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Anybody get a letter yet with your childs assigned pick up/drop off location and times?I tried calling Transportation today and was sent into an endless loop and the "machine" would not accept my students birth date so I finally just hung up after several tries.Secret Shopping a bit I guess!
No letter here. But my son's bus will go from his before-school day care to school and then the reverse in the afternoon. So I may be in a different category.
Nothing here . . . can't get through on the line either. No rush, of course, but I can't wait to see if they, at least, start out following their own rules.stu
The phone line can't find my incoming kindergartners record. No letter either.
The phone line still has us going to Summit. ummm.....hello?
I got through to the transportation office just fine today. Hit '0' during the recorded message and you'll get someone.Things of note:Kids will be getting Metro cards through the first part of the school year (last bit of the calendar year). After that, they'll switch to Orca.Some APP students at Garfield have been granted yellow buses, but only one way. Those students will also receive Metro passes.Why APP kids can't take Metro is beyond me. Their parents knew they were sending their kids to a school out of their neighborhood. Small price to pay. I hate the "haves" and "have nots" system it creates.
Why APP kids can't take Metro is beyond me. Their parents knew they were sending their kids to a school out of their neighborhood. Small price to pay. You're kidding, right? What an uninformed statement. I feel like Barney Frank here; I don't know where to start or if it's worth even engaging you in this:First of all, APP starts in 1st grade. Do you expect first graders, or second graders, or third graders, or-- you pick the cutoff -- to be riding around on Metro early in the morning by themselves? How 'bout during rush hour? Do you see any problem with 6 year olds making connections downtown? Do you have kids? At what age did you start letting them ride alone on Metro buses?Second, APP parents don't choose to send their kids to a school outside their neighborhood, their kids test into a program that's ONLY OFFERED at a few locations around Seattle. There's no choice involved . . . The whole "have" and "have not" thing taps into a political discussion that's used over and over again to make people who feel bad about themselves feel better. APP doesn't HAVE more or GET more than other programs and it's not an elitist group . It's an educational approach to teaching that works with a certain kind of student. But of course you're probably pissed off about those fancy shiny chairs that the handicapped get . . . lucky kids getting to ride around while all us "have nots" have to walk!stu
I got through to the transportation office just fine today. Hit '0' during the recorded message and you'll get someone. ___________________glovinPlug and play Security Systems no Contracts at the best affordable Prices
Stu, I think Just-a-mom was talking about APP students at Garfield who get a yellow school bus to school, not home. There are a couple of problems with this. One, the official APP ends at 8th grade. For 9th grade they are offered a seat at Garfield, move to the head of the line kind of thing, but there is NO APP program at GHS. So then why for transportation purposes define them as APP students to offer them a yellow school bus? Makes no sense.Second, how does it look each morning when bus loads of able-bodies high school students step off yellow school buses that just picked them up close to home. No transfers, no dealing with over-crowded buses? The general GHS population has had to deal with Metro, is that fair?
Hold on. Just a Mom was, I think, referring to high school APP students. Nobody is saying little kids, no matter what their school, should take Metro.However, the reason they are likely to get yellow bus service is because the Metro service in some neighborhoods doesn't exist or doesn't start early enough. This is true for Roosevelt where one neighborhood has yellow bus service in the morning but not the afternoon because of the lack of Metro service.
FYI, just noticed this on the TOPS listserv.Ms. Kuban just informed the newsletter editors of the official start and dismissal times for TOPS for this coming school year. Apparently they negotiated different times for TOPS, including the same times for both elementary and middle school grades. The start times are different than what is posted on the district website. Ms. Kuban said it's fine to share this with you, and please share this with families of other grade bands as well as any incoming kindergarten families you know. I don't know anything more than what I'm sharing, but am hoping to get more information to include in the September newsletter. Jamie Flaxman (Sam, grade 6) ALL GRADES K-8: Warning Bell 9:10 a.m.School starts: 9:15 a.m.Dismissal: 3:30 p.m.
I know a neighborhood for Roosevelt that gets yellow bus in the afternoon only because the only metro bus service is during the morning rush hour. So, on the many days that school starts at 10 AM, they get no transportation to school at all.The high school APP yellow bus, they said that it might just be for one year last year, got some funding from the state under a special needs category? And it is only kids who are quite distant for whom travel in the morning is most problematic? The bigger HS APP issue is of course that it is a "special needs" program or it is not, depending on particular issues. It is a "program" but only for kids who were living in the district, identified as needing it by Fall of 7th grade and attending the program in 8th grade. The fact that no other student can qualify is the problem. However, with an expanded middle school program, a middle school APP that is closer to home for many, perhaps will meet the needs of more qualified kids, it is very likely the numbers will increase so much they will not all fit in Garfield. Look for a high school app split in the not too distant future. And of course no matter what truly happens, the district will claim that the elementary and middle school splits were successful, so why not high school as well. Even in the current high school demographics (ie, before the population boom) there are lots of APP qualified kids who don't go to Garfield. With the assignment plan perhaps limiting other high school choices, what do you think will happen? I asked Brian Vance how many APP qualified kids were at Roosevelt. He didn't know, could think of two. Well, I rattled off a list of almost a dozen in my small circle of knowledge. That piqued his curiosity and he said he would find out, but never did. I suspect the true answer is much higher, perhaps 100 or more. So, sorry, This comment really did start out about transportation. It really is discussing the thread, but alas, goes where some claim we go way too often here, into app-politics-land.
Not wanting to renegade the thread either but... Bob Vaughn should have the info of HS APP students not continuing to Garfield. I believe that many do continue because of the cohort and the music program. Some are lost though to Prep and Lakeside.
Robert, those are the easy kids. What about those who went private or elsewhere for middle school, or qualified and never attended? I think there are a lot more of those than one thinks.
So then why for transportation purposes define them as APP students to offer them a yellow school bus? Makes no sense.Just because the district no longer calls the program APP, it doesn't mean these students aren't "APP" kids . . . their learning style/needs haven't changed. The general GHS population has had to deal with Metro, is that fair?Actually, I think it IS fair . . . here's why.Until the district offers equitable programs throughout the city, there are certain built-in limitations. Through APP, the learning is accelerated so that, by the time they get to the high school level, they're not just "ready" for AP classes, these students NEED AP classes. By not offering this selection at other high schools, the district is forcing the APP students to attend Garfield . . . that's not a choice many of us would make if the programs were offered in other places. I would much rather my son WALK to Roosevelt than take up so much time being bused to Garfield. However, until Roosevelt offers all of the AP classes necessary, that's not an option. (Also, since we have no choice, even if Roosevelt offered AP classes, we could just as easily be assigne to Nathan Hale.)It keeps coming back to access and quality. Every parent wants their kids to go to a great school, with a great program, that's down the street. None of us dream of putting our kids on a bus for 2 hours each day. However, APP students are forced into specific buildings in specific neighborhoods because that's where the program is offered. That's not choice and that's why busing needs to be supplied.stu
Yeah but Stu... the reason there aren't AP classes spread around the city is BECAUSE they're all at Garfield. Duh. It's APP parents like you who keep that exclusive status quo alive. Really? Your son can't find enough AP classes at Roosevelt. I find that very difficult to believe. And, everyone else has to live with AP situation at Nathan Hale exclusive vs. inclusive methodology... unpopular for some, but favored by others. If there's no funding for the AP bus to Garfield, which I believe is indeed the case, then those students should ride Metro like everyone else. APP isn't a disability.
Back to transportation. I got thru by pressing "0" and have my childs route info. They flipped the route so that instead of being the last stop on the route, we are now the first stop. If we opt to bus to school my child will now have a 30 minute ride, then 20 minutes on the playground, versus a 10 minute ride and 10 minutes on the play ground. Or 50 minutes from pickup to bell vs. 25 minutes last year. So one would assume that another students trip has been shortened, so am not complaining,. But will most likely drive to school in the AM, which does bother me from an enviromental standpoint.On the return trip it seems to be about the same.No community stop, we are at the exact stop as last year, just a longer trip in the AM.Oh and we are enrolled in a nieghborhood school, not out of cluster.
It's APP parents like you who keep that exclusive status quo aliveAh . . . there it is again...the "APP parents like you" line. I was wondering when that would show up. This isn't an APP problem, it's a district problem.I don't WANT to send my son to Garfield. It's the ONLY place the SPS has set up the program necessary to continue his education. Roosevelt doesn't have as many AP classes but, even if it did, THEY WON'T GUARANTEE A SPOT THERE!Trust me, if the district offered the same AP classes at Roosevelt or Nathan Hale AND guaranteed access to the program, most of the North End APP parents would LOVE to stay in the area. Roosevelt has a great music program -- that's one of the arguments that comes up in favor of Garfield -- and SOME of the AP classes but the district won't let me choose that school. As long as they REQUIRE my son to attend Garfield, they should supply transportation. The fact is, I'm opposed to having the APP program isolated in high school. High School is a much different thing than elementary or even middle school; I strongly believed in the cohort for elementary school, which they've already destroyed, but once you get to middle school and, especially, high school, I don't see the need to keep the kids together. BUT THEY GIVE US NO CHOICE and then blame US for being exclusive.stu
. . . the reason there aren't AP classes spread around the city is BECAUSE they're all at Garfield. DuhPS - There is no good reason why AP classes aren't spread around. Every high school should offer every student access to Advanced Placement classes. You're confusing APP and AP . . . VERY different things. APP students, in my opinion, have less of a choice in terms of AP classes; they've been accelerated in their learning throughout their educational career and are ready for the Advanced Learning. This is not to the exclusion of anyone else, which is why not offering comparable AP courses at ALL high schools is such a sin.
Dorothy I would like to think that for those students that the ref area HS would service new highly gifted entrants with challenging/AP classes. And back into the transportation thread... I agree with you that the numbers are growing and that the will have a north APP HS site eventually to service the north/Hamilton cohort locally.
They finally updated their guidelines to acknowledge community/cluster stops - basically saying if your school is an all-city draw then all other guidelines are out the window (#4):BUS STOP LOCATION: Assignment Criteria - Students will be assigned to neighborhood bus stops within the following guidelines: 1. Bus stops will be located on arterial or primary access residential streets only. 2. Walking distance to bus stops will be .75 mile or less for middle/high school students where feasible. 3. Walking distance to bus stops will be .50 mile or less for elementary school students where feasible. Elementary students will not be assigned to bus stops which require them to cross arterial status streets which are contrary to the established recommended walkways for adjacent reference area schools. 4. Schools with a large geographical draw area shall use Neighborhood Attendance Area school stops.
4. Schools with a large geographical draw area shall use Neighborhood Attendance Area school stops.It's like the "feasible" designation on the other policies; it not only negates all the other rules, it allows them to do what they want. It basically creates a new category but doesn't create any rules for this designation. This doesn't bode well.stuPS - Tried to get through on the automated system today and, like SPSMom said yesterday, got stuck in the "birthday" loop before being disconnected.
Press "0" at any time and you will be connected to a live person who will give you the information. My contact was very nice, thought I was another parent, who had called five minutes beforehand with the same problem.The birthday thing is not working....hope they get that message soon!
I called today about when the letters would be sent home with route # and stop info, and they told me they are scheduled to mail next Thursday 8/27.
I called transportation mid this past week and couldnt talk to a real live person - just got the loop-de-loop press button this or that option... and the recorded bus route/pick up info for my son was last year's, with last year's school start time...Speaking of school start times... AS#1's has been moved forward to 8.15ish from 9.10am, which means many of our kids, including the majority who are K-5 aged, will be standing at bus stops as early as 6.45am... People have talked on this thread about safety vis a vis younger children using Metro - these new start times jeopardise the physical safety of our children, contrary to the District's stated intent of keeping kids safe by being mindful of the ambient light issue... Many of our kids will be standing in the frozen darkness this coming winter, waiting for their buses and they will be in physical danger, hard to see in the pre-dawn half light ...Anyway - in addition to my concerns about the dubious logic/process applied to the hows and whys this change in transportation/bell times has come about and whether it will actually save any money, I am also concerned about how this change will affect our children physiologically and how it will affect learning... which the District has conceded is an issue and which it has promised it will look into sometime during this coming year - AFTER our kids have already had to endure the effects of this change... of course we all have confidence that the District will review the ample research on brain functioning/learning in children and teens, re-assert its dedication to the well being of our children, back pedal on this new regime and revert to something more sensible...My son doesnt wake until somewhere between 7.30-8.15am.... thats normal for him - partly its his biorhythm and partly its a byproduct of long term sleep deprivation because of sleep apnoea ... we were late almost every day all through his kindergarten year and he often complained because there was no opportunity to nap during the day... kids sleep because they are tired, not because they are lazy... I wont wake him to meet these ridiculous new start/transportation times...He had his 6-year old medical yesterday and I asked for and got a medical certificate asserting his need for sleep and requesting that his school start time be 9.30am... it will be interesting to see if the school will accommodate his needs...If you have similar concerns for your child's well being and safety, I would encourage you also to get a medical certificate or whatever other document you need to ensure that your child's needs are first priority and are met by your school and by the District...
How did TOPS get their start time changed back to 9:15A?
There are a couple of problems with this. One, the official APP ends at 8th grade. For 9th grade they are offered a seat at Garfield, move to the head of the line kind of thing, but there is NO APP program at GHS. So then why for transportation purposes define them as APP students to offer them a yellow school bus? Makes no sense.I agree.There is no APP program at Garfield.I also would like to see all high school students given a metro pass.
Speaking of school start times... AS#1's has been moved forward to 8.15ish from 9.10am, which means many of our kids, including the majority who are K-5 aged, will be standing at bus stops as early as 6.45am...That is ridiculous-& not only is it too early to reasonably start school, but traffic seems heaviest at 7am-8am
JA K-8 is also starting at 820A.Why are some K-8's on the 915A start time and others on the 815A start time?
High schools, middle schools and most K-8 schools are scheduled to begin at 8:15 a.m. and go until 2:45 p.m. Elementary schools are scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. and go until 3:40 p.m. TOPS at Seward and Salmon Bay School, which has kindergarten though eight grade, would start have the same schedule.( from a 3-19-09 P-I article)Am I too cynical because I don't think it is an accident that two of the district's most popular programs were allowed to maintain their schedule?
you and me both, emeraldkitty....
I don't think all HS school students should ride the city bus. I actually think that is ridiculous. From some places in the city it is going to take 1.5 hours to get to school. Since they begin school at 8:00, they will need to be on the bus by 6:30. It is dark at 6:30 for most of the year. Is anyone doing a safety survey both for the walk and wait for the bus, and while on the bus? I know children who were hassled and robbed on the city bus last year. (9th graders are still pretty young to be riding the bus alone). The quickest way for my child to get to school is for me to drive him to light rail, and for him to transfer downtown. I don't want him downtown alone in the dark. Well, actually the quickest way is for me to drive him. Additionally, I thought we discussed last year on this blog that APP students actually bring money into the transportation system. At least last year. I doubt HS APP students would be offered this option if the school district was not being subsidized by the state for this.
Also, I am really curious as to why emaraldkity is so interested in start times and transportation issues. For some issues, I can understand why a parent who has chosen private schools for their family (personal choice based on their family's needs) would want to remain part of the conversation. Improving public schools is the responsibility of everyone. For other issues, it seems weird - like start times. I am seriously interested, not just casting asparagus. I want to know.
I'm interested in Syd's comment that HS students ought not to be out waiting for buses at 6.30am - its too dark and dangerous...Wonder what makes it any safer for elementary/middle school-age kids to be waiting outside for the bus at 6.45am????
Well Syd, while one child did attend private schools another child attended Public schools.When she went from an alternative school that began at 9 am, to a comprehensive that began at 7:40 am, that was a huge shift.High school students need sleep to perform well , their bodies are still growing (!)requiring more sleep, they may have after school jobs or sports teams and not get home till 10 pm or later.( I do see that this upcoming year her school will start at 8am)As for why I am still interested in education in Seattle it is fairly simple to understand.I am a current & long time volunteer in the schools, there are many new families in my neighborhood and I care about their experience & I also believe quality of public services inc .education directly impacts the livability of the city.Start times might seem arbitrary, but it is anything but- to someone that raised my kids in a two bedroom one bath house- logistics are important!When I see a school bus idling outside my house for 10 minutes, because it is garbage pickup day and they didn't back up when they saw the truck and instead waiting until the truck left the street to take the kids to school, I think about all those kids who are now going to be late and how that can affect their whole day.The way the bus routes are designed clog traffic, IMO, take way too much time and don't necessarily provide a safe environment for students. ( google diesel and fumes)I also do not believe that outside of IEPS that require transportation to be provided, that high school students should be treated differently depending on the school they attend.Providing students with Metro passes increases autonomy for students and doesn't make one group of students different from the rest.Not everyone has a car, or a parent to drive them- staying after school for tutoring, for sports, for committee meeting means that you have to get your own transportation- Bus passes, just put everyone on the same page.I do think that Metro needs to have dedicated routes for students or at the very least redesign some routes to be more efficient.Any more questions?
adhoc Why are some K-8's on the 915A start time and others on the 815A start time? From what I remember, when the final list was made, TOPS and Salmon Bay moved to the later bus drop off time because they had many buses that took at least an hour to get to school (because their draw areas are so much bigger than most K-8 schools. AS#1 would have had to stay on that list if they had been allowed to keep their all city draw. The posted drop off time is 8:50, so I don't know why TOPS isn't starting until 9:15 (maybe they are trying to be realistic about the buses--most of them were late for most of last year).One thing that bothers me is that the 9:15 start time at TOPS (FOR ALL GRADES) means that the middle schoolers will not have a 6 hour 20 minute day like all of the other middle schoolers in town. I don't know how TOPS managed to arrange that. On the other hand, K-5 must be getting an extra 15 minutes of recess, since K-5 teachers only teach a 6 hour day.
Thanks for satisfying my curiosity. I can see your point. And I have sympathy for the one bathroom problem; we also just have the one for the whole family. I am still not ready to let my 5'2'' 9th grader ride the city bus - especially for a ride that will take two transfers. I ride the bus to work. His father rode the bus to work until he started working from home. The whole family rides the bus for family outings to downtown. I believe in public transportation. I just think school buses are public transportation. I don't want him on the #7. Last year, a friend's child had his backpack stolen from him at the bus stop. He chose to just let his backpack go. My child has a loud mouth; he could get in some real trouble. Another child had his phone taken from him on the bus. The #7 is a dicey ride. The extra traffic I see on school days seems more related to parents driving their kids to school, not the school buses. I can wait for a school bus.
As far as children waiting for their school bus at 6:45 am, it would be safer for elementary school children because they must be accompanied by a parent or other caregiver. High school students would be more likely to be sent out on their own to catch the bus.
We live 2.2 miles from Garfield, where my daughter will be a freshman, so we're not eligible for a Metro pass because the "walk zone" is 2.5 miles. We can afford to buy a metro pass on our own, but what about families that can't afford it? Is it really reasonable to expect some kids to walk 45 minutes to and from school every day (lugging heavy backpack)?
I understand about the public buses, they can be " colorful & a slice of life", but learning about urban life by taking the city bus, in a fairly affluent and educated city like Seattle , is IMO, a relatively gentle way to teach awareness and street skills.Kids don't all of a sudden know how to deal with being on their own, including going across the country or world for college or travel at 18 if they have not had increasing responsibility for self care along the way, including getting themselves around town.My daughter has a funny story about that. Recently she returned from spending four months traveling, essentially by herself, although she had plans to meet people along the way.( She was eighteen when she set out, she turned nineteen about a month before she came home- we are not a well traveled family, between the two of us, my husband and I have been on 5 or six flights, although never together- where she got this traveling bug- I don't know)I was terrified of her doing this, she didn't like to go into our basement by herself- how could she go across the world?She volunteered in India for two months, traveled through southwestern India with another volunteer for a month, and then got herself to Mumbai and back to Chennai where she then flew through Abu Dhabi to Heathrow where she took a train to Leeds to visit friends.The English girls were amazed that she negotiated Heathrow & the London tube and train system by herself ( and all her baggage)She just laughed- after all the signs were in English!Oftentimes, we can rise to the occasion, and our kids know if we think they can do so.
In theory, emeraldkity, I agree with you. But the issue isn't just about students taking Metro to school, it's taking two or three metro buses, during rush hour or after dark, with connections to make or miss. It's starting at 6:30 in the morning or ending at 6:30 at night' it's serious safety and timing issues and, as long as the district REQUIRES my son to attend a school way out of cluster, by refusing to offer the same programs at the local high school, I believe they need to transport him there and back.I'd be surprised to hear that you would have let your 14-year-old daughter stand at a bus stop in NW Seattle, at 6:30 AM, to take a bus to another bus, to take that bus downtown, to transfer to another bus that takes her near to Garfield. 18 years old? Sure. 14? No way.stu
Stu- in case you missed thisI do think that Metro needs to have dedicated routes for students or at the very least redesign some routes to be more efficient.When my daughter attended high school, yellow buses were available for most schools ( had they not been- I would have looked closer at other alternatives), she was not able to take the after school bus, because she was assigned a class that was held after school ( she was allowed to come in late however- but again, couldn't take the bus, because there was no where for her to spend her hour before her classes started- the library was not staffed at that time.So for her because yellow buses " were available" she was not given a Metro pass, but because she couldn't use the yellow bus for transportation- we had to buy one.( She didn't need to transfer downtown, she transferred in the U district)
All high school students DO get a Metro pass. But, again, there are some, Special Ed and those who do not access to Metro at all or only at certain times of the day, who get yellow bus service. I agree; the walk zone is too big and should be smaller for high school to encourage walking and biking to school.This issue over Metro service is non-starter. They tell the district no and now they have no money to add to routes so it's really a big fat no.
Melissa, High School kids only get a Metro Pass if they live over 2.5 miles from their assigned school. Like Andrew, we live 2.2 miles from our kid's school, so we pay the $27 a month (more this year). Well worth it to keep him off the streets in the dark with a 200 pound (!) backpack.One thing that surprised me: I assumed that the District must get a big discount on the passes since they buy in bulk, but Harium looked into it last year and says that they pay the full price!Do any of you have HS kids who are given passes, but don't use them? I have a feeling quite a bit of District money is going to Metro for bus rides that are never taken.
Well, I called Transportation and they looked up my son's information. They said that they do not have the times yet (to Lowell) but that they are mailing the letters on the 27th. I asked if she could find it now and all that his record showed was "eligible for transportation".Hrmmm.
I am still waiting for my son's bus information. I called again today (after being told that notices will be mailed on 8/27/09) and hit 0 for the operator. Apparently they are now going to be mailed on 8/31. They have no info on my son's bus route (Lowell from NE). It is due to "glitches in the computer system".We should expect mailed notices mid next week.
A friend of mine just sent an email saying that her middle school son is getting a metro pass to Eckstein . . . no more yellow bus to middle schools now? Was that always part of the plan?stu
Part Two:My friend called Transportation this afternoon and was told that all middle school students are getting metro passes. And here I thought that all those time changes were so that they could run the routes more efficiently!stu
I am concerned about my 6th grader transferring Metro buses in Lake City on his way to Jane Addams. Until I got our transportation letter I had no idea that he wouldn’t be on a yellow bus.Does anyone know what the rules are for transportation this year? Are the rules posted anywhere? Is there a minimum distance from school before you are eligible for transportation? A maximum distance before you become ineligible? Why do some middle school kids get yellow bus service while others get Metro passes? Do K-8 schools have different rules than elementary schools or middle schools? Why wouldn’t kids in a K-8 school be eligible for yellow bus service if some comprehensive middle school kids get yellow bus service? Is Jane Addams considered an option school, and does this affect whether yellow bus or Metro bus service is provided?
rsd:There are specific yellow bus guidelines on the seattle schools transportation page.The link is at:http://www.seattleschools.org/area/transportation/ServStandards.xmlThere's some grey area, of course, in the Yellow Bus for middle school students at K-8 programs but, at least to my reading, if you're outside the walk zone you're supposed to get a bus.The grey area is under the "middle school" section. It says:An eligible non-traditional graded school: K-6, K-7, or K-8. In these situations the yellow school bus service will be determined based upon the K-5 draw area.stu
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