The District is dragging out a number of decisions that should have been made already. In most cases they should just make the decision because they have only a single viable option. There's no decision to be made.
1. Re-open John Marshall as an elementary option school and the site of north-end elementary APP.
They need to bring north-end APP up north and there is no other building that will hold the 500 students in the program. John Marshall would allow space for the APP students and a small general education program as well. That would help to relieve some of the overcrowding in the northeast. Enrollment in the general education program should be by choice only. That would bring a lot of advantages. It would give preference to APP siblings and keep families together. It would allow the District to cap the enrollment of the gen ed program so they aren't guaranteeing enrollment to two different groups. It would evade any need to alter the attendance area boundaries. If the option program were a language immersion program or a Montessori program it would make access to these programs more equitable. The school can meet at Lincoln until the John Marshall building is ready for them.
2. Re-open Fairmount Park as the site of Madison Service Area Spectrum and an option program.
The District needs to increase elementary capacity in Madison Service Area. Lafayette, in particular, is overcrowded. This solution would increase the elementary capacity as needed and free up about 100 seats at Lafayette. Designating the school as Spectrum and an option program would attract students immediately, give enrollment preference to Spectrum siblings to keep families together, and evade the need to alter the attendance area boundaries. If the option program were a language immersion program or a Montessori program it would make access to these programs more equitable.
3. Re-open Wilson-Pacific as a 6-8.
The District needs additional middle school capacity in the north-end and Wilson-Pacific is the only suitable property. It will probably require a tear-down and rebuild from the ground up. The demolition and construction can start right away, but the school can't start for a year or two. Even then, it will probably have to meet at Lincoln until the new building is ready.
4. Build a neighborhood elementary school on the old Denny Middle School site.
The District needs additional elementary capacity in the Denny Service Area. The creation of a new elementary school in West Seattle will allow the District to re-draw the attendance area boundaries as needed. Alternatively, the District could designate the school as an option school so they won't have to re-draw the boundaries. If the option program were a language immersion program or a Montessori program it would make access to these programs more equitable.
5. Re-open Van Asselt as an elementary school.
The District needs additional elementary capacity in the Mercer Service Area. The creation of a new elementary school will allow the District to re-draw the attendance area boundaries as needed and re-purpose the current Van Asselt at AAA as a needed K-8. This need is less urgent. The school won't have to meet at an interim site before the Van Asselt building is ready - if they start now.
6. Join with the Rainier Beach community to make a plan for Rainier Beach High School.
The District cannot and should not try to make a plan on their own. They've tried it and failed. They need to work with the community instead of trying to impose a solution onto it. They need to ask the critical question: What would it take for you to choose Rainier Beach High School for your child?