Decision Maker Response

Highline Public Schools’s response

Highline Public Schools
Superintendent of Highline Public Schools

Oct 18, 2018 — Thank you for supporting music programming for Highline Public Schools students. We value fine arts instruction as part of a well-rounded education for all students.

We want to correct some information that is circulating in the Highline arts community. You may have heard that moving current sixth-grade general music staffing to middle school would not cost additional dollars. While that seems like a logical assumption, it is not accurate.

Our teachers need and are contractually entitled to planning time. Planning time at the elementary level is structured differently than it is a middle school. Middle school teachers each have a full class period for planning time, while elementary teachers have planning time when their students go to a specialist, such as a music teacher.

If the current staffing is simply moved to middle school for dedicated music courses, our sixth-grade teachers would not receive their full planning time, planning time would require additional funding, or we would be forced to decrease students’ access to other courses, such as visual arts, math, or other subjects.

We are committed to continuing the strong music programming our students begin in elementary school. Every sixth-grade student will be required to take a minimum of one semester of the arts (music, visual arts and other performing arts.) This is more arts instruction time than sixth-grade students currently receive in elementary school, and it allows students to experience music or other arts based on their interests.