Dear Seattle Public Schools families and staff,
As many of you know, the Seattle School Board on Nov. 20 approved boundary changes for the 2014-15 school year to help address our growing enrollment and to plan for three new middle schools.
We have heard from several families -- especially from parents of 7th grade Hamilton International Middle School APP students and parents of Eckstein Middle School 7th graders – asking that their students stay at their current school next year, and not move to the new Jane Addams Middle School (JAMS).
However, we will not be “grandfathering” – or guaranteeing a seat – for students who are currently in grade 6 or 7 at Hamilton and Eckstein. The new boundary changes mean these students will move to Jane Addams Middle School next fall.
I understand it is a lot to ask of our students to change schools in their last year of middle school. Please know that we do not take decisions like this lightly.
When opening a new middle school, districts have two options. One is to create new boundaries and assign students living in the neighborhood to the new school. The other option is to create a 6th grade roll up, where the middle school starts with only incoming 6th graders assigned to the new school, adding 7th grade the following year and then in the third year, grade 8. There was widespread reaction from the community against a 6th grade roll up, so the School Board approved starting JAMS as a comprehensive 6-8th grade middle school.
"I want to assure you that Jane Addams Middle School will offer an appropriate range of courses, such as advanced math and science classes, music, and world languages, which both Hamilton and Eckstein offer. Paula Montgomery, the planning principal, is working with families to ensure JAMS is off to a fantastic start and is currently hiring a team of teacher leaders committed to developing a first-class school. This is an exciting time to be a part of opening a new school. I want to thank all the families who have already begun to work together to develop a middle school, including APP, and create a foundation for the future. For more information on the great work the JAMS community is already doing, please visit http://jamsplans.blogspot.com .
If you need any additional information on the growth boundaries work, you can always find that online at http://bit.ly/GrowthBoundaries. For specific information on where your child will be assigned for next fall, please go to the Address Look-up Tool on the District’s website
Seattle Public Schools