The Whittier Elementary PTA has put forth a petition to the Board to ask them to not add an additional kindergarten class next year (which would take away their long-time child-care program.
Members of Whittier Elementary School’s PTA plan to attend Wednesday night’s Seattle School Board meeting to oppose a proposal to add a fourth kindergarten class next year. Whittier, which is at 13th Avenue NW and NW 75th Street in Ballard, currently has three kindergarten classes of 23 students each.
The letter from PTA Co-Presidents Lisa Melenyzer and April Brown states that 80 percent of this year’s kindergarteners live within the school’s attendance area, and that there was no waitlist for kindergarten at Whittier this year. The two say that there is room within the current three classes to add any anticipated population growth in the next few years.
In the letter from the PTA:
Please note that we are not suggesting that kids in the attendance area who are entitled to come to Whittier should be turned away. We also want the siblings of Whittier families to be served, and for Whittier to be a welcoming place to the community. We simply don’t want Whittier to be appointed a fourth kindergarten – with this lack of planning and foresight – merely to help serve a capacity problem in the rest of our service area.
From the petition:
As of the October 1, 2011 enrollment count, Whittier had 69 kindergarteners enrolled, accommodating 55 children in our attendance area, plus 14 children whose addresses are outside the attendance area. This translates to 20% of current year K students come from outside the school’s attendance area, demonstrating that there is healthy access for students within the attendance area as well as for siblings. Even with any anticipated growth in our attendance area population of six-year olds, three kindergartens seems sufficient to handle that population.
I find this all very interesting. Whittier is a good school and yet it doesn't fill from its own attendance area (at least in K). And, they have kindergarten classes of 23 kids; that's pretty good.
They also have a good point in saying that adding another K class doesn't answer where all those students would go would all go.
They seem to feel there is no middle-to-long term vision for what is being proposed.