Action Area: Education in Rainier Beach

Demographics of those in attendance:

  • Total Attendance: 40
  • Residents: 13
  • Over 65 years young: 4
  • Under 18 years of age: 4
  • Kinship Caregivers: 7
  • Organizations: 21- Seattle Children’s Theatre, City Year,  LELO, Rainier Beach Grandparents and Kinship Caregivers Group, TGIF, SYWP, Senior Services, Urban Impact, RBHS PTSA, Southeast Seattle Community Youth Orchestra, Seattle Public Schools – Community Arts, American Lung Association, SVI-Bright Futures, Community In Schools, RBHS Alumni Association/Foundation, Seattle Tilth, , Seattle Urban Academy, Rainier Beach High School, NELA, Alliance for Education, ASC’s Rainier Beach Family Center
  • Elected Officials – 0
  • County Agencies: 0
  • School Representatives: 2
  • Businesses: 2, Case Design and Project Management, Life Enrichment Bookstore
  • Faith Based Organizations: 2

Meeting focus:

  • Request for the expansion of the urban village boundary made by  Case Design and Project Management to support housing project he would like to place at Henderson Street and Yukon Avenue
  • Overview of Rainier Beach Town Hall Meeting scheduled for January 28, 2010
  • Organizations providing services in our local schools were invited to attend this month’s meeting.  The RB Coalition is interested in galvanizing these organizations to support student’s success in our neighborhood schools.  The RB Coalition is also interested in letting these organizations know that the neighborhood is interested in and wants to support what they are doing on behalf of our students.  The format of the meeting started with small group discussion and report outs. Responses to the questions asked are below. Responses were developed by youth, elders, educational practitioners and residents. They should be seen as a list of best practices and possibilities for implementation. The report will be distributed to all organizations providing services in our neighborhood schools (Rainier Beach High School, South Lake High School, South Shore School, Dunlap, Seattle Urban Academy and Aki Kurose)

Area of Possibility Thinking: Education in Rainier Beach

 Outcome: Ideas to support community organization in Rainier Beach neighborhood schools 

Possibilities for getting families involved in schools – themes focused on communications with families/positive communications with students, organizations working together and whole family support.

Communications with families

  1. Conduct community focus groups to decide what services are needed and how they can be best implemented
  2. Do community outreach
  3. Diversify communication tools and consistent informing of parents (automated systems?)
  4. Communication support between generations
  5. Communication with families
  6. Celebrate the children – positive communication with students, not just when there is a problem
  7. Create exposure, buy-in, awareness of opportunities community organizations provide

Organizations working together

  1. Access grants to bring people who represent positive influences into the schools
  2. Encourage businesses offering scholarships
  3. Organizations meet as a collective- find out what is working, in order to work smarter
  4. A resource guide to services offered
  5. Consistent/regular collaboration meetings at schools – PTSA, Family Support, community organizations

Whole Family Support

  1. PSTA work with parents – be the vehicle to give parents a voice in order to decide what services are directed toward their children
  2. Add family support workers in schools so being in the schools can be become a priority too for parents (family support workers can help with welfare, bills, food, learning to navigate systems) these things can keep parents from having time at schools
  3. Hold intergenerational community events – involve and blend seniors and youth with music and other activities
  4. Support young people over fourteen years of age
  5. Increase programs that include the whole family – find something unique
  6. Weekly information workshops with dinner and childcare – use a big event like homecoming

Possibilities for a collective goal for all the community organizations operating in neighborhood schools to embrace

  1. Equip students will all tools for life success – not just GPA
  2. Identify ways to get students engaged and interested in classes
  3. Mentoring/role modeling/social skills
  4. Graduation for all children
  5. Take pride in the neighborhood – clean up to reflect ownership
  6. Increase positive activities for our youth
  7. Involvement
  8. Enrichment, Empowerment, Education
  9. Opportunities for authentic experiences
  10. Operating as a network of support
  11. Student/family centric
  12. Attendance
  13. Graduation Rates
  14. Manners! Social etiquette
  15. Prepare students for work/employment/post secondary option
  16. One value in education – make it real
  17. Prepare for education
  18. Student success – needs to be community involved
  19. Attending non school events – churches, helping homeless through outreach
  20. Kids and family community health (includes dental, clinics, WIC (like at Rainier Vista, Odessa Brown)

Possibilities community organizations that operate in schools canundertake to support graduation rates – themes focused on in-school activity and out –of-school activity


  1. Reduce class sizes and have experienced teachers
  2. Share the success –lake of counseling staff at school, support of those who don’t have it at home
  3. Increase # of career specialist and counselors
  4. ABC – Attendance, Behavior and Course failure to tag students before it’s too late
  5. Elementary/Middle School support through High School
  6. 7th Period for all
  7. Instill in students a want to learn new things
  8. Advocate for district decisions that support all organizations having one goal in neighborhood schools
  9. Liaisons to link elementary/junior high and high schools
  10. More resources for the children with special needs
  11. Increase expectations with graduation rates
  12. Make it serious – sometimes you got to hit the deep spots – these are the four years that determine your life
  13. Incentives for attendance

Out of school

  1. Engage participants in community service activities that allow for earning of credits needed for graduation
  2. Brain Camps/Mentoring
  3. After school programs
  4. Mentoring  – Need an enforcer, a mandatory mentor for students, shadowing, internships
  5. Town Hall for youth
  6. Buy in! (Get there and stay there)
  7. Engagement – variety of choices
  8. Reduce the stigma of asking for help
  9. Everybody does it vs. asking (FAFSA Day, Tutoring Day)
  10. Develop whole people – develop relationships
  11. Network/mentoring of PTSA’s
  12. Tutoring – coordination among all groups, on weekends
  13. Help people who have dropped out

This list will be put in a letter and sent to:

  • Principals of schools in Rainier Beach
  • Executive Directors and program operators of organizations in Rainier Beach schools
  • Seattle Public Schools – Board, Superintendant and Community in Schools Director

Next meeting: November 19, 2009, 6:30

Topic: Environmental Justice in Rainier Beach

Location: Rainier Beach Family Center operated by Atlantic Street Center