West Seattle Blog... » High Point http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Wed, 14 Oct 2015 01:04:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 HAPPENING NOW: Cat adopt-a-thon featuring Katya and friends at High Point Community Center http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/happening-now-cat-adopt-a-thon-featuring-katya-and-friends-at-high-point-community-center/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/happening-now-cat-adopt-a-thon-featuring-katya-and-friends-at-high-point-community-center/#comments Sat, 10 Oct 2015 19:57:26 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=325549

Some of the cats and kittens at the Seattle Animal Shelter Cat Adopt-A-Thon at High Point Community Center were snapped up fast. But Katya, 10, above, didn’t have a forever home yet as of about 15 minutes ago. Go see her and the others looking for new homes.

HPCC is at 6920 34th SW and this is on until 3 pm. There’s even a tent where you can get acquainted with your potential new furry family member.

(That’s Bowser the kitten.)

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SATURDAY: 16 adorable kittens – and lovable mature cats! – at city’s West Seattle adopt-a-thon http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/saturday-16-adorable-kittens-and-lovable-mature-cats-at-citys-west-seattle-adopt-a-thon/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/saturday-16-adorable-kittens-and-lovable-mature-cats-at-citys-west-seattle-adopt-a-thon/#comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 22:04:45 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=325233

That’s Miles, our ex-shelter cat and official WSB assistant, suggesting you might want to add a feline family member this Saturday, when the Seattle Animal Shelter returns to West Seattle for an adopt-a-thon. He’s not available but dozens of cats are – including, we’ve just learned, 16 kittens, among them Bento and Sushi (city-provided photo below):

Here’s the basic info about the event:

The Seattle Animal Shelter will host a cat adopt-a-thon on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, at the High Point Community Center, located at 6920 34th Ave. SW. The event runs from noon to 3 p.m. and features numerous kittens and cats of different breeds. Cats available at this event have been living with foster parents, who are available at the event to share information about the personality and habits of the cats with potential adopters, helping to make a perfect match.

“With our monthly neighborhood adoptathons, we hope to continue to spread the word about the joys and value of adopting shelter pets and saving lives. If you have room in your home and your heart for an orphaned animal, this is a great opportunity to come and see some of the wonderful pets available from our foster-care parents,” said Don Jordan, Seattle Animal Shelter director.

Adoption prices range from $45 to $135 (plus applicable license fees) and include:

● Initial vaccinations
● Deworming
● Feline Leukemia testing
● Certificate for free health exam at local veterinarians
● Spay or neuter
● Microchip
The Seattle Animal Shelter has a foster-care program to rehabilitate sick and immature dogs and cats. Donations from the city’s “Help the Animals Fund” pay for veterinary care for these animals while they are being fostered.

Or maybe Nellie or Robbie.

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West Seattle schools: Portable leaving WS Elementary on Saturday http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-schools-portable-leaving-ws-elementary-on-saturday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/10/west-seattle-schools-portable-leaving-ws-elementary-on-saturday/#comments Wed, 07 Oct 2015 07:16:05 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=325180 One more school note: Heads up for the High Point area – a temporary portable used for the start of the school year at West Seattle Elementary will be removed from campus this Saturday morning (October 10th), now that a new one to be used TFN is in place. The district says the 12′ x 56′ modular structure is scheduled to be moved out at 9 am Saturday “via the site access gate at the intersection of 34th and Willow Streets. The city will coordinate with us and may or may not place traffic signs on the street(s) being affected.”

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West Seattle weekend scene: Puget Sound Beekeepers Association hosts Kids’ Day at WS Bee Garden http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-weekend-scene-puget-sound-beekeepers-association-hosts-kids-day-at-ws-bee-garden/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-weekend-scene-puget-sound-beekeepers-association-hosts-kids-day-at-ws-bee-garden/#comments Sun, 23 Aug 2015 18:51:48 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=320675

Thanks to West Seattle Bee Garden founder Lauren Englund for sharing photos from one of this weekend’s big events – the first Puget Sound Beekeepers Association Kids’ Day at the WSBG.

Lauren reports, “It was jam-packed with learning and fun – kids were engaged in all of the activities (bee anatomy game, flower/pollination worksheets, pollination simulation, waggle dance, scavenger hunt, and especially the bee demonstration).”

She adds, “Good times and great people – I was very impressed by everyone’s eagerness to learn. Many thanks to the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association!” You can visit the Bee Garden any time on the north side of High Point Commons Park at 31st and Graham.

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UPDATE: Two children hospitalized in intensive care after falling from window http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/two-children-injured-at-34th-and-morgan/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/two-children-injured-at-34th-and-morgan/#comments Fri, 21 Aug 2015 01:54:47 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=320467 (UPDATED FRIDAY AFTERNOON with children’s condition – scroll down)
6:54 PM: Major medical response under way right now at 34th and Morgan – two children are injured and being rushed to Harborview. Scanner traffic indicates a fall from a window.

7 PM: We’ve arrived at the scene. This is actually closer to 34th and Holly and apparently happened in an alley behind a cluster of townhouses on the west side of 34th.

7:04 PM: Via Twitter, SFD confirms a 1-year-old boy and 2 year-old boy fell about 30 feet from a window and are both in serious condition.

7:10 PM: SFD medic units have now rushed both children to Harborview and the remaining SFD units are clearing from the scene.

9:19 PM: We’re not likely to get any further information tonight but will follow up tomorrow.

2:11 PM FRIDAY: We’ve just heard back from Harborview Medical Center, with whom we inquired this morning in hopes of getting an update on the boys. An HMC spokesperson tells WSB they are both in intensive care, both still listed in serious condition.

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SATURDAY: West Seattle Bee Garden hosts first-ever Puget Sound Beekeepers Association Kids’ Day http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/saturday-west-seattle-bee-garden-hosts-first-ever-puget-sound-beekeepers-association-kids-day/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/saturday-west-seattle-bee-garden-hosts-first-ever-puget-sound-beekeepers-association-kids-day/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 21:32:38 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=320277

(Photo by Ann Anderson)

Where would we be without bees? Your favorite kid(s) can learn more about them at the West Seattle Bee Garden on Saturday, during the first-ever Kids Day presented by the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association! WSBG founder Lauren Englund shares the news:

Beekeepers from the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association are gearing up for the first PSBA Kids’ Day!

The day will begin with a story time hosted by the Seattle Public Library, followed by a variety of science activities. Kids will join a group and rotate through a live hive demonstration, scavenger hunt, and activity booths.

Booth themes will include Waggle Dance, Pollination Simulation, Bee and Flower Facts, Honey Tasting, Meet the Beekeepers, and Crafts.

Participation is free – we hope everyone can come join the fun! We recommend arriving a few minutes early to get assigned to your group before the Story Time begins. Registration/Sign-in will begin at 9:30 am. Parents/Chaperones, please plan to enjoy the event along with your attendees

Know if you can make it? Great! Please register here. Not sure? That’s ok. Walk-ins will be welcome too!

Registration helps them figure out how many kids to plan for, but again, it’s not mandatory. You can find out more about Kids’ Day on the WS Bee Garden’s website; if you’ve never been there before, here’s how/where to find it.

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UPDATE: Brush fire chars quarter-acre near High Point Pond http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/brush-fire-on-slope-in-high-point/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/brush-fire-on-slope-in-high-point/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 21:29:12 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=316705

2:29 PM: If you’re seeing smoke from a distance – it’s a brush fire in High Point, near the pond, on a grassy slope.

Firefighters are here and taking care of it but the smoke was visible from a couple miles away. More to come.

2:38 PM: Engine 36 is the crew on scene and the flames are out, the smoke has dissipated, but they’re soaking the charred slope in a big way – as neighbors are observing, it’s really dry here, even just over the green embankments by the pond itself. This was stopped before it could spread to any buildings, and no injuries are reported. No info yet about how it started.

10:01 PM: Still awaiting the cause info but we do know that it burned a quarter of an acre and came perilously close to a fence. SFD planned to check back at the scene tonight to be sure no hotspots remained.

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UPDATE: Fire in High Point damages vehicle, shed, fence http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/fire-call-in-high-point-3/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/fire-call-in-high-point-3/#comments Fri, 03 Jul 2015 15:45:57 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=315420

(WSB photo)
8:45 AM: Firefighters are arriving at the scene near 31st and Morgan of what’s being described as a brush fire that spread to a vehicle and fence. More to come.

8:48 AM: From the scanner – the fire’s been declared under control.

8:52 AM: And now the fire’s tapped. Some units have been dismissed.

9:06 AM: Our crew talked with firefighters at the scene. They don’t yet know how it started, but it’s out. It happened at a residence along 31st south of Morgan. No injuries.

9:22 AM: Photo added.

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Season-opening day for High Point Market Garden Farm Stand http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/happening-now-season-opening-day-for-high-point-market-garden-farm-stand/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/happening-now-season-opening-day-for-high-point-market-garden-farm-stand/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 00:43:33 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=314627

Summer weather arrived early, and it’s led to an early opening for the High Point Market Garden Farm Stand, selling freshly harvested vegetables grown steps away, at 32nd and Juneau. Today is the first of the farm stand’s weekly selling sessions between 4 and 7 pm on Wednesdays – while there, we noted peas on sale for $3/pound and a variety of other veggies, including greens, leaf lettuce, and root vegetables, on sale for $2/bunch. We also were there for a blessing by The Venerable Soveth Mountain from Wat Dhammacakkaram Khmer Buddhist Temple, dedicating the stand’s season:

The words of gratitude, as printed on a commemorative card:

Thank you, earth, for this food,
Thank you to the gardeners who till this soil,
Thank you to the sellers who bring the food to market,
Thank you for this abundance,
Which we accept in grace and deep gratitude.

The stand is extra-abundant this year because of a new partnership with the urban farmers of ROAR (Roots Of All Roads), who are selling at a table by the stand – what’s there today is from Hillman City, we were told:

They’re also offering samples of a squash salad prepared with some of the items on sale today. Again, if you don’t make it there by 7 pm, stop by next Wednesday, 4-7 pm, and see what’s fresh. The Market Garden, by the way, is tended by community farmers, in partnership with the city Department of Neighborhoods P-Patch Community Garden program.

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More fresh-grown food! High Point Market Garden farm stand opens this Wednesday http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/more-fresh-grown-food-high-point-market-garden-farm-stand-opens-this-wednesday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/more-fresh-grown-food-high-point-market-garden-farm-stand-opens-this-wednesday/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 01:34:18 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=314465

(WSB photo, looking eastward across the garden this afternoon)

It’s a mini-farm in the middle of a residential neighborhood – the High Point Market Garden. Every summer, its farm stand offers a weekly chance to buy fresh-grown produce steps from where it’s grown, and the city Department of Neighborhoods sent word that this Wednesday is opening day. Just-harvested organic produce will be on sale 4 pm-7 pm at the farm stand at 32nd and Juneau (map), every Wednesday from this week through September 30th. EBT cards are accepted and the stand participates in Fresh Bucks, doubling the first $10 spent on the card. The announcement adds, “A new feature at the High Point Farm Stand will be the ROAR mobile farm stand that sells produce grown by local farmers across Puget Sound. ROAR, which stands for Roots of All Roads, is focused on connecting community with locally grown produce and sharing new ways to enjoy it.” DoN oversees the High Point Market Garden (one of two in the city – the other is at NewHolly) as part of its P-Patch program.

TUESDAY P.S. We noticed the city webpage for the program had listed a later opening date, in July; the warm, dry weather that’s led so many gardens to bloom earlier has also accelerated food gardens like this, so the date was moved up.

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FOLLOWUP: Middle College High School’s West Seattle supporters not giving up http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/followup-middle-college-high-schools-west-seattle-supporters-not-giving-up/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/followup-middle-college-high-schools-west-seattle-supporters-not-giving-up/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2015 12:04:30 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311690

(WSB file photo, teacher Alonzo Ybarra and MCHS High Point students in fall 2012)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Supporters of Middle College High School‘s West Seattle program are fighting to save it, and asking for community support.

We first reported nine days ago that Seattle Public Schools had abruptly announced it would cancel the alternative high-school program’s longtime West Seattle branch, which moved to Neighborhood House’s High Point Center three years ago after more than a decade and a half at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). The district now says that even after three years, that “was a temporary lease while SPS assessed transition to other Middle College sites.” The three that remain are all in North Seattle.

The district blamed the closure primarily on low enrollment. In response to one of the questions we asked last Friday, asking for elaboration on that, the district responded:

Enrollment projections are generated by Enrollment Services and the second round of projections (for the 2015-16 school year) for all SPS schools are currently being finalized. These projections (went) out to principals on May 29th. High Point ended the 2013-14 school year with 58 students. The 2014-15 projection for High Point was 60 students and they were staffed with 2.2 core teachers. On October 1st, enrollment had dropped to 50 students. In the beginning of February 2015, the enrollment dropped again to 36 students. Enrollment numbers stayed at high 30’s until the High Point staff was told to stop enrolling students.

The district seems to be blaming teachers for the enrollment trouble: “Many students enroll through word of mouth but this year we have had much fewer due to the poor climate at High Point this school year. Teachers have been unhappy with the schedule and have communicated their discontent to students.”

MCHS-HP teacher Alonzo Ybarra, who sent first word of the impending closure, has said that MCHS’s principal Cindy Nash “forcefully imposed an arbitrary schedule that severely diminished our abilities to deliver exciting and creative curriculum and instruction.”

He says the staff has yet to hear directly from her. He is circulating this letter outlining what can be done to show support for MCHS-HP; it was shared with us by a West Seattle resident who received it and asked us to publish it:

On the MCHS blog-format website, Ybarra has published some of the letters of support that have come in so far – you can read them here. One letter is from a former MCHS student who is the parent of a current student; he writes in part, “It makes absolutely no sense shutting this program down. These teachers and this program should be the gold … no, platinum standard for our school district. I’d go as far and say that all Seattle Public High School teachers should job shadow the teachers at Middle College. This program should not be reduced, it should be expanded, and publicly promoted.”

West Seattle’s school-board rep Marty McLaren, though, told WSB she “couldn’t make a strong case against” closing MCHS-HP. Her response to our request for comment last week:

I had been briefed by Alonzo and visited the SSCC site in 2012, and have regularly visited and/or maintained contact since the move to HP, and have advocated for MCHS in the southwest area ever since. There have been various issues in the last two years that have indicated to me that the strength of our program was in question by district. My main way of addressing this has been to make absolutely sure that district leaders were hearing all sides — to facilitate communication. At various points, MCHS staff members maintained that they had not been given adequate chance to meet with leadership; although I couldn’t force meetings, I did make sure, with MCHP staff permission, that their communications were seen by district leadership, and did repeatedly remind our leaders of the value the community places on the program. I think I’ve heard of a recent meeting between MCHP staff and district leaders, but am not sure.

As far as the closure announcement: I learned over a month ago, I think, that staff had been told not to enroll for MCHP for next year. I was told that enrollment had been down, but I don’t have figures. At that time, I pushed with inquiries about the future of the program; there were enough issues that I couldn’t make a strong case against the impending decision to close the site. Staff knows that I am adamant that SPS needs to find a way to serve the kinds of students who have thrived at MCHP.

SIDE NOTE: Some wondered what Neighborhood House plans to do with the space that MCHS-HP has been using. (The district says it was paying $28,000/year to lease the space.) From NH’s David Johnson:

. The “classroom” is really a couple of shared spaces, Middle College successfully used a large partitioned area for their main classroom, and another space, designated as a Teen Center for an office and secondary classroom. Both are in shared hallways, amidst the many offerings from Neighborhood House and other providers.

. SPS leased the space through SHA, which is a traditional and strong partner of NH, both in the operations of the building and in its support of the construction of the building. NH is the owner and leases space to SHA in a long-term relationship, that benefits the entire HP community.

. There are currently no plans as of this date for another tenant or agreement on the uses of those spaces. There are discussions happening with SHA and our other partners about the best uses of these spaces.

. I would also say we were happy to host Middle College, that the students and staff brought a liveliness to our space and community that will be missed.

WHAT’S NEXT? Ybarra says they are asking supporters to turn out at the next School Board meeting, this Wednesday (June 3rd) at district HQ in SODO; public comments start at 5 pm (advance signup is required and starts this morning, as shown on the agenda). That happens to conflict, though, with the MCHS-HP graduation ceremony, 5:30 pm the same night. But, he vows, “we will have a presence” at the board meeting. Meantime, if you have any questions about this for School Board rep McLaren, her last community-conversation meeting of the year – open to any SPS topic – is tonight (Monday, June 1st), 6 pm, at Southwest Branch Library, 35th and Henderson.

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Police checking on reports of what sounded like gunshots http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/police-checking-on-reports-of-what-sounded-like-gunshots/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/06/police-checking-on-reports-of-what-sounded-like-gunshots/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2015 07:48:18 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=312021 In case you’re wondering, as are some who’ve messaged us – police are checking on reports of possible gunshots heard between High Point and Delridge. One texter said it sounded like six to eight shots in the Home Depot area; the area officers are investigating is west of there, near 27th and Shinkle (map). No report of anyone or anything being hit so far; often it’s impossible for officers to know whether it was gunshots or fireworks unless they find shell casings and/or property damage. We’ll update if we find out anything else.

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UPDATE: 2 taken to hospital after crash at 35th/Juneau http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/west-seattle-traffic-alert-crash-at-35thjuneau-2/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/west-seattle-traffic-alert-crash-at-35thjuneau-2/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 23:47:23 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311594 4:47 PM: A crash at 35th and Juneau is reported to be blocking the northbound side of the road. No word yet on injuries; police and fire are arriving. We’re en route to check.

(Added: WSB photo)
5:19 PM: Two people have been taken to the hospital, neither with serious injuries. Another person is being cut out of his car because the door won’t open, but we are told he’s OK. 35th is open both ways but Juneau is blocked at 35th on the east side.

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UPDATE: Missing 81-year-old woman found safe in West Seattle http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/have-you-seen-this-missing-81-year-old-woman/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/have-you-seen-this-missing-81-year-old-woman/#comments Wed, 27 May 2015 02:30:19 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311488

7:30 PM: Have you seen 81-year-old Thus Nguyen? Since SPD sent that tweet, we have learned that she is missing from her home in High Point and has a serious medical condition; she might be in West Seattle or the International District. Please call 911 if you see her or know where she might be.

9:27 PM: Via scanner, we’ve learned that she turned up safe at Fire Station 37 and police confirmed it’s her.

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Seattle Public Schools says it’s closing Middle College High School’s West Seattle program http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/seattle-public-schools-says-its-closing-middle-college-high-schools-west-seattle-program/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/05/seattle-public-schools-says-its-closing-middle-college-high-schools-west-seattle-program/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 00:48:28 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=311287

(WSB photo from MCHS High Point’s 2014 graduation ceremony at The Hall @ Fauntleroy)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With just a few weeks to go in the school year, Seattle Public Schools has abruptly announced that one of its high schools in West Seattle won’t reopen next year.

In a letter dated May 18th, the district told families that it’s closing alternative Middle College High School‘s High Point campus, also known as the School for Social Justice and Community Engagement, after almost 20 years, citing declining enrollment. (If you’re not familiar with the overall MCHS program, it’s explained here.)

A statement on MCHS’s staff-maintained website suggests they’re not going without a fight:

The faculty and staff at Middle College High Point are very disappointed with this decision and are working with our community supporters, parents and students to prepare an organized response to this decision and to challenge the justification for closure.

It’s only been three years since MCHS’s West Seattle program went through a major transition:

It was booted from the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus after 15 years – also a situation that came to light late in the school year (spring 2012). Finding a new home for the program that year turned out to be a bumpy process; at one point, it was to be moved to portables at the Boren Building, but that was an unpopular proposal on many fronts and the district ultimately moved the program to Neighborhood House’s High Point Center, which we visited in fall 2012:

Longtime MCHS teacher Alonzo Ybarra – himself a graduate of the Middle College program – reached out to us then and also shared first word of the closure announcement, which has to date not been the subject of a district news release, nor is it reflected on the district’s website as of this writing. We asked district administration several questions on Friday but were told we wouldn’t be able to get answers until Tuesday. We also have asked West Seattle’s school-board rep Marty McLaren for comment.

The letter from the superintendent offers the current students options including moving to another MCHS campus (all are in North Seattle – Northgate, University of Washington, Seattle University) or to their neighborhood high school:

Ybarra offers this statement in counterpoint:

The letter from the Superintendent asserts that the district is closing Middle College High Point due to low enrollment and future projections. This explanation is problematic for the following reasons.

First, Middle College High Point has existed for 19 years in West Seattle and has historically maintained the highest enrollment of any Middle College site. Our current enrollment, although down from past years, remains on par with Middle College at the Northgate Mall except for the fact that they have 30 additional DCHS students who are online students that do not attend school daily.

Second, the faculty and staff at Middle College High Point were prevented from continuing to develop our school wide interdisciplinary curriculum based on critical thinking, social justice and service learning. Our principal, openly stating that she did not support our efforts, forcefully imposed an arbitrary schedule that severely diminished our abilities to deliver exciting and creative curriculum and instruction. Preventing MCHS HP teachers from building on the momentum of successful curriculum and instruction at our school had a negative impact on student morale, attendance and enrollment numbers.

Third, our principal moved a staff member, without discussion or warning, directly undermining our efforts to recruit underserved African immigrant students who reside within the High Point community. Undermining efforts to work with the community to enroll new students clearly contributed to diminished student numbers. Throughout the 2014-2015 school year we’ve seen an approximate 30% decline in enrollment although it should be noted that we’ve been prohibited from enrolling new students by order of Michael Tolley since April 7th. We’d normally add 10-15 new students during second semester in preparation for the following school year.

Ybarra also shared this video created by a recent graduate:

We expect to have a followup on this once we get answers from the district after the holiday weekend, and we will be following up on the staff’s aforementioned plans for a “challenge.”

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