- there were full tables and most were about one school or area. There was a Coe table, a Beacon Hill table (with some hard facts about the changes for that area), a TT Minor table, Montlake, etc.
- I found these to be people who knew their facts and, if they didn't, wanted to find out more. One man pushed back against the format, asking why staff couldn't explain who thought up the boundaries and explain them. He was told they just wanted "comments and feedback." I don't think many were satisfied with that answer.
-Rep Jamie Pedersen was there and he spoke as a father of four (one in school). I think he's getting a good picture of the issues.
- this region HAS had a lot of push-pull from the district. I honestly had not realized how bad it has been. And, like other regions, the boundaries are NOT taking into account established "community boundaries or geographical features. For example, one area of Montlake would change and kids would now go to Stevens but up a huge hill by a ravine.
- NO ONE likes the idea of restarting Meany at Van Asselt. A Big NO all the way around to Central kids being bused - for three years - to a southend site. As one table said, why can't it start up one year at Washington (6th grade and this is already on the table from the district) and then move into the part of the building that is ready. Meaning, do it Nathan Hale style, on-site. (I will point out this is how the majority of school buildings get done in this country.)
- Most want TT Minor to be an elementary school. They believe the numbers are there to support this. They have respect and understanding for World School (scheduled to move in there after renovation) but feel World School is the wrong choice.
This is a very tough one for me because I have fought for World School which has gotten kicked around repeatedly. But I would HATE to see them move in and then, a couple of years later, get moved out because...they need a neighborhood school.
I believe the district needs to offer them the best space possible even if it is not centrally located. Either lease some Central space or move Van Asselt out of AAA and make that building the World School. It's a newish building and would be easier to create a 6-12 space there. Then, redo old Van Asselt for the current Van Asselt students.
The research done on Beacon Hill and the impacts of the boundary changes on low-income students.
Seattle Public Schools is pushing students at seven Title 1 schools out of their official city-approved walk zones
to their nearby neighborhood grade schools and onto buses to faraway
schools. Yet another layer of inequity is that this will increase the
use of diesel buses in areas already disproportionately plagued by
diesel exhaust and other pollution (as near I-5 and Boeing Field on Mid
Including the entire Beacon Hill area, 4 out of our 6 neighborhood
schools (67%) are losing walk zones, compared to 10% for the rest of the
100% (2 out of 2) of Beacon Hill's freeway onramp feeder arterials serve
as natural boundaries between neighborhood grade school zones. The
district now wants our grade school zones to overlap the freeway on-ramp
arterials of Spokane and Graham.
Little kids walking on-ramp arterials to get to school? Just no.
Based on my initial review of the data (presented below), these are the neighborhood grade schools losing their walk zones:
• Maple (Title 1)
• Beacon Hill International (Title 1)
• Dearborn Park (Title 1)
• Graham Hill (Title 1)
• Kimball (Title 1)
• Northgate (Title 1)
• Roxhill (Title 1)
• BF Day
• Green Lake
• John Stanford
I would like to hear the district's response. (Author's disclaimer:
Please let me know if I have gotten anything wrong below. The district
makes it extremely difficult to understand how the boundaries are
changing (the changes are not overlaid on the maps). Also, the new maps
do not include walk zones. I did the best I could to parse all the data.
End of Update.
Just getting started. Not a big crowd right now, about 50 people.
6:40 pm - more people coming in. Just saw Omar Tahri Garrett walk in (he's quite the outspoken and aggressive activist so this could get interesting.)
Hey, look at the services required by law; ELL, Special Ed and APP.
Principal Mark Perry of Nova is here along with a couple of other principals I don't recognize. I also see Stephanie Jones of CPPS. Sherry Carr and Kay Smith-Blum are here, Rep. Jamie Pedersen as well.
More people continue to come in; I'd call it at about 100.
No good interim site for Meany and "you here know that." Work with Washington leadership to keep all kids at Washington or start a new school at Van Asselt.
One table is talking about downtown. All from Coe. Questions about demographics and numbers. Worry over not changing boundaries at Coe as it is quite full. Want to be considered in the plan and overcapacity now. Going to ask why not? Why doesn't Queen Anne Elementary grow larger?
Will have more on table discussions. A lot of nice, considerate, thoughtful people here.
Central elementary. Love reopening Meany but the 3-year interim plan (at Van Asselt) is universally disliked. Reuse TT Minor.
Madrona isn't packed; couldn't we use that as well? Roll-up aspect of Meany and middle school is developmentally important.
Wants answers but district is only taking comments. Herdon doesn't know how plan was developed. Tolley says we are "desiring to collect feedback and that's not our format."
Coe table can't believe numbers given and are wondering why their boundaries are not even being considered. Lowell can't take all their overflow. Wonder why Queen Anne Elementary can't have a bigger geozone or if they might need it to go back to a neighborhood school? Resent QA Elementary able to stay low while others are overcrowded. Coe is the only ELL school in their area (including Magnolia).
District said that plan can/may be revised before vote.
Omar Tahri stands up to speak. Graduate of SPS. Never bused but walk to school. Wants TT Minor reopened for neighborhood school. Wants AAA reopening. Another woman spoke up in support of reopening TT Minor, has a proposal for the district (42 and 43 area on maps).
Montlake parents. Meany is fine with them but they do not want to have a three-year commute to Van Asselt.
From Madrona K-8, myth that if all kids in area came, it would be full. He says it is not full and they want more "great people." Appreciate the "area" splits, "boundaries by their nature are disruptive" and wants boundaries drawn by seats and ignore geography for a minute. Doesn't know why McGilvra's boundary isn't changing and why Stevens is cut back. Don't include portables.