The handouts included the new map, the SAP, information about map revisions as well as a curious handout about the STEM program (I'll try to get a link for it). The information sheets about the map revisions were very cursory and did not fully flesh out how boundary changes impacted other schools. For example, they noted Roosevelt's changes and Ingraham's changes but not that it made Hale's boundaries much smaller. They said at the Work Session that something like 42 out of 58 elementaries boundaries changed but that was not reflected in the information on the sheet.
Also, Tracy made note of the updating of the FAQs but I could swear that questions I've heard at previous meetings haven't made it to there yet.
Tracy's presentation was what you heard before if you attended a previous boundaries meeting. She did add information about the new maps and their boundaries.
Dr. Enfield again said the "program placement process is changing" but didn't say how. (This comes later.) She also said that teachers were, for the first time, receiving professional development in curriculum. (Really?)
(New to this meeting; little signs on posts. One said "Equitable, understandable, predictable". Another said, "Our new SAP is an important step we must take to ensure that every school is an excellent school." I'm thinking they have gotten some pushback from parents about why they are changing the SAP.)
Questions from the audience:
- Will changes be allowed to the maps after this? Tracy said that the Board can introduce amendments at any time before the Nov. 18th vote. She also said there would be NO more changes made to the maps by staff. So basically, you need to lobby the Board AND be able to show that any changes you want won't create a huge ripple out to other areas. I think that is one key point for anything the Board would want to amend - how much change to one area affects other areas?
- Grandfathering siblings needs to be part of the transition plan. Tracy said that a couple of PTAs have surveyed their members and contacted her office to say that they thought it would only be small numbers of students impacted. (No I don't know which PTAs and I don't know how the surveys were conducted.)
- Did staff consider input from those who liked the first maps? Tracy said yes and they had received a range of responses.
- The 10% Open Choice seats seem to be a problem as many people feel that isn't enough and worry over them not truly being "open". Tracy said that the Open Choice seats are being made more complicated than they are. They will truly be open except for the sibling tiebreaker in the case of too many applicants for the number of seats.
- How is the program placement process changing? It is changing because now the district is coordinating the work of program placement with student assignment, levies, and capacity management which they haven't done before. She also mentioned having advanced learning in every elementary eventually. She said the program placement would be more coordinated and systemic.
- Is the first time we see the Transition Plan at the Dec. 16th Board Work Session? Yes, it will not be ready before then. (I find this hard to believe. They surely have been working on it and I really think a rough outline should be given out sooner. That way when the Board does go to the Work Session, they will have feedback from parents in hand. December 16th is two days before the Holiday break and then the issue literally drops off the radar.)
- There is worry about the high (proportional to the other NE elementaries) F/RL number at the new Sand Point. As well the district is going to migrate the ELL program at Bryant over to Sand Point (over the next few years). What will be done to make this program attractive and successful to parents? Superintendent will appoint principals who will start the design teams which will include parents, blah, blah.
- Is the district phasing out Spectrum? Tracy answered this one "No" but the answer should have come from Dr. Enfield.
- Worry over equity of high school offerings? Dr. Enfield said they are starting with a baseline of offerings and that would include a baseline of AP classes.
- What will Sand Point have in the way of staffing? There are a core staffing standards that you can see on-line. Pat Sanders, who is an elementary school director, said that they have learned from the Jane Addams experience and will apply that knowledge to the newly reopened schools.
- One parent said it is better to have more F/RL kids because the school gets more money. (And where is the tipping point for it not being good?)
- One parent raised the issue of where the money was coming from for Sand Point's renovation. There is worry over no playground there. Another parent said she heard that they were cannibalizing the BEX money from Ingraham due to their addition work being stalled out. (I have no idea if this is true but it would make sense. I'll check.
- Parents who have come together over Sand Point are not creating a PTA and they didn't do it because they were excited about the school. They obviously heard this reported to the Board as if it were a good thing.
- too much stress over the worry about siblings. Take it off the table now. "Grandfathering siblings used to be a guarantee and needs to be a guarantee."
- North Seattle Coalition talked for years about reopening schools and yet it is just happening now.
- belief that there is a need for more Open Choice seats (this was echoed about 3-4 times). As well, go back to using the concentric circle model for high schools.
- belief that high school students need more access to the different programs.
- has the district included the idea of shifts from private to public and vice versa?
- what about Metro issues for high school students?
- concern over not knowing if reopened schools will be K-5 or just a few lower grades
- concern over dividing kids from their friends
- boundary lines should, when possible, be arterials and not the middle of the street. Should be "fuzzy" boundaries for people who live within a block of a boundary.
- take high school out of this assignment plan and leave it alone
- more segregation in the south end with this plan
- want a distance tie-breaker
- Friends of McDonald, a neighborhood group, said they supported the grounds and the building that the district largely abandoned. They don't like the boundaries for the school and have worked hard for the building.