Embark on a culinary track at the local skills center, take a class at a community college, intern with a local company, or take time to devote to your family; these are a few of the opportunities students at Innovation Heights Academy have this school year.

The new educational program is part of the redesign of New Start High School.

New Start High School is now named Innovation Heights Academy, Highline Public Schools announced this week.

Innovation Heights Academy has three program principles:

  • Fast credit recovery
  • Student wellness
  • Interest-driven learning with instruction tailored to post-secondary aspirations. 

Students will take two one-hour classes four days a week and explore different subjects through projects. Students will also take a class dedicated to mental, social and physical wellness. The program features accelerated credit earning. Instead of earning six credits in a traditional model, Innovation Heights students can earn up to nine credits a year. 

If students are falling behind on their grades, or attendance, or are having behavior challenges, students will come in on Fridays so staff can assist students in getting back on track. Community partners will also be on campus on Fridays to work with any student who wants to come.

Students follow a half-day schedule with morning and afternoon cohorts. For the other half of the day, students can participate in learning experiences like classes at Puget Sound Skills Center and through Running Start or participate in internships and apprenticeships. Students are not required to participate in something for the second half of the school day. The program model gives students flexibility in their schedules for additional learning experiences or for students who need that time for their families.

Every student will have a community partner or mentor tailored to their needs. In addition, they will receive an individualized educational plan aligned with their interests and post-graduation goals. The school will admit new students every six weeks. Students can learn more about the program and how to apply on the school website

This renaming and program launch is paired with a move to their new location at the former Southern Heights Elementary site in Burien. 

Since 2007, The B-Town Blog is Burien’s multiple award-winning hyperlocal news/events website dedicated to independent journalism.