On January 12, 2012 the Rainier Beach High School Design Team met in the school’s Career Center to continue reporting on the transformation effort underway at Rainier Beach High School. Teachers, SPS staff, service providers and community members were present.

Top Highlights
1. Rainier Beach High Schools has moved from a Level 1 designation to a Level 2 designation due to the rate of growth of student performance from the time frame of Spring of 2010 to Spring of 2011.
2. A Science Lab redesign process in underway. There will be a separate new physics and chemistry lab to join the already refurbished biology lab. All four lab rooms will have IT Ports.
3. Outreach for the International Baccalaureate Program (IB Program) is progressing. An IB Ambassadors group has been formed. Their next meeting is January 19th at RBHS at 5:30 p.m. Connections between Aki Kurose and South Shore School grade 8 are being established with tours upcoming.
4. Teachers view of the new principle Dwane Chappelle is that he is extremely committed; he has a big focus on what is happening in the classroom and on teaching practice; he puts in many hours; he is very supportive of teachers; and he is definitely working towards establishing a new Rainier Beach High School.

Top Surprises
1. An IT skills center is being considered for housing at RBHS due to the strong advocacy of Betty Patu. The skills center would focus on providing student Microsoft and Cisco certification for future careers in IT.
2. A suggestion was made to conduct “exit interviews” of students transferring out of the schools in order to understand and grow from the reasons that students may choose to leave.

Most Controversial Thing Heard
1. There are reports that there is a need to improve information share about enrollment at Rainier by the John Stanford Center Enrollment office because individuals have been encouraging families not to enroll at Rainier Beach.
2. Open Enrollment has been moved up one month to February 27 – March 9, 2012.

Implications for the Rainier Beach Neighborhood
1. The SE Seattle Community needs to know about and help promote the IB Program at Rainier Beach and make sure students of color and neighborhood youth enroll so that the seats are not taken by families living outside of the community.
2. Rainier Beach residents, educators and families need to learn and understand the initiatives being put forth by the South East Education Coalition calling for a “Five in Five Initiative”. This is an initiative where our goal for south end Seattle schools is to have them raise to a Level 5 in five years. RBHS is currently a Level 2 school.