Aviation High School To Open, Thank Gates
Washington State's first aviation-themed public high school, Aviation High School, will open its doors this fall, thank$ in part to a gift from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The school is expected to become "a state and national model," according to its organizers, thanks to its focus on high standards for student achievement. The school's goals include sending 100 percent of its graduates on to postsecondary education, preparing them thoroughly to be competitive in aviation careers, and encouraging parent participation, mentoring and industry support. The school's location has not yet been selected, but it will be in Puget Sound's Highline School District, near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Boeing Field. In its first year, the school will accept about 100 students, and grow to about 400 over four years. The school has won a four-year, $600,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The funding will be used to provide planning resources for the development of new schools, professional development, materials and resources for teachers, and the acquisition and integration of technology tools in teaching and learning. "This grant offers us the opportunity to develop a high-performing thematic high school where students interested in aerospace are exposed to an academically rigorous curriculum that will effectively prepare them for college," said John Welch, deputy superintendent of Highline Public Schools. "We will leverage the foundation's commitment to pursue partnerships with other grantees and the local aviation industry." Nationwide, 61 aviation high schools are now training students.