Friday, October 11, 2013

New Growth Boundaries Plan Posted

I have not read one word of it yet.  Read away.

Attachment A:  Recommended Growth Boundaries, Feeder Patterns, and Option School Geozones

Attachment B: Reference Materials

Attachment C: Summary Information on Public Input


Anonymous said...

Melissa, I hate to open a can of worms, but I wonder if we need an APP-specific thread as well. With the way they are chopping things up in the north end--now THREE middle school sites--it's hard to know where to post general comments and questions for discussion.

For example, did anyone notice what the timeframe is for ramping up these three northern APP middle school sites? Since the elementary feeders to Hamilton is larger than currently (Green Lake added), and given the new proposal to keep part of APP at HIMS, I'm hard pressed to see how this will alleviate HIMS overcrowding unless these changes take place next year. And what about grandfathering of current HIMS APP kids? Anyone catch the verdict on that?


Anonymous said...

uggghhh, not one more thing specific to APP

Steve said...

Glad that alert parents and the PTA at B.F. Day caught the capacity and boundary error the District had made in the previous draft. A smaller boundary would have really impacted the school negatively.

Anonymous said...

Pardon my ignorance. I'd like to hear from West Seattle about changes for better or worse. Is West Seattle included in the SW Open Thread?


Unknown said...

Mellissa, thanks for posting.

I've poured over the docs and found a few typos or incongruences, but over all I'm actually rather impressed with pulling together such a drastic change to the original plan in such a short time frame.

This is an incredibly complex issue, and the timeline for working though it is super short. How many e-mails and comments did they pour through? Kudos to district staff, really.

Some things that I think are still missing from the picture, though are:

Where are the High Schools in the plan detailed? Lincoln is mentioned as coming on line as a High school in 2017, but I don't know that the feeder pathways reflect it.

In fact, Table 1 mentions high schools for the APP pathways, but none for the rest of the schools.

Secondly, having dug into the enrollment projections on the analysis my husband and I put together, there still appears to be a disconnect between the numbers that are used as the "capacity" for buildings and what is intended capacity.

Haven't most if not all of the buildings already eeked out every last inch of space they can, and then some? I'd love to see the analysis of all of the sites to bringing them back to the intended capacity of the buildings.

For example, just because they list XXX for a giving building, what does that mean in reality? Is XXX the number when you use all of the extra rooms plus extra portables and take away teacher prep hours?

I'm not sure that this will/could happen before this vote, but given the QAE post about the "real" capacity of that building, I would think that the district should consider doing a review of all of their sites.

I think it would be good to define:

"Intended" building capacity
"Crowded" building capacity
"Maximum and bordering on unsafe" building capacity.

Those three category definitions could use some better naming for sure.


Lynn said...


Page 20 of attachment B shows capacity as buildings are currently used and boundary planning capacities. The adjustments limit portables to 15 of a building's capacity, give each PCP teacher a dedicated space (no more music in the hallway or cafeteria) and provide for a dedicated computer lab in each school. I think that's your "intended building capacity."

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, Step J, West Seattle is SW for me.

Melissa Westbrook said...

The capacity of the building is dependent on the programs in it. That's why chasing capacity numbers is so difficult.

Anonymous said...


High schools do not use "feeder patterns" in the elem to MS sense. High school boundaries are not cobbled together from pieces into a quilt like MS is - they are actually drawn independently of elem zones, based purely on the area around the high school. Thus they do not list "feeder patterns" for HS in this plan b/c they do not exist - that is not how they determine what HS a person goes to. To draw a HS boundary, they go back to scratch and draw the appropriate boundary, not trying to fit square pegs of elem. boundaries into round holes of high school attendance areas. They have stated that this plan will not address HS at all. The current HS boundaries are not being changed.

They could almost as easily say it would not address Elem school at all, b/c there is so little free elem. school capacity coming on line, if they drew MS boundaries the same way they draw HS. But b/c they use elem pieces and they do actually have new MS starting up, they have to realign and redesign almost all the Elem. schools.

Signed: Gerrymandered MS

Anonymous said...

Gerrymandered is right. Maybe we could better mitigate our capacity problems by getting rid of the ES to MS feeder patterns and have stand-alone MS boundaries like HS.

- Sounder

Unknown said...

Thanks all!

About the "real" capacity of buildings thing...

I realize that the capacity changes based on what is there. Middle school looks different that K-8, for example. Which is why this plan works to put JAk8 at John Marshall and open JAMS with fewer portables.

And I've seen numbers in the stuff they put out yesterday.

And I'd chatted with someone previously who understood those numbers, and I understand that they may reflect the current over crowded state of those buildings, not the more reasonable density for which the buildings were intended.

There were 30 portables placed across the district in 2012.

Given the report by the QAE principal earlier, and that we keep hearing that all buildings are packed to the gills, I wonder if it might be a useful exercise to view the capacity of the buildings in light of what a "normally full" buildings capacity is VS. a "we're using all spaces including the janitors closet for teaching" capacity.

Just a thought...

Lynn said...


Again, the number you're looking for is the boundary planning capacity. It's the number of students a building can reasonably hold - plus a maximum of 15% more in portables.

kellie said...

@ Lynn,

I think what Eden is getting at, is that those new numbers are also not very realistic nor transparent.

15% in portable usage is more than double the state recommended amount. The new version is much more clear because it lists the number of rooms assigned to sped programs but ... there is just a ton of nuance in those numbers and if you don't know all the nuance, then it looks like there is room, in places where there just isn't room.