About Middle College High Point

Notice:  This blog is now run by Social Justice Education Advocates as part of their ongoing efforts to return Middle College to West Seattle and restore Ida B. Wells at the UW.  www.sjeadvocates.org


Wednesday, November 10

Middle College Site Council formed to organize support for Ida B. Wells Middle College at the UW and the recently closed Middle College High Point.

“If the structure does not permit dialogue the structure must be changed”
Paulo Freire

What’s next?  A Middle College Site Council made up of parents, students and community stakeholders has been assembled to defend and restore the original Middle College model based on critical pedagogy and social justice.  Specifically, the Site Council is working to re-0pen  Middle College High Point and to restore our most experienced faculty to High Point and the Ida B. Wells Middle College site at the University of Washington.  The Middle College Site Council sees the current administration as being hostile to social justice education while favoring computer based instructional models that lower standards and academic expectations.  We know that Middle College students need talented, experienced and dedicated teachers to create positive learning environments that establish high expectations for academic achievement.  The current approach by administration of closing sites, forcing out our best teachers and attempting destroy the Middle College model with low standard and computer based instruction is fundamentally wrong and is not consistent with the Seattle School District equity policies.

More on the Middle College Site Council.

Friday, June 19


This may be a blow to social justice education but we are not giving up on this fight.  This all happened so suddenly just like in 2012, but this time the organizing is growing broader both at the grassroots level and within our regional politics.  Something is clearly wrong, and terribly unjust about what has happened to our beautiful school, our students, families, teachers and staff.  We all know that closing schools quickly before the summer break is an attempt to pull a fast one.  To this day there has been no discussion, dialogue or communication with any of the district administration about the closure of Middle College High Point.

This blog will now be maintained by the Middle College Site Council to keep the spirit of Middle College High Point alive and to keep the community informed about efforts to re-open our beloved school.  We are also expanding our scope to include the Ida B. Wells School for Social Justice at the University of Washington that has recently been subjected to having a teacher forcefully removed and is now in danger of losing their curriculum and learning community.

You don’t close successful schools that help the students most in need of support and a positive learning environment, you grow them and celebrate the wonderful community building and dedication of the teachers, staff and most importantly the students.

“From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength.”  -Cesar Chavez


stading together



 First News About the Districts Plan to Close Middle College High Point!

Friday, May 22nd

Seattle School District Superintendent Larry Nyland just released a letter announcing the impending closure of Middle College High School at the High Point Center.  The faculty and staff at Middle College High Point are very disappointed with this decision and are working with our community supporters, parents and students to prepare an organized response to this decision and to challenge the justification for closure.  For 19 years, Middle College has served the West Seattle community by offering a high quality alternative school experience for students looking for a second chance to earn a high school diploma.  Offering a curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking, social justice and community engagement, Middle College High Point has maintained a nurturing and inspiring learning culture that encourages all students to pursue higher education.  Our students embrace service learning and have been dedicated to giving back to the High Point community while learning about urban agriculture, environmental science and sustainability movements.  We are a small school that has offered smaller class sizes and a much more personalized approach to teaching and learning but we are also dedicated to providing direct instruction that is passionate and creative.  It has always been our position that small alternative schools should be supported and nurtured by the district as a matter of policy and a commitment to educating all students.  For many of our students, we are the last option preventing them from dropping out.  For some, we are the last line of defense to prevent homelessness, hunger and abuse.  This fact alone should motivate support from our district administration if they are serious about students they’ve often labeled as at-risk.  Please reach out to our school district administration and school board to help keep our doors open.  And please take a moment to watch the video above that was created by Larry Dominico a recent graduate from Middle College High Point.

Please support the Middle College High Point School for Social Justice and Community Engagement!  And please check back for more updates!


Middle College High School at the High Point Center is a high quality alternative school located in the High Point neighborhood of West Seattle.  The faculty and staff at Middle College High Point are dedicated to offering students a unique and rigorous educational experience that emphasizes critical thinking, social justice and community engagement.  Middle College students earn high school diplomas from the Seattle School District and many continue on to higher education. Middle College originally opened doors at Seattle Central Community College in 1990 and after expansion in 1996, has served the Southwest Seattle community for 17 years.  During the Summer of 2012 we moved from our original site at South Seattle Community College to our new location at the High Point Center.  Our move to the High Point Center signifies a new and innovative partnership between the Seattle School District, Neighborhood House and the High Point Center.  The many agencies and organizations that serve the community at the High Point Center have embraced Middle College offering support for our students and exciting plans for future partnerships. Interested in enrolling or visiting our school? Contact Site Coordinator, Alonzo Ybarra at: 206.588 atybarra@seattleschools.org


5 thoughts on “About Middle College High Point

  1. MCHS been a great school to go to, the teachers are the best and the students all get along great. The whole school is like family!

  2. Please rethink the decision to close this very important and powerful school. How this closure could even be in the relm of possibility is beyond belief .
    With strong conviction,
    Gina Simpson

  3. We need YOU!!! you have saved more children than any other program around. I have posted this on my facebook and am trying to spread the word to keep your doors open for the sake of our children.
    My heart goes out to those who are in your program and have more schooling to do. They need you, this community needs you.
    Heidi Fish
    Mother of 5 children

  4. My name is Paul Campiche and I am a proud graduate of the Middle College at South Seattle/High Point. I graduated in 2008 under the tutelage of Alonzo Ybarra as well as a host of other profoundly inspiring teachers. I remember my time at that institution fondly.

    I came into the Middle College after nearly dropping out of Ballard High School. School, for me at that time, was seen as a horrid social perdition. I felt ignored by teachers and attacked by students. As a result I did not do well. I had talent however. My passion for knowledge was alive but it was put in a place that did not facilitate growth. The large school environment did not suit me. In fact it nearly drove me insane. I needed a change. Something that would provide me a way forward.

    I was introduced to Middle College at South Seattle/High Point in my senior year of high school. I, at that time, was considering dropping out. I arrived at that school a person with no passion for education. I was there simply to pass the grade and finish. I did not see a future in academia given it had always seemed so scary and lacking in compassion. I was lost.

    This state of nonplussed was perhaps the very reason that I needed to be at Middle College. While I was there I was constantly inspired by the teachers. They showed me compassion and provided me a means by which to see school as productive. I found my way overtime.

    The small school environment was very helpful as it allowed me to question the ideas that the teachers were positing and get a reply. It made education interesting given it was now interactive. I was a part of the class, not just sitting in class counting the minutes. I found myself engaged in concepts and ideals that I had never been introduced to. One teacher, Alonzo Ybarra, installed in me a passion for social justice and compassionate equality that in turn has become a defining characteristic of my personhood.

    This pursuit of social justice spoke to me specifically as a white male of privilege, challenging me to become a productive member of progressive society. Alonzo and many of the teachers helped me to understand my place in society and how I can help to promote a better world. The teacher engaged my indoctrinated bigotries and helped me to become a more intelligent and compassionate person with an understanding of oppression.

    As I continued at Middle College I quickly rose to the top of the class. I also realized that I had a place that was safe to be the smart person I was. The teacher did not scold me for asking questions or having opinions. I remember feeling passionate about my studies for the first time.

    I could give a thousand examples of the usefulness of Middle College as an individual however I think what is most telling of what this school gave me is to give me professional opinion. For if I didn’t go and graduate for Middle College I would not have a professional opinion. Since Middle College I have attended and graduated from The Evergreen State College. I was admitted to this college in part because of the passion that I showed in my admissions essays, a passion that was facilitated by Middle College.

    Since I graduated The Evergreen State College I have perused a Masters in Psychology at Antioch University. I now get a chance to reach out to those who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders. This opportunity was provided in part by the education I got at Middle College. The passion that was given to me so young in life continues to shine and grow.

  5. C/o 2000

    I just heard that my graduate high school no longer exists. This is a shame. I learned more w/ Wayne and Alonzo in 1 yr. than 3 befor. They truly care and are very great educators. I was on a path to 5yr. Senior. They engaged with me and helped me to get into “head start”. It sad others like myself will not be able to recive “real life” lessons taught only at middle collage. Hope for others that it gets funding needed to teach.

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