New site to be announced soon for Middle College High School

June 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 5 Comments

There are actually three public high schools in West Seattle – though one is much smaller than the two you could probably name off the top of your head. It is Middle College High School, based at South Seattle Community College for 15 years, but about to move. Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Teresa Wippel explains that “the college recently informed us that they received two large grants and need to re-occupy the space currently used by Middle College students” – who currently number 70.

Tonight, during their monthly meeting, the 34th District Democrats will be asked to consider a resolution asking SSCC and SPS to work it out for another year. Supporters also have spoken about the situation at school-board meetings; the resolution expresses concern that the program stay in this area, rather than moving to a possible spot east of downtown.

But SPS appears to have found a new home for the school, and it’s in what Wippel describes only as “South Seattle.” She tells WSB, “We have been looking for a new South Seattle location, and will be announcing a move to a new facility in the next few days, after we have had an opportunity to make final arrangements and notify our Middle College families.” She says they’re not expecting any changes to the curriculum for the program, described as “a college prep and dropout prevention program aimed at students who have the ability to go to college but because of life circumstances don’t always see a postsecondary education as an option.” Supporters say that’s been an advantage of having MCHS based at SSCC – the potential to move right into college at a familiar location.

5 Comments

  1. Questions arise:
    .
    How many of those 70 students are participating in Running Start?
    .
    Does Metro serve both sites, so a Student can do Running Start in the am, and then go to the SPS site in the pm?
    .
    How many of the 70 students are commuting from Vashon Island? (it’s not zero) What alternatives serve Vashon students?
    .

    Comment by L — 4:22 pm June 13, 2012 #

  2. You forgot Seattle Lutheran I think. So there are four high schools on the Peninsula.

    Comment by Jeff — 6:13 pm June 13, 2012 #

  3. Seattle Lutheran is not a public high school. If we are writing about high schools in general, we usually mention the “three major high schools’ meaning SLHS, WSHS and CSIHS; in this case, we are just referring to the public high schools (see first line) – thanks! TR

    Comment by WSB — 6:20 pm June 13, 2012 #

  4. THIS RESOLUTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY TONIGHT @ 34TH DISTRICT DEMOCRATS AND HAS BEEN FORWARDED TO SPS AND SSCC LEADERSHIP:

    RESOLUTION ON MIDDLE COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL
    AT SOUTH SEATTLE COMMUNITY COLLEGE

    WHEREAS the 34th Legislative District Democrats are in favor of publically funded quality public schools;

    WHEREAS we recognize the need for a variety of programs to meet student needs, including offering intense learning programs for at-risk and alternative learners at the high school level;

    WHEREAS Middle College High School (MCHS) at South Seattle Community College (SSCC) is an alternative program modeled after the national “Middle College High School” model where co-location at a publically funded college is an integral part of the model;

    WHEREAS MCHS @ SSCC has been located at SSCC, afforded the students the opportunity to participate in SSCC programs and Running Start, and not paid rent since 1992 and has helped thousands of children to catch up academically and successfully move to college, vocations and taxpayer status;

    WHEREAS SSCC and the community college system is also underfunded and requested the Seattle Public School District in the Spring of 2011 to negotiate an Memorandum of Understanding and to commence paying rent or find another location;

    WHEREAS SSCC and the SPS have been unable to negotiate an agreement for unknown reasons on a timely basis and SSCC has given notice to the MCHS to move its program;

    WHEREAS the SPS welcomes a new Superintendent, Jose Banda, who starts his position July 1, 2012, and expresses support for alternative education;

    WHEREAS the West Seattle community has the need for the MCHS to be located in West Seattle;

    WHEREAS a proposed solution to move the MCHS to Seattle University which is neither in West Seattle or affords the majority of the students at MCHS to matriculate to Seattle University, given the high cost of private college tuition;

    THEREFORE, the 34th District Democrats resolves to REQUEST THE SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD TO DIRECT ITS STAFF TO REDOUBLE THEIR EFFORTS IMMEDIATELY TO COME TO AN EQUITABLE UNDERSTANDING WITH SSCC TO NEGOTIATE AN AGREEMENT FOR THE 2012 – 2013 SCHOOL YEAR TO PREVENT THE LOSS OF MCHS @ SSCC AND CONTINUE THIS VALUABLE PROGRAM.

    Comment by Leslie — 10:08 pm June 13, 2012 #

  5. Middle College needs to remain at South Seattle, period. No other option is — or should be — in any way acceptable. The entire point of having this school is to have it co-located on a college campus so that at-risk kids are in that environment.
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    The college setting gives Middle College students a first-hand look at possibilities that are within their reach. They can’t get that at Seattle U. Seattle U. is a private college, financially out of reach for much of the Middle College population.
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    They can’t get that at (shudder!) portables at Boren. That has to be the worst idea I have heard yet, putting at-risk high-schoolers in with fifth-graders. Can you imagine what the reaction of K-5 STEM parents might be to that?
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    At South Seattle, the Middle College students could take college classes and get college credits — for free — through Running Start. That option has to be there for them.
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    It is intolerable that Seattle Public Schools would even consider moving Middle College, just because they might have to start paying rent for the first time in 20 years(!) The community should rise up in wrath and not permit it.
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    Thankfully, Marty McLaren is on board with keeping Middle College at South. The rest of the School Board needs to hear from the West Seattle community about it. We need to have Marty’s back — and Middle College’s back.
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    I am disgusted that Seattle Public Schools would consider doing this to an at-risk population, just because it doesn’t want to pay rent to South Seattle Community College. If they think education is expensive, they should think about the cost of ignorance.

    Comment by Ivan Weiss — 7:56 am June 14, 2012 #

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