Had a friend who went to an IBX meeting at Ingraham and said it was absolutely packed to the rafters.
I recently got a private tour of Sand Point Elementary (which I had never been to and had wanted to check out). Very impressive. For those of you who wondered how well a new start-up school can do, here's proof. And, it's a team effort with the principal (Dan Warren), staff and parents.
Principal Warren had done his homework in checking out the Sand Point of former years. It was opened in 1956 with 13 (gulp) portables as the school and with a K-6 enrollment of 309 students.
(Actually checking district archives, Pontiac Elementary opened in 1890 by the Yesler School district and was annexed into SPS in 1911. The land was then sold to the federal government in 1926. But in early 1941, Navy parents at Sand Point Housing wanted a school and staged a one-day strike and out of 51 children, 48 stayed home. It didn't work. But 15 years later, they got their school. "By then, SPS' enrollment was only second to LA in the western states." A school was built and it opened in 1958 with 407 students. The school then became a K-5 in 1971.)
Today's Sand Point has about 275 students and one of the most diverse student populations I have ever seen. It is 33% African-American, 25% Asian, 25% White and 14% Hispanic with 54% F/RL and 28% ELL. (I have a friend who has one child there and was worried about it not being an "established" school like Laurelhurst or Bryant. She cannot sing its praises more because of the diversity, the solid parent group and Mr. Warren and his staff.)
They have a lot of volunteer tutors, including the Washington Reading Corps, who do one-on-one tutoring. This seems to be paying off in their MSP scores -
- for reading in grades 3-5, they average 80%,
- for math 4-5, the 4th graders scored at 48% and the 5th graders at an amazing 84.6%
- the 5th grade science score was 78.9%
They are the mighty Squirrels and Mr. Warren's bookcase in his office reflects that. The building is kid-sized (which means I was very comfortable but I noticed Warren almost had to duck going thru the cafeteria.) It's a good-sized room with a nice stage and gets used in the afternoons for after-school care. Some really good offerings there including Spanish, Lego building and art. They have a covered space for rainy day recess and the PTA - in its first year - raised $60k to create a better, larger playground. They have four portables and are getting at least one more.
Principal Warren - who was previously at Blaine and then John Hay - says he appreciates the small size of the school and being able to really know every single child (including his own daughter who attends SP as well). He says he has no idea how large the school will eventually grow to in the future. But he said he was able to pick his staff and had just four teachers at the beginning.
Not to say they don't have struggles like every school. But for a school that has just been opened a couple of years, it's a very solid launch.
One of the most lovely things was a mosaic on a lobby wall - created in the first year of this new school - by parents and students. It's a great start.