Info Night Summary: Moving Up to Middle School

Cascade Principal Daniel Calderon talks with an incoming middle school student and mother at an information night.

News & Next Steps for Middle School

Hundreds of families in Highline learned about moving up to middle school this past month at more than 10 information nights around the district.

Middle school principals from Cascade, Sylvester, Chinook, Pacific, Big Picture and the new Glacier Middle School—as well as CHOICE Academy—met with incoming sixth and seventh grade students and families to provide information, answer questions and go on tours.

One more information night is planned at Cascade Middle School for White Center Heights families or other future Cascade Cougars on February 21 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

What's Next? Registration in March 

Registration for sixth and seventh grade takes place in March. Counselors and registrars will visit multiple elementary schools to register students in boundary change and feeder pattern change areas.


Missed the Meeting? Here's a Summary.

If you missed out on attending an information night at your middle school, read on for an overview of the information as well as a way to request an email with the presentation slides shared at the family nights for the five main middle schools.

“We had full houses at the information nights around the district. Each principal has a plan for reaching out to engage the new families and students in multiple ways prior to the first day of school in September,” said Diana Garcia, director of education specification and transition planning for new construction.

“This has been a true team effort. We coordinated the decision making for what sixth grade looks like in middle school with many stakeholders and departments to create a learning program, a process to participate in sports, an early transfer process for staff in partnership with HEA, and many other details,” Garcia said.

Information Night Summary


Boundary Information: A map of each middle school service area is available by school. Families can look up their fall 2019 neighborhood middle school for grades 6-8 using our interactive look-up tool: highlineschools.org/2019map.


Dual Language

  • Cascade: grades 6-7-8
  • Glacier: grades 6-7 in 2019; grade 8 in 2020
  • Chinook: grade 6 in 2019, will roll up each year

Highly Capable (Challenge) Program Locations:

  • Chinook Middle School (Serving students in the Challenge program who live in Beverly Park, Cedarhurst, Seahurst, Southern Heights, Bow Lake, Des Moines, Hilltop, Madrona, McMicken, Midway and Parkside service areas.)
  • Sylvester Middle School (Serving students in the Challenge program who live in Gregory Heights, Hazel Valley, Mount View, Shorewood, White Center Heights, Marvista and North Hill service areas.)

What is Middle School Like?

  • Six classes per day
  • More independence & opportunity to learn time management
  • Extracurricular opportunities
  • Leadership opportunities

Yes, 6th-Grade Students Will Still Go to Waskowitz Outdoor School!

  • Four nights in the fall; dates have been set for all middle schools 
  • 300+ acres owned by Highline
  • Outdoor environmental education experience
A photo of a 6th grade class at Camp Waskowitz

What is New for 6th Grade? 

  • World Language required for all sixth-grade students
  • Arts required for all sixth-grade students (arts electives will vary by school)
  • Advisory: All sixth-grade students will have advisory built into their schedules. Advisory groups are small, together all year, help with team building, college and career readiness and strengthening social-emotional skills.
  • Middle school clubs & activities (will vary by school)
  • Athletics: Opportunity to participate in three co-ed, no-cut, WIAA league athletic programs in sixth grade:
    • Track and field (season 1)
    • Wrestling (season 3)
    • Cross country (season 4)
Pacific, Chinook, Sylvester and Cascade students compete at a track meet.


7th- & 8th-grade sports include:

  • Track and field, boys soccer and softball (season 1)
  • Boys basketball, girls soccer (season 2)
  • Girls basketball, wrestling (season 3)
  • Cross country, football, volleyball (season 4)


Example of 6th-Grade Academic Program:

Semester 1:

  • Period 1 - English/Language Arts (ELA)
  • Period 2 - Math
  • Period 3 - Social Studies
  • Period 4 - Science
  • Period 5 - World Language
  • Period 6 - P.E. 
  • Period 7 - Advisory

Semester 2

  • Period 1 - English/Language Arts (ELA)
  • Period 2 - Math
  • Period 3 - Social Studies
  • Period 4 - Science
  • Period 5 - World Language
  • Period 6 - Arts 
  • Period 7 - Advisory
Two middle school students work together in a science class.

Example of 7th- & 8th-Grade Academic Programs:

Semester 1:

  • Period 1 - English/Language Arts (ELA)
  • Period 2 - Math
  • Period 3 - Social Studies
  • Period 4 - Science
  • Period 5 - Elective
  • Period 6 - P.E. 
  • Period 7 - Advisory

Semester 2

  • Period 1 - English/Language Arts (ELA)
  • Period 2 - Math
  • Period 3 - Social Studies
  • Period 4 - Science
  • Period 5 - Elective
  • Period 6 - Health 
  • Period 7 - Advisory

Building Positive School Culture

Our Promise: Every student in Highline Public Schools is known by namestrength and need, and graduates prepared for the future they choose.

In addition, positive school culture in middle school is supported by:

  • Advisory
  • Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS): 3-tiered approach supports school wide behavior expectations for students
  • Social-emotional learning (SEL) systems create emotionally intelligent students and schools.
  • Restorative Justice

Safety & Security

  • Campus safety officers on each campus all day, every day. They invest time connecting with students at our middle school and our local elementary schools.
  • Regular safety drills

Transition Activities Coming Up

  • Middle school counselors visit elementary students to register for classes (March/April)
  • School tours, parent nights or community meetings (spring)
  • Orientation (May or August/September)
  • Business Day (before school starts)

What Can You Do to Help Your Student?

  • Attendance counts!
  • Make a plan with your student to get to school on time, every day
  • Help your child get enough sleep
  • Support study time
  • Maintain regular communication with the school

How to Stay Involved & Informed


Information Night Presentations

You may contact us to request an emailed copy of the information night presentation for your middle school in English or Spanish.


Next steps:

  • Academic programming: all schools are in the process of determining elective course offerings based on student course registration and the arts survey.
  • Health: Specialists and teachers are working on integrating health in sixth grade.
  • Staff transfers: To staff up for adding sixth grade, 39 Highline teachers voluntarily transferred for middle school (as of January 25) during the open transfer window. Of those, 22 were selected Glacier Middle School, which is more than 40% of the teachers needed to staff the new school.The first open transfer window closes February 15. A second window opens for staff transfer applications in the spring. 
  • Facility updates:  All schools have work in progress to re-purpose space that will increase classroom availability for sixth-grade students.

 

3 Students hold logo sweatshirts at Cascade Information NIght

 

Chinook Middle School Information Night

 

Pacific Middle School Information Night in January 2019

 

Glacier Middle School Information Night at Cedarhurst Elementary School

 

Middle School Information Night at Sylvester Middle School

 

A  Mount View teacher and her future Cascade student at Cascade Information Night