Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday Director Community Meetings

I attended Director Martin-Morris' this morning and yes, it was all growth boundaries.  It was an interesting discussion because it was so specific in some cases (and rightly so - you look at the maps and the lines and have to wonder) and broader in others.  I was pleasantly surprised at some of what Director Martin-Morris said (and his tone).  Unfortunately, I can't recap right (no time) but I will try to do so soon.

But I put this up as an open thread in case anyone went to Director DeBell's community meeting and would like to report back.

Update: Meeting Minutes

There were about 15 people there, all impatient to talk with Harium.

Issues discussed:

- one woman from Thornton Creek expressed concern over half of TC being written out of the Eckstein area and there might not be busing.  Would there be grandfathered busing?
Harium said they were still working on the Transportation standards and are aware of this issue. He said that despite the changes to the enrollment system, from choice to controlled choice to neighborhood school (with a little choice), their transportation costs had NOT gone down a lot relative to nearby districts.  He said there are 26 "exceptions" to the transportation standards (but they are just some of the reason for the costs but not all).  It would be interesting to see - on paper - what the issue is.  I thought the district's costs WERE going down.

- the biggest takeaway was that Harium said at the Work Session that he did not believe that a single director supports roll-ups.  That was the message they were hearing and I believe that they will say no to this idea to staff.  My impression is that JAMS will start as a 3-grade middle school.  More on this discussion in a minute.

- A couple of parents were VERY unhappy about the boundary changes both for their children and their property values (I assume they perceive the school now within their boundaries is a lesser school.)  Harium said nothing on the property value issue except to state that the NE is blessed with many great/good schools.  Naturally, parents do not want their children split between schools in elementary.

Harium did point out that they need to balance feeder schools for JAMS and Eckstein so that both can operate at good (and reasonable) levels.  He also pointed out that there was a sib preference for waitlists and a PTA mom from View Ridge said yes, several families got their younger children in on the waitlist preference for sibs.

Parents said that the Board said it was important to keep families together and it was pointed out that they could take their older child out of the current school and move that child to the younger child's new school.  Naturally, not the solution they want.

Which brings me to takeaway two.  At least for Harium, I think grandfathering for younger sibs is not in his thinking (and I agree).  I understand parents' unhappiness and change is hard for kids but it is part of life and growing up.  If we grandfather in every single sibling, throughout the district, it will be very hard to have an effective enrollment plan.

What was an interesting question is that one mom has a child at VR, has done early kindergarten enrollment and got her child in VR (because the boundaries haven't changed) and wonders if it is a done deal for the younger children or if that assignment will get changed if the boundaries change.  I suspect so but Harium told her she should call Dr. Libros.

- another issue was the need to know which boundaries will kick in when.  Several parents seemed to think that the boundaries changes would be phased in (and that's true) but I don't think it will be quite as gradual as some may hope them to be.

- Area 78 is a section in Bryant that would now go to Laurelhurst and force those students to cross Sandpoint Way which is a pretty busy arterial.  Several people were pretty incensed about this idea.  I have to say that between this one and ones to the south around Beacon Hill, the idea of very little kids crossing freeway entrance crosswalks or crossing Sandpoint Way is troubling.

- Harium said there will be a "version 3" of the boundary plan and the district wants community comments to make it the best and final one.  He said he welcomes comments individually but hopes everyone sends/cc's them to the boundaries e-mail so that they can be tallying all the requests.

- there is also this odd Montlake area (called a "subset" of Area 41) that got moved to Stevens and the parents there are not happy about this change.  They had a map and even Harium thought is seemed off.  He said it was such a small sliver that he could not imagine it to help relieve pressure on Montlake.   He did say that parents know their area better than staff and to please let staff know of the very specific geographic issues around your schools and neighborhoods.

- I chimed in about World School, saying I didn't support the move to TT Minor because I believed that while World School should have a central location, it was likely that area would need another elementary and it would be wrong to move World School in and then move them again in a few short years.

- I also said what I had heard - repeatedly - at meetings and on the blog which is that no one really wants to co-house (at least neighborhood schools) with APP.  I said I served on the Advanced Learning Committee and that we could have been working on AL issues all LAST year in advance of  boundary changes and yet we did not.  Michael Tolley, Bob Vaughn, Superintendent Banda all made the decision to sit on this issue and yet AL issues, particularly APP placement, are huge issues to the growth boundaries.

- I also advocated for Lincoln to be the home for APP North elementary (and maybe Pinehurst) and that Wilson-Pacific be a middle and high school.  Harium said he had thought about this and that it was the MONEY that is the problem.  He claims that someone at the end of BEX would lose.  I believe the money would be there because you would spend the high school money for Lincoln on the new high school at W-P.  I'm going to sit down with some people and cost this out.  He did agree with me on the ease of transportation to W-P versus Lincoln (and I know, in his mind, transportation costs are a big deal).

- There seems to be this growing call for Hamilton's APP to annex to Lincoln.  I would defer to what that community believes is best for them but it seems like those students have to sacrifice a comprehensive middle school experience and no one else is being asked to do that.

- JAMS.  Harium would like to see 500 students, across three grades, enrolled there next year.  Everyone at the table agreed that to make that happen is to get the best principal, solid music/science and possibly, Mr. E, the music director from Eckstein.  Even a mom from Eckstein said this would a good idea (if tough for Eckstein).   Parents seemed willing to support this school but they want to see a real commitment from the district (and it worked for Thurgood Marshall and Queen Anne Elementary to get real buy-in when the district put in great principals).

- Historic geographical boundaries.  Got a lot of play and seemed, to many parents at the table, to make sense especially for high school.  For example, using 85th as the cut-off for high school.  

Kudos to Director Martin-Morris for making sure all voices were hear and being warm and understanding yet firm on where he stands.


Anonymous said...

I looked through the maps and boundary information on SPS website. The only clause I saw about grandfathering was that they would try to honor kids currently enrolled up to the highest grade (not interested in the APP issue). My question is this- if your student is a current 6th grader at Eckstein but you live in the new JAMS boundary, will you continue at Eckstein?
Thanks for the clarification!

NE kid

Melissa Westbrook said...

NE kid, unclear. That came up at the meeting.

I would think the district might only be able to allow the current 7th graders to stay on (given the crowding).

I will ask Tracy Libros.

Anonymous said...

@NE kid

The Oct 16th plan had 7th an 8th grades at JAMS as an opt-in assignment. So, if they adopt this version (aka Growth Boundaries 2.0), then your current Eckstein 6th grader would not be assigned to JAMS next year.

However, a staff proposal presented at Thursday's work session called for a split of all grades (6-8) out of Eckstein, so if this proposal is adopted as part of the Growth Boundaries plan (version 3.0?), then 6th and 7th graders currently at Eckstein who live within the JAMS attendance area would be assigned to JAMS.

- North-end Mom

in attendance said...

Interim plans for APP did come up at the meeting, and Harium said he is opposed to putting half of APP MS in with JAMS. He is recommending the "Lincoln Annex" temporary solution. Essentially, annex a portion of Lincoln and then let Lincoln/HIMS decide how they want to serve APP between those two buildings.

A member of FACMAC was in attendance, and was asked about the proposal floating around the blogs recently about moving all of APP MS to John Marshall next year, but this particular FACMAC member said it wasn't feasible. No additional details on that, but this person is a facilities wonk and has a very good handle on the numbers and assumptions.

One thing to note, and this did come up at the meeting: many people in JAK8 are there because it's close to home and it's shaping up to be a good school, not particularly because of the K-8 configuration or the curricular focus. Many of these families will stay at JA as the building transitions from JAK8 to JAMS, and I'm not sure if or how this is being modeled in the district plans (let alone the parent-proposals). Harium is aware of this, and I think it's part of the reason he doesn't want to try to stuff half of APP north in that building right now. That, and the fact that the new committee dedicated to revising the AL identification process has only just now started meeting and won't even have any recommendations until after the new boundaries and interim plans are voted on. Splitting APP in any kind of configuration right now is a very, very bad idea.

katie said...

in attendance has a lot of good points from the meeting.

Essentially, if you have a 6th grader at Eckstein, it is unlikely that you missed most of the drama last year around the sixth grade academy and the pressure and final vote to open JAMS in 2014.

I think it is very good for the K8 to go to Marshal so that they can solidify their own identity. Most of the families I know who like in Lake City and are north of Jane Addams, picked the K8 this year because they knew that JAMS was opening in 2014 and there was the very real possibility of being moved from Eckstein to JAMS and based their decision to "opt in" to the K8 so that they would just stay in the building.

It seems like APP staying at Lincoln is the almost magic space that folks were looking for. The current 5th grade was the year that caused all hell to break loose about capacity in the first place. It at least seems to our family that starting JAMS with a real cohort would actually work.

The big question for us is are they going to move some of the Eckstein teachers with the students? That would seem to make sense as when Eckstein's enrollment goes down, their staffing will go down as well.

The other question is are all 3 grades of APP also moving from Hamilton to Lincoln?

Anonymous said...

I learned a lot at Director DeBell’s meeting. He was generous with his time, staying a half hour after the official end.

1. DeBell does not support 6th grade roll-ups, instead favoring creation of comprehensive middle schools. The catch, I think, is current assignment rules that explicitly allow students to remain at a school once assigned there. To implement a comprehensive middle school in a single year, the district will have to revise these rules. This could be done for the Wils-Pac middle school, that is, at the time of assignment students could be informed that they will be moved when the WP middle school is created.

2. It sounds like Lincoln is the planned new high school location. I would love to see the district consider an Interbay location, which makes more sense in terms of moving toward the goal of siting buildings and programs nearer to students to reduce transportation costs and build communities. Maybe they could sell or trade the Lincoln property to make that happen. Also, I am personally (from my own self interest) very worried that families in our area will be asked to send our children to be in the first class of students at a new middle school AND the first class of families in the new high school, if it is at Lincoln. That doesn’t seem fair.

3. There was an interesting discussion of APP, and acknowledgement that some are against APP feeling it exacerbates equity problems. Sounds like the district is really struggling to make the APP program more diverse and the use of MAP for APP eligibility was intended to help with this by make it easier to qualify for testing, though this has not had the desired effect of increasing racial & economic diversity, instead resulting in an increased number of white/not-FRL testing in. I learned that all 2nd graders will be Cogat tested in south (south-east?) Seattle this (?) year. It sounded like the state pays for the Cogat testing. Regarding APP stand-alone. The message I got is that the cohort is too small to create a stand-alone north Seattle middle school. But if this is the case, it seems it is also too small to divide into separate cohorts. There remains a strong case to keep APP together in middle school (Lincoln?) for the next few years as the program changes. This would enable the district to get better information to better place the program, including how many GenEd and APP students will end up at various middle schools under the new growth boundaries and after implementing APP qualification changes recommended by working groups.

4. DeBell is in favor of World School staying at TT Minor building. The World School serves new immigrants who are English language learners from 6th grade through age 21. Students work both on English language proficiency and coming up to academic grade level. The type of languages taught varies over they years, as immigrant populations change. They need a central city location and they need advocates.

5. It sounds like Cascade, the home school resource center, may go into property on the south side of Queen Ann hill, a (very) small building that is currently a pre-school.

6. Blaine elementary school is having problems containing its playground. This year, at least one kindergartener walked off campus to home during school hours.

7. DeBell is advocating to place WP buildings on high ground with ES and MS on opposite sides, as the low land in the middle (near the creek) floods. With fields in the middle, between buildings, inevitable flooding would not incur the same costs. It sounds like some are advocating against this plan. I don’t know who that would be, but when I went to a WP planning meeting, neighbors were very vocal about not wanting a change in field placement. It sounds like there is no plan to daylight the creek.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Actually, the district does own some property near Interbay - Charlie has mentioned this.

That is very funny that Director DeBell says the World School needs "advocates." Where has the Board been (except for maybe Kay) for the last several years? Sure the World School deserves a central location but it's no good if the district takes it away a couple of years later. (Madrona would be a better choice.)

Anonymous said...

There was no mention that the location would be temporary for the World School.

It would be great to learn more about the Interbay property, where it is and how big it is? There was some discussion of a high school at WP at the board meeting, and the gist was that it is a no-go because it is much more expensive than renovating Lincoln, plus it would take away needed elementary school capacity. But Lincoln is a poor choice for a new high school location both in terms of amenities (no fields) and student transportation. An Interbay build might be affordable if the district could sell the Lincoln property for a good price. There were cards passed at the DeBell meeting with facilities contacts names. I wasn't thinking and didn't write down contact names (Flip someone and one other facilities person?). These are the people to contact regarding these building placement issues.


Anonymous said...


Did you mean Cascade will move to a site in North Queen Anne (where the Northwest Center is currently renting)? I am unaware of property in South Queen Anne, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. I think SPS may own the building across from the Queen Anne library, or at least they seem to park district vehicles there.

Anonymous said...

I thought it was on the South side. A small building with a steep site, but I am not familiar with this part of town. There were several people from Queen Ann at the meeting, and they knew about the location, so maybe one of those attendees can clarify.


Anonymous said...

Lincoln is a historical landmark. The district would have problems selling it. The last class at Lincoln worked to have the building declared a historical landmark so the district could not sell it to developers like they did with Queen Anne high. How would having a HS at WP solve the problem of no HS for Queen Anne & Magnolia? WP is too far for kids from those neighborhoods, and if they keep going to Ballard then there will not be room at Ingraham for the APP IBx program to get any larger.
How would an annex work, I thought there was no room at Lincoln now that the Indian Heritage program, and the Medically Fragile SpedEd kids are there, since only half of Lincoln is usable . Surely you're not advocating for those programs to get moved again?


Anonymous said...

W-p high school would relieve pressure on either Ballard or Ingraham, or both. More seats is more seats- whether you get them from a new school your kid goes to or because other kids in your area go to a different school, it's still less crowding. And this would be sooner by 2 years. I would agree that selling Lincoln is a bad idea. The last thing the district should be doing is selling property.

The Indian Heritage program is not at Lincoln. People have suggested cohousing at Wilson pacific when it opens. Some classrooms would need to be added, but not that many. The issue is that Hamilton cannot take any portables at all, so cannot accommodate overage very well at all. A few classrooms in Lincoln could do it.

I think this is a fine plan. If, in 3 years, their wild and crazy projected growth has actually happened, then there certainly will be enough app middle schoolers for two cohorts(there are not today), and by then they will know how many middle schoolers are actually showing up at their new middle schools and whether any of them can actually accommodate half the middle school app program. Weren't they under by 150 6th graders just this year in the north end? And it's one less program the district has to start this year, and no building has to try to start more than one program in the north end. None of the potential plans are perfect, but I hope this is where we end up.


Anonymous said...


They under-projected by 150 6th graders at north-end middle schools? I wonder if it is because about that many entered 6th grade at JA K-8 this year?

BTW, I wonder when they will post the enrollment counts for 2013-14?

-North-end Mom

joanna said...

First to all, I have a cold which kept me home from DeBell's meeting. To Michael, I want to say, that if that commitment was so strong to World School, why was TBD until the last minute when TT Minor was inserted into the TBD? I do mean at the last minute. There were numerous times that community members did attempt to let their desires be known for TT Minor to become a neighborhood school as soon as it was no longer under lease, and that date seemed to move, and I was personally told at different times that it was not on the table. At that point where it appeared on the ballot, I doubt it would have been politically wise to be against BEX IV. This neighborhood loves schools and the Seattle School students as much as any other community and would not want to be isolated.

joanna said...

Hi Melissa, I keep trying to picture why you think Madrona would be a good location for the World School and how that would work. Madrona is located in a good area to get quite a few elementary students walking to it. If the District still owned the old MLK building then I can see not those two and McGilvra for that area. As it is now, I can't picture a really rational neighborhood school areas here. In fact, Madrona's boundary could easily move north for walking. I believe that the space is roughly designed for 250-275 elementary students and 225-250 middle school students. If the community continues to embrace it with the younger kids roll up, it likely could fill and pull some out of private school in the area.

Then I imagine that maybe you are thinking that the middle school portion is under-enrolled and has a greater issue with growing their numbers and want to use the secondary portion of Madrona for WS. Except for the structured K-8s there have been problems with co-location secondary students with elementary students in the past. I also have no idea how either community feels would feel about such an idea. How do you imagine this happening?

joanna said...

Sorry, I should not have posted so soon. This is rather a repeat. Hi Melissa, I keep trying to picture why you think Madrona would be a good location for the World School and how that would work. Madrona is located in a good area for a walk zone containing quite a few elementary students. If the District still owned the old MLK building, then I could understand not needing Madrona, MLK and McGilvra for that area. As it is now, I can't picture a really rational neighborhood school plan without Madrona. In fact, Madrona's boundary could easily move north for walking. I believe that the space is roughly designed for 250-275 elementary students and 225-250 middle school students. If the community continues to embrace it with the younger kids rolling up, it likely could fill and pull some out of private school in the area.

Then I imagine that maybe you are thinking that the middle school portion is under-enrolled and has a greater issue with growing numbers, and you would picture using the secondary portion of Madrona for WS. Except for the structured K-8s, there have been problems with co-location secondary students with elementary students in the past. I also have no idea how either community feels would feel about such an idea. How do you imagine this happening?

Melissa Westbrook said...

CCA, I had not heard that the Native American program had been moved to Lincoln.

W=P for a high school is a lot easier to get students to than Wallingford. It would be right off Aurora and when Ballard/Roosevelt/Garfield were interimed at Lincoln, the traffic was not good. Forty-fifth has only gotten worse for traffic.

But yes, someday, QA/Magnolia and Downtown will get their own high school.

Madrona needs an intervention. It has been limping along for awhile (almost like AAA) and either the district does something to fill that building or it needs to have another program. That's the only reason I suggest Madrona (and that it's a K-8 which is a better building for World School than TT Minor, an elementary.)

joanna said...

Melissa, thank you for sticking up for World School and finding a really permanent home at Harium's meeting.

Anonymous said...

Carol Simmons says the Indian Heritage Program is currently at Lincoln in one of the other threads, waiting for a permanent place when WP is rebuilt. I met some people who are with the Lincoln Alumni Assoc at the Wurst Festival, they said Lincoln used the field, track, diamonds, tennis courts, and cross country courses at Woodland Park, 5 blocks away, so lack of field space at the school was not a problem. They are very excited about the school reopening, and so are many in Wallingford. The Alumni Assoc gives 22 scholarships to former Lynx' children and grandchildren every year, it would be good for the school to have their support.


Anonymous said...

HS kids have to use Metro, yes? The 44 runs every 15 minutes, the 16 every 1/2 hour. Both stops one block away from Lincoln. How many buses go to WP? How often?


Anonymous said...

Sigh, Both buses stop one block ...


Josh Hayes said...

Buses going within two blocks of WP: the 16 (along the east side of the lot), the 358 (soon to be the rapid-ride, up and down Aurora), and the 48 (back and forth across 85th, two long blocks south). Seems to me that metro serves that campus quite well indeed.

Lynn said...

I think the idea is to use several Lincoln classrooms as an annex of HIMS. It wouldn't necessarily mean 6th grade APP students would stay there. You could use them for any department.
I think this makes sense - at least until both task forces complete their work. Makes it difficult to know how many students to move to JAMS next year though. (Because we won't know how big APP will be - and where it will end up.)

Melissa Westbrook said...

Lincoln opening permanently certainly would change the landscape at Woodland Park if they were to start using the outdoor facilities. But that's a city park so there would have to be negotiations over use.

joanna said...

Melissa, thank you for the clarification. Enrollment figures will be telling for Madrona. I know some of the families working to make it a great neighborhood school, and so far I have heard that in the lower grades enrollment is up. I have no idea about the enrollment numbers for this year, but in the past 2010-11, 2011-12, and 2012-13, I notice one positive in a steady increase in the K-5 students from the Madrona assignment area. Programming and family confidence in a school are necessary to build a school, but the families have to remain engaged, especially where the geographic neighborhood was not necessarily to focus of the program in the past. I understand what you are saying. But, if we believe in neighborhood assignments, then Madrona would seem a logical school to remain. I don't have a definite opinion on the programming there. Yes, program placement is a very important piece of all this work that seems to follow behind in the planning, rather than leading. They should work together.

Anonymous said...

What is the solution for area 78 in Bryant? This boundary was proposed in the last re-draws and the community came out against it; however Laurelhurst is underenrolled and badly needs the numbers, and Bryant is over-enrolled (even more so by pushing out to Roosevelt). This boundary seems like a logical solution. What are the alternatives? Hawthorne Hills back in Sand Point and LH takes some more Sand Point area? Is this what was in the first version?

LH mom

Green Lake Parent said...

If Laurelhurst is under-enrolled, SPS should add the John Stanford area East of I-5 (part of area 124) and perhaps the McDonald area (part of 118) to Laurelhurst. The current proposal is to add these to Green Lake. However, Green Lake families would really like to keep our current Maple Leaf/Ravenna/Roosevelt areas (81, 83, 84, 85), and not disrupt our existing community again (Green Lake's boundaries were dramatically changed four years ago when McDonald opened).

If Laurelhurst took some of the area and BF Day's boundary wasn't shrunk, Green Lake could take the McDonald area and still keep our existing North and East boundaries. And, Laurelhurst would add some numbers.

Green Lake Parent

Jon in 78 said...

LH mom, area 78 moving to Laurelhurst doesn't make any sense at all. If it was logical why wasn't it in Version 1? Besides the problem of having to cross a state highway carrying 25,000 or so vehicles/day to get to school, the route is unwalkable to Laurelhurst and a lot of these kids walk to Bryant now. So this change would add transportation costs as more 0.7 mile bus routes get added.

As to solutions, maybe for starters adding to Bryant's attendance area could be avoided.

Green Lake Parent said...

@Jon in 78...

If you haven't already, please give SPS feedback to keep area 81 in Green Lake rather than adding it to Bryant's attendance area. Our families want to stay at Green Lake. It's closer and potentially walk-able, while Bryant is not. -- It sounds like this one works for both of us.

Green Lake Parent

Anonymous said...

WP is on 90th, Is that only 2 blocks north of 85th? 16, 48 and 358 run every 1/2 hour. So which school is better for commute would depend on where the kids are coming from.


Anonymous said...

Woodland Park is used currently by many schools, especially for cross country, soccer, baseball and softball. I think the League's cross country course for the championship is there. I see several teams running it every afternoon. Parks has mutual usage agreement with SPS.


thinking ahead said...

Our neighborhood was previously drawn into Greenlake (from Wedgwood) and has now been drawn back into Wedgwood. Being E of I-5, we prefer to be part of a middle school feeder pattern that allows for walking or at least a single bus ride to middle school. Being drawn into Hamilton (as a feeder pattern for Greenlake) could mean a Metro bus ride transferring in the U-district, when we are currently within walking distance of Eckstein. There's no direct bus route to Hamilton from our neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

CCA - I ride the 358 and it runs every 7 - 12 minutes (7 minutes during peak commute times; 10 - 12 minutes during non-peak times). It runs frequently enough that I never bother checking the schedule - I just go to the stop to wait for the next bus.


Anonymous said...

To clarify about the sibling tiebreaker and View Ridge. Zero siblings got in off of the wait list this year. The wait list for Kindergarten did not move at all.

Remarkably, View Ridge and all surrounding elementary schools remain overcrowded.


NW mom said...

The 48 runs every 15 minutes on weekdays.

Anonymous said...

I'll add that it would not have been reasonable for the wait list to move as all four K classes were already at 26 and 27 kids. Way too large for K in my view.

What pushes the button is the premise that splitting families will resolve capacity in an area where all the schools are overstuffed. It's just false. I wish the District and the Directors would stop spouting such nonsense.


LN said...

I am not sure it's accurate to say Woodland Park fields are used by many schools. I know many, many rec leagues use the fields. I also know field space is a major, major issue in town for kids and adults. Cross country is not a hard thing to find "space" for since no planning or approval is needed (except for the championships CCA mentions). Kids running around Green Lake aren't taking space away from a competing group looking for fields.

If Lincoln is used as a high school, could they turn the north lot into a small field space? All kids would have to bus to school. Teachers would still need parking, obviously.

Green Lake Parent said...

Hi thinking ahead,

I can completely see your point. I don’t know what your situation is – if you have kids at Green Lake, were grandfathered in at Wedgwood, or have younger kids and are just “thinking ahead” – so I don’t know if you are aware of the history and the domino effect of certain choices. Green Lake Elementary had dramatic boundary changes when McDonald was opened as an assignment school. Our community was very disrupted. Suddenly a huge portion of our families were out of our boundaries and stressed about whether or not their younger children could come to our school. The current kids were grandfathered in, but as a result of the boundary change are split going off to middle school (as assigned by address). With the current plan to make McDonald and John Stanford option schools, the proposed boundaries are once again a drastic change, and now we have another whole group of families who are now a part of our community, invested in our school, and dealing with potentially being out of the boundaries. It’s just tough to go through this AGAIN only a few years later. (And, I completely recognize we aren’t the only ones…)

There are places across the city where boundaries are wonky. If you look at Sacajawea, the entire north half is much closer to JAMS. However, in the current plan they feed into Eckstein. As much as I’d like to see the cohort from my kids’ school go on to middle school together, I can also see the argument that SPS should not be so ridged with the feeder school system and make some splits geographically. Send the portion of Green Lake east of I-5 to Eckstein, and those west of I-5 to Hamilton; send the northern portion of Sacajawea to JAMS, and the southern to Eckstein, etc.

Also, middle school students are eligible for school bus transportation. So, your child wouldn’t have to take metro through the U-district. (However, if you are a family without a car, and are thinking of how you would get to the school for events, etc. I see your point.)

Green Lake Parent

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I have not used the bus often last few years & thought they were reduced because of the constant talks of budget cuts & elimination of buses. Right now it looks like 44 & 358 every 10-15 min depending on time of day; and 16 every 20.
Look, I have no dog in this fight, my children are going to Ingraham because of the international pathway thing. I'm just saying it's a bit iffy to advocate for building a new HS when the district already have a HS built at Lincoln. And as to it not making sense reopening Lincoln as HS because Roosevelt and Ballard are near by; how does having Lincoln as a middle school with Hamilton 2 blocks away make more sense? And this area has enough ES seats without another school, unlike further N, NE areas.
Looks like it is equally easy to get to either WP or Lincoln; and the field space is really not a problem at Woodland Park. Perhaps there might be challenges getting the space at night, I don't know. But during the afterschool practice and games/matches time, it does not seem a problem, the Park is much bigger than any school field . I've seen Roosevelt teams practicing at Magnuson Park, where does Ballard practice? Is the field at WP be big enough for both a MS and a HS to use? Will the neighborhood there want to use that field also?


Anonymous said...

Will the field at WP be big enough... sigh


NW mom said...

Hi CCA - Ballard & Roosevelt have football fields at school they practice on (they play their games at Memorial though). Ballard's baseball & softball teams use city fields and baseball also uses the field at Whitman MS. Many schools use the Woodland fields for softball as well. I know Little League uses the Wilson Pacific fields for baseball, not sure who else uses them, but they're certainly better maintained than the current buildings are.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Step J, you said this:

"Zero siblings got in off of the wait list this year."

I could swear the woman at the meeting said she was from the PTA at View Ridge and that sibs on the waitlist DID get in.


Anonymous said...

In previous years at both Bryant and VR, the sibs did get in. This year, they did not.


Anonymous said...

In previous years K sibs. did get in. This year none. There were some siblings that moved inside the boundary to get in, but none got in from the wait list.

I imagine the PTA person did not know the circumstances.

Sorry to hear the same happened at Bryant.


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