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In this Issue: Using New Partnerships to Change School Climate 

  1. Updates on Joint Work Addressing Your Concerns
  2. January & February Events - Sign Up to speak at the School Board 
  3. HSD School Board Speakers Report 
  5. Substitute Data Fill Charts: Coming Next week 

January 13, 2023

Dear Supporter, 

HEA’s partnership with Cultures United FC, a youth leadershp development organization and the Alternatives to Violence Project  got underway last Saturday.  Many thanks to the HEA members who attended this inaugural event:  Ben Folgers, Kim Jones, Bethany Plett, and Kristin Plischke.  If you are interested in learning more about these groups or bringing this work to your school, the next full training starts Friday, January 27 (5PM) and runs through the weekend with 20 clock hours earned. Register here!

After that, AVP weekend trainings will be offered in Seattle regularly starting in March.  These are FREE as part of a Recidivist Diversion Grant.  The workshop cap is 20 participants and will include a handful of participants whose attendance diverts them from the prison system.  Clock hours will be provided.

I am also working to bring a one-day session into the district, most likely on March 10. Those who attend will earn 6 clock hours.  For this school year, we hope to establish a cohort of HEA members who will have the opportunity to continue participating in AVP trainings on teacher-directed team PCT Fridays.  More will be shared in future newsletters as plans are solidified.  

Systemic change is not easy, but we know it is necessary and something that we are capable of achieving.  Please join us.  

Thank you!


1. Updates on Joint Work 

1. Social Emotion Learning/Restorative Practice Work: Our partnership with Cultures United FC (soccer club), a youth leadership development organization and the Alternatives to Violence Project is underway in White Center.  The next basic training starts Friday, January 27 (5PM) and runs through the weekend on Capitol Hill. Register here! Earn 20 clock hours plus HEA will reimburse members up to $20 for dinner Friday night with a receipt.

2. Equity and Antiracism: There are a number of opportunities coming up for union members to grow their practice, some of which are designed to support leadership and mentoring opportunities for our BIPOC educators.  Register below and watch for an email from HEA consolidating all the opportunities being offered through your affiliated union memberships in RUC, WEA, and NEA.  

3. Dual Language:  A survey is under construction for Elementary DL teachers that will be sent out later this month.  Please take time to respond so we can continue to develop recommendations for improvements to our elementary program.  Secondary DL issues are be addressed through a separate committee with the expectation for more robust CBA language being bargained during the next open bargaining process starting roughly a year from now.

4. Inclusive Services:  HEA is participating in a site visit to a UW demonstration site in Bothell.  These site visits are part of HSDs approach to transforming not just schools but the entire district into one that offers inclusive special education services to most (if not all) students in their neighborhood schools. Collaboration with fellow presidents across the South Sound to coordinate information through this journey is underway.  That group is checking in weekly to track and prepare members to organize around the good, the bad, and the ugly House and Senate bills coming out of the legislature. 

5. Substitute Coverage:  HSD has 200 substitutes signed up in the system.  HR is individually calling all those who work only intermittently to identify practices and policies that might encourage them to accept more daily jobs. In response to hiring more emergency substitutes (people with a BA or BS degrees but no teaching certificate) HEA is working with HR to develop more training both for emergency substitutes prior to them taking their first job and on-going synchronous and asynchronous resources all substitutes can access.  Additional HEA responses to the Lack of Substitutes/Lack of Paras has include:

  • HEA Recruiting at Schools for Openings including Substitutes for all positions.
  • Advocacy with Principals-Principals Union
  • HEA Attendance at Recruitment Fairs
  • Data Collection & Problem Solving when buildings reach out, so do so here.
  • Responding to Building Reps-Complete this form (if you haven’t already)
  • Promoting WEA substitute resources and training through multiple channels.  
  • Develop training and orientation materials to support emergency substitutes 

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. RECN Monthly Meetup: January 19 (4:30PM-6PM) on zoom. REGISTER HERE. All educators welcome! RECN hosts monthly meetups to support our Rainier UniServ Council BIPoC members and increase our work in White Ally & Accomplice trainings. JOIN US! 

3. Human Civil Rights Leadership Conference: January 20 (evening) and January 21, 2023. REGISTER HERE. 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.

3. WEA Guest Teacher Training: January 21 (9AM-1PM) on zoom. REGISTER HERE. Culturally Responsive Classrooms. Great for new teachers, too! Free clock hours ! Access flyer here.

4. Creating Connected Communities: Friday, January 27 (5:30PM) REGISTER HERE. In person on Capitol Hill and runs through Saturday and Sunday. HSD Clock hours provided.  Plus, HEA will reimburse member dinner receipts up to $20 for Friday night if you bring your receipt to the training. 

5. Financial Wellness During a Recession: February 1 (5:00-6:30PM) on zoom.   REGISTER HERE !  Attend this NEA Member Benefits Workshop and cross one thing off your New Year’s Resolution list. Access flyer here. 

6. Hold the Date:  4th Annual Rainier Educators of Color Equity Conference – February 2 (evening) and February 3 (on zoom).  Conference Theme:  Lean In!. Watch for registraion links in next week's EFocus.

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

8. RUC Pre-Retirement Seminar: February 10 (5-8PM) and February 11 (8:30AM- 2PM) on zoom. REGISTER HERE! Early, Middle, and Late Career members benefit from attending this seminar several times over the course of their careers to ensure they are lined up for a happy and healthy retirement.

3. HSD School Board Speakers Report

HEA and community members are joining both to listen and to speak during school board meetings.  You too can address the HSD School Board.  The next meeting is on Wednesday, January 18 @ 6PM.  Register to speak by calling 206-631-3070 beginning Monday, January 16, 2023 at 8AM until noon Wednesday.

Please continue 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.  

1. Rich Coker (Caring for Students in Highline Schools) HEA member who is a parent and Evergreen teacher.  Love is nurturing our students and supporting their spiritual growth.  Students need to know we accept and love who they are.  We need to do that in a variety of ways and places.  As bell hooks shared, love is a choice and we can choose to push ourselves, students and colleagues to nurture others.

2. Montey Anderson (Community Workforce Agreements) Executive Secretary of the Building Trades who spoke on the importance of CWAs because they ensure the workers on job sites reflect the communities where the building is taking place.  With a CWA, alumni and taxpayers of HPS have first access to work on the projects in the Highline School District.  The Building Trades Union has started great conversations with the district.  Through CWAs, CTE and with community outreach, we can get our BIPOC community members, women, foster kids, veterans, and recently incarcerated working in the communities where they went to school and where they live.  Together we need to create a pathway so that the school construction jobsite makes spaces for the community they serve.

3. Terri Ainardi (Role of Interventionist at NHES)  HEA member who supports SEL as an interventionist at North Hill.  SEL is a key part of our work.  Students’ SEL needs have grown over time and she has a passion for students well-being.  North Hill has been able to identify a group of students who were not progressing academically being held back by their social-emotional skills and worked with them over time to enhance those skills.  She advocates for fully-funded positions like hers in every school to ensure that all students get the instruction they need to be successful learners.

4. Keith Weir (Community Workforce Agreements) Parent and Union Electrician who personally worked on Marvista Elementary came to speak in support of CWAs. He is a union electrician.  CWAs provide a pathway to the middle class for  women, veterans, and people of color. CWAs are about setting a fair and level playing field.  Those who voted for the bond want local contractors, local hiring, and the money staying in their community.  

5. Mike Provenzano (Equity in the School Counseling Program) HEA member and Counselor at Evergreen HS expressed his appreciation to the board for focusing on equity.  This focus is critical to student successes in Highline.  He believes that the diversity in our community and our schools is a real strength.  We must try to support students with the greatest needs and get the support in all areas: academic, social emotional, college and career.  A comprehensive counseling program is being developed to be more robust. Having DL Spanish and Vietnamese speakers can affirm teachers in so many ways. It has led to them building out LGBTQ supports for students from other countries who speak other languages.  The counseling team at Evergreen is continually striving to improve student services.




5. Substitute Data Fill Rates:

stay tuned for next week's HEA eFocus