West Seattle High School wins big grant: $350,000/year

West Seattle High School is in celebration mode this afternoon. Principal Ruth Medsker just announced they’ve won a major grant from the city Families and Education Levy:

West Seattle High School was awarded one of five high school Levy grants! We will be receiving $350,000 per year for the next seven years! It was an extremely competitive process and we are very proud of our grant, and the continuing work we will be doing to support students. The funds are from the City Levy. Below is a snapshot of how we will be spending the funds:

*Full time Academic Intervention Specialists to case manage the academic success of all 9th graders teaching 1 Focus class, coordinate University Tutors, manage Mandatory After School Study Halls and Saturday Schools, monitors daily individual student academic progress, collaborates with teachers, participates in AIS and 9th grade team meetings, tracks progress toward meeting Levy Target goals, attends Levy meetings, calls 9th grade families, refers identified students to SIT, collaborates with feeder middle schools for early intervention, coordinates 9th grade MAP testing.

*Fund additional counseling services for our 9th graders to do the following; schedule all 9th graders in appropriate classes, hand schedules Focus students, plan 9th grade Parent Night, track 9th grade attendance, and creates attendance agreements for identified students, participate as a member of the Student Intervention Team, organizes parent/teacher conferences, implements the roll out of ConnectEdu to 9th graders and supplemental curriculum to support College and Career Readiness.

*A half-time Social Worker provided by community partner YMCA. The other half will be shared with our feeder Madison Middle School. He/she supports a caseload of 10-15 students; provides home visits, coordinates care and direct counseling, family parenting classes, screening to support academic success and improved attendance.

*Pay for community partner YMCA to have a full-time Senior Director of Education and Development on-site and integrated into the WSHS community. A $26,000 program budget to provide 2-4 in-school and 8-12 after school enrichment and/or service based activities. Responsible for tracking all 9th graders to ensure they are involved in a minimum of one extracurricular activity during the school year and removing barriers for participation that arise for some students. Priority enrollment for identified 9th graders in “Y” activities will be given.

*Pay for community partner University Tutors to place 15 plus content specific tutors at WSHS in math and science classes and to support Mandatory After School Study Hall and Saturday School.

*Pay for a .2 FTE Academic Interventionist to teach a focus class for re-classified 9th graders. We will use carry forward performance pay from 20011-12 to pay the $20,000 cost.

16 Replies to "West Seattle High School wins big grant: $350,000/year"

  • Jiggers June 8, 2012 (2:20 pm)

    They got more than the homeless services get…lol

  • Madison/WS Mom June 8, 2012 (2:24 pm)

    Good for WSHS – things are on the uptick with Medsker around. I’d provide one caution though – not every kid needs to be involved in extra-curricular activities. One of my kids is an introvert – and there’s nothing more painful than watching well-meaning folks trying to force him to “participate.” And while I’m at it – can I ask WHY kids are being asked for their career path when they’re 12 years old? Talk about too much too soon. Let them be who they are – and let them be KIDS….thank you for listening ;-)

  • Achtung June 8, 2012 (2:52 pm)

    Jiggers – the kids probably contribute more to society than the homeless as well. Few poorer investments than paying the way for people who refuse or are unable to do for themselves.

    • WSB June 8, 2012 (2:59 pm)

      Let’s not start a schools-vs.-homeless debate here. However, I will note that the city DOES put millions into services for the homeless. Just one topical local example, the city is contributing up to $4.4 million to the DESC project on Delridge that will provide housing for 66 people who are or will be homeless prior to its opening – that’s more than this one grant serving about 1,000 kids at WSHS will total over the course of seven years. Apples and oranges to some degree, but if you’re contributing dollars to dollars, there you go … TR

  • dbsea June 8, 2012 (3:08 pm)

    Does anyone know WS High’s annual budget? I’m curious how much $350K will be as a part of the typical annual budget.

  • d June 8, 2012 (3:10 pm)

    its a pity sealth wasn’t able to get the grant since they’re over enrolled and serving far more ninth graders

  • Suzanne June 8, 2012 (3:12 pm)

    I sure wish some of that money would go toward improving the music program. There are a lot of great musicians coming from Denny and Madison who are assigned to WSHS which does not have a comparable music program to Sealth’s. This needs to be addressed.

  • Toby Getsch June 8, 2012 (4:22 pm)

    Cool! That’s a LOT to accomplish with $350k per year. Honestly, doing half of that and doing it really well would still be an awesome service. Pretty cool to see, no matter the perspective. :)

  • garden_nymph June 8, 2012 (4:51 pm)

    Sealth was awarded a grant several years ago that sounds very similar to this one. It seems to be money well spent.

  • bestbets June 8, 2012 (5:01 pm)

    That’s awesome! Congratulations WSHS.I wish people would stick to the positive for a minute and stop complaining about where the money DIDN’T go. As Ms. Medsker pointed out, it was an “extremely competitive process” and they deserve to feel good about being awarded the funds to serve their students.

  • add June 8, 2012 (5:21 pm)

    Does the money and all of these programs kick in next year for incoming freshmen?

  • N.A. Neighbor June 8, 2012 (5:38 pm)

    Woo Hoo! By my calculations, that $$ will still be flowing for my kiddo when he gets there in a few years. That makes me feel better about WSHS as an option – maybe it will for many other families who still want to go to Sealth instead. Congratulations WSHS!

  • JoAnne June 8, 2012 (8:17 pm)

    If all these tutors and progress monitors are needed just to take care of the basic education, then I guess the money is well spent.
    Not a good sign.

  • lt fd June 9, 2012 (1:17 am)

    Too bad the WS High School Auto Shop only gets $3000/yr currently for parts/tools/books/etc; that program can provide a skill set that a non-college bound kid can actually make a living with.
    The Northshore HS Auto Shop gets $30,000 per year.

  • Teaching Artist June 9, 2012 (4:30 pm)

    That’s just fantastic news for West Seattle High School. Too bad other schools in desperate need of such funding who had previously benefitted from the levy are about to get their funding cut. Yes, that means Concord (among other schools) will have NO after school programing after this year. No more levy money for them. It’s a shame that all after school programs in all schools in the district are not being funded by the levy. I long for the day when the pendulum swings and education is valued more than things like war and every child gets equal acce$$.

  • neighbor June 11, 2012 (8:50 am)

    Yeah, you could say the FEL is Burgess’ homebrew version of Race to the Top.

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