Southern Heights Elementary School
11249 14th Avenue South Burien, WA 98168

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Principal Smith: Why Our School May Close

Principal Smith: Why Our School May Close

Dear Southern Heights Families,

School district leaders have made the difficult decision to begin the process of closing Southern Heights Elementary. While we have reason to be sad about this decision, I want to help you understand the why behind it. 

Southern Heights students deserve the same advantages and supports as other Highline students. Because state funding is based on student count, schools with fewer students receive fewer resources for positions like counselors, nurses and other support staff. Our enrollment has declined and is expected to keep declining, so resources will continue to shrink.

Additionally, our school facility is old and is not slated to be rebuilt for at least a number of years. It cannot offer the modern learning environment that newer neighboring schools do. 

Our school district is obligated to spend taxpayer dollars efficiently, and it is hard to continue operating a school as small as ours when there is room in neighboring schools for our students. 

I know this does not take away the sadness you may be feeling, but I hope you will see that this was considered carefully.

The school board will hold a public hearing on November 18 where you will have the opportunity to make a comment to the board. The board will vote at their December 15 school board meeting. If approved, Southern Heights will close at the end of this school year in June. 

I know you have questions about how the closure would affect your student and where they would go to school. We will make sure you have opportunities to get the information you need as soon as possible. 

Our superintendent and school board understand how this will impact Southern Heights families, and they are committed to supporting our school community in this transition.

The next couple of months will be challenging as we go through this process, but we will get through it together. I love the Southern Heights community and am here to support every family.

Andrea Smith, Principal

Class picture day and Spring individual pictures!

Date: 3/25