvement plan – which requires “Replace the principal and take steps to increase teacher and school leader effectiveness; institute comprehensive instructional reforms; increase learning time and create community-oriented schools; and provide operational flexibility and sustained support.” Last year, West Seattle Elementary was on this list, and the district pursued a grant. This state document explains the criteria for landing on the list. We have a message out seeking further comment.