Written by Patricia Hawke for

The Seattle Public Schools, located in Washington, are considered a fairly progressive district. With help from giant Microsoft, they receive local funds that any school would envy. But they also face issues with diversity and minority achievement. The Seattle Schools system is a diverse organization of 97 schools, serving 45,800 students in. Seattle Schools offer a broad range of programs and learning opportunities, which are enhanced by strong support from parents, volunteers and community members. This is the largest public school system in Washington, and the 44th largest in the United States, with 12 high schools, 10 middle schools, 58 elementary schools, 8 K-8, and 9 Alternative schools and Special programs.
How does a generally white color area address the concerns of minority students? Part of the challenge for the Seattle Schools is that the Native American population is one that comes to the table with a lot of social, academic and economic struggles.
Seattle Schools have many goals, which they hope will help their students achieve academic success and graduate; ready to go on to college or enter the work force and have a successful life. Among these goals:
Improve the effectiveness and relevance of instructional and support services for all students.
Eliminate the achievement gap.
Eliminate all systemic barriers to student achievement.
Build leadership capacity for accountability, inclusion, and effectiveness.
Manage resources and set priorities using principles of equity and sustainability.
Some programs that are available to Seattle students include:  Athletics, Arts, Advanced Learning and International Baccalaureate, Library and Instructional Services, Technology Instruction and Career and Technical Education programs are also available to Seattle Schools students.  But what about the specific need of the Native American population in the Seattle Schools?
Two other, more unique programs available to the students attending Seattle Schools are Migrant Education and Huchoosedah Indian education. Native American students enrolled in Seattle Schools can expect the Huchoosedah Indian program to assist them in all grades – K-12. After-school services, academic tutoring, mentoring, coordination of home and school needs and cultural programs are offered.
This Seattle Schools Native American program is a federally funded program. This program reflects the belief held by Seattle Schools that “the academic success of Native students is grounded in a strong sense of cultural identity and belonging.”  This service reflects this belief. Students who are of Native American, Alaskan Native, and American Indians are served by this program.
The Migrant Education program that is in place in Seattle Schools ensures that the large population of migrant students is provided with academic success while they are enrolled in any of the Seattle Schools.  Also known as “children of the road” or “children of the harvest”, migrant students do not typically attend the same school for an entire school year.  Many report to school in the late spring, while several come to Seattle Schools for the Fall harvest, and return to their homes in other states; most have departed by November. This program, federally funded and managed by the state of Washington, intends to increase the educational opportunities for these students for the duration of their time in Seattle Schools.
Patricia Hawke is a staff writer for Schools K-12, providing free, in-depth reports on all U.S. public and private K-12 schools. For more information please visit Seattle Public Schools