Nova HS students plan walkout in response to teacher transfers

SEATTLE -- At a press conference on the steps of Nova High School, students spoke about the impact teachers at the alternative public high school have had on their education and future.

Jack, a 5th-year senior, told the crowd that last year was her first school year she has ever completed.

"It would not have been possible without the support network of the Nova staff. My life has changed drastically for the better since I came here. This school with its amazing students and it's amazing staff has helped me grow in astronomical ways," Jack said.

Nova High School students along with Socialist Students and Councilmember Kshama Sawant are calling for a citywide walkout on Tuesday, September 25 to protest projected job cuts at Nova and other alternative high schools in Seattle.

Last week, Seattle Public Schools alerted school principals that the district would transfer 33 teachers.

Two positions would come from Nova High School, and three additional positions would come from Seattle World School, and Interagency Academy.

Nova students said even one teacher being transferred to a different school will have dire ramifications for the students.

"Every teacher here has their place. Every teacher here has a personality and a special thing that makes them unique just like every single student here," Kasey a student at Nova High School said. "It would break everyone in this community's heart to take one of them or even two of them away."

With two teachers being cut from Nova High School, they are set to lose 15 percent of their general education teachers.

The students demand that no teachers are transferred from Nova and that the district retains all 33 positions, full funding for public schools and education, and living wages for teachers.

Seattle Public Schools said the displacement of teachers is in response to low student enrollment.

A townhall meeting is scheduled Monday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at North Seattle College.

Students also pledged to leave class and walk to city hall Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. They encourage anyone who values teachers and quality education to join them.