Sacajawea was removed from the closure list this week because of district policy prohibiting mandatory placement in alternative schools. Because of that policy, two schools in the South and Southeast clusters, Orca and the African American Academy, cannot absorb students from closed schools unless parents request it.
What that means is, assuming zero change in population from now until 2007, once the 836 students displaced from Graham Hill, Emerson and Whitworth are assigned to other schools, the South and Southeast clusters put together will have 39 slots of excess enrollment capacity spread out over 15 schools.
I know the school district is projecting a decrease in student population for south Seattle, but two years ago they were projecting an increase! With light rail coming to our end of town, I'd bet on an increase. But to be cautious, I'm making these calculations with no enrollment change.
How can the school district be so sure of their demographic projections? If they are wrong, students from the South and Southeast clusters will have to be bused elsewhere. At least one school should be taken off the closure list, and the obvious one, for reasons described in previous posts, is Graham Hill.