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In this Issue: A New Year!

  1. Updates on Joint Work with the District
  2. January & February Events
  3. HSD School Board Communication
  4. Quicklinks
  5. Substitute Fill Data Rates 

January 6, 2023

Dear Supporter, 

As we turn the page on December and on 2023, I want to share my appreciation for all your hard work.  From the media, statistics, and stories from members, is clear that for those in the field of education this year might be the most challenging yet.  Whether veteran, new teacher or somewhere in-between, I feel it is important to acknowledge this.  I also want you to hear that efforts are underway to address the issues of concern to you.

From the spring, we knew that this would be a year of transition.  It is not totally surprising that with a new superintendent, new middle level management and, in some cases, new building administrators, it is easy to feel untethered from the past.  This is on top of the challenges brought on by the pandemic.  I encourage you to reflect on what you need.  Take time for yourself but don’t dismiss the fact that next year our district will be on stronger footing with a clearer vision.  

HEA continues building on a strong foundation with the district to ensure we have the structures in place to tackle the changes we are experiencing in our classrooms and our practices with students.  An update on what is happening is provided below.  I am growing optimistic with the work I see being led by Dr. Duran.

Wishing you good health and happiness in 2023!


P.S.  Please consider nominating yourself to be delegate to our upcoming WEA and NEA Representative Assemblies.  Use this link for more information and to nominate yourself. 


1. Updates on Joint Work 

1. Social Emotion Learning:  Work is taking place through the Student Behavior Support Committee.  HEA has partnered with Cultures United FC (soccer club), a youth leadership development organization and the Alternatives to Violence Project to explore ways of addressing the issues of belonging, respect and wellness among youth in the White Center Community.  If this work is something you are interested in or would like to learn more about bringing this to your school community, reply to this newsletter to receive more details.

2. Equity and Antiracism:  The HEART Committee has expressed appreciation for your attendance at recent trainings.  Those will relaunch soon!  They are listening to members to learn how equity is moving forward at your worksite and what is still need.  They encourage you to attend one or more of the union sponsored professional development opportunities listed below. This team will be playing an important role as the district develops its strategic plan.

3. Choice Schools:  Letters of agreement have been negotiated to clarify the unique working conditions for the smaller Choice schools and unique programs that are multiplying in our district.  These LOAs are posted on our website once they are finalized and signed.  If you work at one of these sites, please be sure to access information there. This work is on-going.

4. Dual Language:  A robust joint secondary dual language committee is underway with members being paid for the work they are undertaking to research and formulate recommendations to the bargaining team.  DL will eventually be a key program in every comprehensive secondary school.  At elementary, a trajectory of growth in literacy for dual language students is being developed and the role that assessments will play in DL is being worked on in the joint Highline Assessment Team in combinations with the DL Leadership Team.

5. Inclusive Services:  While the district has launched 6 elementary and 1 secondary Inclusive Services start up schools this year, the union is ensuring that the experiences of educators in those schools are formulated into recommendations to the bargaining team, district leadership, and the school board.

6. Classroom Teacher Evaluation: In preparation for districtwide adoption of the new Student Growth Goal Rubrics and CDIF rubrics as required by the state, a small group of teachers and evaluators are “trying on” the new rubrics this year. This group is working with the Joint Evaluation Team (JET) to make recommendations regarding the professional learning and/or contractual adjustments that may be needed to support the successful implementation of the new rubrics. 

2. January  & February Events

1. HPS School Board Meetings: January 18  @ 6PM. (in person & via zoom) Scheduled and Unscheduled Speakers encouraged to sign up. Call 206-631-3070 on the Monday 8AM, before the meeting. Leave your name, contact number, email and topic. 

2. HEA Rep Council Meeting: January 9, 2023 @ 4:30PM. (Jump on from 4PM-4:30PM for a Rep Skill Refresher.)   Meeting to be held on zoom. Link will be emailed to all HEA members.  Nominations close at the meeting for candidates to the NEA RA (Orlando & Philadelphia) and WEA RA (Spokane). Zoom Link is here for all HEA members to attend the 5:30PM candidate speeches.

3. Save the Date:  Human Civil Rights Leadership Conference – January 20 (evening) and January 21, 2023. Save the date! This annual conference is a collaborative effort to help member educators with issues of cross-cultural competency, social justice, and educational equity within the institutions that serve our students. The virtual conference will begin on the evening of Friday, January 20th with discussion, and continue all day Saturday, January 21st with full-day sessions. Agenda and additional details coming soon.

4. Save the Date:  4th Annual Rainier Educators of Color Equity Conference – February 2 (evening) and February 3 (on zoom).  Conference Theme:  Lean In!. Registration link coming soon! 

Rainier UniServ Council Rainbow Educators Monthly Meetup: February 5, 2023 @ 4PM. RSVP here. Dinner will be provided to in-person attendees.

5. WEA Guest Teacher Training: January 21 or February 11 on zoom. 9AM-1PM. FREE ! Get your clock hours and training hours. Choose from one of the courses: Classroom Management, Deescalation, Cultural Responsive Behavior Interventions. Keep an eye on your email for the registration link. 

3. HSD School Board Communication

HEA and community members are joining both to listen and to speak during school board meetings.  You too can address the HSD School Board.  Many thanks to Evergreen and North Hill members who have organized to send speakers to these meetings.  I encourage every school to sign up and speak on how amazing our students are, and what we appreciate about school board, their policies as well as what we still need to carry out our work.  Specific details about what was shared this week will be included in next Friday’s Efocus.

The next meeting is Wednesday, January 18 @ 6PM and the current procedures will apply to this meeting. Register to speak by calling 206-631-3070 beginning Monday, January 16, 2023 starting at 8AM until Wednesday, January 18 at noon.  If leaving a message, include your name, contact number, and topic.

A motion to institute changes to “audience participation” at board meetings was introduced at the January 4th meeting.  Read pages 6-8 of this introductory agenda item for specific proposed changes. New procedures include:

  • Clarity and changes to the speaker sign up process
  • Prioritization of speakers based on their topics
  • Reduction of speaking time from 4 minutes to 2 minutes
  • No means of signing up to speak at the end of the meeting

Changes to the sign up and delivery of comments will be debated, with possibly amendments, and voted on at the next school board meeting.  If you have strong feelings for or against these changes, I encourage you to email the board or sign up to present your views at the next meeting.




6. Substitute Data Fill Rates