Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Still Reeling, Yet Moving Forward, Nonetheless...

All of the stages of grief are present at this time throughout the SPS District. Mourning is extremely prominent in the emails and conversations of Summit K-12...I have yet to be back in the school building myself since the vote (stupid work schedule), and have only the highest regard for our teachers who continue to teach their quality classes as they, too, mourn for our community.

My oldest turns 13 tomorrow. I'm still stunned that he's that old. He doesn't know it, yet, but his mom has arranged to send some sugar-laden snack of some sort to school tomorrow as a surprise (his teacher said it was okay).

I am not the only parent with 3 children who have been happily in school at Summit K-12. This having to probably find more than one school is daunting, to start with, not to mention when the heck am I supposed to visit these other schools 'cuz I work full time for a social service agency? The fact that other parents are already through some of this process amazes me, as I know I'm not the only busy parent in Seattle. And I am extremely saddened for those parents who don't yet know that they need to find a different school for next year, and will find out whenever the letters arrive at our homes (still waiting, here).

Our next Parent Group meeting is this Thursday. Our primary focus for it is to share information with each other as we're all trying to figure out what we're going to be doing, and how to do it, too. When we get our notes from Thursday's meeting, I'll try to remember to post the info bits here so others from other "displaced" schools can benefit from our research, too.

So far, the District has said that all schools will need to have tour dates in February and March...and there are already schools telling our parents that they are done with their tours for this year. We anticipate that they'll be told to open more dates up, 'though I'm not holding my breath, as I've seen how well the District's promises are kept. I actually anticipate hearing "Oh, sorry - we must have missed that," instead of "Let me fix that right now," as that seems to be the MO.

Life is indeed a rollercoaster.

Sabia

24 comments:

Maureen said...

Sabia--the only currently scheduled TOPS middle school tour is this Thursday 9:30-11:00. I would appreciate it if you could help get the word out to Summit families. TOPS draws from NW, Central, QA/Mag, S and SE clusters. We have few open seats in middle school, but every year some kids get in. I think Summit families would appreciate our art program and multicultural approach.

TechyMom said...

ORCA is also still doing tours. It may be too far South for you, but does have a Social Justice curriculum and some other things that sound similar to Summit on the surface. I'm touring next week, so I can't say for sure how real those apparent similarities are.

hschinske said...

I think Hamilton's last scheduled tour is Feb. 5, this Thursday.

Helen Schinske

h2o girl said...

Sabia,
Salmon Bay has an elementary tour on Tuesday Feb. 24 and a middle school tour on Thursday Feb. 26. Both are at 9:30 am.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I have made the offer (and I know I can set it up) to organize one more tour after Mid-Winter Break at Roosevelt if there are enough people who want it. I had heard from one Summit parent who was running around trying to get to tours (for 3 different children)and she was worried about getting to all the schools she wanted to see.

Please let me know if you are one such parent.

Evan said...

Bagley elementary hasn't even begun tours yet (why didn't most schools adjust to the closure schedule and the delayed enrollment period?)

While not alternative, it does have Montessori mixed-age classrooms from K-5 (as well as traditional classrooms K-5)

From the website: February 26, March 5, March 19, and March 26 at 9:30 am. Please call 252-5110 to reserve your spot. An additional evening tour is being held on March 11 at 6:30 pm - no need to call in advance for this event.

north seattle mom said...

All schools were asked in Nov to change their tour schedules to be after the break and into March. Some schools followed the instructions and others did not.

Sahila said...

AS#1 is running tours every Thursday morning from three weeks ago until late in March, starting at 9.30am.

We are also having an experiential learning Open House scheduled for March 11, I think, from 6-7.30pm...

http://71.18.68.20/?page_id=49

We also have a new website up (trying every day to have fixed the link from the District website)...

http://as1web.com/

It is still a work in daily progress, but is far more informative than the old pages that were there previously...

TechyMom said...

Does anyone know if Lowell is doing tours? I'm interested in the new general ed K there.

seattle citizen said...

Why aren't there web-based "tours" on each school's website?

Not the same as in-person, of course, but a very good glimpse could be had of a school through modern technology.

Sahila said...

seattle citizen - I dont think we have the resources - people, time, money and perhaps skill(?) - to do a virtual school tour at AS#1... you have no idea how much work/time it has taken (by mostly one person with a small amount of content help from a handful of others) to get our new website up and running...

hschinske said...

See http://www.seattleschools.org/area/eso/schooltours.html for information. Lowell tours start in late February.

Helen Schinske

seattle citizen said...

Sahila,
Sad to say, there are a bunch of unemployed techies floating around the city...I wonder if some might want a project or two to keep their brains active and to add a little community service to their resumes?

(word verifier, I don't EVEN want to know what fancest is...)

adhoc said...

I was so impressed with Nathan Hales website! It wasn't officially a "virtual tour", but it sure had tons of information about the school, it's culture, it's philosophy, info about the coalition of essential schools, academics, sports and clubs. It had links to pod casts, the radio station, archives of the school newspaper, calendar of events, updates on the renovation, and sooo much more. I felt like I knew the school long before I went on the tour. I know it takes work and committment, but this is truly an economical way to market a school. It goes a long way to entice prospective parents, and shows that a school takes the time and interest to keep their community and prospective parents informed! I would encourage all schools to precruit a volunteer from your community or from the greater community to keep and up to date and information filled website. It goes a long way......

Josh Hayes said...

I'll chime in with Sahila here, and point out that anyone interested in touring AS1 can do so any ol' time by contacting the office (252-4600) and arranging a date, or, hell, by emailing me. I'd be happy to meet anyone at the school during school hours and show you around.

We all know that AS1's collective head is nervously eying the chopping block, but if you're willing to chance it, give us a look: email me at josh (at) blarg (dot) net.

Given the sheer confusion in the district right now, it's hard for me to believe that ANY school is cutting off its tours in a week or so. Maybe they're already so darn full they don't care to add anybody.

And BTW, does the K-8 at Addams have a name, other than "the K-8 at Addams"?

seattle citizen said...

Yes, Josh, the new name for the school at Addams is the Lava Dome K-8

It used to be Summit, but the Summit was violently blown off, and in its place grows a new school, a steaming hot pile of...lava.

(of course I jest about the "steaming hot pile" part; I wish the new school all the best, it's actually kinda exciting. It's just that I think it's terrible how Summit was blown away...)

adhoc said...

Yes, I'm still shell shocked about Summit too. I just don't see how the District can justify closing and dismantling a program with 560 students? I understood moving them, I really did, in fact I advocated for more efficient use of the Jane Adamms building. But closing the program is inexcusable. Is there any recourse at all at this point? Is there any community effort, protest, etc that could alter this decision at this point?

adhoc said...

BTW Sahila and/or Josh thought you might want to know that when you are on the district website, the link to the AS1 website is not working. It says the page does not exist.

http://www.seattleschools.org/
area/main/ShowSchool?sid=955

adhoc said...

Also just FYI, I tried to google AS1 to take a look at your new website, but nothing at all comes up. I can't find anything other than great schools info, the district page for AS1 (where the link doesn't work), and a few news articles. What's the address for your new website?
Thanks

seattle citizen said...

While the closures are, in some ways, being...adequately done and are, in some ways, perhaps necessary (it tied to a laser-focus on reconfigurations that HELP students), there are a couple of obvious problems, the case of Summit being perhaps the most egregious.

The loss of the school is a huge blow, and the WAY this was handled was absolutely terrible: We need to building - You'll move; You'll move to RB; you'll move to Meany; you're closed.

WHAT is the rationale for not relocating Summit? There is none. There are other places for it, places that would help the NE capacity issue (use a part of Lincoln, use John Marshall, use, as a last resort, the WP campus...

By not keeping Summit open, we are throwing a good program out; we are adding to the capacity problem; by not using Lincoln or even (gasp!) reopening a closed building to meet capacity need, we are saying,"doesn't matter what's best, we said we wouldn't reopen buildings and darn it, we WON'T, which shows obstinancy more than best practice...

There is NO justification for closing Summit after it was told it would be moved. Since there is none, people are left to wonder if Summit either just wasn't liked, or whether there are other plans for other alternatives...

Unless someone can tell us why, exactly, Summit is being closed, we are left to wonder what's up.

Sahila said...

adhoc - as I posted above, the AS#1 website address is:

www.as1web.com

we understand the District link is not working - we have been asking for more than a week for that to be fixed...

adhoc said...

Sorry Sahila, I came in late to this thread and didn't read your above post with the link and web address. My aplology.

Josh Hayes said...

adhoc writes:

My aplology.

Isn't that predicting the future based on how one's kids do on placement tests?

(Get it? Get it?)

Just trying to lighten the mood a little!

I'm sure everyone can understand how frustrating it is to construct a whiz-bang web site and have the district ignore one's request to link it up. Yeah: it's like that.

seattle citizen said...

while APt, your pun is a reach, Josh. A long, long reach....