Impact Grant

The Foundation’s Impact Grant awards up to $10,000 to one school or program in the district for an opportunity that aligns with the Highline Public Schools strategic plan in a way that impacts a large number of students.

This grant allows the Foundation to make a more significant impact than ever before. Our popular Excel Grants support specific classroom needs — but the Impact Grant offers resources on a larger scale — something we hope to do more of in the future. Grant requests are accepted each fall and we announce the program on our website, Facebook and Twitter.

The Impact Grant in 2019-20 has been funded by funds raised through the Seattle Tacoma International Airport golf tournament. Each year, the volunteer employees of the Port of Seattle and HMSHost join together to hold a golf tournament to benefit Highline Schools Foundation. In 2019, the golf tournament was held on July 17 and raised nearly $150,000. One project that this money funds is the Impact Grant. We are grateful to the volunteer employees of the Port of Seattle, HMSHost, Hudson Group, and hundreds of golfers for these funds.

Applications are now open for the 2019-20 school year. Applications for the Impact Grant can be found HERE.


Sylvester Middle School

Highline Schools Foundation Trustees Scott and Patti Gifford and Executive Director Anne Baunach present Excel and Impact grants to teachers and staff at Sylvester Middle School.

Aquaponics for Sustainability ~ Sylvester Middle School

Our 7th and 8th grade students have experienced Waskowitz in the 6th grade and enjoy discussing topic on sustainability and conservation. This is the first year that this program, Natural Resources and Conservation, is implemented at Sylvester middle school. I envision a place where students can apply their learning to create a tangible outcome. Incorporating Aquaponics into the classroom will provide hands on learning and student self-reflection on their impacts on sustainability.

The inspiration came to me because I have worked with aquaculture (growing fish) in the past and I have seen how sustainable it can be. Now, if we combined aquaculture and hydroponics (cultivating plants in water with added nutrients), we could create a self-sustaining system that is completely organic. The fish could provide the necessary nutrients need for the plants to grow and we wouldn’t need to add any nutrients to the system. It is important because aquaponics would help address issues of food security and sustainable farming, which is a growing concern in the world. Aquaponics is an exceptionally effective cross-curricular platform for exploring various programs of studies

Mount View Elementary School

Highline Schools Foundation Trustee Chelsea LeRoy delivers an Impact Grant and Excel Grants to Mount View Elementary School teachers and staff

Leveling the Playfield for All Students Through Musical Instruments ~ Hazel Valley Elementary

Elementary school recess is prime time for bolstering our students’ social emotional growth. A literal space and time for students to build relationships and self-confidence. The recess environment needs provide options for all students to engage with their peers. Our students with limited mobility cannot play on the equipment, safely navigate the field or manage games that involve balls. During recess these students are alone, relegated to watching others play. Other populations that are often alone during recess are those with language barriers, such as our English Language Learners and students with verbal delays.

Hazel Valley would like to add outdoor instruments to our playground. ‘Freenotes’, brand name, are universally designed instruments accessible to all ages and abilities. Each musical instrument is artistically designed and built for sustainable and authentic play. Because each instrument is tuned, groupings of instruments play harmoniously which encourages cooperative group play. No experience is needed to produce beautiful sounds.

2017 – “Equity and Computer Science for All” at North Hill Elementary

Equity and Computer Science for All-May Ovalles

“Equity and Computer Science for All” – May Ovalles at North Hill Elementary School Pictured (left to right), Scott Logan, Chief Operations Officer; May Ovalles, Assistant Principal; Chau Le, Math; Lisa Juvinall, Science; Trishia Sewell, Literacy; Travis Exstrom, HSF President-Elect; Anne Baunach, HSF Executive Director; Kimberly Gilmore, Principal

North Hill ElementaryOur 5th & 6th graders, who make up a quarter of the student population, have participated in computer science exploration with’s Hour of Code in the past few years.  This year our goal is to go beyond the Hour of Code. This means that not only will our students participate during Computer Science Week in December 2017, we want to immerse all our 6th graders in a Computer Science Fundamentals unit.  After that, we want to include our 5th grade team to incorporate a few coding & computer science lessons into their math or science classes.  Eventually, we are hoping to tryout 2-3 computer science lessons and activities at each grade level.

Students are interested in doing more with computer programming. The game driven lessons along with the strong computational thinking, problem solving, group work and critical internet safety basics incorporated into these games and activities work to engage students while they learn coding and computer science fundamentals.

Coding, Equity & Computer Science for All Final Report

2016 – “Bots Build Brains” at Chinook Middle School

Impact Grant Presentation at Chinook Middle School

(pictured left right) Chinook Principal Karin Jones, Foundation Trustee Patti Gifford, Elizabeth Nelson, CTE Teacher, Foundation Trustee Aileen Cronin, Carlos Zendejas, Alaska Airlines Captain. (not pictured) Sydni Neves, Instructional Coach.

Chinook Middle SchoolThanks to funding through the Impact Grant, students at Chinook Middle School will learn programming through robotics, a skill that is highly sought after in the business world. In addition to offering robotics units through their design & engineering classes, they have partnered with students from the Skunk Works Robotics Team at Raisbeck Aviation High School to create an after school club and build a team ready to compete in robotics competitions through FLL (First Lego League) next fall.

“We have a great opportunity to engage some brains and grow critical thinkers by capturing our students’ interest in and excitement about robotics. With Bots Build Brains, we will be able to provide opportunities for students to work together to ask, imagine, plan, create and improve as they complete challenges with their robots. We will introduce students to programming through robotics.” said Sydni Neves.

Bots Build Brains Final Report

2015 – “Design and Engineering” at Pacific Middle School

2015 Impact Grant Winner - Design and Engineering

(L to R) Foundation Executive Director Ashley Fosberg, Foundation Trustees Scott Lautman and Aileen Cronin, Highline Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield, Sandy Gady, Design and Engineering Teacher at Pacific Middle School (Impact Grant Winner), and Brad Tilden, President CEO of Alaska Airlines and Alaska Air Group

Pacific Middle SchoolThe 2015 Impact Grant winner, announced at the Highline Schools’ State of our Schools event on November 2, is “Design and Engineering” submitted by Sandy Gady, Design and Engineering Teacher at Pacific Middle School.

Pacific Middle School will receive $10,000 to implement Sandy’s vision: “Maker Faires” are a growing phenomenon that launched in the Bay area in 2006. Maker Faires are “The Greatest Show and Tell on Earth.” Initially designed to be forward-looking showcases for makers who are exploring new forms and new technologies, the Faire is not just for technical fields, rather it features “innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft.”

Design & Engineering Final Report

2014 – Making an Impact: Building Bright Futures for Young Women in Computer Science”

Making an Impact-Building Bright Futures for Young Women in Computer Science

(L to R) Highline Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield with Foundation President Kristen Kerns, Royce Badley (Impact Grant Winner), and Foundation Trustees Aileen Cronin and Erin Ambrozic

The 2014 Impact Grant winner was “Making an Impact: Building Bright Futures for Young Women in Computer Science”. It was written by Royce Badley, Assistant Director of Career & College Pathways, and Julie Burr, Career Access Manager, for Highline Public Schools.

This grant provided funds to help increase the number of high school females in computer science classes, to spark their interest in technology related careers, and to help them graduate prepared for a future in the computer science field.


Impact-Grant - Global Connections HS

Pictured left to right: Scott Gifford, Highline Schools Foundation President; Dr. Susan Enfield, Highline Public Schools Superintendent; Rick Harwood, Global Connections High School Principal; Ashley Fosberg, Highline Schools Foundation Executive Director

Global Connections High School’s new “Positive Behavior Student Advisory Council” program was the winner of Highline Schools Foundation’s first annual Impact Grant in 2013.

The $10,000 Impact Grant funded the creation, training, and implementation of a student leader group at Global Connections, called the Positive Behavior Student Advisory Council, which will adopt a peer-to-peer program that supports and intervenes with students who with behavior issues that are keeping them from learning.

Read about the 2013 Impact Grant winner on our blog