Mayor, School Superintendent announce new Families and Education Levy Awards
Mayor Mike McGinn, Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda, Beacon Hill International School Principal Kelly Aramaki, community leaders and local students and parents gathered at Beacon Hill International School today to announce a new round of Families and Education Levy investments in student programs for the coming school year.
Adding to programs that began in the current 2012-13 school year, the Families and Education Levy will be expanding its support to 11 more Seattle schools, four new health service sites located in elementary school buildings, and an additional provider of community-based family support services for Native American elementary students. These awards under the Levy voters approved in 2011 represent key elements of the city's strategy to invest in programs that support academic success, close the achievement gap and advance the goal for every student to graduate high school ready for college or a career.
"The future of our residents and the vitality of our economy depend on providing our students with a world class education today," McGinn said. "Programs such as extra learning time and student health services are already working at schools like Beacon Hill. By bringing these to more struggling students in every corner of the city, we can help every student succeed."
Superintendent Banda thanked voters for their generous support of Seattle students, and he commented on the strength of the school district's partnerships with the City. "The Families and Education Levy provides the kind of resources our schools need to break down barriers to student learning," Banda said. "The community’s thoughtful and tireless support is essential to Seattle Public Schools' effort to meet our commitment to students and their families."
Eleven new schools are receiving Levy funding, including 7 that are Innovation Schools. Innovation schools, serving large concentrations of struggling students and/or students at risk of falling behind, are awarded block grants to fund comprehensive approaches tailored by each school to meet their individual needs. Strategies funded in this new levy include additional math intervention and reading classes for struggling students, after-school tutoring and support provided by both community-based organizations and students' own certificated teachers, Saturday tutoring and homework help, and case management services to help provide wrap around social/emotional and academic services to increase at-risk students' attendance, access to academic interventions, and behavioral supports.
Four new Elementary School-Based Health Centers are being funded, with services provided by Neighborcare Health, to provide access to physical and mental health services to students in elementary schools that serve populations with lower academic performance coupled with inequities in health access and outcomes:
The Seattle Indian Health Board has been selected to provide Community-Based Family Support services to Native American elementary students and their families. Community-based organizations use these investments to address the social, emotional, behavioral needs of immigrant, refugee and Native American families through culturally relevant services designed to meet the unique barriers to learning faced by their children. The Seattle Indian Health Board will join the Chinese Information and Service Center and the Refugee Women's Alliance, which began providing these services during the current 2012-13 school year.
Each of these investments is being awarded to schools and organizations that submitted successful Request for Investment proposals that were evaluated by review panels of community experts. Programs awarded funds this year will continue to receive Levy funds through summer 2019 contingent on meeting targets related to student success. This is the second cycle of Levy funding. 28 elementary schools were eligible to receive funding this year. Eight have received funding since 2011 and fifteen more will be funded over the life of the Levy, for a total of 23 schools. Mayor McGinn expects to announce additional investments in early learning and student oral health in the near future.
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