Wednesday, January 16, 2013

District Provides Three Options for NE Middle School Capacity

The district put out a new options list for addressing the capacity management issues for the NE middle school region for 2013-2014.  The Operations Committee meeting of the Whole is tomorrow, the 17th starting at 3:30 pm.

There are three options:
  • Creation of a sixth grade academy
  • Creation of a new Jane Addams Middle School with changes to Hamilton and Eckstein attendance areas and boundaries (note: this option does not mention co-location with JA K-8 but I assume that is so)
  • No feeder pattern or boundary changes - use technology and improved support to manage capacity
The detail gives Benefits and Concerns for each. 

6th grade academy would treat all Eckstein and Hamilton students the same and addresses capacity management issues at both schools.  However, it would be the highest cost option and they do admit "limits access of 6th graders to advanced courses and sports."

New JA Middle School would have fewer students reassigned and reduces some capacity pressure (although it could almost be called minor for Hamilton).  The concerns are sending students a new middle school when their parents were told this would NOT be happening and "not all 6th graders in the Eckstein and Hamilton attendance areas would be treat the same."

No changes.  Lowest costs, same assignment plan, more planning time.  Concerns include lack of enrollment reduction at Eckstein/Hamilton.

Now there are some interesting items to note like the capacity at John Marshall is now said to be 952 (which is what I had heard for years) and the 6th grade academy would be 800.  That would shrink Eckstein down to 816 and Hamilton to 678.

The district says:

The community is invited to give input and feedback on the three options prior to the meeting by e-mail at
capacity@seattleschools.org.  
Responses will be tabulated for the School Board's discussion.

Fine to tabulate but this is NOT a vote so the Board should take any "votes" with a grain of salt.  Of course the votes out of Eckstein could easily outweigh those from JA or any elementary school.

Also, there is some confusion over when, during the meeting, this issue will be discussed.  (I called the Board office as the notice says from 4:15-4:45 pm but I was told it was from 4:30 pm to 5:15 pm.)

I would advise you to get there at 3:30 as that is when the meeting actually starts (and the agenda does have more than one item on it).   

Me?  I'm for no changes.  While it puts off the inevitable, nothing else seems to be truly vetted or planned.  This is major, major change AND more change is coming via boundary changes in 2014-2015. 

Planning is key in all things.  We don't do enough of it in this district.  Also, I can't get over the JA option saying that "not all 6th graders" would be treated the same.  At least in the 6th grade academy, they are ALL in the same boat.  You can argue that their older siblings had a different 6th grade experience but that was then and this is now.

Planning and equity, I believe, are the way to go.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

My understanding is the the new principal at HIMS has indicated that the school can handle the 2013/14 incoming 6th grade class. If Eckstien can squeek by for one more year then I would vote for NO change and spend the next year planning, budgeting etc for the long term solution.

My fear with No Change is out of sight out of mind and a year from now there will be another scramble to deal with the 2014/15 enrollment.

I really hate the 6th grade academy- it is warehousing students. If they go with it, I can see it becoming a long term solution. (again, out of sight out of mind).

HIMS Parent

Anonymous said...

No changes, but we want to see evidence NOW of the planning for 2014-2015. We need to have a date by which the new boundaryies and feeder patterns will be laid out; it can not be sprung on parents after enrollment (even early enrollment for K) for 2014-15 has already begun. In fact, new boundaries for 2014-2015 would likely impact decisions families are making even this year during open enrollment, but it is probably too much to hope for that they would lay them out now.

Boundary watcher

--Boundary watcher

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that the principal at Eckstein has also said they can handle enrollment for next year, especially since it is projected to be slightly lower than this year.

My vote is for 'No Changes' - but get started on 2014 planning as soon as the levy passes.

-No Changes for 2013

Melissa Westbrook said...

HIMS Parent, at any other time, I would share you concern. Believe me, there is NO out of sight, out of mind for the NE. None. If they pick the 6th grade academy (and I don't think they will), it will be a short-term solution.

Why do I know this? Because they need John Marshall for other needs. They cannot have it taken up permanently.

"My vote is for 'No Changes' - but get started on 2014 planning as soon as the levy passes."

Ditto but don't wait for planning. If they make the decision to hold steady, then planning starts now.

Anonymous said...

The levy vote is only a few weeks after the board votes at their next meeting (January 23rd). Assuming the levy passes the first time, it isn't really waiting, and quite honestly, taking a break for a few weeks would be good for everyone. If the levy doesn't pass, yes they need to get started on planning ASAP, but hopefully the levy will pass and we'll be able to move on.

All the parents who are threatening to boycott the levy if they don't get what they want have made the district unwilling to share any longer range vision or plan for fear of jeopardizing the levy.

-No Changes for 2013

ConcernedSPSParent said...

This is getting ridiculous, the district should be finely tuning a plan not thrashing around. Last week we had, what, 5 options. Now we have three, two from the previous list and a new 'do nothing' option. I vote do nothing and replace Pegi McEvoy who is clearly out of her depth.

Anonymous said...

Sent my email and copied the board. I urged the "no change" option. For once, let's get it right instead of making slapdash, "emergency" decisions.

- No Change is Change

Anonymous said...

Wow! JA K-8 gets extra money, not necessarily a single extra student, AND doesn't have to give up their spacious underfull building under one option. That's definitely "treating all 6th graders alike".

And the statement that Eckstein will not be over capacity is ludicrous. Why does SPS keep putting these absurd things in its documents? The staff has been told many, many times to refrain from saying this. No increase/slight decrease in enrollment DOES NOT mean Eckstein is not over capacity. It means the amount it is overcapacity just doesn't get worse.

Any $$$ spent on 6th grade academy or on JA k-8 w/out mandatorily assigning new kids there is wasted b/c it is not in the direction of the long-term plan.

-- tired of this

Anonymous said...

I would go with the no change plan also, but I am afraid, in this case we will be in the exact same situation next year, knowing the district for 7 years.
Also, how HIMS could handle more students when there are almost daily accidents in the crowded hallways in the passing periods and on the courts outside? And how can they fit more students in the Commons for lunch and assemblies, and into the Gym for PE?
HIMS mom

Anonymous said...

So the district thinks they can attract 255 middle school students to JAK8 when these students will not know what will happen to their school (both physical location and academic program) in 2014-15? That does not seem realistic to me. I think given the uncertainty, most of those 255 will choose Eckstein or Hamilton. It might be better to rip the band-aid off now rather than dragging it out another year.

- seahawk

Anonymous said...

Well, "all of the sixth graders" EXCEPT Jane Addams sixth graders get treated the same, in the 6th grade academy idea. Jane Addams gets extra perks and a special deal, and all the other North End sixth graders, whose parents have been waiting a decade for relief, get screwed.

-Eckstein parent

Anonymous said...

Why not put your kid in Jane Addams then if things will be so much better there?

HP

Anonymous said...

Because I want a comprehensive middle school. Why is the only decently funded option in 4 miles a tiny, specialized k-8? Shouldn't there be at least ONE regular middle school not at crisis?

And we already go to Eckstein, mistakenly having believed the district that they were "just about" to fix the capacity problems. Ha.

-Eckstein

Lori said...

I can only hope that they've written the 6th grade "academy" option in such a way as to discourage any sane person from selecting it.

It would cost well over $1M, require mandatory reassignment for 800 kids, and deny those kids access to world languages, advanced math, instrumental music, and sports.

Seriously, couldn't they have just taken that off the table before putting this document out there? Am I missing something? I just don't understand how this could even be on the table as an option any longer.

Melissa Westbrook said...

JA K-8 gets extra money, not necessarily a single extra student, AND doesn't have to give up their spacious underfull building under one option.

Could you explain this? I know the building is NOT underfilled. Not with all the programs in it; what is not full are the gym areas. But how do they get more money?

No, the 6th grade option does not deny access; it lessens it for the 6th grade year.

Mad Wet Hen said...

Why aren't all Seattle Schools created equal? Why are they not all offering foreign language like the intl. schools are? Why do we have to abide the attendance assignment guidelines when the schools are not equal in what they offer students? And why does Laurelhurst get assigned to Hamilton anyway? It's across town! All of this still wreeks of economic bias to me. The rich kids still get the nice schools-if you aren't rich but give half a care to your kids education, too bad! Where is the "public" in this system? If Hamilton is too full, maybe the other schools should get more energy put towards raising the bar and less families would clamor for the one decent, fully equipped school. I vote for no changes now and get your long term act together so people can plan a stable life for themselves. It's hard enough to live in the city as it is- help our kids school experiences be more stable. Please!

We have a baby on the way and a 5th grader we are planning to enter Hamilton for 6th. We worked for almost two years to secure a home we could afford in the attendance area. It makes me mad as a wet hen to think that at the last minute, this might change due to SPS planning issues. For as careful and calculated as parents are required to be to ensure stability in their kids education, SPS needs hunker down, or buck up, or something! We were assigned to TT Minor when we lived in the area a few years back only to see that school closed! For 4 years, we have been hauling across town to a neighborhood we have nothing to do with because she was hastily reassigned after the closure.

So, we have carefully chosen a stable home with all intentions that her middle and high school days would be more stable. And now there is gossip that they may shake the snow globe once again? How does this kind of instability allow for any parent to invest themselves in the school their kid attends?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I heard very clearly from all parents at Sharon's meeting that the one thing all parents could agree on was that trying to implement either a 6th grade academy or a new comprehensive MS by September 2013 would be ludicrous, which is why the "no changes" option was added.

Simply, the more electives offered at the JA building, the more students would choose the program. JA already offers advanced math, so you're looking at adding a second language and increasing music options, and....

I think one HUGE issue is that the NNE families who are the future JAMS need to define what they mean by comprehensive MS. I've been in the room when that question has been asked, but there haven't been clear answers and to plan, the answer needs to be more than "we'll know it when we see it". This discussion needs to happen in the John Rogers, Sac and OlyHills communities - and needs to happen whether those students are assigned to the JA building or are encouraged to opt in, so they could do that now. The department could get a read on what could be done to increase the opt in rate at JA K-8 or let them know what the parents would want for a comp MS.

Also, even if you assign those NNE students to JA, you're only getting relief of 38 students at Hamilton and 75 students at Eckstein. What about 2014-15? Who gets moved out of Hamilton?

The district doesn't have to find 255 students to choose JA - the rising 5th graders would likely stay AND JA would have gotten some of the area rising 5th graders from other schools already (83 total this year in 6th grade - at least one classroom is all transfers in from local elementary schools this year.) Without adding any additional money for electives, if there was a promise of stability, JA would likely be up close to 125 6th graders. Add in the electives and I don't think another 100-125 students is outrageous.

BUT, I agree strongly with the person who said that families are unlikely to choose JA if they don't know what is going to happen between 2014 and 2016. I think the district would need to come up with a more definitive plan before open enrollment - otherwise there is nothing to tell those families.

As far as families being assigned vs. opting into the JA K-8 program - if the JAMS MS is co-located without program integration, they will not have enough students for the range of electives they want. If the students use shared resources (shared administration, special ed services, advanced learning options, music instruction, etc.), there would be a real critical mass to justify more resources. It doesn't make sense to have 2 algebra courses if there are 10 kids from JAMS and 10 from JA K-8 - these students should be combined into a class of 20. Same for language classes.

AND boundaries should come out by open enrollment this year so that parents know where they will be going in 2014 and beyond.

And, to "Tired of this" - the JA program is NOT getting a good deal out of this. We have 4 years of uncertainty, our elementary kids will have double the # of MS kids on campus (something I didn't sign up for having a second grader)and the building is not now underfull - in fact the district needs to convert rooms for us to accept almost any new students. I'd be absolutely fine with not getting any additional elective money if NNE families don't opt to join - you make it sound like we want this option because of the benefits we get. Really, the only benefit we get is that we don't have to move our program to an interim site next year. We don't know what happens in 2014.

We are trying to be part of the solution without losing our own very successful program - that is our goal. We are not in it for extra money and resources.

~JA mom of a 2nd grader who will be spending time with a lot of tweens next year.

Anonymous said...

I only heard the HIMS capacity number from Mr Carter a few years ago. First he said that it can hold 900 students, than it was 950 and before he left he said, that it can actually hold a 1.000 students (but because of the special students and their needs, the official capacity is 950). I just read that next year 1046 students could be there - Under the new Option No 3, or Do Nothing Plan.
It would be really good to know what is the official number (from fire and other safety standpoint, etc.) before make any final decisions.
HIMS mom

Anonymous said...

Do Nothing. But set boundaries for 2014-2015 BEFORE this year's open enrollent.
Nep

Melissa Westbrook said...

Mad Wet Hen, I can hear how frustrating this has been especially since you have tried to plan.

BUT change has been coming for awhile. Once the assignment plan changed, those boundaries changed.

And, for the last three years, the district has been growing. They have change to accommodate that growth.

I will write a separate thread about what is truly coming but no, this is just the beginning of a period of high change in SPS enrollment patterns especially in the North.

JA Mom, the discussion of K-8 electives is also overdue. K-8 were NEVER supposed to be comprehensive with many offerings. The district cannot afford it with the size of these schools. That is your tradeoff for a smaller, homey school - fewer offerings. Director DeBell has had this on his mind for quite awhile.

I think JA will grow but needs the stability to do so (as does any Option school).

Lori said...

BUT, I agree strongly with the person who said that families are unlikely to choose JA if they don't know what is going to happen between 2014 and 2016

This statement reminds me of something I've been meaning to ask for a while. I see some similarities to what happened to APP when Lowell grew to 700+ kids and what is happening now in the NE potentially to JA. Two communities were essentially told (or perhaps asked, in the case of JA) to vacate their building to accommodate enrollment growth/overcapacity.

When APP moved to Lincoln, I too suspected that it would affect enrollment the next year, that parents would hesitate to enroll to a program with an uncertain future, in a facility not designed for elementary students and so on. Instead, the opposite happened, and enrollment went WAY UP! People still choose the program, despite the hasty move to a suboptimal building and the uncertain future. Those parents didn't even have the "carrot" of a shiny new building at Wilson Pacific in 2017 to attract them; moreover, many who opted in will be well out of elementary school before WP opens, so they made the move because of the program, despite the location.

So, my point is, the conventional wisdom that a program can't attract students to an interim site may not be true. The key is that the program needs to be strong and desirable.

As I understand it, the JA community has been promised an expensive, new state-of-the art building that will open in 2016 if BEX IV passes. That's just 3 years from now, which is not a long time for a K-8 program (ie, kids stay there for 9 years). I would think that people who really want a K-8 school and/or an ESTEM program would jump on the chance to end up in a wonderful new building in 3 short years.

And I guess what gives me pause is this assumption that moving to John Marshall would be the death knell for ESTEM K-8 because it seems to imply that people currently choose JA not because of ESTEM, not because of the K-8 program, but instead simply because of its location. If the program isn't strong enough or isn't desirable enough to survive a few years in a temporary site while an amazing new building is built, then I have to wonder how prudent it is to even build that new building.

I hope that makes sense and isn't taken as an antagnostic view. I'm not trying to fight; I'm simply trying to understand and perhaps challenge the conventional wisdom that a move would kill the program. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Are there too many option schools in SPS?

Coming from another state and district I was astounded at the absolute variety and, before the NSAP, the fact you had to apply for every level of school. I think the variety is great, if the options are actually all funded. I am very concerned especially since in some cases even basic instruction seems to be hampered.


MidwestMama

Anonymous said...

@ Lori - I think that a the Lincoln location was not seen as sub-optimal for many APP families. The building condition and facilites weren't very appropriate for elementary age kids, but the North End location was a plus. It was the location (and greatly reduced time on a school bus for their young children) that brought many of them into the program once North APP moved to Lincoln. It's probably fair to say that both the program and the location are important to parents.

I, for one, would really be torn between a great program that could take over an hour to get to, versus an acceptable program within reasonable walking distance.

- Grapevine

Anonymous said...

Lori -

I think the comparison you bring up is interesting, but I think the differences are there between APP and JA K-8.

APP moved north of the ship canal and got a very large bump in population because it was now closer to many families that had not wanted to deal with the crossing of the ship canal.

I believe that APP also got a bump in enrollment because the spectrum program at Wedgwood was changed from self-contained to something different from that - and this transition was NOT handled well, so any APP qualified students who had been in that spectrum program shifted to APP. I don't know that this is true, but I heard stories from families about making the choice for this reason.

I would also say that APP really isn't an option school. I've heard many times that parents feel they have no other choice to meet their students' needs.

JA K-8 does draw mostly from the NNE, so is not a region-wide draw like APP. We have a higher % of ELL and FRL students for whom the distance is more of a hindrance (if they are bus-dependent, their ability to stay for afterschool programs, tutoring, etc. is much harder.)

I also think that although the new building will be great, it again is in a different neighborhood than either JM or the new building.

So, if I were a NNE parent deciding for 2013 for my kindergartner and transportation was an issue, I would struggle in my decision to opt into the K-8 program (even though I liked the K-8 and E-stem programs) because I'd be looking at the rest of my daughter's 8 years (after her first year next year there) as potentially being too far away. To put a child in a school and commit to potentially dealing with transportation issues for 8 of her 9 years would be difficult.

If I lived in Northgate, 2016 is a long time away - especially with the possibility that the BEX money wouldn't be used in the way we are now being told. (For Northgate families, I think it will be easier to attract them to the JA K-8 program once ground has broken at the new site.)

One other NNE issue if the JA K-8 building is moved is that JA is the only elementary Spectrum option in the NNE, which is why a good number of spectrum and APP qualified students did opt in. If it is moved out of the NNE, there would be no advanced learning programs in the NNE except ALO (and we all know that needs work.)

Myself, my daughter is APP qualified. If I wasn't already a very happy member of the JA community and I was looking at schools, I would need to put her in a school that was at least spectrum, which, because of the enrollment patterns, I'd have to opt into APP because there wouldn't be any spectrum programs that had space in the NNE (and I wouldn't get into other NE spectrum programs because of crowding.)

I don't really think people know or believe that JA K-8 has a thriving spectrum program. In 2011, the elementary was 11% spectrum/APP and it was 8% at the MS level. Now as we've gotten more new families and some families that had been assigned during the first year move on, I know that percentage has risen. We have more than 1/3 of the second graders at JA doing 3rd grade math this year.

Just another issue I haven't seen discussed.

~ JA Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

One thing that should be understood about the choices - if the district waits, then your 5th grade child may be assigned to Eckstein if you are in the NE.

HOWEVER, come 2014, the boundaries could change and I suspect the district will shake out the blanket and tell everyone they must go to their assigned middle school, be it Eckstein, or the new JA middle school. Meaning, the district could get tough.

Now, I know. Your child starts at one school and then has to move? And, at other new schools, there was grandfathering. Will the district grandfather in all students who start at Eckstein next year? I don't know if they will, I don't know if they can. Are you prepared for that?

Eric B said...

Whether the bandaid gets ripped off now or in a year, you have two unpleasant choices for the new NNE middle school:

1. You force students in grades 6-8 to move from Eckstein to NNEMS. Friends get split, social fabric gets messed up, people are going to be upset.

2. You start a rollup at NEMMS, assigning 6th graders there. If there are any 7th and 8th graders, there won't be many. Those 6th graders don't have a "complete middle school experience"* and people are going to be upset.

Whatever you do, people are going to be unhappy. There will be sad stories all over the place. But at some point, one of the two of these has to be done. I'll be the dark cloud of doom and tell everyone that at some point in the next two years, everyone is going to be pissed off about how the plan is going forward. We're looking for "least bad for the most kids" options, not "what will make most people happy".

* I agree with Melissa that a comprehensive middle school experience needs a real definition. SPS can't give you what you want if you don't tell them what you want. They might not anyway, but there's no hope if the community can't articulate what they want from a comprehensive middle school. Is it multiple foreign languages? Lots of art classes? Advanced math? Sports? Some of each? What's most important? I can hazard some guesses, but it's not my community, and my kids probably aren't representative of that community.

Anonymous said...

I think that there is a critical piece of this puzzle that folks are missing. Teachers are also going to be shuffled around in all of these plans. Decreasing the number of students will also mean decreasing staff. Adding students means adding staff.

Have the teachers issued a statement?

- ne mom

Anonymous said...

If they are not going to have grandfathering and siblings then isn't it better to rip the bandaid off now for 2013-14? If they are going to have grandfathering and siblings then how does that solve the capacity problems at Eckstein and Hamilton that will be even worse in 2014-15?

- seahawk

Anonymous said...

Eric B has a point. When they redraw the boundaries for JAMS, they will try to draw them for around 350 students per grade. They are not going to draw the boundaries smaller to leave room for the K8.

So for 2014, there would be 350 of the current 4th graders in the N/NE assigned to JAMS in the Jane Addams building as 6th graders. So that leaves a big question of who is in the other 2/3 of the building.

That doesn't leave enough room for E-Stem program to stay. But if the E-Stem program leaves, then that leaves too much space. I could see them moving the 7th and 8th graders from the new area to the new school. (current 5th and 6th graders.) I could also see them just moving the K5 out of the building if there wasn't anywhere for the entire K8 to go.

Can someone tell me that I am being paranoid? or is that a real possibility?

- now exhausted lake city mom

Anonymous said...

I really hope the district waits a year and tries to get this right. It would be nice if they looked at the North-End as a whole and made decisions that make sense for where they want to be in the future.

Numbers from the SPS web-site:

Eckstein 1298
Hamilton 974
Whitman 971

I'm surprised that the remodeled Hamilton building is considered overenrolled. What capacity was it remodeled for? What is Whitman's capacity?

Aren't some schools from the Eckstein area going to be feeder schools to WilsonPacific Middle School? WP MiddleSchool is "supposed" to be at John Marshall for the interim. Will they not announce the plans until next year?

Can't wait to see the HS mess in just a few years.

NW mama

Patrick said...

My fear is that in 2017 we'll have Wilson-Pacific Middle School open, plus JAMS, and suddenly they will all be only 2/3 full. We'll be wondering why the District paid a lot of money to build a new school for Jane Addams K-8, transitioned Pinehurst into some other program, and kicked JA out of their better location in NNE.

By then the high schools will be overcrowded, and the search for some option school to kick around will start again.

Melissa Westbrook said...

NE Mom, good question. I have queried a few schools and yes, it seems it might be a good idea to have asked them about what would work (if only from a logistics standpoint as they are the boots on the ground).

Eric, you are right and that why I think equity is the key.

Patrick, also right. I worry about this as well.

Anonymous said...

My fear exactly, Patrick.

Also: want to reiterate the point that JA Mom made about Spectrum/APP at Jane Addams K-8. My daughter is also a 2nd grade APP student in Spectrum at JAK8. So since our assignment elementary school offers no advanced learning (didn't even have walk to math until recently) we opted for JAK8 from the start (Kindergarten). It's our only option for advanced learning in the NE since both Wedgwood and View Ridge are assignment schools and full. Which means our only choices are JAK8 (which is serving our needs at the moment) or SNAPP, which is another program with a whole host of uncertainties around it. So not much of a choice really, when it comes down to it.

--Maple Leaf Mama

Anonymous said...

Patrick has really struck a chord.

Under the old SAP, special programming "won." Take the long standing battle over TOPS. The Eastlake neighborhood had no neighborhood elementary school and they were too far to get into any nearby school so they got whatever was left over after the choice assignments were done.

But TOPS was right there in the middle of Eastlake but since it was an option school the entire district has access. After years of back and forth, there was a few seats set aside for Kindergarteners.

Now with the NSAP, assignment schools rule and option schools, like K8s get the left overs.

Oh the irony of watching the K8 share the same fate as Summit.

-- old school rodeo

Anonymous said...

Looking at the options summary provided by the District, the option, “Create Attendance Area For Jane Addams w/ New Boundaries (Original Option 5) results in a total of 113 additional seats at Hamilton and Eckstein in 2013-14 when compared with the “No Feeder Pattern or Boundary Changes” option, which is really not much capacity relief. For these 113 seats, more money would be spent, 181 kids would be re-assigned, and an option program would be threatened. Many of the 181 reassigned middle schoolers would be NNE kids who were promised Eckstein just last month, reassigned to a brand new “Comprehensive Middle School” shared with a K-8 with an enrollment that is much smaller and poorer than that of Eckstein. Original Option 5 also, according to the options summary, results in the middle school-aged programs at the co-housed Jane Addams K-8+MS being over capacity by 43 kids. All this for 113 seats at Eckstein and Hamilton? And I’ve heard parents say they love their experiences at Eckstein and Hamilton as they are now, without the much-needed and soon-coming capacity relief.

I think that with Jane Addams K-8’s recent School of Distinction award, its positive, active PTSA, its solid reputation, its dedicated staff, its awesome kids, its diversity, its offerings of Spectrum, ELL, self-contained autism, art, music, PE, language, and don’t forget the illustrious promise of the much-anticipated, super-expensive, and ever-so-shiny! new building (in the middle of a concrete jungle with no trees...) THIS option school can do a lot to relieve capacity in 2013-14 by attracting families who prefer a thriving K-8 E-STEM for their kids. Let’s give it a year and start the new Jane Addams Comprehensive Middle School on the right foot with a well-thought out plan that has buy-in from the families that will populate it.

- All for No Feeder or Boundary Changes

the Real Housewives of the North End said...

give the North End Portables Just like the South End has

SpsSchools Exposed said...

why is the only Capacity Management for North End
Middle schools ??

North is not the same place as South said...

Hey, Real Housewife,

If you are really from the North End, you would know that Eckstein already has portables, and there is nowhere to put portables at HIMS, really, nowhere, except maybe in the streets, and I think the Wallingford neighbors might object to that.

It's a clever remark, but a non-solution.

Anonymous said...

Kids at Jane Addams do have advanced options. They cross the street to Nathan Hale.

HP

Anonymous said...

There is more than enough time to build a great middle school at Jane Adams. The argument that it's racist or unfair is ridiculous. There's no reason it can't be a fantastic school.

I tutor at Eckstein, where my son is a 7th grader. Portables are not acceptable ways to increase capacity. You are loading more children into a building whose bathrooms, hallways, administrative office space and cafeteria can't handle them. You are loading more children into a building that doesn't have enough computers, library time-slots, or counseling offices. You can't just plunk portables down and act like the school has increased its capacity. The other day almost 400 8th graders at Eckstein went on a field trip, and our school finally felt comfortable.

Laurelhurst families should be able to attend their local middle school. Wallingford families should have some breathing space in their local middle school. Jane Adams is right next door to a great high school, and is a perfect opportunity to build a neighborhood middle school. Families should see this as an opportunity to build a school that meets the needs of their children.

Northender

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if a big chunk of the $ it would cost to create a 6th grade academy is to get the building ready? If so, that cost will be incurred regardless in order to roll-up Wilson-Pacific, so it's a cost that should be looked at separately, not as a part of that scenario.

And, no, it doesn't take less time to plan a middle school than it does to plan a 6th grade academy. Six months is not enough for either.

~facts, please

Anonymous said...

Nor can 150 sixth graders be considered a comprehensive middle school.

~facts, please

Unknown said...

School District admin did not understand the incredible benefit that the School Choice Plan provided when they dismantled it in favor of the current neighborhood plan. No, the District could not afford to continue to provide transportation to every student, but that could have been easily remedied by making transport beyond a certain distance the family's responsibility.

Establishing rigid boundaries for enrollment leaves the District susceptible to impacts from households willing to move to get a "guaranteed" seat at a neighborhood school. The old tiebreaker system at least allowed the District to say a school is full and offer folks their second choice school. I suspect we will be seeing perennial tweaking of the school boundaries from here forward as the population shifts and moves to try to gain access to a preferred school.

Many Wallingford planners still believe that Hamilton belonged at Lincoln, as planned since the 1980's, where the program would have a site size appropriate for a middle school, including a full-size performance space, an all-weather athletic field, and an additional 12,000 to 20,000 square feet of space for the APP cohort. Instead, with BEX IV, the District now plans to turn Lincoln into an undersized high school with no athletic field and insufficient parking.

The proper fix for selling off Queen Anne High School is to bite the bullet and provide a new high school to serve QA/Magnolia at Interbay, not bus kids from Magnolia to Wallingford. How short-sighted!

Perhaps the District should consider not compounding their error. Move the program at Hamilton to Lincoln in BEX IV and fix the property up as a full-featured middle school with an athletic field and space for APP. Convert Hamilton to a neighborhood K-8, as was proposed during the neighborhood planning process.

NE member said...

The current JA K-8 could be / should be a mushroom model until the new building is ready to be moved into. That alleviates the overflow at the other middle schools and preserves the thriving E-STEM K-8 model into the future. Two separate middle school programs and all of the elementary students (400 in all) can not survive and is unsustainable in with facilities as they are in JA. Relocating the E-STEM K-8 puts over 500 families in the NE in a bad position and will be extremely expensive... I believe we in the NE should ask for an increase of enrollment for the MS currently in the K-8 until the new building is finished.

Vada said...

This is cool!