Saturday, November 02, 2013

Growth Boundaries Announced (Round Three) - Bound for Glory or Bound for Unhappiness?

(Note: readers started commenting on this at the Friday Open Thread.  I had thought to try to transfer their comments to this new thread but was unable to do so.  I created a new thread as to make this huge issue, front and center here.)

From SPS:

The recommendations below go to the Board on November 6 for action on November 20. (The information from previous proposals is now obsolete.)

Two Types of Recommendations
  1. Long-range boundaries that will be phased in as construction is completed by 2020. 
  2. Recommendations for specific components to implement next year. 
Board Materials
Board Action Report (BAR) for November 6
Complete maps packet for the Board (includes more detailed attendance area maps, feeder patterns, and geozone maps)
Reference materials for the Board
Summaries of public input—on initial draft, and on October 16 proposal

Major Changes
  • Jane Addams Middle School opens for grades 6-8. This will not be a “roll up” starting with 6th grade only; rather, rising grade 6-8 students will be assigned together as a cohort as middle school boundary changes are implemented. Jane Addams K-8 will be housed at John Marshall as an interim site for two years.
  • Dearborn Park, McDonald, and John Stanford become option schools (international).
  • A new attendance area is created for Fairmount Park Elementary in West Seattle. Fairmount Park opens for grades K-5 in the fall.
  • Most elementary grade students are grandfathered if their attendance area is changing.
  • North APP elementary (now at Lincoln) will stay at Lincoln until Wilson-Pacific Elementary opens in 2017. North APP elementary will be located at Wilson-Pacific Elementary as a free-standing APP school beginning in 2017.
  • Two sites (co-located with attendance area students) have been designated for north APP middle school: Eckstein and Whitman. APP at Eckstein will begin this coming fall. When APP at both Eckstein and Whitman are in place, enrollment data will be reviewed to determine if Hamilton would continue as an APP site. Depending on the number of students to be served, Hamilton APP may be phased out in the future.
Eckstein and Whitman were chosen as APP sites because by far the largest numbers of APP students live closest to those schools. Note that Eckstein, currently very overcrowded, has its current enrollment reduced significantly with the opening of Jane Addams Middle School. These changes will also provide some relief to over-enrollment at Hamilton.

Feedback on these recommended changes may be sent Please put your school or issue in the subject line.

Next Steps

The Seattle School Board will vote on the recommended boundaries at its meeting on November 20, 2013. See the updated planning Timeline.

Please note: Regardless of what is approved, boundary changes will be phased in over time. Many changes cannot be implemented until construction projects are complete. See above for changes recommended for 2014-15.


1 – 200 of 237   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Before angry parents drawn out of Eckstein go and blame APP for them getting the boot, please know this did NOT come from APP!!

The APP Advisory Committee (APP AC) did not ask for this! Neither did Seattle North APP PTA at Lincoln (SNAPP), home to APP students in grades 1 through 5 for all opted-in north and Queen Anne and Magnolia Students.

SNAPP have been asking quite clearly for a stand-alone middle school building paired with an option-enrolled small and compatible program so as to NOT kick out or bar neighbourhood kids from their 'rightful' neighborhood school. Ideally, they would prefer a building nobody wants and/or one that is in a NON densely packed neighborhood. They saw this as a systems issue, and know first hand what happens when you pair a non-geographic program with an attendance-area enrolled-school (e.g. first off, the boundaries around that school must be drawn artificially small, "kicking out" neighborhood kids, and secondly, in this time of capacity shortage in the north - BEX IV won't fix it all - there will inevitably be over-enrollment issues because of the dual guarrantee of both populations into a single building; the District won't have the tools to fix this issue as the building gets more and more stressed, other than a drastic mitigation, which causes ALL students of that community disruption (just ask the families at Lowell) ).

So, please do not blame APP. They didn't ask for this. They know there are not enough seats to go around. They asked to just stay in the Lincoln building for the time being. They knew there wasn't even enough space for them at Hamilton. They never asked for anyone else to be kicked out of Hamilton. So please, don't blame APP. They've been saying quite clearly that certain areas must be a net exporter of kids. That includes the NE.

Time will tell how this will land, but if it stands as is, there will be more issues to have to fix down the road (that much is predictable), only then, buildings will be established, communities will have gelled, and so 'fixes' will cause more pain and disruption to more students, faculty, and parents.

If you want to blame someone, I would suggest you email Mr. Tolley, head of Teaching and Learning, and ask why splitting APP apart was so important to him, he prioritized that over everyone else's needs. If they had stayed or do stay as a cohort, the District wouldn't be forced to try and wedge them into Jane Addams, Eckstein, or Whitman. APP has only been in Hamilton for a few years, and now they can't fit and have to leave. That is the story that will be repeated, as long as it is put into a neighborhood attendance area middle school in the north due to enrollment growth and capacity shortage. Those things are not APP's fault. Program placement could be done in a way to minimize the impact while supporting all students' learning, but that wasn't done. That's the question for Mr. Tolley, and Mr. Banda, who obviously needs to own this decision ( but looking at Pinehurst, owning decisions is not his strong suit, obviously!).

-stay tuned

Anonymous said...

No one is being pushed out of Whitman or Eckstein because the APP kids live in those neighborhoods anyway. Kids aren't piling into APP from the CD, obviously.
APP parents need to calm down about splitting the program. There's no reason these students can't be served at Whitman and Eckstein as well as they've been served at Hamilton, and it means they have access to all the extracurricular choices of a comprehensive school. Plus, I'm sorry, but segregating all the APP kids does them no favors socially. A mix of kids and a range of opportunities is better.
The district needs to put street names on the maps and stop having two Jane Addams. SPS is a Banana Republic right now. It's embarrassing.

kellie said...

This latest round of maps to me just highlight how flawed the feeder pattern idea is. There are many boundaries that are twisted and contorted for no reason, other than to create feeder patterns.

IMHO, the most extreme parts of this plan need to be put on hold so that the board can address the problem of feeder patterns vs geographic areas for middle school. With geographic areas so much of these boundaries could be more stable and more reasonable.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I have not gone through these as carefully as some.

I do support what Kellie is saying - a go-slow process would be better. The district itself says things aren't going to change until much more of BEX IV gets done. So don't change everything all at once then.

Again, at Director Martin-Morris' meeting, there was much support, including from him (at least for high school) on geographic rather than feeder patterns. I think this is what should happen.

The question is - Is it too late to advocate for ANY new change? What would it take to get the Board to say no to any part of this third iteration?

Anonymous said...

Wedgwood students should be assigned to Eckstein for the following reasons:
1. The Southeast Wedgwood boundary of NE 75th is right across the street from Eckstein.
2. The Southwest Wedgwood boundary of NE 70th is 5 blocks South of Eckstein (75th) but 40 blocks South of JAMS (110th).
3. The entire Wedgwood attendance area (AA) is within the walk zone for Eckstein but this is not the case for JAMS.
4. In the first draft (9/17) of the growth boundary proposal the Eckstein building was in the Wedgwood AA and Wedgwood kids were assigned to Eckstein.
5. In the second draft (10/16) of the growth boundary proposal the Eckstein building was in the Bryant AA and Wedgwood kids were assigned to Eckstein.
6. "Maximize walkability" is a guiding principle of the growth boundary plan.
7. Walking is good because it saves money, saves the environment, and saves kids health.
8. Let Wedgwood Walk!

JvA said...

Melissa -- When I talked to Betty Patu last Saturday, she told me she was planning to introduce an amendment that would leave current Southeast boundaries in place.

I've also talked to another School Board member who told me he was going to support equity and walkability for my Mid Beacon Hill neighborhood. (We're still being kicked out of our Maple walk zone, and have not even been added to the geozone for Dearborn Park, which we are also in the walk zone for. The administration wants to send us to the EIGHTH grade school from our homes.)

Some of us are now particularly concerned that the administration is falsely claiming outreach to SE Seattle. They are listing a meeting that the Seattle Council PTSA hastily organized in response to their lack of outreach as evidence of their outreach! --

In reality, one of the conclusions of that meeting was that we couldn't get representative feedback in such a short time and that the district needed to do more. The PTSA VP's meeting wrap-up letter is here: Quote: "We are acutely aware that the coalition of parents giving input here were disproportionately white and middle class. We believe that the timing and outreach associated with this process have been inadequate for meaningful engagement and dialogue within our community. Any new proposals should be presented to the full SE community, with adequate outreach efforts, in multiple languages, and with enough time built into the process to allow for the fostering of true understanding and meaningful dialogue with our diverse community."

I'm now learning that some of the other meetings that are now listed as proof of their outreach were, again, parent-initiated last-minute efforts to try to reach out to communities, and not authentic efforts from the district itself. Apparently the Gatzert meeting that they crow at length about was the normal open house, with some freaked-out parents in a corner with some maps. The district mentions that "interpreters available" -- and apparently, again, that was just some parents who happened to be bilingual and concerned.

Basically, the district is using parents' hasty and sadly ineffective response to their lack of outreach as evidence of their outreach.

Anonymous said...

The geozones of Macdonald and JSIS appear to leave room for out of area kids. They look large on paper, but they encompass a lot of blocks east of I-5. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems most of that area is UW student rentals.

On the west of the JSIS geozone it looks like a lot of Wallingford will now go to BF Day.

Maybe some out of area kids will have a chance to get in to these schools after all?

Immersion Fan

Susan said...

Agree. Also, it looks like the option schools don't follow feeder schools for MS. If you live out of the HIMS zone, it looks like you would go back to your neighborhood school. This would seem to be a disincentive to option into the immersion track for only elementary and then have to leave all your friends.

Anonymous said...

JvA, thank you for putting in the time, effort, intelligence, and grace to address the boundary redraw issue as it affects families in the south.

How sad that the District hasn't done this themselves.

Not only is the current plan problematic, causing rifts in neighborhoods, forcing children who otherwise would be walking to get on buses to get to school for years, and woefully lacking in authentic community engagement, but it also causes clear problems to become big problems in three or four years time.

Has Special Education been adequately addressed? No. Has ELL been adequately addressed? No. Has enrollment growth from Yesler Terrace been adequately addressed? No. It hasn't even been mentioned. And lastly, has high school overcrowding been addressed? No. It hasn't been even mentioned.

Putting the World School in TT Minor now is going to be a problem. And, it's like musical chairs. The next round, when the music stops, because of mounting elementary school enrollment, there won't be anywhere for them left to go, so I wonder if the whole program will be dissolved, much like Summit was dissolved when pressure meant their building was needed too in the last round, or, Pinehurst is being dissolved now, when enrollment pressure means their building is now needed.

Kudos to Ms. Patu if she is going to put a stop to this poorly conceived, over-reaching, shortsighted plan. And, kudos to you.

In this time of shortfall, the only thing the District should be doing right now is the critical and urgent items. Introducing more uncertainty into the system, which is what they're doing, does not help fix anything, but does create too much upheaval for families and communities. And, it unneccessarily balloons the bussing transportation budget too, which given the state of the shortfall in the operating budget, makes absolutely no sense and represents bad, irresponsible governance, not good governance.

-fix this

Anonymous said...

Here is what I don't understand: Timing.

I am OK with big changes based on moving parts and community feedback. However since the district offers huge changes in this third revision, shouldn't there be a "settling" period with final tweaks and input before a final vote? Instead we have huge new changes and wham it is time to vote. A coherent project planning process would not allow this to happen.

It feels like the National Healthcare site. "It's time to launch. Full speed ahead. Nevermind that it isn't fully baked."


Drew said...

Why not do geozones around middle schools to maximize walkability? Why stick with the feeder program? Would more people be happier with geozones?

Anonymous said...

My feedback to the board:

Please vote against the current boundary proposal, and/or approve only aspects that are necessary for the opening of facilities in this coming year.

First, I am disturbed at the last minute change to the West Seattle feeder patterns. The Sanislo draw area is a million miles away, culturally and geographically, from Madison and West Seattle High. We've had a child at Sanislo and have a student at Sealth, both were able to walk a great deal of the time. From our area, it is impossible to walk, and difficult to get public transportation to Madison/WSH. This same idea came up with the original NSAP, was protested and reversed--but the Sanislo community may not be as vocal now as it was those few years ago (mostly because of the forced population shifts caused by that plan).

I understand that the West Seattle schools need more balanced enrollment than they have now. These feeder pattern acrobatics make me think that the system itself needs an overhaul. In West Seattle especially, and perhaps in the rest of the city, we may well be better off going to a more flexible system for the higher grades--in West Seattle, families should be able to pick either option after their assignment elementary school--all middle, option, and high schools should be all-peninsula draws--and enrollment could be decided by: sibling, distance, lottery. This would create balance without resorting to counter-intuitive and counterproductive boundaries.

Outside of West Seattle, there are other major problems--the South East boundaries are a mess, and should not be changed as proposed. The APP pathways will be problematic. The data does not seem to support the APP pipelines: how did cohort size for 2-3 programs in the north turn into 1 elementary program, while cohort big enough for 1, but not 2, turned into 3 in the south? (NOTE: don't kill me, I do not begrudge the North their mega-school--the optional pathways are what I'm against.) There is no way the optional programs, especially if they are not self-contained, can match the quality of the existing programs, and they will siphon off the already smaller cohort from the TM/Washington pathway. It might seem like a step in the right direction for equity, but it is the opposite.

Please ask the staff to go back to the drawing board and create a system that works.

Carol Simmons said...

Has the Indian Heritage School placement been addressed? mentioned? discussed? or is it still invisible?

Anonymous said...

I am new to this blog and am unclear why it is obvious that kids from the CD aren't piling into APP? Are those kids not as bright as the north end kids? It would seem statistically odd that intelligent kids would only grow up in certain neighborhoods, while average and below average kids were confined to other neighborhoods. My guess if you take the time to think about what you wrote and your assumptions you might come to realize that this isn't the result of the zip code you were born into, but rather structural/institutional classism and plain old racism.

CD Scientist

Anonymous said...

I second the sentiment from Kellie and Mellissa.

Manage next years capacity emergencies, but the long term plan is NOT READY to FLY.

The top 4 guiding principles are all being violated:

--Ground decisions in data. (more on this below)
--Create boundaries that reflect equitable access to services and programs. (SPED? APP? Language/Option schools? They haven't even finished the planning, so how can they claim equitable access?)
--Maximize walkability. (Eckstein?, TT Minor? Beacon Hill schools? Olympic View? who else?)
--Enable cost-effective transportation standards. (where is this analysis? At first glance it looks like LOTS more bussing than may be necessary.)

For me, the biggest issue is the data. This plan is based off of projected numbers out to 2020 which the district hasn't/ can't justify, particularly on a school by school basis. And the total projected capacity (which itself is likely not accurate) doesn't even match what they already think they need.

We've expressed concern and asked for clarification from staff, and this message from Debell is one part of a long thread between my husband, Debell, and staff:

"On Tue, Oct 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM, DeBell, Michael > wrote:
Thanks for your highly informed input. We are in a bit of a jam on testing the accuracy of our previous models as we lost our long time demographer. We have had two outside consultants analyze our data to verify staff work, once four years ago and then 1.5 years ago. It is a pretty simple model that does not incorporate any housing data, just birth roll up but it has been highly tuned and has been 90% accurate the last two years. I am not sure that it can be improved in time for the coming vote.
Michael DeBell"

Seriously. The projections don't incorporate housing data. All those new developments around the city, not included.

AND, they don't have a demographer on staff. The person who set up this analysis is not there, and they can't show that the analysis is reasonable. These numbers are based on analysis done 1.5 years ago, and there is no one on staff now to explain or provide review or verify.

It's like insisting that the plane take off now, when there is NO pilot, people are still boarding, and there isn't enough fuel on board.

Please, please, please! I urge the Board to vote to delay the long term plan, and do the due diligence, analysis, program planning and public outreach needed before disrupting so many kids, programs and families.

This plane is not ready to take off.


Anonymous said...

Northender, neighborhood children will be drawn out of Whitman: Whittier is no longer in that service area, we are now in the Wilson Pacific service area. My daughter starts middle school in 2015, we are a 10 minute walk away from Whitman. So now she will have to go Eckstein (?!), then John Marshall for her second year, and then to Wilson Pacific in her final year? Am I understanding that correctly? I sure hope not. Complete insanity.
Whittier Parent.

Anonymous said...

Northender, neighborhood children will be drawn out of Whitman: Whittier is no longer in that service area, we are now in the Wilson Pacific service area. My daughter starts middle school in 2015, we are a 10 minute walk away from Whitman. So now she will have to go Eckstein (?!), then John Marshall for her second year, and then to Wilson Pacific in her final year? Am I understanding that correctly? I sure hope not. Complete insanity.
Whittier Parent.

Anonymous said...

@CD Scientist

There are plenty of smart kids in the CD. CD kids are assigned to APP at Washington (last time I checked, anyway).

I think what "Northender" was trying to say is that the proposed north-end middle school APP cohorts aren't full of CD-area kids, or kids from other parts of town, and that the kids who make up these cohorts (the ones proposed to be assigned to Eckstein, Hamilton, and Whitman) are from the neighborhoods surrounding these schools.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

I'm having some trouble interpreting what I'm reading on the maps...

It seems to me that the areas that are being implemented next year are largely in NE, WS, and downtown being sent to Lowell rather than Hay. And new north end APP locations. Otherwise, it looks like the changes will be incrementally implemented over time by 2020. MEany (or Meany at Van Asselt) won't be opening in 2014, and the crazy Beacon Hill reshuffling won't be happening next year. Am I reading this right?

If I am right on this, I think it would be a huge mistake for the Board to vote on this entire plan in its current form. It's clearly not ready. And as someone pointed out, the new boundaries are in many cases directly at odds with SPS' stated objectives.


Anonymous said...

Whittier parent,

I think your daughter would go to Whitman for the first year, then to Marshall, then to Wilson Pacific. Agreed, not good.

Whittier Also

Anonymous said...

I can't see the board approving this Wedgwood boundary, but the JAMS community needs to be established. Is it possible that the board will introduce an amendment for geographic feeder patterns, or would they already have requested that staff do that for V3 if they were going to do it at all? Is it too late?

Anonymous said...

Re-posted from another thread:

The Olympic View boundaries are bizarre. They span I-5 and extend west of Aurora.

Wilson-Pacific middle school doesn't start until 2016-17 (at John Marshall). Olympic View currently feeds into Eckstein, but will eventually feed into Wilson-Pacific.

This means that kids living west of Aurora in the new Olympic View attendance area will be assigned to Eckstein for the next two years, instead of Whitman (their current assignment), then to Wilson-Pacific @ John Marshall for a year (2016-17), then to the new middle school building at Wilson-Pacific in 2017-18?

- North-end Mom

dj said...

Despite years of reading this blog, I think I still am not that familiar with how this process works. Are these plans ever just strategic ploys? Because I would think this iteration would do a great job of convincing several pretty vocal NE constituencies to collectively develop an alternative proposal that all of them can live with, since this one is unlikely to make any of them at all happy.

Anonymous said...

I don't see any reference in this new plan to APP in West Seattle for elementary or middle school. Has the district just abandoned that idea? If not, it should be included in their list of major changes, since it will take major focus and effort to put that into place by the fall.


Anonymous said...

Seems like a lot of disruptions just to move APP from Hamilton to Whitman. Whitman staff isn't supportive of Spectrum, how is APP going to be served?

N by NW

kellie said...

I keep thinking about problem solving 101. Does this answer solve your problem?

I am quite troubled by attempting to resolve what problems are solved with this proposal. Indeed this proposal does "solve" a few things. However, my best guess without actually being OCD enough to make a chart to model this, is that the number of problems generated by this proposal (as well as version 1 and 2) outnumber the number of solutions.

That is what happens when you are at zero or negative capacity. Every iteration is some version of borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.

Anonymous said...

we would also be in the Whitman - JMarshal - WilPac scenario. Not great, but so much better than a not-comprehensive 6th grade roll up. there are also some silver linings. These WP kids will move as a cohort from Whitman, so while some ties are broken but others will be maintained. They (or I should say "we") - and their families - will have a chance to make something new and will have time to prepare. Likely much harder for the parents than the kids.

Much worse things are going on elsewhere in the district. I am baffled by the splits in South Seattle. That crazy train has to stop. The district needs to truly engage the South Seattle communities to create some better solutions.

Did anyone listen to alternative radio's "slow democracy"? The initial example had to do with school enrollment, and one area that was over-enrolled and another underenrolled. The idea is to start first by discussing the problems and hearing all sides of the issues BEFORE making decisions. I have to listen again.

See this post:


Lynn said...


West Seattle APP is mentioned in the plan - but not for next year. The advanced learning task force on program delivery should provide some guidance on option pathways.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Bryant? Its western boundary moved eastward a lot. Anybody know why?

Lynn said...

Are there families asking for a language immersion program at Dearborn Park? I understand the district needs two elementaries to feed into Mercer, but it seems like the families in the south east are going to see a lot of change for a program they're not anxious to get.

Lynn said...

I'm happy to see there's no mention of changing the IBX program for south and central Seattle students to RBHS in this plan. They just finished the second month of their IB program.

Really? said...

Wedgwood elementary boundary is literally across the street from Eckstein. What happened to SPS walkability priority?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, really feel for those poor S/SE schools. District needs to do something. But good news for Eckstein/APP. Thanks to all the active readers here and APP advocacy group.


Anonymous said...

I think these splits are bad for APP. It reduces program integrity and efficiency and sets the program up to be moved again when there isn't enough room. This sentiment - the plea for a single elementary to middle school track in both north and south seattle - is echoed over on the APP site.

Whitman does not even support Spectrum. And now they'll have APP too? makes no sense.


Melissa Westbrook said...

In this time of shortfall, the only thing the District should be doing right now is the critical and urgent items. Introducing more uncertainty into the system, which is what they're doing, does not help fix anything, but does create too much upheaval for families and communities

I may borrow this when I write to the Board.

CD Scientist, that remark did not pass my attention either. It's unfortunate it was made because YES, there are bright kids everyone and we are just not finding them all and/or helping their parents to know and understand about AL offerings.

Carol, yes, where is that NA program going?

My reaction to a lot of this - Olympic View, Whittier, Sanislo, Maple - is wait, what?

Again, I need to go over these maps, etc. for sense but seems, at first glance, that parents need to rise up with the SCPTA and say no.

It is not too late to create a go-slow plan before important decisions are made that have lasting effects.

Anonymous said...

Spectrum and APP are different programs. APP is protected and has state funding. Before APP went into Hamilton, similar concerns.

Elementary APP @ W-P , done. APP to whitman and eckstein, E/W split, done.

like it

Anonymous said...

The district's mantra since the last choice assignment plan went away is SPS does not try to change cultural/socio-economic simply reflects it.

But with this latest proposal SPS is creating an on-steroids white, economically privileged school at Eckstein.

The addition of APP to the school will reinforce the idea of Best, Brightest, Whitest.

The community surrounding the school may be pleased. The rest of the city should be wretching.

And to think that this is Martin-Morris's district (he an African American from humble origins) makes the irony even larger. He should be ashamed. Instead, he appears to be promoting the worst example of Exceptionalism in SPS.

South, Southeast and Central District take a look at what is happening. Rise up. A Palace of Privilege created in the middle of a district in turmoil.

Neither the boundaries nor the programming had to be drawn in a way that divides not strengthens our city. Eckstein as drawn is a full-bore smackdown to equality or equity in this district. It needs to be emphatically rejected.


Anonymous said...

The community surrounding Eckstein is not pleased. Wedgwood families want our kids to walk there. But under this silly plan they would be bussed, at the districts expense, to JAMS. Bad for the SPS budget, bad for planet earth and bad for the health of our kids.

Anonymous said...

CD Scientist, it's the result of the zip code only because that's where you find parents who pay $300 to have a private tester say their child is gifted.
I totally agree with you. The whole idea of a gifted program that relies on parent action instead of student intelligence is elitist and racist, and I don't support it.

Anonymous said...

Based on the power outages in the NE. The GODS have made their opinions known...


Lynn said...


The district isn't changing a school's cultural/socioeconomic mix. Eckstein's enrollment will reflect the surrounding community - as all our middle schools do.


Did you know that the school district will provide individual testing for students who qualify for FRL? How is that elitist and racist?

juicygoofy said...

The whole Whittier ES neighborhood can and does walk to Whitman MS. As crowded and lackluster as Whitman is, families are not going to be happy about being bussed out of the Ballard community to Wilson Pacific (or John Marshall.)

Pinehurst/ AS-1 parent said...

Pinehurst's addition to the BEXIV at the last minute is indicative of who gets what in this district.
Pinehurst with possibly the highest FRL population of any Option school in the district this year, is on the chopping block once again.

Note:When OSPI forced SPS to create more free k, OSPI had Pinehurst up there with Southshore K-8 with about 63% FRL.

ConcernedParent said...

Don't kid yourself on their being room for kids outside the geozone at JSIS. The driving force for changing JSIS to an option school was because of overcrowding and their inability to control class size with the neighborhood boundaries. The Geozone, as proposed, is larger than the current neighborhood boundaries.

JSIS parent

Lynn said...

When did OSPI do that? The schools that get free all day K (other than the ones just announced yesterday) are funded by the state. I wouldn't call that forcing it.

Anonymous said...

At the 10/17 work session, staff presented the data tables showing which middle schools were closest to where APP students lived, and number of APP elementary students in the area.

Eckstein and Whitman were the top two, Eckstein with 267 middle school and 233 elementary; and Whitman with 203 middle school and 134 elementary. Jane Addams had the fewest in both categories, and Wilson-Pacific came in next to last.

While the Board directors seemed pretty much in agreement with keeping elementary APP at Lincoln until W-P is ready (except for Director Peaslee, who advocated for APP at Olympic Hills), there was no clear direction from the Board on how to handle middle school APP.

They seemed to agree that APP middle school should not be stand-alone, and favoring 2 sites over 3, but beyond that there really wasn't much for staff to go on.

I remember Director Smith-Blum stating that Hamilton had too much feeding into it (and APP should go into W-P and JAMS), and Director Peaslee wanting a NE APP site (at Eckstein or JAMS), but also stating that they should wait until there was an advanced learning plan in place, and Director Martin-Morris favoring Wilson-Pacific as one of the APP sites. Director DeBell wanted to decide APP now, not later.

The entire APP discussion was an unfocused mess. There was no strong opposition from the Board around putting APP at Eckstein and Whitman. I think that is why staff put together the latest proposal.

- ws attendee

Anonymous said...

I know. It's not a pleasant conversation to have. APP parents get defensive about it and everyone needs to do what's best for their child, but our system for identifying gifted children is racist and elitist. I would be more supportive of APP if APP parents would just admit it's a faulty and unfair system, but hey, they have to do what's best for their child.

First of all, every other APP family I talk to has had their child privately tested after the free school test failed to identify their child as gifted. Poor families do not have private secondary testing as an option even if, as many families claim, the district test was faulty.

Second of all, if you want to argue that the district's current system for identifying highly capable kids is equitable and accurate, then you also need to argue that white and Asian kids are more intelligent than Black and Latino kids, because even in the southend the APP program is overwhelmingly white and Asian.

Are we testing for highly intellectually capable, or are we testing for school-ready? Because I've seen many, many Black children mildowing away in a Sped classroom who were more intelligent than some of the APP students I know.

It is a faulty system. It is parent driven, and it provides an education simply inaccessible to too many of our families.

If you want to make it more equitable, then it should be teacher-referral only, it should be SPS test only, and there should be summer programs to support those highly-capable children whose parents do not have the education to move their children ahead during the summer break.


Anonymous said...

I understand that most APP students live closest to Eckstein and Whitman but so do neighborhood kids.

Doesn't make sense to have APP students walk when the state pays for their bussing while bussing neighborhood students which the district will have to pay for?

Won't this cost SPS more transportation $$$.

N by NW

Anonymous said...

@N by NW

There are a lot of neighborhood kids around JAMS, too. It doesn't make sense to me to make the JAMS attendance area teeny tiny so as to make room for imported APP kids. I'm very happy to see NE APP out of JAMS in the latest proposal.

However, Wilson-Pacific is basically in a student dessert. Why they are proposing to make it a 100% assignment school, and drawing neighborhood kids out of Whitman to do it, instead of housing a significant chunk of APP at Wilson-Pacific is beyond my comprehension.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

And I'm sorry for adding that soapbox to this strand, which should be about boundaries, but North End Mom is right - my original comment referred not to the intelligence of children, but to the fact many north APP kids live in the Whitman / Eckstein neighborhoods anyway.


Anonymous said...

Well W-P APP MS would have been nicer. Still like this latest proposal.

like it

dw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sick of it all said...

So let me get this right:

They were going to put APP at Jane Addams, and everyone complained because "all the APP kids live near Eckstein."

So they put APP at Eckstein, and everyone complains "all the mainstream kids will have to be bussed to Jane Addams."

I can imagine if they took the obvious third option -- making Wilson-Pacific one giant APP K-8 -- everyone will complain about THAT, too. Probably that it'll push more kids into Eckstein and Whitman.

Say what you want about this byzantine, clueless school system, but there's not a whole lot of clarity coming to them from the community.

Anonymous said...

Melissa - I found the link below helpful (and don't think it's listed in your post) because it lists dates beyond next year (seems like the rest of it simply says the plan will unfurl as BEXIV does and leaves us to puzzle thigns out). It's the School Board Briefing/Proposed Action Report that's about the "Intermediate Capacity Management Plan to Support For Implementation of Growth Boundaries and BEX IV."

Anonymous said...

We want to not be split, and when they present options that split us, we tell them about the problems with their plan they might care about, since they demonstrably do not really care what APP parents want. So we think, well, maybe they will care about these other three bad things about their plan. That is advocacy 101, right? Plenty of clarity if you are looking for it, though. Don't split APP. (yet)

Northendr, teacher referral is the most biased system in existence. Google it-all white, old for grade boys. The cogat is actually not that bad. I think I have said before we did not need to appeal. I don't know a lot of people who did. But I don't really ask, and I'm not sure why it would come up often. And again-free if you are FRL, with a lot of information about how to do it.


kellie said...

My back of the envelope estimate is that at least one third of north end families live in the walk zone of two (or three) middle schools. When you combine dual walk zone areas with a requirement for feeder patterns, you get some truly "bendable" areas.

Effectively, all of these dual walk zone areas are being shaped into feeder patterns based on the capacity of the elementary schools and not much else. As long as everything is tied to feeder patterns all the "middle" areas, areas that are in-between two school, will lose any sense of neighborhood. Maple leaf is taking it particularly hard in this version.

The South is getting very similar churn based on the requirement for every one to fit into the elementary school AND have that zone shaped into a feeder pattern.

Anonymous said...

Re: APP at Eckstein, I have 2 APP eligible kids but choose to stay at our neighborhood school for elementary and we would have been Spectrum/Eckstein. It will be interesting to see how many more might come out of the woodwork to take advantage of APP at their neighborhood school (if it really ends up at Eckstein). I've never seen this published, but are there actual numbers for kids that tested APP-eligible in district CogAT+Map, yet did not apply for APP? If the district actually looked at that in making the Eckstein decision, then kudos to them for finally doing some datamining to support placement decisions.


Anonymous said...

Diane, Yes, those exact numbers are available on the Advanced Learning website. (Docs are called something like APP-eligible in ALO or Spectrum schools, 1-5.) There are significant numbers of APP (called AHG for academically highly gifted) kids in bsaically just Bryant and VR. If APP ends up at Eckstein, it WILL be really interesting how they will integrate the two populations and make placement decisions. I would think there would be a possibility of some re-testing for appropriate placement. I see fairness as a hot button issue with this mix. These are not parents who generally support ability grouping.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reference, Onthefence

So if Eckstein APP starts fall 2014, the "eligible, but stayed local" kids actually won't benefit (nor impact enrollment #s) til 2015, since we've passed the cut off to qualify for APP for fall 2014 (and if they tested in/made the decision to stay local even 1+ year ago, those scores are too old for current placement). wonder if that's been factored into the model at all??


Anonymous said...

Diane, if APP-eligible kids are enrolled at a Spectrum or ALO school, the students retain their designation no matter how old the qualifying scores.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous above asked: "What happened to Bryant? Its western boundary moved eastward a lot. Anybody know why?"

I assume it was in response to public comments that the western boundary for Bryant moved eastward. It moved only 1 block eastward to 12th ave NE in Roosevelt. Where it seems to have "moved eastward a lot" is in the Cowen Park area (where I think it moved from Roosevelt to 15th ave NE). These areas are currently assigned to Green Lake Elementary. A number of parents in these areas requested that their addresses remain in Green Lake area to minimize disruption and maximize walkability. Bryant is generally further away from these areas than is Green Lake. SPS listened and put these areas back in Green Lake.

- Roosevelt parent

Anonymous said...

Really? I would think VR spectrum parents would. And I think more people do for middle school than elem. I highly support ability grouping-not sure how you send your child to an ability grouped program if you don't! The APP kids will be in self contained for 3 classes(la/ss block and science), though, and math ability grouping is de rigeur, plus I know they already accept music auditions as necessary and healthy. Not much left to quibble about.

Still wish they wouldn't split, wouldn't make these two south north end schools super programmatically heavy. APP parents don't want this, and other people have to lose out for us to get this close school. We'd much prefer to stay as one cohort until there are actually enough kids for two cohorts (720- 360 at each, 3-4 full sections at each grade so they can fully integrate and also have most advanced offerings-something I am not that worried about at Eckstein, but still, crappy consolation prize for an overall bad plan) instead of splitting because some wild projections suggest there might be enough for two in several years.


Lynn said...


Here's a link to a presentation on the methods used to project enrollment numbers. Are you talking about kids who would have chosen Eckstein over APP for middle school? If they're coming from View Ridge, Sand Point, Bryant or Laurelhurst, they'll be at Eckstein whether or not they choose APP. If there are a lot of kids at Wedgwood and John Rogers who in the past would not have tested because they'd be happy with Eckstein, I don't think the projections take that into account.

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is why the area just around Roosevelt High is assigned to Bryant instead of Green Lake, the current assignment and closest school. It's as if it was felt that Roosevelt needed to remain in the Eckstein service area. This seems silly to me to displace kids for that argument when it doesn't matter what area the high school is technically located. High schools are assigned based on address, right?

- Roosevelt parent

Anonymous said...

You want equity in the NE? It's never been that hard. You divide the area vertically instead of horizontally. N/S transportation is easier in this town than E/W transportation anyhow.

Olympic Hills, Sacajawea, Wedgwood and Bryant go to Eckstein. Cedar Park, John Rogers, View Ridge, Sand Point go to the new JA. Sand Point Way and Lake City Way and 35th St. all provide easy N/S access.
(If the View Ridge families abutting Eckstein were unhappy, a few blocks could be reoriented to Wedgwood. Their kids would walk to middle school, at the fair "tradeoff" of being in Wedgwood for grade school.

For now, an APP middle school split out of Hamilton, if it truly has to happen, would go to whichever of those two middle schools has space once this vertical alignment is established. If that's Eckstein, so be it. If that's JA, so be it. Space would dictate that decision for now (a few years), and if SPS ever gets its advanced learning program straightened out, an academic/program reason would dictate the final long-term placement solution.

The state gives the district $$ to transport APP kids. So transportation costs to either location are not an issue.
Families in the extreme north and south portions of the area aren't in middle school walkzones, so walkability would be minimally impacted.

I am personally very troubled about the 'elite' reputation, earned or not, that APP/Eckstein would acquire under this system. It would be a decision alienating to large portions of the rest of the city. It is a decision that will have an impact beyond the school system. It absolutely will exacerbate a very bitter perceived midcity north/south geographic dividing line between the haves/have nots.(And for APP families, I predict it would be the final nail in the coffin of APP as it looks today. There are already many within the administration who dislike the current delivery method.)

The socio-economic and racial disparities are much less acute, even if APP does go to Eckstein, if the district divides the NE along N/S lines.

Capacity Wonk

Lynn said...


The district says a middle school cohort should be between 270 and 360. There are 566 APP students at HIMS this year - so there are already enough for two schools. Are you worried about the difficulty of settling into a new building, how the staff will react and having appropriate teachers at Eckstein - or do you just feel there aren't enough students?

I think this is how the NSAP should work. They're providing services as near as possible to where students live. For schools where there aren't enough APP students for a cohort, they're bused to another site to combine with another middle school region. The problem is that there are lots of kids who live very close to Eckstein - so many that everyone within the walk zone won't fit.

Lynn said...

Roosevelt parent,

Green Lake has become the attendance area school for all the kids who used to live in the McDonald and JSIS attendance areas. I don't think it has anything to do with Roosevelt.

Anonymous said...

No, it is really that I think there are not enough kids. 270 is not enough. I agree that 566(I thought it was 549) is a bit big for a cohort to comfortably cohouse, but it's not quite big enough to split. Maybe if what would happen is some small class sizes in the cases where the cohort was small, but back in the real world where we should expect 40 kid I am not worried about my kid fitting back in with neighborhood friends or advanced offerings or staff. That's all a plus for me, and I suppose a wiser person would shut their Morgan's be thankful for their personal good deal. But I actually worry a lot about the program and the district at large. I am worried about:
Splitting prematurely
Exacerbating inequality between JAMS and Eckstein(not as badly as the last plan, but not splitting APP would help even more)
General capacity-South NE needs to ship kids out, and there is free bussing to ship APP kids out. Is Sharon Peaslee and Michael Tolley's anti-app personal vendetta really a good reason to exacerbate the capacity crisis and waste transportation dollars?
I also think we'd get kicked out of eckstein in under 5 years, but that is just back of the envelope math-not sure.


Anonymous said...

Lynn - it's just that the boundary looks funny there and it's not clear to me why current area 82 around Roosevelt high school would not also stay assigned to Green Lake. I don't think the couple blocks around the high school with several abandoned houses would add very many kids to the school and it would "minimize disruption" and "maximize walkability" for those few kids.

- Roosevelt parent

Anonymous said...

I agree that SPS is rather like a Banana Republic right now. Great people have fled. I especially miss Mr. Treat and Mr. Brockman.

The 3.0 plan absolutely does push out neighborhood kids from their neighborhood schools, especially in south K5s, in West Seattle, and in the north middle schools. The consequence is real: the transportation budget will balloon, and this at a time when our operating budget is bleeding red ink. I think the deficit is $20 million?

Messing with the entire system's boundaries NOW when the corresponding capacity is not coming on NOW is problematic (which is my polite way of saying stupid).

Why they think they must do this ALL NOW, is beyond me. Their historical long-term projections have been really, really bad. This everyone agrees on. They've closed schools that had to be opened 2 years later. West Seattle is a testament to their inability to get long term planning right (and by long term, I am talk 4 years, not 6 or 8).

So why are they doing this ALL NOW? Makes no sense. Too much upheaval for too many families, communities and schools. For what net benefit? And, more importantly, at what cost? They don't even know the true costs!!! How's that for 'good governance'? I bet that at least half of it they will have to undo or 'revisit' in 2.5 years. How's that for efficiency and spinning staff?

The Board must demand to know what the cost is of doing EVERYTHING NOW (how many busses have to roll for how long), vs., doing just the items that must be done for September 2014 now and tabling the rest of the capacity-driven changes until they have 1. updated projections 2. have captured and embedded the plan for Special Education in concert with the SpEd PTSA 3. have crafted a plan to deal with high school (oh yeah, that!) and 4. have heard back from the task forces about advanced learning.

Northender, you said "No one is being pushed out of Whitman or Eckstein because the APP kids live in those neighborhoods anyway", I respectfully disagree. Here is why:

Yes, those kids *live* in those neighborhoods, and, of course both of those schools could serve as the APP middle school location, but, both of those schools are already COMPLETELY FULL. Full of neighborhood kids, so, obviously, if the APP program is routed there, then kids who are there must get the heave-ho. That has NEVER been anything that the APP community has asked for.

Furthermore, APP has NEVER been in either of those schools, and that is why putting it there absolutely does push somebody else out. WW, a Wedgwood parent, asked to not be pushed out of a school the kids can easily walk to. Similarly, a Whittier parent asked not to be pushed out of Ballard for the sake of APP.

This highlights the difference between a geographic-based neighborhood assignment system for attendance area schools and a non-geographic program. APP has never been in either the NW or NE 'cluster' (old speak) or middle school service area (new speak). For Eckstein and Whitman APP students, their school was always (for the last 15 years) somewhere else: Lowell (stand alone initially with SpEd) (then Lincoln), and then Washington (then Hamilton). So, those residents have never attended in the NE or NW.

Both those regions are full, that is why exporting students made sense for everyone: it saved the neighborhood schools for the attendance area kids in the neighborhoods, and put on a bus the kids who couldn't get serviced anywhere but in an APP school. It was a win-win: neighborhoods kept together, bussed kids got their bussing paid for by the State and got a program that had service integrity.

The major problem is not that Whitman or Eckstein can't service them, it is that they are already FULL. The north region is full: elementary, middle and high. So, exporting to a 'student desert' is what is key to balancing the system.

-stay tuned (continued below)

Maureen said...

@ Wedgewood parents saying their kids will have to be bused to JAMS at District expense: that may not be true. Eckstein is only 2.1 miles from JAMS. The transportation cutoff for middle school is 2.0 miles . Virtually all of the kids north of EMS will be expected to make their own way to school.

I agree with the posters who say it's time to uncouple the elementaries from the Middle Schools. It's not clear to me what the rationale was in the first place (keeping 5th graders cohorted probably adds to the standard middle school social angst by further cementing pecking orders.)

Anonymous said...

DID ANYONE ASK THEM - the principals or the PTSAs or the existing families at Whitman and Eckstein- IF THEY WANTED THEIR SCHOOLS REENGINEERED?

The question is why APP middle wasn't routed to a non-attendance area middle school together with an option-enrollment complementary small program. Doing that will result in the least disruption for EVERYONE. That would have preserved historical communities as much as possible to guard against unnecessary upheaval. That would provide the most stability, the most durable solution. Hamilton has no more room for APP going forward. The District may not be 'fessing up to this right now, but, that is the plain and simple math. Hamilton offered a temporary home to APP for a few years, now, it needs its school back. Gets who gets kicked to the curb?

Bottom line: putting neighborhood guaranteed seats together with non-neighborhood guaranteed seats in a single facility lines up that facility for a capacity failure. That is why putting APP with an option-enrolled program in a building in a 'student desert' is the best for everybody. And, if you think it is working in the south, Thurgood Marshall is going to have issues, they already have 2 portables and it is not clear how many more they can take, and, Washington is going to end up possibly the most portables of any school.

(This is a capacity discussion during a time of shortage. This is not an APP discussion. That is because boundaries are a capacity discussion.)

-stay tuned

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but is the Bryant reference area actually BIGGER now than it is currently?

Stuffed Up!

Anonymous said...

Lynn says:

The district isn't changing a school's cultural/socioeconomic mix. Eckstein's enrollment will reflect the surrounding community - as all our middle schools do.

Lynn, you probably don't realize that your approach here is the reason SPS has been slammed for institutionalized racism. You are doing your cause no favors whatsoever. Try doing some research on redlining. There is a reason the Eckstein area isn't as diverse as Capitol Hill and South. The city has decades of history to be ashamed of. The Eckstein draw area and the proposal to add APP to it puts a fine point on that history.

Capacity Wonk's suggestion is right on. No APP at Eckstein unless the NE is split into eastern and western halves.

BTW, I will be writing pointed letters to the City's Office of Race and Equity, along with the Mayor, City Council, School Board, Superintendent, and the Media over this proposal. I ask the likeminded to do the same.

Think I'll also drop a note to the Feds on the demographic disparity of the current APP program compared to the district demographics as well as the proposed APP/Eckstein cohousing.

Bet I'm not the only one who is, or is about to be,


Maureen said...

I'm thinking they should place an International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program at the new Wilson Pacific Middle School. If it is indeed in a "student desert" as some are saying, that will draw families there from whatever schools are still over full. There wasn't much point in talking about that when it looked like APP was going to the building (since they are already supposedly doing HS level work) but now there is.

Anonymous said...

The idea of a standalone APP at the K8 level is bad. Standalone in a bigger building is worse. The program needs to be repiloted in its approach and in its identification. Since that work has not happened, in the north leave APP at Hamilton. Set portable farms up everywhere. Maybe they go on top of Hamilton's roof. I am 1/2 serious. Ditto JA. Ditto at Eckstein.

Putting APP at Eckstein creates a whole new set of problems. I also agree that appearance is one of those problems. It looks very bad.

I am an accelerated learning fan. I am sorry for every student in the program, and every other family not in the program but affected by the district's inability to figure out its program philosophy and delivery methods of all of its nonstandard programs BEFORE not AFTER capacity discussions.

I thought the school closures a few years ago were a debacle. I think this is worse. I have no solutions at this point beyond more portables, but I feel the need to shake my fist here at the powers that be, and to shake my head at the constituencies - and I see some of them here - that are only out for "their" kids.

The whole kit n caboodle is so disappointing.


Anonymous said...

Capacity Wonk, do you know if your east/west proposal has been vetted? I really like the sound of it, and I'm actually a

NE parent in VR

Anonymous said...

Stuffed Up! - yes, the proposed Bryant area is even bigger, adding area 101 (currently assigned to Sand Point) and area 82 (currently assigned to Green Lake. You can see the changes in attachment B (reference docs).

- Roosevelt parent

Anonymous said...

If you are hoping for brand new W-P MS APP, say so. In the meantime, Hamiton is full. So yes to Eckstein and Whitman APP. This whole kicked to the curb business is a bit old and IMO, untrue. As in untrue when it was "kicked" to Hamilton and Ingraham. You want to know who's being kicked? It's Pinehurst and Summit and World School.

like it

Anonymous said...

@ Wedgewood parents saying their kids will have to be bused to JAMS at District expense: that may not be true. Eckstein is only 2.1 miles from JAMS. The transportation cutoff for middle school is 2.0 miles . Virtually all of the kids north of EMS will be expected to make their own way to school.

A 2.0 mile circle drawn around JAMS leaves out the SW portion of the newly drawn Wedgwood boundary (which actually restores the original WW boundary before they were reassigned to Greenlake). They are around 1 mile from Eckstein and around 2.5 miles from JAMS. It draws them out of a walk zone.

Diane, if APP-eligible kids are enrolled at a Spectrum or ALO school, the students retain their designation no matter how old the qualifying scores.
I believe this is only true at the elementary level. For middle school, students need to retest. Suppose your student was APP eligible, but you chose Eckstein over APP and now you've been drawn out of Eckstein. Your child could not simply join the APP cohort at Eckstein without retesting. Of course the window has passed, so a 6th grader could not test until 7th grade for an 8th grade placement.


Anonymous said...

@ NE Parent in VR

I like Capacity Wonk's suggestion too. My kids would still go to JA middle, but it feels like a more equitable split of resources.

Dunno if it has been vetted. I have to say that being heard or getting attention from anyone other than Sharon Peaslee has been difficult. Harium Martin-Morris is not a friend of wholistic solutions. It is very apparent that he has a group of loud Bryant, Eckstein, APP parents who shape most of his perspective. I believe a vertical solution, if it hasn't already been looked at, would not be attractive to his buddies.

Perhaps if there is a group of us who like the idea can go around him and contact the rest of the board as well as the boundaries people. I get the feeling staff would welcome any well-meaning wholistic solution at this point.

John Rogers

Melissa Westbrook said...

"The whole idea of a gifted program that relies on parent action instead of student intelligence is elitist and racist, and I don't support it."

Northender, this confuses me. Are you saying kids shouldn't be tested to get into gifted programs? If so, how should they get in? Because to test, you need the parents' permission. The test is taken by students so it is the students' intelligence (according to the testing instrument which may not be valid for all groups). It would be very hard for SPS to create their own (valid) test.

And every single parent you have every talked to all just happen to have had private testing? Because I haven't met that many in all my years in this district. That's not evidence.

"Doesn't make sense to have APP students walk when the state pays for their bussing while bussing neighborhood students which the district will have to pay for?"

Good point.

Stay tuned, you said:

"...APP middle wasn't routed to a non-attendance area middle school together with an option-enrollment complementary small program."

Where would that be? JA K-8 will be in an interim building until their new building is up. Pinehurst? Probably gone.

Maureen, good suggestion for IB at HIMS.

Lynn said...


If your APP-eligible sixth grader was enrolled in Spectrum at Eckstein, they could join APP at Eckstein next year without retesting.

Anonymous said...

It looks like according to the district docs, there are 46 elementary APP eligible students this year in West Seattle that are not enrolled in APP. And those are just the elementary kids that are APP elligible but enrolled in AOL or Spectrum. This number does not account for other APP elligible elementary kids in WS that are in General Ed pathways at either their neighborhood school or the option schools at Pathfinder/STEM, or at private schools. Add the number of elementary kids that are at APP at Thurgood Marshall but do want Elementary APP in West Seattle. As far as I know, there has been no effort by the district to specifically contact, survey, or mobilize this group to even discuss Elementary APP in West Seattle. The lack of transparency and outreach is really frustrating.

-WS Plans

Anonymous said...

Our kindergarten teacher recommended that all parents submit the ALO testing paperwork last year. She advised that it would just give us more information to go on, which isn't bad advice. I don't know how many parents were listening or reading her reminders but it still required parent action to obtain the forms and submit them and I don't know how many opted to participate.

On the day of the test my child was just back from being out quite ill and he was still under the weather. His scores were reasonable but perhaps not his best performance -- he really was pale and weak and not 100%.

I considered appealing and having private testing done but he hated the testing and the inequity of the appeal process for families not of our means crossed my mind. It was a good $500 for a private evaluation if I am recalling correctly, plus a very short time frame and the needed time to have the test repeated. This is not something that is equally available for all families.

Ultimately I wasn't convinced that APP was the right option for him, nor that the test was appropriate to repeat given his strong reaction against it and we did not appeal. I do know other families that did appeal with private testing - it is called "working the system" and it is hard to fault anyone for taking advantage of all options for their child. If the system is inequitable then the system needs fixing.

Ann D

Anonymous said...

I agree that craziness is wrong. Lots of families have APP-qualifying elementary kids who are waiting until middle school to enroll in APP. As long as those kids are enrolled in a spectrum or alo program now, no retesting required.

I disagree with the vertical slicing of the NE, only because you still would have lots of kids on the south end of the View Ridge boundary who would practically be driving past Eckstein to get to JAMS. (Almost all of those VR kids currently walk to/from Eckstein every day. None could walk to/from JAMS.) However, I think it's completely unfair for southern WW families to be drawn out of Eckstein and would argue against that. I really feel the best result is to eliminate the elementary to middle school feeder patterns in certain areas -- south 1/2 of WW and south 1/2 of VR should go to Eckstein, while the north 1/2 of WW and north 1/2 of VR should go to JAMS. I really don't see the importance of feeder patterns, as long as large groups are moving together. In other words, I would never advocate for 10% of an elementary to be sliced off and sent to a different middle school, but as long as it's roughly 50/50 (or 60/40), kids are going to have friends (maybe not a "best friend," but still, kids they know) going to middle school with them. If we split the elementary schools geographically like this, most kids would be closer to their middle schools than if all of VR goes to Eckstein and all of WW goes to JAMS.

-two cents

Anonymous said...

I got it! Why not just send APP back south of the ship canal. Is there room anywhere? Nobody really wants it at their school.

As a parent of 4 kids, I have been in SPS a long time and there was never so much unhappiness about APP when it involved a long bus ride. Parents used to need to do some serious soul searching about the cost/benefits of a cohort vs that bus ride.

Maybe I am just missing something but I just don't get what "equitable access" has to do with advanced learning.

- north seattle mom

Lynn said...

WS Plans,

What do you want the program to look like? For one self-contained classroom per grade, you'd need 150 students. Do you think we have that many in West Seattle? I don't think any outreach or discussion will happen until both task forces are done - if then. The district generally provides information about program design - rather than asking what families want.

Anonymous said...

@John Rogers
Glad to hear you've gotten Sharon Peaslee's attention! Has she been supportive of JAMS?


Lori said...

When I first saw the Whitman/Eckstein proposal, I started thinking that maybe they were giving us a hint about what they plan to do with APP in the future, that maybe the goal is to tighten the eligibility criteria and have fewer students in the program. If so, they need to think of current APP students as neighborhood students because in the future, that's what similar children would be. For example, maybe they'll tighten the CogAT requirement from 98th percentile and above to 99% and above, or even 99.7% and above (which is what Bellevue's PRISM program uses). So, if the long-term goal is a smaller, tighter APP program, then this proposal makes a little more sense. The neighborhood kids who previously would have qualified for APP no longer would and would therefore be attending their neighborhood MS, so maybe they are starting that transition now.

*But* then I look at what they are doing in the south end: splitting into 3 sites even though they don't currently have enough students to support them. In that case, the exact opposite conclusion could be drawn. Maybe they plan to loosen eligibility criteria to draw in students who have historically not be included. Maybe the CogAT goes down to 97% and above. Maybe they do a single domain in achievement: math OR reading, not math AND reading. Maybe they add in a way to capture musical prodigies and other arts.

And then I throw my hands up in frustration because these two things are completely at odds. You can't simultaneously decrease enrollment up north and increase it in the south! If this plan goes through, we are setting up for failure in at least one large geographic portion of the district. Broader eligibility criteria will mean that north end MS APP gets kicked out of Whitman and/or Eckstein in a few years. Tighter criteria doom the three programs in the south to failure.

Am I making any sense? I can't even tell any more.

Anonymous said...

@ Maureen,

I plotted my child's shortest walkable way to JAMS from our North Ravenna home on Google: 2.0 Miles, 1/2 of it on Lake City Way (past several interesting establishments). Google warned me that this route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths ...Hm, would you let your preteen walk that way twice a day? JAMS may actually be a good choice for us otherwise, but the logistics (without a bus) sound a bit daunting. APP kids would get a bus to JAMS. Mine may or may not (and if my kid does: SPS has to pay for it).

one of North Ravenna's parents

JR said...

Interesting thought to send app south of ship canal. Is there room in any middle school south?
I also like the idea to spit by geozones instead of feeder patterns for middle school to maximize the walkability zones. I agree that if an elementary school is split 60/40 into 2 middle schools, that is ok. Certainly preferable to no going to a school across. The steer or down the block.

Anonymous said...

Another idea: All of WW and all of VR go to Eckstein, but Laurelhurst (whose kids can't walk to Eckstein anyway) go elsewhere (back to Hamilton?). If they fit in Hamilton, it could work all the way around. If they don't fit, there isn't really anywhere else for them to go. I'm just thinking that the kids who can walk to Eckstein should be able to go there, but the Laurelhurst kids can't walk there anyway. (Sorry Laurelhurst - don't mean to throw you under the bus by any means, just trying to allow those who can walk to stay at Eckstein. Curious how Laurelhurst families would feel about busing to Hamilton under this scenario.)

-two cents

Anonymous said...

I don’t like this process because I feel like the district hasn’t been transparent about their guiding principles and they aren’t clear with us about how input drives changes (is it the loudest group, is it the merits of the argument, is it the largest number of similar complaints?). I’m not naïve – this lack of transparency/clarity is the most predictable thing I’ve seen about the district in my 7 years of paying (too) close attention.

However, I think in the north end there are some things that have to happen next year (they can’t be slowed down). Also, in the north end, we are going to have huge groups of people who are unhappy no matter what. I’m not saying I like the 3.0 plan, but I didn’t like the 1.0 or 2.0, either.

To me the difficulties are:
1. Middle school: you can have 6th grade roll ups OR you have to pull kids who are currently in 6th and 7th out of their schools to populate the two new middles as that 7th and 8th graders. 6th grade roll ups are bad, in my opinion, for a new school – weak start and definitely can’t be comprehensive (and apparently many people agreed). JAMS and Wilson Pacific deserve better. However, it stinks to have to switch middle schools during the 3 short years you are there. In short, swaths of unhappy people and destabilized students either way.
2. APP middle school: not so wanted at JAMS; probably not so wanted at Whitman (if their spectrum changes are any indication); not wanted by Wedgwood at Eckstein (because they get pushed out of a building to which they can walk); maybe not wanted by Whittier at Whitman (because they get pushed out of a building to which they can walk); not unwanted at HIMS, but it is very full and APP is a group that can be pushed out. Hey, let’s put APP middle someplace separate for middle school, so we take them out of the capacity equation! BUT that’s not so wanted, either (too exclusive, too isolated, too annoying if they get a shiny new Wilson pacific building, etc.). In short, swaths of unhappy people and destabilized students either way.

And while the decision about Whitman or Wilson Pacific for APP middle can be held off a little because they require Wilson Pacific to be in existence, the NE APP at JAMS or Eckstein seems to me to have to be decided now. I don't see an annex at Lincoln as a practical solution ot buy time. So, where should it go? May the loudest/most logical argument/largest number of pithy emails sent in/who the heck knows?! group of parents win.


Anonymous said...

Not to go off on a tangent but the defense of private testing is nearly as damning as the criticisms. Basically, I didn't have to do it and I don't know that many people who did it.

Private testing with an ethical tester (and I haven't heard of any that are not) is extensive, thorough, rigourous, and provides a depth of results that is much more informative than the SPS group cogat test. That process is almost laughable if you have seen it first hand.


Maureen said...

North Ravenna, I'm probably not the one to ask since my kid has been riding Metro since 7th grade, most of it up and down Aurora. Two miles is too far to walk to school no matter how nice the neighborhood (it just takes too long given that school starts before 8 a.m.) How close are you to 35th? The 65 runs up and down there, pretty much straight from Eckstein to Addams.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Lori, stop making sense. :)

Lynn said...

north seattle mom and JR,

Are you joking? The bus ride to APP should be sufficiently (painfully) long - so that fewer students will choose it (have their needs met.) Send 500 kids south of the ship canal so everyone left in the north end isn't so crowded? No - there aren't 500 empty middle school seats anywhere in Seattle. Those are North End kids and you can't just export them out of your neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

@ Maureen,

Kudos to you and your child. That 's impressive. I actually checked Metro, too , but the options aren't great either (35 th ave will send my child pretty much right by Eckstein on her way to Jams) . In all honesty, if this proposal would be accepted by the board we would probably get bus service. And I like the yellow buses (and my child has been riding one since early elementary school since we don' live in the walk zone of any elementary school) . But then what's the point of this feeder pattern assignment mess?

North Ravenna

SB said...

1- have APP students attend Wilson pacific MS

2- have the northeast middle school elementary feeders divided east/west instead of north/south as some have suggested.
Olympic hills, Sacajawea, Wedgewood, Bryant and Laurelhurst would feed into Eckstein.
Sand point, View Ridge, John Rogers and Cedar Park would feed in to JAMS.
This would create more equity, balance and diversity in the middle schools (a good thing) instead of turning Eckstein in to a "white and wealthy" only school which is bad for everyone

3- If APP goes to Wilson Pacific MS, then Olympic View could feed in to Eckstein which would make much more sense as it is on the east side of I-5 (if this happens then Laurelhurst could go to JAMS)

Wedgwood Walks to Eckstein! said...

Wedgwood attendance area is ACROSS THE STREET from Eckstein.
District is going to pay to send kids from this area on busses to JAMS? And then send APP here which has bus funding?
This is a new level of crazy.

Emma said...

I don't understand how the district could possibly ask Wedgwood kids to get on a bus to JAMS when they're within walking distance to Eckstein. Why are they being kicked out of their neighborhood school? Every area of Wedgwood attendance area can walk to Eckstein.

Anonymous said...

It's a long bus ride. One which W. Seattle kids are doing now. Why not send Magnolia and QA APP south? In the early APP days, it was Lowell, Washington, Garfield. The 3 way splits in the south makes more sense with the ship canal as N/S line.


Anonymous said...

I liked the change to a more diverse eckstein in the last boundary shift. (10% FRL to 25% FRL) I saw a little less navel-gazing & a lot more concern & generosity when parents realized their kids had friends who were sleeping in a car. I would be sad to see it go back to a less diverse population. We chose Eckstein over APP.

-Eckstein family

Damian said...

APP is kicking Wedgewood kids out of Eckstein. Pure Seattle elitism.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why Laurelhurst is going to Eckstein when my child is 2 blocks from Eckstein. Can't the Laurelhurst population move back to Hamilton? It just doesn't make much sense that my child can't go to a school 2 blocks from our house.


Anonymous said...

The whole white and wealthy APP thing is a bit late given Lincoln. To try to disguise it by boundary zone manipulation isn't going to work simply because W-P MS APP is going to reflect those rising Lincoln demographics. People need to stop hiding this elephant.


Drew said...

Why not call a 1 mile boundary around each school a walk zone with 1st dibs, then feeder schools second?

Anonymous said...

To someone who has been around long enough to remember how "normal" it was to have the NNE kids bused past the JA building and Eckstein ("too full" at less than 1100), to their assignment at Hamilton (and before that, Whitman), this is all very amusing.

been there

Anonymous said...

That's not a bad idea. It draws on feeder patterns as well as geographic boundaries. A 0.5 mi radius around each MS might be better.

Could it be easily implemented? Would there be distance tie-breakers if there were more butts than seats for Eckstein? You could see Laurelhurst kids getting sent to JAMS because Eckstein filled with closer-in kids -like what used to happen with kids that lived in Bryant's area but were too far to get in, pre-NSAP.

Probably too unpredictable.

Julie said...

I'm sorry - I'm neither white nor wealthy and we have a child in APP. Oh, wait - I happen to be an Asian which don't really count as a minority here. Still, I'm not rich - AT ALL. And my child tested at 99% so we didn't have to pay for private testing. She was picked up through the outreach program trying to get more diverse group to test for APP. However, I guess she doesn't count since she happens to be asian.

Can we cut the crap?

If you really want education equity in Seattle (considered the WHITEST city in U.S.) start funding preschool and intervention programs like Child First to help poor/crisis families get the help and support they need so the kids can actually thrive. Only then can we begin to talk about education equity in school programs. I'm sure you've all seen the chasm that exists in a typical kindergarten class between the kids who are reading and those who hardly know their abc. Why do you think that happens? It starts at home. If you are serious about education equity, then put the money where your mouth is and start from the first rung of the education ladder.

If APP seems awfully white to you, I'd say that it is more of a symptom of our society, not its problem. Instead of trying to demonize it, isn't it better to do the hard work of fixing the real problem of poverty and indifference?

And for the record, I DO NOT like the Eckstein APP at all. What a disaster...

Melissa Westbrook said...

Drew, we used to have that concentric circle thing for attendance and boy did people complain about that.

The vertical split is starting to sound good.

Julie, your concerns might make a good thread topic.

Anonymous said...

APP is not kicking anyone out of anywhere. The APP community has not advocated for a move to Eckstein and Whitman for MS - in fact this is exactly what the APP community wishes to avoid - being split, being placed in an attendance area school which will rapidly run out of space for us (so we get shunted off to another location again), being placed in a school in where the administration and community is not necessarily supportive of the program.
So basically this latest iteration of the growth boundaries manages to get everyone riled up about those bossy, overentitled elitist APP folks kicking other folks else out of their neighborhood schools and takes away a lot of the, already minimal, support for this program. Maybe that is what SPS is aiming for ultimately?
Whatever your views about the growth boundaries, please keep in mind that APP families have not pushed for these latest recommendation; they are the exact opposite of what the APP community has sought. Blame the district - not students/families.

Also, Northender was suggesting APP entry only by teacher referral. This is a horrible idea. You worry about racism and inequity with the current system, well it would be a whole lot worse if teachers were judging who was APP qualified. Most of them are not qualified to make the call, and are not specifically looking - plus think of the possible social/ racial/gender biases that come into play.
I would argue that many clueless teachers would be pointing their APP level kids (boys especially) toward IEPs and testing for ADHD than toward the APP program. Likewise, a stereotypical bright but quiet girl who is easy and compliant may not come to the attention of a teacher either.
At least the current system requires OBJECTIVE measurements of performance and IQ (yes-Cogat is a form of IQ test) that are validated across national and international populations. Not saying it is perfect or that we couldn't do a better job of identifying typically underrepresented kids, but dropping objective/quantitative assessments in favor of subjective assessments is not the way.

Anonymous said...

@SB (and others)
The East/West split idea is interesting, but with the way you are suggesting to make the split, it isn't looking terribly balanced.

The East split (to JAMS) relies on View Ridge (4% FRL) to balance out Sand Point (about 60% FRL), John Rogers (about 40% FRL), and Cedar Park (probably 80%+ FRL, based upon all the low-income housing projects in its attendance area).

The West Split (Eckstein)has Olympic Hills (sans a lot of it's current FRL population, which is at Cedar Park). Let's be generous, and say Olympic Hills is now 50% FRL. Sacajawea (25% FRL), Wedgwood (7% FRL), Laurelhurst (8%), and Bryant (8% FRL).

JAMS would still have a higher FRL than Eckstein with the East West split.

What bugs me the most about the East/West split idea is that it does not align with the HS boundaries. I would be more inclined to support drawing the JAMS boundaries like the Nathan Hale boundaries, rather than support an East-West split.

Also, most of Olympic View's attendance area has been drawn west of I-5, with some of it west of Hwy 99, so feeding Olympic View into Eckstein, and Laurelhurst into JAMS doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, either.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Those in favor of the east/west split of NE Seattle are completely ignoring the fact that View Ridge kids walk to Eckstein too. In fact, I would bet that 90% of VR kids who attend Eckstein WALK there every day. If you send them to JAMS, they will all need a bus. Any proposal to take these kids out of Eckstein is just as outrageous as the proposal to take the Wedgwood kids out of Eckstein.

VR Fam

Anonymous said...

Well, word gets around and this one has even my jaw dropped which takes a lot. This one takes all the cake and puts the frosting on it too. Put Eckstein together with the Exceptional APPers and marry that pretty party with the height of My Special Snowflake PTA parents from Bryant their Tupperware party neighbors?

The most precious, simply precious, of ideas. No doubt the latrines will smell of scented roses.


Anonymous said...

No worries, anybody who knows APP, understand some Asians are well represented in the program. Just see SNAPP PTA roster. The white and rich comments came with Eckstein redraw. FRL and ELL numbers on the other hand, not so great. The talking points about poverty alleviation, early ed, family support are great and all. Good stuff to roll your tongue around.

But here is the true test for people, why not make APP be a part of that solution too, just like Rainier Scholars. Also why try to keep APP north, north? Transportation funding comes with APP. Way more flexibility with program placement. Why try to stuff bodies in yet unbuilt north end buildings, leaving south end APP small?


Anonymous said...

See all the APP haters starting to come out of the woodwork.......

Blame the district decision makers, not APP families. This proposal doesn't help the program and just gives people more reason to be down on APP. APP did not ask to be placed at Eckstein. It is also a WTF proposal to us APP families.
And by the way, also don't blame/insult Eckstein families for happening to be white (those of them that are), and happening to have chosen to and yes, be able to afford to (due to hard work/good fortune, whatever) live in NE Seattle, and happening to be in the district-drawn attendance area for Eckstein. How are these parents supposed to help any of that and why should they feel bad about it?


Anonymous said...

Northie, why should the Eckstein families feel bad? It’s called having a civic and public school conscious. By and large this area doesn’t give a damn about anything that happens in Seattle Schools beyond their neighborhood Met Market.

Let's get real. Our people have spent decades - DECADES - with our kids on buses to get a decent Seattle public education. You complain that your hallways are crowded and that, sniff, the APP cohort isn’t getting Exceptional Solutions for its Exceptional Kids.

No Northie, Lynn, and the rest of you Bryant/Eckstein neighbors and northie APPers who have stacked every district committee in sight to get The Best for your kids, your children do NOT deserve a middle school and APP education in a perfect size cohort in a perfect location in a perfect neighborhood with the perfect timing of a board vote in 2 weeks.

You want equity? Get in line behind the communities of color, English language learners and special needs kids who have waited since before I was born for these opportunities. N-O-T-H-I-N-G. NOTHING puts you and yours at the front of the line.

Money and space is scare all over. Live it honeys. Like the rest of us. The fate of APP North and the Eckstein neighborhoods are now sucking up every ounce of energy in this district, and let me say it again. It is the last priority. L-A-S-T. Guess what? Your children may not get a perfect education next year or the year after that or the year after that one. Do you know the Duwamish...that polluted cesspool that doesn't touch north Seattle? That is the runoff of the tears of families and schools and lets not forget the dropouts from my part of the city. Communities who for tens upon tens of years have had bigger public school needs than you can fathom.

So let’s reorder the conversation priorities. First, the district needs to take every boundary issue from Beacon Hill south off the table. Right now. It ain’t baked. Then it needs to get the kids living in Lake City and farther north a decent middle school building staffed with excellent staff next year. Populate Jane Addams in such a way that it isn’t a school of poverty from the start. Take one or two of the southern areas of the northeast and send them to Jane Addams. The kids will live. Hey, they never have to set foot south of the Ship Canal!

Then the district best make sure kids with special needs and kids learning the English language aren’t too far from their family supports. And the district best stop jacking the World School around. Plant it as promised and leave it alone. That school was kicked out of Queen Anne with not a tear shed by the North End community. Criminal.

Then West Seattle, which is neglected and split apart by the district in crazy ways year after year, needs one more go-over to be sure the district hasn’t done crazy-making there again. I bet staff still needs to get a grip on a number of boundary issues.

Then. And only then….North APP middle school demands space next year? Great. Shove the whole program in Lincoln. There you go. Your own Very Special School. Don’t like that it isn’t comprehensive? Tough. When the rest of the problems are solved, we can spend additional time on the problem. Or hey…it costs the district nothing to bus APPers. There’s some space down south. And if Eckstein is still going to be too crowded, the answer is portables. Add portable bathrooms too. There’s space for more on the property. Use it. Tough times call for tough measures.

Seem unacceptable? Too damn bad.


Anonymous said...


Way to stereotype and assume that everybody north of the ship canal, east of I-5 and south of Lake City and 90th AVE NE doesn't care about the same things that you do. Very productive and helpful post that encourages those from that geographic area who are fine with the current makeup of Eckstein, elect to send their kids there (not private school) and opt to work with them to reach out to the families/children in need at that school that come form both outside and inside you box to continue with their efforts.

In case the sarcasm is lost on you, not everyone fits into the little box of stereotypes that you want to create. But, I get it. It is easier to throw stones on a blog and lump people together than to accept the fact that there are actually people in the area you seem to despise that are working for everything that you have listed. To admit that would cause some of the hostility to have to be dropped and OMG - that would be a bad thing.

I just hope those families and kids keep helping out families and kids at that school. I know for a fact that it is appreciated. But, as that doesn't fit you mantra, ignore this post and carry on. Ignorance is clearly bliss for you.

Helped by Extern

Anonymous said...

I am very concerned about the kids with Learning disabilities (IEPs) being pulled out of their current school- Eckstein, to make it better for other kids at JAMS. These kids are truly at risk and I consider this move traumatic. They are not moving as a cohort. This violates every best practice we know as teachers. We need to make sure every student receives what they need and these voices really do get silenced too many times.
- concerned northeast teacher

What happened to walking to school? said...

It would probably make more sense for Laurelhurst to be bussed to JAMS (or return to Hamilton) since they're going to be bussed regardless. That way the district saves $ for Wedgwood kids to walk to Eckstein. Many parts of Sacajawea are walkable to Eckstein too. Laurelhurst is too far away to walk.

Drew said...

Why did the concentric walk zones fail?

Drew said...

Why did the concentric walk zones fail?

Lynn said...

concerned teacher,

Are these kids who live in the suggested JAMS attendance areas? Do you think we should grandfather in kids with IEPs whenever boundary changes are made? That sounds reasonable to me. Have you made the suggestion?

Anonymous said...

About the concentric circles. They only work if there are enough schools with enough capacity to cover all the outer edges of the circles. This, as we know, is not the case in Seattle, where elementary school, middle and high school buildings have been closed, sold, etc... over the years, leaving stretches of "no-man's land," school deserts,etc...

Case in point, the NE middle school situation.

Jane Addams Middle School closed in the early 80s. Kids living in the former JAMS attendance area were then bused to Eckstein, Hamilton or Whitman, wherever there was "room" for them. Enrollment caps were set (for Eckstein, it was somewhere between 1000-1100 kids), and the circles squeezed when the buildings filled.

There was absolutely no middle school assignment designated or guaranteed for NE neighborhoods that fell outside of the Eckstein circle. For instance, we live near the Jane Addams building. In the early 2000's, our neighbor's kid was assigned to Hamilton. Another neighbor, who moved into the area over the summer, had her child assigned to Aki Kurose (the closest school with "room"). It was nuts!

As such, many families from the NNE/Lake City area would withdraw their elementary kids from SPS schools and send them to school in Shoreline (without transportation), so that they could attend junior high there.

Concentric circles do not work. There are always families in neighborhoods outside of the circle that don't know from year to year where their assignment will land.

Predictability of assignment was a big driver behind the NSAP.

- North-end Mom

Lynn said...

There were something like 130 World School students at Meany last year. Rather than building a school and busing kids in from all over the city, could we provide the necessary services at the closest IB school? This seems like a natural for our international schools. We could implement it at the language immersion elementary schools and the international middle schools too.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sniff said,

"So basically this latest iteration of the growth boundaries manages to get everyone riled up about those bossy, overentitled elitist APP folks kicking other folks else out of their neighborhood schools and takes away a lot of the, already minimal, support for this program. Maybe that is what SPS is aiming for ultimately?"

Maybe so. Because moving APP around BEFORE the AL work is done seems backwards, no?

Staff had to know what would be said about this move. But don't blame APP because it was not their choice to make and that group - like every other group - is not monolithic.

Southie, you are skirting the guidelines on name-calling. We are not going to call anyone names and especially not students.

C'mon Curious, APP is not supposed to be a slog. Being in a specialty program DOES mean you make some sacrifices to be in it (like not being in your neighborhood) but no, students should not be bused far away. That is not good logistically (there should be a north and south location). Just having APP in the south because you don't have room in the north is ridiculous.

Southie, you said

"And the district best stop jacking the World School around. Plant it as promised and leave it alone."

Yes, the district should but the way things are going, they will move into TT Minor and get exited in a few short years. I can almost guarantee that given the stats.

As for the statement about no one in the north end caring when World School (then SBOC) was exited from Queen Anne - dead wrong. The neighborhood was sad to see them go. I know this from a tour I took of the school at that time and the principal told me how much community support they had received, that neighbors had written letters to the district asking for SBOC to stay and that the neighbors said they would miss those students. So you may want to paint everyone in the north end with one big broad brush but you would be wrong on this point. I invite you to contact the principal if you don't believe me.

Your tone is unpleasant and I ask that you be more civil.

Lynn, World School has far more students out there than just in the school. Meaning, many of them would stay at World School but choose to leave to go to a comprehensive. The goal IS to create a (mostly) comprehensive high school portion so that those students won't leave. The estimates of how many would stay range from 300-400.

Central Mom said...

My daughter's south-end APP classroom looks a lot like our city in general: 69% white, 31% minority, including 9% African-American and many 1st-generation kids (overall, Seattle is 70% white and 8% African-American). We love this, and would love to see more outreach to minority communities and an expansion of programs like Rainier Scholars to further expand access and the richness of classroom diversity.

At the same time, I do not think it is reasonable to criticize the north-end cohort and schools like Eckstein for being predominantly white. These schools can only be as diverse as their draw areas, which are relatively more homogeneous.

Central Mom

Anonymous said...

That is exactly what north APP was requesting for MS - to hold off major changes/splits for now, and stay at Lincoln until things could be figured out more rationally. Direct your anger at APP to where it rightly belongs - to the district who makes these placement decisions and draws these boundaries.

No I don't feel bad about being a NE parent, nor should I. What am I supposed to do - sell my house and go move to South Seattle so that I'm not elite anymore? Quit my job so that I'm not so well off? How do my income/housing advantages hurt those less well off? How does my kid going to a so called 'good ' school in the NE, harm kids going to other schools? My taxes/donations etc go toward services/schooling etc for all (Personally I'd be happy if there was a bit more 'redistribution of wealth" as the repubs call it between the haves and the have-nots but that is a wider public issue).

NE parents who support public education and send their kids to public schools do not deserve your vitriol. You think SPS would be better off if more of them opted for private schools?? The inequitable distribution of race, educational levels,incomes, property prices, and so-called better public schools is not the fault of NE parents. We didn't create this. This is huge societal issue that affects every city in the country and is requires remedies that extent far beyond public school boundary draws.


Anonymous said...

I actually found Southie to be a breath of fresh air. Yes, he/she painted with a broad brush, but c'mon - the time and attention spent bemoaning the suffering of Eckstein and APP is disproportionate to the needs of kids all over the district. It reeks of entitlement.

The area getting the biggest shaft in these proposals is Beacon Hill. Only a handful of parents and staffers appear interested in remedies.


Anonymous said...

I think there is a distance tie-breaker, but I don't know where it falls in the tiebreaker order(i. e., after sibling, before feeder school, ???).

So, in theory at least, if there was space available (at Eckstein), then Wedgwood kids living across the street should be able to use the distance tiebreaker to get into Eckstein.

- North-end Mom

Drew said...

I suggest a 0.5 mile or 1.0 mile radius walk zone as a first level placement option, followed by feeder schools second, so if a child lives very close to a given school such as Eckstein, they could choose that school rather than their feeder school to JAMS. It would not create a dead zone because the feeder school would always have a default placement.

Anonymous said...

There are different levels of needs ELL students have. Some may not speak a word of English, but fluent in 3 others, come from a culture and way of life vastly different than the US. I'm not sure placing a child speaking Somali, Oromo, or Kurdish in JSIS with Japanese and Spanish immersed classrooms will help that child learn English and acculturate without hugh modification to JSIS curriculum. I wouldn't suggest such change without the school's staff input. (To me this is similar to sending a high needs SPED student to a school without the facilities and staffing to meet the child's educational and health needs.)

Such children would be an asset to the school though as they are eager and motivated learners. These ELL kids take little for granted and can teach native born students and adults a thing or two about grit, ingenuity, and self determination. The school wouldn't need to create a synthetic cultural lab, just live it daily.

Certainly for children who are more advanced ELL, they can make the transition to regular school with support. Including APP program with accommodation (something this program should be doing to include dyslexic learners as well).

SPS parent

Julie said...

Skeptical -

I ask because I am truly curious... if Beacon Hill is being shafted majorly why are they not advocating more vocally? Could it be that they are complaining directly to the SPS and not bother with this particular blog? Or do they feel it doesn't make much difference? I don't know - you tell me.

The reason you hear more complaints about north end issues here is perhaps because more of them use this blog and these particular policies affect them directly and they are familiar with them. For many of the parents in the north, they don't know what is going on in the south - as south doesn't know how it goes in the north schools.

If you think it is important for the north enders to know and advocate for the south schools and issues, then bring it up and advocate - and ask for help -instead of projecting elite white fat cat image onto a group of parents wrestling with the district.

I know it is easier to lump people/issues into simple boxes but you should know reality is much more complex. If you want to build something, lets begin with understanding vs disdain.

Anonymous said...

The time and energy north or NE folks spend discussing or advocating for issues impacting their locales in no way restricts south or West seattle folks from spending at least as much time and energy discussing/advocating for their areas. If the focus on this blog seems to be disproportionately on these areas I imagine that reflects the proportion or reader/posters who are motivated to write about the issues here. It doesn't mean we are stealing all the oxygen out of the room. North folks don't want to see South families get shafted by the district, but we focus on the things we know/understand/affect us personally I guess.
Are parents from other areas contacting their representatives on the board and SPS and advocating for solutions to the problems in their area? I hope so, although i recognize this is harder for some populations than others
Are they posting on this blog about the problems affecting their areas and impact that district mismanagement is having - Yes, I see some posts about this. Why aren't there more? You tell me. Maybe there just are more North end folks with nothing better to do that complain on blogs?!

Seriously, why does it always have to come down to us against them. One part of town against another, one racial group against another, one program against another. I guess thats what you get when you have a small pie with everyone fighting over the pieces.
But it shouldn't be like this. Don't we all just want a decent (good) education for our kids, in a location thats reasonably accessible for our families no matter what part of town we live in or program we belong to. It would be great if the energy on this blog went to advocating for improvements for the whole district, things that would impact all kids rather than all the groups bickering with each other over the pieces of the pie


Gina said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Across the street said...

No offense to the APPers, but Wedgwood area is across the street from Eckstein. Can you see why there might be some upset? We're across the street from Eckstein. Across the Street.

-Across the street

kellie said...

@ Drew,

The NSAP was never intended to let kids walk to their closest school. The problem that results from prioritizing distance is that "some students" get a very close walkable school and "other students" get a long bus ride, often right past that close school.

The "plan" for the NSAP was that "all students" get a nearby(ish) school. The tradeoff of not giving "some" a long bus ride is that some students who could have walked to a nearby school are then bussed to a "not-far" school.

No assignment plan is perfect. Naturally folks tend to prefer the version that makes the most sense for their families. While it does make a certain type of logic that since most of Laurelhurst will be on a bus anyway, does it really matter where they go. And the answer is yes. It does matter.

Communities that will have to be on a bus, no matter what, do want a nearby school in the same way that folks that could walk want a walkable school.

This Wedgwood issue has more to do with the feeder pattern issue. 85th used to be the boundary for Seattle and Shoreline. As such, the simple fact that Wedgewood is at 85th puts the school itself into the walk zone for both Jane Addams and Eckstein.

Because of the feeder pattern, the choices are

1) make a sensible elementary school boundary and then send half of the school to the middle school that is further. (this would be true of either an Eckstein or JAMS placement)

2) make a ridiculous elementary school boundary so that the elementary school only feeds to the closest middle school.

Both choices are bad and both choices simple create lots of unhappy families.

Anonymous said...

I think comments like the "haters are out in force" are too simplistic and just fuel the fire. It's not a bad thing to be reminded to look beyond certain geography and program. Some may use jolting language to do just that. But the fact other are using this blog to remind us of that also means when they are speaking up for their programs and schools too. Just like JAM.

As for not hearing from other geo groups like W. Seattle, it has a good blog to go to. Beacon Hill, CD, and RV are tougher to organize primarily because the communities are very diverse in income, language, time available, and district savviness. You know this if you just volunteered an hour of your time to help a father fill in the school registration paperwork (remember all those forms). You have to translate the language, break down complicated phrases and legal requirements to the parent, who having lived here for several years, actually speak and write fair colloquial English, so his newly arrived children will get into the right school and right program. If you think this dad has the time to come on this blog and say his piece, think again. I doubt he even know what changes are being proposed to the local schools or world school. His priority are at this point, his jobs, housing, and getting a car that works. Affordable housing based on minimum wage pay and section 8 housing are in short supply in Seattle. Housing and jobs drive educational access and stability. If a family faces constant relocation, then schooling and everything else are unstable.

I suspect this family will move out of Seattle to Renton area because of housing situation. The oldest child is older than most students in his grade as he missed several years of formal schooling during the war, but during my brief interaction with him has ambition (and aptitude) to be an engineer given the opportunity. He is older than his years because as a male and oldest he stood in as loco parentis for his younger siblings back in his home country.

SPS parent

Anonymous said...

Here is a plan that I don't think has been pitched yet (or I missed it if it has):

Hamilton becomes APP middle school and language immersion middle school.
Whitman remains the same, although they lose Bagley and Greenwood.
Eckstein/JAMS split north/south as another poster has suggested.
Wilson Pacific takes West Woodland, Bagley, Greenlake, Viewlands, Northgate, Broadview, Greenwood. Either West Woodland or Greenwood could potentially go to Whitman if this is too large.
BF Day goes to McClure.

I would add IB middle school to Wilson Pacific to make it attractive for those moving and would co-house a small option language immersion elementary (maybe Spanish only) with APP elementary at Wilson Pacific that would feed into Hamilton. I would also grandfather all incoming 8th graders at their current school. New schools would be "comprehensive enough" with 2 grades.

APP MS would have one central location in the northend in the smallest middle school cohoused with option program.

West Woodland, Bagley, Greenlake, BF Day are super close to Aurora and it would be a very quick yellow bus ride to Wilson Pacific or McClure plus with the exception of BF Day, I don't think that many of those kids walk to Hamilton. (I'm sure some do.)

I'm just throwing an idea out- so don't get all in a snit, people - although happy to read people's respectful reasons why this is a bad plan. Full disclosure: I have a child in APP middle school - although none of the current proposals affect us. And don't call me elitist: I attended Madrona, Meany and Garfield back in the day before anybody wanted to go there. Been there, done that.

White Girl

Anonymous said...

@White Girl

The problem with your suggestion is that north APP enrollment and immersion enrollment together already (or soon will) surpass Hamilton capacity. The only place it would make sense to house a single cohort of northend middle school APP (without causing great upheaval for other schools/families) is Wilson Pacific. Cohousing there with an option school could be a great solution. It exports kids from increasingly crowded attendance area middle school schools--rather than returning them there as the latest district proposal does--and uses state funding to bus APP kids out of their neighborhoods to a north central location.

-another white girl

Anonymous said...

I don't see this as a giveaway to APP in any way. Instead, I see this plan as a poison pill for APP self-containment.

The district knows co-housing APP with particularly affluent schools is a death sentence for APP self-containment. I don't see Joe Amazon being happy with his kid in a gen-ed classroom while Joe Microsoft's kid is thriving in APP. I see biblical wars on the horizon and capacity management as the excuse to dissolve self-containment.

That APP is truly a special needs program has long since been lost in the ether, replaced by the prevailing notion that APP is where "all the smart/rich/connected kids are." Doesn't matter that kids at View Ridge, Schmitz Park, North Beach, Beacon Hill or Van Asselt are just as "smart" or maybe "smarter." It seems that APP has gone from a welcoming sanctuary for highly capable oddballs, nerds and misfits to a padlocked glass trophy case of some sort - in the eyes of many - most of whom have no experience or knowledge of the program or it's history. (But alas, as goes the country, so goes APP, I suppose).

I hope this plan spells relief for APP North, which will quiet some critics and help some families, but I have serious reservations that a more destructive plan is at work.

There are those within JSCEE, blinded by their politics and personal agendas, who refuse to acknowledge that some kids are indeed very different, even though they appear on the surface to be like other kids. And nobody will suffer more at the hands of such agenda-driven people than the parents of truly highly capable kids who are poor, minority, ELL or as of yet unidentified, because many of those closed-minded, agenda-driven folks at JSCEE will never accept that those kids aren't just like all the others.


Anonymous said...

I'm from West Seattle, and read this blog daily. I appreciate all the perspectives and information that are shared here from families in other parts of the city. Not everything pertains to me, but I don't resent families from the north end for commenting on issues most relevant to them. Why wouldn't they comment on those issues?

All families are just trying their best to get the best for their kids from a district that makes the process exceptionally difficult. It's no accident that the district pits communities against each other, because they know that if we're busy skirmishing with each other, we're not able to focus our energies on the real battle with the district. The district is dysfunctional, and makes ludicrous decisions; they deserve all the blame that's being dished out here.

The south end and West Seattle have definitely been shafted by the district for years, and will continue to be if the new plan is adopted. We need to keep up the fight to get the best for our kids even when it seems futile, and not misguidedly blame other parents who are just trying to get the best for their kids, too.

BTW, the same holds true for those blaming the APP parents. I have one kid in gen ed, one in Spectrum and one in APP, and want the best for all of them. We can't let the district divide us or we'll never get anywhere.

-West Seattle parent

Anonymous said...

This might be worth its own thread...the PTSA just sent out a survey to parents regarding the boundary change proposal. They want to send it to the School Board before they vote on the districts proposed changes.

Dear PTA Leaders, Members, and Parents

Seattle Council PTSA is conducting a survey to measure awareness of the Seattle Public School (SPS) Growth Boundary Planning process. The link to take the survey is below. The survey takes about 5 minutes to complete, but please complete the entire survey. At the end of the survey there is an opportunity for you to provide additional feedback.

All PTA leaders, PTA members, parents, and other parent leaders in our community are encouraged to take this survey. So please forward this survey to your parents and PTA membership, and encourage their participation.

We are hoping to get as many responses as we can before the next Seattle School Board meeting on November 6, 2013, so we can present preliminary results. Please encourage your membership and community to respond by this date.

Complete results of the survey will be provided on our website by November 19, 2013 or sooner. If you have any questions or comments please contact me at

Survey link:

Thank you for your participation.

Katherine Schomer
SCPTSA President


Anonymous said...

The survey looks for feedback on fairness of engagement in all areas of the city. That's inclusiveness people. Too bad there aren't PTA funds to translate it into other languages. But if SPS can't handle it, I can't crack down on PTA.

Anyhoo-------not having the PTA power structure centered in Ravenna is already benefitting more of us. Never have been asked for this feedback before. Leaders were too busy hanging out with Harium for the last 5-6 years. (Given the unrest in the NE, apparently not an effective lobbying effort for them let alone the rest of us.)

I've answered the survey. You should too. Yes, even you Nor'easters.

An Atta Girl goes out to Katherine.


Julie said...

Instead of name calling and stereotyping, it would be tremendously helpful for people who are angry to tell real stories of injustices happening in their neck of the wood - to give everyone perspective on what is going throughout the district. Instead of flame throwing, can we use constructive dialogue to do something positive on the basis that most people here are compassionate and want the best for EVERY child?

The story of the father struggling to fill out forms etc. while dealing with hardships of life can give context to the anger. It gives everyone better idea as to what can and should be done. However, in this case, only one it seem who can advocate for these people with language/financial barriers are those who sees this and can bear witness to them on blogs like this. Otherwise, most won't know and remain that much clueless.

So, please speak up! And do it without insulting those you want to convince.

Julie said...


Don't you think that volunteers could be found to help translate documents/surveys - if not for this one, at least the next?

Julie said...

First hand experience will always trump hearsay and those willing should definitely start there. But for those who aren't able or unwilling, let's start with civility and witness stories to inspire action.

Anonymous said...

in the olden days, wasn't NE 85th the boundary for middle/high schools from wedgwood? S went to eckstein/roosevelt, N went to addams/hale. why are we so opposed to splitting an elementary up to middle school assignment, especially for the sake of walking to school?

as a child of the 70/80's in seattle, i too am just happy my kids aren't bussed across town so they can have neighborhood friends, walk to school, and have time after school for playdate/sports/etc instead of a long bus ride. but that's the trade off. if you want mixed race, economics, etc, schools, you have to bus kids from the S to the N and vice versa. you will have to put the spectrum/app programs in "less desirable" schools to get those schools filled with bodies. i ran across this the other day and i don't think many on this blog realize this was the reality not too long ago, and impacted all families, all races, every corner of the city.


Anonymous said...

Diane, geez, please you don't have to bus kids across town and relieve the past. The north and NE is full of diversity. Take a look around Northgate, Greenwood, Holman, and Lake city areas. People need to get out of their comfort zone and explore their neck of the woods more. Honestly, spend less time on the blog and more time out and you will find less differences and more commonality. You can create your own experiences to share.

Otherwise, this "liberal sounding" city is becoming more and more like disparate neighborhoods and communities. Act people, act!


SB said...

It sounds like a lot of NE parents, both APP and not APP, would like APP students to attend the new Wilson-Pacific Middle School together. However, if APP has to be at Eckstein then the northeast middle school elementary feeders could be divided east/west instead of north/south like this:

Bryant, Wedgwood, Sacajawea, Olympic Hills and the eastern portion of Olympic View (east of I-5) would feed in to Eckstein. laurelhurst, sand point, view ridge, John Rogers and Cedar Park could feed into JAMS.

These boundaries would create more equity, balance and diversity in the NE middle schools (a good thing) instead of segregating NE seattle middle schools

Anonymous said...

I see the same biblical wars coming as WSDWG. That was the point I was trying to make upthread about the proposal for APP at Eckstein but WSDWG did it better than I did.


Anonymous said...

I don't know. I could see APP @Eckstein increasing OR decreasing the clawing by the NE to get into APP. Decreasing, because a lot of parents want the APP label so they have a choice at middle school and can avoid overcrowded Eckstein if they want to. Well, that choice would be gone and maybe the impetus to get the label would be gone too. Increasing, because of what WSDWG describes. The perceived access to a "better" (more rigorous) education will not sit well with a lot of these parents if they are confronted with it on a daily basis, especially if it is a big program that holds 20, 30, 40% of the kids.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Diane, you said this:

"In the olden days, wasn't NE 85th the boundary for middle/high schools from wedgwood? "

I urge you to find other people like yourself who are natives and went to school here and get that story out to the Board. If they hear how this worked back in the day, they may realize, it would be good to go back to that.

seattle citizen said...

Summit was closed, and its building repurposed. John Marshall Alternative was closed and its building repurposed. Pinehurst is in danger of closing and having its building repurposed. Indian Heritage will be moved and its building repurposed.
Who will stand up for the alternative school students?

Anonymous said...

History can be a great predictor of behavior.

When Laurelhurst and West Woodland were assigned to Hamilton as their attendance area school, the number of APP qualified kids shot up tremendously. Most of those families had no intention of going to Lincoln because there needs were being served at the elementary but ... if you are going to the APP school anyway, you need to test.

I would expect that half of Eckstein will be APP within a year

- ne mom

Julie said...

So, what can be done to support Pinehurst and Indian Heritage schools?

Anonymous said...

More history. There was a elementary school at 32nd and 100th NE. Look for the parking lot in google maps. Old Maple Leaf elementary...


Anonymous said...

Apparently you can thank "VNESS" and their disingenuous, thinly veiled petition for getting Wedgwood drawn out of Eckstein. Their shallow support for JAMS ("get them off to a strong start by giving them more feeder schools!") was just another self-serving attempt by Bryant elite to perfect Eckstein for themselves.

On a tangent, Dale Esty's association with several of these Bryant elite makes me even less likely to vote for her.

Embarrassed in Bryant

SB said...

Don't forget that Sacajawea also got drawn out of Eckstein in the newest boundary map which is the closest middle school to Sacajawea. I guess being a school with 25% free/ reduced lunch percentage (which is low compared to the SPS average) is too much for VNESS and the other NE Seattle elitists who got Sacajawea drawn out of Eckstein to handle. wouldn't want their kids middle school to be at least a little bit diverse now would they.

And to the Wedgwood Elementary community, you have many elitist parents as well. There were several of them sitting at my table at the Nathan Hale community boundary meeting (whose kids were initially designated for Sacajawea in the first boundary draft) who told me that they didn't want their kids going to a school with students who are low income (on free/reduced lunch). They pushed their agenda with school board members lying about the reason their kids shouldn't attend Sacajawea, saying that it was because their kids can't walk to Sacajawea because they'd have to cross lake city way so they should attend Wedgwood. As if they'd actually let their kids walk 30 blocks to Wedgwood.
This is the same stunt that apparently VNESS and other NE Seattle elitists have pulled now with the Eckstein boundaries.
Its no fun to be excluded, is it Wedgwood? now at least you know how it feels and can develop some empathy. Shame on all you elitists out there

Makes Sense said...

I like the idea of making 85th a cut off for middle schools and high schools in NE. Seems like it would solve a lot of problems here. Along with getting APP the stand alone (W-P?) site they want.

Anonymous said...

I like your idea of having NE 85th as a cut off for NE Middle School too. It will solve some of the problems that I've seen mentioned on this blog and also aligns with SPS priorities:
1) promotes neighborhood schools
2) reduces busing costs
3) promotes walkability
4) changes the demographic of JAMS by including populations from WW and VR elementary schools.


Eric said...

It seems like Greenlake and Wedgewood (and maybe Sacajawea) should be going to Eckstein and Laurelhurst going to Hamilton.
Wouldn't this help with equitability?

Anonymous said...

If APP is moved out of Eckstein, would this make enough room for Wedgwood kids?

-Concerned parent

Lynn said...

Concerned parent,

Just to be clear, you're asking if removing the Laurelhurst, Bryant, Sand Point and View Ridge APP students from Eckstein would make room for Wedgwood students?

Anonymous said...

Just to be clear, you're asking if removing the Laurelhurst, Bryant, Sand Point and View Ridge APP students from Eckstein would make room for Wedgwood students?"

Um, you mean to keep the Wedgwood students. They already are attending Eckstein...


Anonymous said...


You hear that? That's the sound of realtors' commissions as the neighborhoods of VR, Bryant, Ravenna have been made even more desireable...

Smell the housing frenzy as desparate parents try to get their kids into the Eckstein aka "Whitey-ville"


Anonymous said...


My understanding is that APP, which does not currently attend Eckstein, gets federal (?) funding for busing.

Wedgwood, which currently attends Eckstein, does not, thereby incurring the city more money in transportation costs should they get pushed out to JAMS.

Also, Wedgwood is across the street from Eckstein. How could it make sense for the district to even consider busing for Wedgwood students?

-Concerned Parent

Anonymous said...

APP at Eckstein totally reeks of politics. Moving Wedgwood to JAMS doesn't align with the district's stated priorities and doesn't even make fiscal sense (i.e., busing kids across the street from Eckstein to JAMS). Who's behind this?


Anonymous said...

@ Concerned Parent

I may be wrong here, so more knowledgeable readers, please feel free to correct me.

As far as busing costs go. It is my impression that middle school kids living less than 2 miles from their school do not qualify for school bus transportation (they walk or take Metro). For instance right now, I believe the closest Eckstein school bus stop serving the Meadowbrook/Cedar Park neighborhood is at 35th Ave NE and NE 110th, near Jane Addams. So, pretty much all of Wedgwood would not qualify for bus transportation under today's rules, so there will be no SPS transportation costs associated with assigning them to JAMS.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@Concerned Parent

I should re-phrase what I posted to say that Wedgwood kids living north of 75th would probably not qualify for a school bus to Jane Addams. Those living south of 75th probably would.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

North-end Mom,
...just when I thought it couldn't get any worse.

And yes, Wedgwood kids are currently attending Eckstein and APP is not. So, how is that fair?

-Concerned Parent

Anonymous said...

@ Concerned Parent

I am sorry if your child lives too close to JAMS to qualify for bus transportation. It is something a great number of families have dealt with up here (Meadowbrook), and it is probably a big part of why so many families have been choosing Jane Addams K-8 for middle school in recent years.

There are distance tiebreakers now, so it might still be possible to get into Eckstein if you live just across 75th.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@ Disgusted. Who's behind this? A small group of Eckstein moms combined with a couple of APP moms - NOT the whole APP community -- and their 'personal' school board director HMM. There's also an overlap with some of the more prominent Bryant area PTA voices from recent years. It isn't hard to connect the dots. If you go to a handful of HMM community meetings, district citizen committee meetings or district outreach meetings, or happen to be on the NE email chains, you'll quickly see a very defined pattern. They are also all over Estey's campaign courtesy her consultant and his Eckstein-area family.

Of course every parent advocates for his or her kid. But this cabal takes it to extremes and from what I can see the majority of the time does not extend their efforts to the good of the area or system as a whole.

Want one piece of evidence? The gang and HMM have not lifted a finger for the Pinehurst kids. Want another piece of evidence? The director and his gals threw a world class snit last year when they couldn't boot the alternative Jane Addams K8 out of school on the turn of a dime, so that they could get rid of the less desirable real estate at Eckstein and make room for the kids who Really Belong. This sniffy attitude is on display all.the.time.

I see the group very clearly, and am embarassed on behalf of the larger community, even if I am, as previously posted,

NE Unpopular

Anonymous said...

@ Lynn, your question really rubs me the wrong way. You and Charlie were the loudest voices asserting that "board policy" dictates APP should be at Eckstein.

Does board policy really dictates programs need to be placed at the singularly closest school to where the majority of the students live? Is it really that specific? Because JAMS is in the northest. Yes, it is in the north-northeast, not the south-northeast, but it is still in the northeast. The way Eckstein and JAMS are placed geographically in the context of current feeder patterns, there are more feeder schools that must flow into Eckstein to maintain walkability. If we move to geographic boundaries, it is another story. But while we are stuck with feeder patterns, do you really advocate for kids across the street from an MS not drawing to that school?

And yes, there are APP hotspots around Bryant right now. Well, I would argue that if Bryant had a stronger AL program (and under the new principal, they might get one), the area might shift. Are you going to chase hotspots when deciding where to place programs? What if the next hotspot is in Lake City? Are you going to move the program back to JAMS?

I'm a Bryant APP parent, Lynn. Are you?


Anonymous said...

NE Unpopular - I'm just going to say that it's all speculation on your part as there is no evidence that any APP "mom" is behind this move to push Wedgwood and Sacajawea out so APP can go into Eckstein. Some of those APP moms you're referring to have vocally advocated to NOT go into neighborhood schools and to NOT be split (as this plan does). You don't need to spew your prejudiced views about some parents and blame them for everything.

As an APP parent in the Wedgwood neighborhood, I do not like what this plan does to those in Wedgwood (or Sacajawea). The location of APP matters much less to me than program integrity and keeping a viable cohort. Frankly, I'm tired of being labeled the "bad guy" and would prefer to not have to share space with folks who clearly do not want us there. That is why the APP commuinity (I know it's not 100% but I think it's a majority) would prefer to stay together at Wilson Pacific or wherever really, and co-housed with an option program so that we don't push any neighborhood kids out. As much as we want what's best for our kids, it's not to be at the expense of other communities and programs. We welcome co-housing with Pinehurt, the Native American Heritage program, SPED, you name it. I have heard many parents advocate for sharing with other groups and the concern to not do hard to neighboord kids. That's why the APP position is to not share with AA kids because their needs and growth will only force APP out and we want to know that we can stay put somewhere and not have our program diluted or thrown under the bus.

I am an APP parent but I'm also in the neighorhood and support my neighbors in their desire to have a good education and to go to the school in their neighborhood. We need to figure out how to work together, even it means we all lose a little in order to gain the most for the kids. I'm willing to have my kid bus across town to get the program they need. Maybe you can support that so your kids can go to the school closer to you, to get what they need.

-stop blaming

Anonymous said...

VNESS states that they do not support this latest boundary plan and that Sharon Peaslee is to blame.


SB said...

so some of you folks now like the idea of having NE 85th Street as a cut off for the Eckstein Middle School boundary. That is an excellent way for you to exclude people who aren't wealthy and white. Look at who lives between ship canal and NE 85th Street. Primarily white people with money.
This is called segregation folks and believe it or not it is a bad thing.

Instead of having a rich and primarily white middle school (Eckstein) and a diverse middle to lower income middle school (JAMS), how about we have the NE middle school boundary divided east / west. This would promote diversity, integration and equality (those are good things)at both NE middle schools

Anonymous said...

Look at who lives between ship canal and NE 85th Street. Primarily white people with money.

"ding ding ding"

Yep, which is why also you have TWO language immersion schools in Wallingford. So basically SPS should just split into the Haves district and the Have-nots district.

Diversity for thee but not for me


Anonymous said...

Right on, Stop Blaming!

Enough with the APP whipping and rumors of a few bad apples in a secret cabal. I'm an APP parent whose kid went to Wedgwood for early years and I stand with my neighbors in advocating for their school. I do NOT want to displace neighborhood kids. I do not know a single APP family that supports this plan. Give us a space at a standalone school or co-housed with an option program so we won't push anybody out. (But then we're accused of wanting a "shiny new building," right?)We are all not evil people trying to trample other people's kids. We're probably carpooling with you to soccer. Let's band together and fight the dumbass plan from the district. Poor planning got us here. I feel this is classic divide and conquer - if you don't think the district did this on purpose to kill what little support is left for APP, you're probably naive. Let's be grownups people.
NE APP neighbor

Anonymous said...


The Hale boundaries yield an approx 30% FRL population for Hale.

Honestly, coming from a school with about 40% FRL (John Rogers) this sounds pretty doable, and a whole lot better than holding the JAMS feeder pattern to just John Rogers and Olympic Hills, and "fixing" the FRL with imported APP kids, and thus creating a very segregated school.

For what it is worth. Those of us from neighborhood schools with higher FRL are used to the challenges, as well as the benefits of a more diverse school population.

I emphasize with the Wedgwood families. Our kids up here were routinely shut out of our closest comprehensive middle school for many, many years, until the NSAP guaranteed our kids an assignment to Eckstein.

However, there is no rule that states that JAMS has to draw only from areas north of the Jane Addams building. Drawing the line at 85th seems reasonable to me.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

"However, there is no rule that states that JAMS has to draw only from areas north of the Jane Addams building. Drawing the line at 85th seems reasonable to me."

- North-end Mom

Except it creates a very white AND affluent school in Eckstein. The only reason Wedgwood is shifted to JAMS is so the FRL rate isn't so high as to create guilt...


Anonymous said...

As a View Ridge parent with 2 APP qualified kids, we chose to go to our neighborhood schools (View Ridge and Eckstein) due to walkability/community, etc. etc. All 3 of my kids have had friends move over to APP, in some cases, very close friends. My first reaction to the latest version was positive because I thought my 5th grader could go to middle school with his APP buddies. Then I thought about all those Wedgwood kids who live so close to Eckstein. I also started seeing these crazy East/West boundary proposals on this blog which would have my kids being bussed to JAMS for the sake of equality. Haven't we moved away from this with neighborhood schools?

I don't think kids who can walk across the street from a school (or in View Ridge where most kids, including one of mine, walk to Eckstein) to make room for an APP program full of kids including many who chose to be bussed to Lowell at one point and then Wallingford for a program.

If APP sticks, I believe that there should be a soft boundary North of 75th up until 85th where kids in the Wedgwood area could choose Eckstein over JAMS if they wanted. You could even extend that to View Ridge and say those assigned to Eckstein north of 75th to 85th could choose JAMS. This has nothing to do with demographics and all to do with walkability. I personally have enjoyed the diversity at Eckstein these last 2 years. For me, it is the walkability issue that wants changes to this latest version.

NE Mom of 3

Lynn said...


I don't live in the NE. I do understand the logic behind a stand-alone APP site. If there is evidence that Eckstein's principal and staff would not be willing to provide APP services, that would be reason enough to support a single north end middle school.

I'm trying to point out that if there are nearly 270 APP middle school students in the Eckstein attendance area, they should be able to receive the services they need in their neighborhood school. I support busing APP students away from their neighborhood schools when there is not a large enough cohort there to make scheduling classes possible and to meet their social needs. What I don't support is busing them away from their neighborhood as a means of capacity management and/or creating socioeconomic balance between schools. If we're going to make providing services where students live a priority, we have to stop looking at APP as a tool for capacity management.

If we were starting with a blank slate in the north end, where would it be logical to place APP middle school students?

I would like to understand why this doesn't make sense if you would be willing to explain it to me.

Anonymous said...

@ disgusted
I get that. Eckstein has historically been a very white/affluent school. For years, north-end kids, including many minority kids, were shipped elsewhere, because they fell out of the Eckstein circle.

Sand Point has approximately 60% FRL, and there are more low-income housing units about to open at these kids will be at Eckstein if the current plan is approved.

What bugs me about the East/West split is that it will lump all the higher NE FRL schools together at JAMS (Sand Point, Cedar Park, and John Rogers). I find this scenario more offensive than using the Hale boundaries, and suspect this idea was hatched by someone who would be routed to Eckstein, should an East/West split were to happen, but to JAMS if there were to be a line drawn at 85th.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

"If we were starting with a blank slate in the north end, where would it be logical to place APP middle school students? "

New structure at Thornton Creek

Bigger question

Why is APP participation growing at such a rate higher than general population growth?

Is it the water?


Anonymous said...

"Sand Point has approximately 60% FRL, and there are more low-income housing units about to open at these kids will be at Eckstein if the current plan is approved."

In two years I can see a debate about how JAMS would be better suited for that population since they will already have the services there...


Anonymous said...

Thank you @NE Unpopular, that is really enlightening -- especially since I'm fairly new to this political arena(circus).

What I'd like to see is Wedgwood and APP standing up at the board meeting together, telling the board what they each need. It sounds like Wedgwood and APP agree (for the most part) WW feeds back into Eckstein and APP gets a site that houses at least the north APP cohort.

What was the reason APP couldn't be located at JAMS?


Anonymous said...

@ disgusted

Funny you should say that, because until Sand Point opened, and the NSAP went into effect, those kids were mostly bused to John Rogers, because View Ridge was "too full."

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

"What was the reason APP couldn't be located at JAMS?"

Because APP-land is south of 85th. The district heat-maps show the strong concentration of APP families near the Bryant and Viewridge areas. Of course that correlates with income and student prepardeness as well...hmm.


Anonymous said...


APP at JAMS would mean putting APP at the location where the fewest APP students live (in N. Seattle), in an area experiencing high growth in its neighborhood elementary schools....not a good plan, and I'm so glad it is not in the latest proposal.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Do you understand that the proposal is to kick out current 6the and 7th graders -- kids that are already at Eckstein -- AND future kids directly across the street from Eckstein to make way for this NEW proposal to house APP at Eckstein?
How is this equitable?
How did APP get priority over KIDS ACROSS THE STREET?


Anonymous said...

It's not far for north APP to go to JAMS. They've got busses. WW gets to walk up to 2 miles to get there.


Anonymous said...

"How is this equitable?
How did APP get priority over KIDS ACROSS THE STREET?"

the Bryant and VR boundaries are going to be redrawn to include kids north of 75th, I bet. 85th will be the new southern boundary of WW ( ironically the street IT is on ) and the furor will quiet down.

--Divide and conquer

Anonymous said...

"It's not far for north APP to go to JAMS. They've got busses. WW gets to walk up to 2 miles to get there.


More push for a cycletrack on 35th Ave NE.

Everyone wins ;-)

--Divide and Conquer

Anonymous said...

I'm glad someone spoke up for Sacajawea. N Ravenna could easily be sent to Sacajawea instead of WW. It would help Sacajawea (under enrolled and needing more students) and WW (over enrolled and needing to lose students). Students would get busing to either school - crossing Lake City Way would happen on the bus, not on foot. I say this as a Sacajawea family living in N Ravenna.

I have more issues with MS assignment. Eckstein is definitely walkable for us. And while we might technically live in the walk-zone for JAMS (right on the edge), it's walkable only on paper. I am pretty sure most of you wouldn't like sending your children the way that my child would be asked to walk/METRO to MS. If we could get guaranteed busing for the MS years at JAMS, I'd feel better about the JAMS assignment. But there won't be any guarantees with SPS, will there? And as long as I have to worry about my child's safety reaching her MS, I'll be wary of the JAMS assignment.

Crunching numbers alone only goes so far.

And by the way, for many kids living in the current Sac assignment area it's still easier and safer to reach Eckstein than JAMS as well.

N Ravenna parent

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

"-Be ashamed, hater!"

Any criticism of a school program growing at a rate far higher than the overall population of a district is equated to sentencing children to labor camps. Got it.


Anonymous said...

Read my posting again APP moms from the last few comments. I am not talking about you. Note that I said the majority of the APP community is not the issue at all.

There is nothing wrong with looking out for your own child as long as we try to positively marry that advocacy with a win for the larger public school or neighborhood community too. I want to believe that the bulk of the northeast falls into this category.

Sadly, a group of Me and Mine attitudes also exists up here. I guess this is the case anywhere, but clearly it really bothers me. The capacity situation calls for everyone giving an ounce. But all some people want is to take a pound. Worse, they act as though they and their kids deserve to take that pound. It is brazen and it is upsetting. For reasons beyond my social understanding, the attitude's epicenter seems to be Ravenna-Bryant-south Eckstein.

If we could each advocate for our own kids as well as for a family or demographic who doesn't have the means or time or knowledge to do so (instead of taking advantage of those groups in jockeying for space and great programming) wouldn't we as a northeast community be so much stronger in the end, even if our students aren't in the perfect school building?

NE Unpopular

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 237   Newer› Newest»