HCC Advocacy Update

Dear Cascadia Community,

Thank you for taking the time to sign the petition last month advocating for HCC and Advanced Learning. We want to share a brief update on the petition results and input, as well as where things stand currently.

Petition results and input

  • The petition drew >1,200 signatures, amassing >1,000 in the first 8 days.  75% of signatories were named. 
  • 76% of respondents have at least 1 kid in grades pre-K to 5th, 13% in 6th-8th grade, 7% in 9th-12th, and 2% other (eg SPS grad, concerned citizens)
  • There were 444 comments, with many reflecting a few key themes:
    • My child struggled/lost their love of learning prior to attending an HCC school, and is now thriving – this program is needed
    • Family is leaving the district given HCC is being disbanded
    • Many HCC kids are neurodivergent and HCC schools are better able to serve their needs
    • Eliminating HCC expands inequity – for those who are poor, have special needs, etc
    • Many comments shared heartbreaking stories, emphasizing how much HCC and Advanced Learning opportunities mean to families and to individuals

We sent the letter with the full petition to Superintendent Jones and to all school board members on May 7 and as of today, have received no response from either. Clearly with the school closures announcement there has been a lot going on, but to receive no response at all – not even an acknowledgment of receipt – feels extremely disappointing.

Next steps

Because the conversation has shifted to focus squarely on the district’s budget and enrollment crisis, we believe there may be opportunities to advocate for this issue as part of that larger conversation. We believe the district has an obligation to welcome and effectively educate ALL children, including those who qualify for HCC services (which is required by law). We also believe the state legislature has an obligation to fund public education at the level required by law. There will be opportunities to advocate for both in the months ahead and we hope that all who have energy around these issues will continue to engage and advocate together for the district and the state legislatures to play their appropriate roles which we hope over time will include supporting advanced learners in ways that help them learn and thrive. 

We will be in touch in the coming weeks and months with opportunities to advocate.

In the meantime, for those who are interested to learn more we urge you to learn more and, if interested, get involved with the following organizations:

Thank you!