Thursday, August 25, 2011

District Updates (Enrollment, Transportation and Special Education)

Enrollment
The District is urging families to please enroll your student by Tuesday, August 30th.  If you know anyone who hasn't done this, let them know that for the good of all, please do it before the first day of school.  From the press release:
Families new to Seattle Public Schools who want to change schools or who have not yet enrolled should visit us at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence (JSCEE) at 2445 3rd Ave. S. You can find a map, driving directions and bus routes to reach the John Stanford Center here. Enrollment hours are 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

In addition, families should note that the JSCEE building will be closed Wednesday, Aug. 31 due to a district-mandated unpaid furlough day for all employees, one in a series of furlough days aimed at offsetting reductions in state education funding.

Families of students who are continuing enrollment at their assigned school DO NOT need to visit the John Stanford Center. Instead, they can submit their enrollment applications via email, by mail or by using our 24-hour drop box located at the JSCEE south entrance, facing Lander Street.

Information on how and where to enroll students is located on the SPS Enrollment page. The web address is www.seattleschools.org/enrollment

Transportation
Starting this fall, Seattle Public Schools elementary and K-8 students attending their neighborhood school will have shorter bus rides, thanks to new transportation zones approved by the Seattle School Board earlier this year.

The goal behind these neighborhood-based transportation zones is to streamline bus routes for attendance-area elementary and K-8 schools, decreasing the bus ride time for neighborhood schools to 25 minutes or less and saving an estimated $4 million by using fewer buses and less gas. To accomplish this, some buses will cover three routes in the morning and afternoon instead of the more traditional two routes.

Transportation zones will include the entire attendance area of a school, extending to areas within a 1.25-mile radius from the school in each middle school service area. Existing walk zones to schools would still apply.

As a result of the plan, an estimated 3,600 elementary students who received transportation in the 2010-11 school year now reside outside of the new transportation zones. They will still be eligible for the following transportation:
  • Students who live within a half of a mile from the Transportation Zone boundary can walk to a yellow bus stop within the zone. Seats will be allocated on a space-available basis.
  • Community stops will be created so students can catch a yellow bus near an attendance area school and take it to another school.
  • Students who are no longer eligible for transportation will receive a guaranteed assignment to their attendance area school, if requested.
School bus routes are assigned in late summer after student assignments are complete. As a result, families should expect to receive a letter with their route information in late August, prior to the start of the school year. 

Families looking for the transportation zone nearest their school can visit the Planned Transportation Zones page here: http://bit.ly/oZEQ8i. Additional information can also be found on the Frequently Asked Questions page at http://bit.ly/n7E7FC.

Two other transportation-related reminders:

ü  Families should work with their students to prepare them for riding the bus. This includes visiting the bus stop with your child, practicing the walk to and from the bus stop, and discussing what your child should do if he/she misses the school bus.
ü  For the first two weeks of school (through Sept. 16) all buses will be running late – it’s part of our effort to ensure students are on the correct bus by checking them in as they board the bus and off as they depart.

 Special Education (from the Seattle Special Education PTSA)
As you may have heard, Seattle Public Schools is searching for a new Executive Director of Special Education Services; the incumbent, Marni Campbell, has been named Executive Director of Schools for the NW Region.  Becky Clifford will serve as the interim Executive Director of Special Education.  The district announced this change at the end of July 2011 [link to Dr. Enfield's letter].

The Seattle school district is conducting a survey to gain input from families regarding the qualities and skills they wish to see in the Executive Director of Special Education Services.

Use the link below to take the survey.  It will only be open for a short time because the district wants to post the position soon, and they want to have family input to help guide the job description to be posted.  The survey will close on Sunday evening, August 28.  Please take a few moments to complete the survey now.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Our daughter will be attending Denny this fall for 6th grade and she will be taking Metro to school and home and it would be great if we could meet our families with kids going to Denny this fall that our daughter might commute via Metro bus with and and have someone she knows since leaving Elementary school. We live in Arbor Heights.

Anonymous said...

it would be great if there were more pedestrian crossing signs and even those blinking lights to aid drivers and pedestrian around Denny Middle School up to 35th Avenue. 35th Avenue is so well known for having speeding traffic.

Josh Hayes said...

Worth pointing out that the proposed transportation zones Melissa references from the SPS website do not include any altern-- ahh, I mean, option schools.

I know my daughter's supposed to have a community bus stop - but where? No one can tell me. Looks like a carpool is in our future.