Sunday, November 15, 2009

Board Meeting on Boundaries and Levies

The School Board meeting for votes on both the new SAP boundaries and the levies is this Wednesday, the 18th at 6 p.m. You can sign up to speak starting tomorrow at 8 am by:

calling 252-0040 or e-mailing boardagenda@seattleschools.org

Here's we are, almost to zero hour. I don't want to disappoint anyone but I'm not sure I believe any amendments will come forward. I think only a broad-based one like the "soft" boundaries one (allowing anyone within a block of a school to have access even if it isn't their attendance area school) or the "one-time" option (which would allow anyone within, say, 3 blocks of a non-attendance area school to make the one-time choice to commit to that school). Those would not require moving boundaries. But I think the Board will say they just can't at this point. (And that's why I do not like staff saying, "Oh yes, the Board can do anything up until the vote.")

Please let us know if you attended Director Carr or De Bell's community meeting yesterday. I heard from someone who attended Director Carr's that there were a couple of issues. One, that when parents pressed about amendments, Sherry said it was too late because of staff issues. Two, that many parents were pressing for changes based on personal issues for their children. However, this person did end with this:

"Either way, we'll work to make our kids' school the best it can be."

The truth is that may be all that can be done. Of course, if it is either a brand-new school or a school with challenges that may be easy to say and hard to do.

If, after the vote, we do a post-discussion of the new SAP, we may all agree that despite thousands of types of input, the Board largely went with what staff created, and that maybe that means they don't listen. Or they listen but feel helpless to push back against staff. Or feel they can't challenge Dr. Goodloe-Johnson. But we might want to think about the changes from Boundary Maps 1 and 2 and see if they reflect parents' input or mistakes staff made (see Denny-Sealth).

As per the Agenda for the Board meeting on Wednesday, here's the Resolution for the SAP:

I move that the School Board approve the New Student Assignment Plan Attendance Area
Boundaries. I further move that the Superintendent be directed to: (1) develop a transition plan to begin implementation of the NSAP and these attendance area boundaries in the 2010-2011 school year, and (2) review existing policies to identify those which need to be eliminated, revised, or put on hold pending revision to bring them into alignment with the New Student Assignment Plan.

Hmm, "review existing policies to identify those which need to be eliminated, revised or put on hold.." That is a very broad-based statement. SAP policies or other? That certainly leave a wide-open space for staff to claim the need to change policies here and there.

36 comments:

Seattle said...

I certainly hope the board will grandfather the siblings in during the transition phase. I would also like to see them adopt this soft boundaries amendment. But I would also like to see them go a step further. My daughter currently attends our reference area school (the "assigned" school with the old maps), but then we were drawn out of those boundaries. I have a son starting kindergarten next Fall and we live about 1/2 a mile out of the new school boundary. If the board refuses to grandfather siblings in, then I at least think they need to allow students who were going to their old neighborhood/reference school the choice (providing they provide their own transportation if necessary)to have their siblings grandfathered in if the new map proposals take them out of that area. It is not our fault that boundary lines got shifted. We should not be penalized for choosing a neighborhood reference school prior to these new map drawings.

I also think there needs to be some flexibility given to the families whose kids are assigned to a school that won't even be open until the Fall of 2011 or later. Like Viewlands for example. Rather than forcing those kids to go to Broadview, they should be given the choice ... especially if they already have a child attending a district school ... to pick a closer neighborhood school.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Even though I do agree about grandfathering siblings (to some timeline, not all), I think the district has to be able to say to parents in that situation, "We will find a way for you to have both children in one school." This a totally new plan that many people (even to this day) were not aware was coming or how the changes would affect them.

To force people with small children into two schools just seems wrong.

Seattle said...

I, too, am amazed at how many people don't really understand what is going on. I have talked with some parents lately (a couple who don't speak English very well) who had no idea about the new map boundaries being drawn. Other parents didn't realize siblings weren't being grandfathered in.

I also agree with you that the district absolutely needs to find a way to keep siblings together. But I also don't think it is fair to yank a fourth or fifth grader (just for example) out of one school to have them start at another school with a younger sibling.

zb said...

I there are two major reasons why the board will not push boundary changes at this point: 1) the ripple effect of any individual boundary change requires re-drawing the entire map. The board has neither the inclination nor ability to redraw all the maps. 2) too many of the parental complaints (as you report from the Carr meeting) seem like personal issues and not system-wide issues. Asking to re-draw a map because it will give your child access to the school you desire for them is unlikely to be a successful argument with *any* school board member who isn't actually related to you (and perhaps, not even one who is).

They've taken a wisely political position by leaving the grandfathering sibling issue off the table until after the boundary decisions are done, and I hope people are able to make equitable & workable proposals on sibling grandfathering that will get into a final plan. Right now, I think the school district *will not* exclude a child from within the newly drawn boundaries in order to grandfather a sibling in. I think they're hoping that in many schools they'll have sufficient slack that they'll be able to effectively offer grandfathering by allowing the sibling tie-breaker to come into play.

dan dempsey said...

The fact that the district is unable to thus far improve the quality of many far below average schools makes it unlikely they can bring about such improvement in the future.

When it comes to instructional materials adopted and "supposed best practices" coached, the district fails to make decisions based on relevant data. Anyone who believes that an organization that made horrible decisions, which expanded achievement gaps in mathematics is on the way to making "Every School" a "Quality School" is remarkably naive.

Interesting that a Superintendent incentive plan is being introduced at the same meeting with action on SAP.
-------------
Facts:{a bit of relevant data}

1.) There is no supporting data that the coaching plan for math is producing improvement. NMAP could find nothing positive for coaching and Seattle has expanded every 4th grade WASL math achievement gap since the EDM adoption for grades k-5 in May 2007, which had lots of coaching and professional development.

2.) As I recently pointed out the School Improvement plans on the SPS Website written in Sept 2008 had goals. None of these goals were met for any seriously below average high school in any tested area. In most cases these high schools had lower WASL pass rates in all subjects tested in 2009 than in 2008.

Apparently all these decision-making folks live in Fantasy land.

Should not significant improvement be required before believing that the current administration make every school a quality school? Creating a student assignment plan that is based on "Every School a Quality School", when there is no evidence this is achievable is typical of SPS decision making.

SPS rule #1 ..Leap first look later.

jenni said...

The Board is our elected officials. They are supposed to be our advocates. Why did they have a public hearing last Monday if they weren't going to listen to their constituents and pursue changes?

Was the meeting supposed to make me feel better? A place for me to speak my opinion? If they truly aren't going to do anything, the public hearing has made me feel much, much worse. What a waste of time...

I am disheartened, angry, disgusted, and above all very sad.

KSG said...

Sadly, Mary Bass was constantly called out as being ineffective... yet I feel that if we had six Mary Bass's on the school board we would have seen a plan that would have reflected the parents of Seattle more than the staff.

I feel that we now have a board that is effective in voting as a block, yet ineffective when it comes to actually making the "right" decisions.

Maureen said...

...when parents pressed about amendments, Sherry said it was too late because of staff issues. Two, that many parents were pressing for changes based on personal issues for their children.

I was at Sherry's meeting. Most of the people there were concerned about McDonald/JSIS boundary and sibling issues. There were a few people who were caught up in "but my child...." issues. I thought Sherry was very patient with them in a "Yes, but, we have the whole District to worry about..." sort of way.

She repeatedly said that if someone is proposing a boundary change, they need to propose a way to make it work. She DID NOT say it was too late (on Saturday). She did say that proposers had to give the Board time to examine the proposal and implied that Sat, Sun or even Mon might be early enough--she made it clear that staff was working the weekend.

Seattle, I wouldn't rely on the 'but we were in our old reference area' argument--Sherry made it very clear that those areas were meaningless on the K-5 level (only relevant for cluster and MS level issues), as, of course, most of us know--concentric circles were the reality--not lines on a SPS map.

Re. amendments: Sherry said she was proposing at least two. Both were small border changes in the north-north east (one I remember involved a little area south of the Ravenna ravine that she proposes sending to McDonald instead of (I think) Bryant along with its contiguous neighborhood. I can't remember the other small change.

I was 'impressed(?)' by the McDonald area people and the insistence they had in proposing it become an immersion school. They had Karen Kodama coming to speak to a group of them after Sherry's meeting. I am shocked that SPS might consider placing TWO immersion schools right next door to each other. (Unless at least one of them was on Option school) Sherry kept implying that parents/grassroots were the way to determine program placement. Wow, really? Since when? 1972?

Many of the people I spoke with afterward acknowledged that Immersion schools should of course be Option schools, but they weren't going to propose it. When I did, Sherry said (Tracy's line) ' but we need the neighborhood capacity.' To which I responded-Define them as Options with a large initial Geographic Zone, then shrink the zone over time. Too late for such a change I presume.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Karen Kodama made time to go and talk with a group of parents about language immersion schools on a Saturday? That's pretty interesting and may I say, good luck Sand Point. Something seems off here almost like the fix is in for McDonald (even though I think the majority of the district would say, "what?"). There is no good reason to make McDonald an international school, not with JSIS next door and other new schools without a focus and other region with no elementary foreign language.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Karen Kodama made time to go and talk with a group of parents about language immersion schools on a Saturday? That's pretty interesting and may I say, good luck Sand Point. Something seems off here almost like the fix is in for McDonald (even though I think the majority of the district would say, "what?"). There is no good reason to make McDonald an international school, not with JSIS next door and other new schools without a focus and other region with no elementary foreign language.

Joan NE said...

Dan Dempsey wrote: "The fact that the district is unable to thus far improve the quality of many far below average schools makes it unlikely they can bring about such improvement in the future."

The pro-corporatist-reform people could alway argue tha the district has failed to meet its achievement goals, not because E4A is a flawed plan, but the the plan has been implemented with sufficient fidelity yet.

There is much stronger defense for Dan's statement: it is the October 5 2009 letter from BOTA addressed to Arne Duncan(I write about this on the Nov 13 2009 "Performance Management" strand within this blog). The BOTA letter shows that the methods and strategies the district is using to close the achievement gap and make all schools quality schools is wrong-headed.

BOTA's letter teaches us that E4A (data-driven decision making and every think that goes with it) ISN'T LIKELY TO EVERY WORK! IF IT DOES WORK IT WOULD BE A FLUKE!

Would anyone who contemplates defending E4a (e.g., by expressing frustration the Sup is not meeting her deadlines for implementation of E4A) please read BOTA first? If you still defend E4A after that, then either you didn't understand the report, or you have motives besides what is in the best interests of SPS students, teachers, and families.

On another strand Stu suggested printing flyers documenting all of MGJ's failure to meet the deadlines of E4A.

I say, let's have flyers that document the failure of SPS to meet the ACHIEVEMENT goals that MGJ set out for us in E4A! And attrubute the cause to having a flawed plan (citing BOTA 2009 as the evidence).

We could put facts such as these on the flyer (these copied from Dan Dempsey's earlier post on this strand):

1.) There is no supporting data that the coaching plan for math is producing improvement. NMAP could find nothing positive for coaching and Seattle has expanded every 4th grade WASL math achievement gap since the EDM adoption for grades k-5 in May 2007, which had lots of coaching and professional development.

2.) As I recently pointed out the School Improvement plans on the SPS Website written in Sept 2008 had goals. None of these goals were met for any seriously below average high school in any tested area. In most cases these high schools had lower WASL pass rates in all subjects tested in 2009 than in 2008.

here is the link for the BOTA letter: http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12780&page=1

If someone wants to try to convince me that BOTA is mistaken, or that I misunderstand their letter, please try. I am open to being corrected.

What hard facts would you add to a flyer that documents failure to meet SPS' student achievement goals?

Joan NE said...

Jenni and KSG - I agree wholeheartedly with both of you We need more people like Mary Bass on the board.

It seems to me that we would have a better chance of getting true advocates for students, families, and teachers on the Board (e.g., Sally Soriano, Mary Bass, and others) if BIGGGG money wasn't influencing the outcome of the school board elections. The Mayoral campaign limit is $700. The School Board limit should be lower than this - say $500.

There is currently NO LIMIT to how much an individual or entity can contribute to the campaign of a Seattle School Board candidate! Did you know that just 18 very wealthy people donated nearly a quarter of a million dollars to school board campaigns in 2007? DO the math: that's an average contribution of about $14,000 each. (Nick Hanauer, venture capitalist and founder of League of Education Voters, gave nearly twice that much.) The money went to four candidates: Carr, Maier, Sundquist, and Martin Morris (M-M got the least of these four, but still, he got about about $65K to Sally Soriano’s $13K).

Sally Soriano told me that big bucks were put into the 1996 elections as well.
[I don't agree with Charlie that we would be likely to have better results with an elected superintendetn accountable to a Board appointed by the Mayor.]

We also have to do our best to prevent Mike McGinn from winning the power to appoint directors. [There has been some discussion of this concern on the "Public Hearing" strand [http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2009/11/public-hearing.html]]

If McGinn gets that power, then we will eventually be in worse shape than we would have had he not gotten this power. He'll pick Board members who will practically give away valuable publically-owned property to friends and acquaintances who want to start their own schools. (I wouldn't be surprised Nick Hanauer will be one of those who benefits.)

dan dempsey said...

Peter Maier received $167,000 in campaign donations for his school board run.

kellie said...

I think making the new schools international or language schools is a great idea. It is nearly impossible to convert an existing school to language so why not set the precedent and make it easier to do this for all the new schools.

I am not concerned about it being really close to JSIS as quite a bit of the old JSIS reference area is now in the McDonald school. It only makes sense that those families would want a similar program.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Kellie, if they were making Rainier View, Viewlands, Sand Point and McDonald all international schools, I'd agree. I understand about wanting to have 2 elementaries feed into Hamilton as Director Carr said at the Board Work Session.

However, I think many would believe it unfair to put in an international school next to an existing one when the SE (Rainier View), NW (Viewlands) and SW/West Seattle have none. How to justify that?

Since the district DOES know the model to opening these schools, why not make all the newly opened schools international schools? JA could be a feeder middle (which would encourage more middle schoolers to go there) and Whitman could be one as well. Even South Shore needs to fill its building so RV kids could go there.

But as I said, the Karen Kodama meeting makes me wonder what is going on.

As for the amendments, I will say there is a little bit of gameplay here. I've seen Directors introduce all sorts of amendments just so they could say they did. The Directors sometimes don't even discuss them but go straight to a vote and vote them down. I'm not saying an amendment won't get introduced, discussed and possibly voted it but it will have already been vetted by the other Directors. They are not voting something in that (1) makes the boundary shifts difficult on the staff and (2) any boundary shifts will need explanation to parents who had other moves in mind and don't get them.

Andrew Siegel said...

I don't mean to be difficult, but the problem in school board elections isn't that there is too much money involved, but that there is too little money invested. Because media and mailings are so expensive in a city like Seeattle, school board candidates can't get any sort of message out. All we get is a bunch of generic yards signs, a few silly billboards, maybe one glossy mailing with pictures of a candidate's family. We end up voting based on isolated statements at forums, random endorsements by the papers, and abject guesswork.

If we want to take back the schoolboard, we need to identify a bunch of appealing candidates without baggage (Meg Diaz anyone?), start organizing at least a year in advance of the elections, and raise $200,000 per race $50 and $100 at a time.

The Obama campaign proved that this kind of fundraising is possible. For God's sake, when Joe Wilson blabbed his mouth during the state of the union, his challenger raised hundreds of thousands of dollars on the internet overnight without even trying.

Chris said...

I went to DeBell's meeting. There was a contingent of W seattle parents unhappy about the boundaries in the V2 maps. DeBell seemed to think this was one of the few cases where the boundaries didn't feel quite right. However, the parents said Sundquist had said he thought an amendment would be too much of an uphill battle.

I was really discouraged by DeBell's attitude toward my community (which I shall not name for reasons described in the rest of the sentence) which was that you get dinged down the road for advocating. For your kids. Hey, this is a school district, not a grownup's chess game. Let's just forget I was there, OK?

Maureen said...

There was a West Seattle contingent at Sherry's meeting as well. They want to move West Seattle Elementary (WSE) into the Madison (north) service area and Gatewood into the Denny (south) area. Sherry said she couldn't support that since WSE sits immediately above Denny.

It sounded like she might support moving Sanislo north (and Gatewood south). I'm not sure if anyone has proposed that. (Apparently with Gatewood north, all of West Seattle splits along socioeconomic lines and Madison and Denny end up with very different populations.)

adhoc said...

"However, I think many would believe it unfair to put in an international school next to an existing one when the SE (Rainier View), NW (Viewlands) and SW/West Seattle have none. How to justify that?"

Not to justify, but parents in the McDonald community have come together, organized, and advocated for an immersion program, while the other schools/communities have not. Why would you put an immersion program into Viewlands when their community has shown no interest in it?

I wonder if the two schools (JSIS/McDonald) could be one large school? One housing K-2, the other housing 3-5? And both feed into Hamilton.

If the McDonald community wants immersion, why not give it to them?

And, if other communities want immersion too, they should speak up.

KSG said...

Chris, can you expand on this "dinged down the road" sentiment? That's really disturbing if I understand it correctly.

West Seattle said...

Sansilo was part of the Madison feeder pattern in the first maps. People in the Sansilo area requested that they feed into Sealth. This change was reflected in the latest maps. In West Seattle I feel that this makes more sense if you look at geography. To get from Sansilo to Madison is not a easy or quick commute. Gatewood to Madison is much quicker and more direct. As far as income goes. I think traditionally people are correct that the lower income areas are feeding into Denny but I don't know if that is truly as clearly divided as it was in the past. And to be honest as a parent of a HS student, Sealth was our second choice (after a school outside of WS). WSH is not a great school IMO and I can only hope that by the time my second child hits HS that WSH has improved significantly.

Maureen said...

I wonder if the two schools (JSIS/McDonald) could be one large school? One housing K-2, the other housing 3-5?

I'm not sure what the point of splitting the schools K-2 and 3-5 would be. That would create the problem of having kids in two building for many more people. Maybe split by language? Or just by where people live--why have more buses running through Wallingford than necessary.

What they should do is share one principal with a head teacher at each school--at least that would save some resources.

Part of the reason I object to them being located right next to each other is that I used to live halfway between those buildings: what if you don't WANT your kid to learn math and science in Japanese? What if your kid has a language delay, or you move in when your kid is in 3rd grade? Well, then you have to bus past the other buildings and send them to BFDay or Greenlake.

The plan is to have two immersion elementaries feed into each international MS, at least one of those immersion K-5s should be an Option school.

adhoc said...

Yes, I agree with all of your points Maureen. They are all valid.

A positive for one community can negatively impact another, and that has to be carefully considered.

NE Parent said...

Adhoc said: "Why would you put an immersion program into Viewlands when their community has shown no interest in it? . . . . And, if other communities want immersion too, they should speak up."

I think it's hardly fair to ding the new schools--the ones that won't even be approved to open until Wednesday--for not speaking up yet about what program they want. In particular, Viewlands and Rainier View are not slated to open until 2011 and they are not even being assigned to an interim site in 2010 like Old Hay and McDonald. So people entering in 2010-11 are actually part of another school and will be grandfathered there (e.g., Broadview for Viewlands). And has the District asked them what they want? No.

A number of Sand Point parents have been pushing for an international school, and that group is organizing a survey and group meeting to talk to the District about what they want.

Opening new schools provides a tremendous opportunity to build international schools from the ground up. The district has said it wants more international schools, and this is a the prime time to do that.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Adhoc, you have no idea who those parents are. They may not know to be advocating for what they want. After all the time we spend here reflecting on how many parents can't/don't know how to put forth their voice, it's not fair to say well, you snooze you lose.

Sand Point parents HAVE been advocating for this and you don't hear staff/Board saying anything about them. Odd.

One reason I got active is I realized how many people didn't have a voice in this district. If the loudest voices win, well, that would be sad.

Chris said...

Well, here's the dirty laundry. I'll keep it short. BTW I'm going to post a fuller story on my blog - its an excellent study of democratic site-based governance in all its sausage-y glory.

The community in question is Thornton Creek, formerly AEII. We made a big stink last year when they tried to move us to Jane Addams and turn us into a K-8. So now we want to get into Salmon Bay. Too bad, you didn't play nice last time.

Points to consider on our fight last year
-objections were led by teachers who felt K-8s were not the best for elementary students
-the proposal was an immediate transition to a "mushroom" K-8, even worse
-the proposal was changed not because they listened to us but because they needed it to be a neighboorhood school to meet capacity demands. (yes, now it's an option school, have they conveniently forgot all their flip-flopping?)
-BTW my personal opinion is that closing Summit was a)a travesty and b)stupid

Points to consider on our connection to Salmon Bay
-AEII parents started NOMS as a middle school, which ended up in Salmon Bay due to a district-driven shuffle So, ya know, it's not our fault it's in Ballard.
-it's also not our fault it's the only option school for the Hamilton and Whitman service areas


I had stayed out of this one because I realize we look like a bunch of whiny white people, but finally spoke up because, having a child transitioning from alternative to traditional this fall, I do have a very poignant sense of what we're losing.

What DeBell said was Jane Addams was a "missed opportunity" for us and that "choices have consequences." LIke if we had moved everything would be hunky dory and we wouldn't be concerned about being kicked out when the district needs a middle school there. What bothers me most is the implication that advocating for your kids on proposal A can affect your chances on proposal B. I know many are paranoid about this already but I was hoping it wasn't true.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Chris, I'd like to think Michael meant "missed opportunity" as JA being a regular middle school and not a K-8, not that Thorton Creek would have been a better starting place.

And yes, everyone on the Board should realize the consequences that follow from actions. That parents sometimes can see these consequences coming more clearly than staff should give some weight to what parents say.

For myself, I am very worried about spending nearly $50M to reopen 5 buildings and that it may not really be needed (or could be done more slowly). I'm not saying the NE doesn't have capacity issues but that I have to wonder about this turnaround from last year. Tracy said there was "new data" on more students around McDonald that neatly fits their proposed reopening. How did this data just pop up and where is it?

Seattle Parent said...

back to the West Seattle saga-

The recent v2 maps do correct the Denny/Sealth alighnment, but unfortunately kept feeder patterns which cut projected enrollment by 35% for Madison & WSHS and greatly cut the diversity of those two schools (surprisingly, Denny & Sealth's remain similar to before, but still out of balance if you compare the 2sets of nothend & southend schools.

Also, there are two neighborhoods on the v2 map which are actually inside of the walk zones for the opposite schools than they are assigned to.

Parents from West Seattle met this weekend to discuss this dilemma with Steve Sundquist. Out of that meeting came discussion and development of a proposed amendment which was just sent to the School Board members & the District.

Basically, the proposal was taken straight from the high school Walk Zone maps (but applies to the middle school assignments as well):
"Swap" the two "No Walk" zone areas (i.e. from the southern end of Gatewood, closest to Sealth/Denny and from the northern end of West Seattle Elementary area, which is in the WSHS walk zone).

Because of the high density of students in the north end of WS Elementary area (and low density in s. end of Gatewood), this swap would:
1. balance the enrollment inequities between the secondary schools in WS.
2. help to balance the diversity in those schools
3. remove two large "no walk zones" and instead create "Walk Zones" and help support the neighborhood school concept that the SAP is supposed to be all about.
4. This amendment would prevent a downward spiral effect of Madison & WSHS that families and teachers are extremely concerned about, and help to contribute to the goal of two sets of excellent schools on our penninsula.

Maureen said...

Seattle Parent, so are you saying: send the S end of the v2 Gatewood area to West Seattle Elementary (and then Denny) and send the N end of the WSE area to Gatewood (and then Madison)? Tricky since Gatewood and WSE are almost exactly aligned. Where do the new elementary boundaries fall in the proposal?

Is it possible to see the proposed amendments? Are they posted somewhere as they come in?

sixwrens said...

The amendments are proposed boundary changes. See http://www.seattleschools.org/area/board/09-10agendas/111809agenda/sapamendment1.pdf

Seattle Parent said...

SixWrens- thanks for the amendment links- These are the ones from the Executive Committee for correcting localized glitches.
What I am referring to is something different, that will not be posted by the Board unless one of them supports it (and has it vetted by the District, I've been told).

Maureen- I'm sorry I didn't make it clear- the proposed amendment coming from West Seattle parents will just affect the secondary school level assignment boundaries (NOT elementary assignments). But the two "NO WALK Zone" areas proposed to be swapped (for the MS/HS level) are easiest referred to using the elementary area names as reference points.

In the v2 map the Middle schools in West Seattle were also linked up to fixed feeder patterns with the 2 high schools (for the Denny/Sealth connection), and that is what created the inequities (especially enrollment projections & diversity) as there was no room for adjustments. The rest of Seattle has a built in adjustment for enrollment by NOT having MS's feed into HS's.

Unfortunately, the proposed maps are not linkable at the moment. If you look at the Data Book's High School section "A", you'll get a good view of the swaps. Find the Walk Zone maps for both Chief Sealth & WSHS. The sections for each which are outside of the red-lined Walk Zone are being proposed to be swapped, (creating Walk Zones as a result).

Note: this proposal is only for these two specific No Walk zones:
1.the south end of Gatewood (ie not currently in the WSHS walk zone, and definitely closer to Sealth)
2. north section of WS Elementary (not currently in the Sealth "Walk Zone")

These proposed changes would NOT affect Sanislo's area at all.

Joan NE said...

Andrew - I very much like your idea for identifying quality candidates early, and then helping to raise money and gain exposure. You didn't say whether you think setting a campaign limit of $500 will help. What's your opinion?

Maureen said...

Seattle Parent Sorry if I'm being dense! So are you proposing that a K-5 to MS feeder pattern will not exist in West Seattle (ie, that some of the Gatewood kids would go to Denny and some to Madison)? If so, is there support for that? In other parts of the city, people have actually been unhappy that their elementary kids won't all go to HS together, let alone MS.

Central Mom said...

Have a look at this week's Board Mtg. contents just posted. Boundary amendments are included!

http://www.seattleschools.org/
area/board/09-10agendas/
111809agenda/sapamendment1.pdf

Seattle Parent said...

Yes, Maureen-
There has to be a trade off somewhere. What is more important to ALL of West Seattle- keeping the Denny/Sealth alignment for middle school to high school, AND properly balancing the maps to avoid drastic enrollment cuts for fully 2 out of 4 of our secondary schools, AND to allow for more balanced diversity, OR let your kids stay together all the way from K thru 12 in a northend middle & high school (Madison/WSHS, assuming you are from Gatewood) which gets caught in a downward spiral of 35% budget cuts and total lack of diversity to the point that no one want to go to the school?

If we don't re-adjust the SAP boundaries for high school and middle school we will have the poster child Denny/Sealth combo getting all of the district support & resources, filled to the brim with eager students, and we will have the struggling Madison/WSHS with a dire future. Would you be willing to do that just so WS kids can stay together from elementary to middle school?

Yes, the trade-off is that some kids (only some, who happen to live at the south end of the Gatewood assignment map area, but many of whom might be extremely happy to see this change adopted and be able to WALK to Denny & Sealth), and the north end of the WS Elementary area kids, caught smack in the middle, many of whom already choose Madison/WSHS and would be considerd to be within the Walk Zone for WSHS) unfortunately would not be able to stay as a cohort all the way from K-12. Think about it, the SAP does not guarantee this anyway!

In the rest of the District, by not aligning middle to HS, boundry line adjustments are made to balance enrollment, demographics, etc. but that is not possible in WS with strict feeder patterns. This is why the HS & MS boundaries must be adjusted because of the negative impact for many of our WS secondary school students.

Melissa Westbrook said...

And I would say, as gently as I can, that it is not possible for every single kindergarten class to travel, as one, to middle and high school together. One reason people give for issues at K-8s is because by 6th grade, some of the kids get sick of each other and want new people around. I realize that going to a school where you know absolutely nobody would be hard but the likelihood of that happening is pretty low.