All are invited to a farewell celebration to mark the closing of Southern Heights Elementary School in Burien on Saturday, May 21, 2022.

At its Dec. 15, 2021 meeting, the Highline School Board voted to close Southern Heights Elementary at the end of this school year due to falling enrollment and aging facilities.

Students will be reassigned to other schools, primarily Cedarhurst and Beverly Park, where they will attend starting next school year.

The district said there are two main reasons for the closure of Southern Heights: the size of the school and the condition of the building.

Southern Heights is the smallest school in the district with just over 200 students, and since the 2013-14 school year, it has seen enrollment fall nearly 35 percent from 330 students to 216, according to the district. Because state funding is allocated on a per-student basis, it receives less funding for staff positions and other support.

First opened in 1955, the northeast Burien school served kindergartners through fifth-graders and is one of 19 elementary schools operated by the district.

The cost of keeping Southern Heights open is about $1 million per year – money that “could be channeled into other student supports and services,” according to the district, which would place students into neighboring schools that can provide “the best possible education and resources for them.”

“This is an incredibly difficult decision and we know it is painful for Southern Heights students, families and staff,” Superintendent Susan Enfield said. “Southern Heights students deserve the same advantages and support as other Highline students, and we were simply not able to provide that support given the size of the school.”

Join current and former students, teachers, staff and residents for a drop-in community event on May 21, from Noon to 3 p.m. at the school located at 11249 14th Avenue South in Burien (map below).

“Come for the memories, see old friends and celebrate this school that has served Highline students since 1955!”

The event will include:

    • Slideshow of photos from across the years
    • Yearbooks and memorabilia on display
    • Free school swag while available

Read about the reasons for the decision here.

WHAT: Southern Heights Farewell Celebration

WHEN: Saturday, May 21, 12:00-3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Southern Heights Elementary, 11249 14th Avenue South in Burien (map below).

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