Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Tuesday Open Thread

 Update: testing has started in NY state.  Parents reporting from Long Island "Opt Outs w/ 80 of the 122 districts giving numbers: 12,131 known Opt Outs. One district, at 70% Opt Out."

I am gathering info on the Federal Reserve building.  I have to say, based on descriptions of the inside, that it is likely not the best place for a school.

But there does seem to be some confusion over timing so I do want to get that straightened out.   One item of note is that King County had appraised it at about $14M nearly 4 years ago and a company had been in line to purchase it for just under $20M.  I had actually thought it might be a higher price than that (building and land). Here's a GSA document on obtaining this kind of property.

I will ask Dr. Herndon his thoughts on Discovery Park/Magnuson when I get the chance.

Heating up - opting out of testing and calling out of ed reformers who don't chose reform for their own children.

A candidate, Rob Astorino, running against Governor Cuomo in NY State is opting his own children out of testing.  It is estimated that about 1,000 NYC school children will not be taking tests that start this week. 

From the Answer Sheet, Valerie Strauss points out that President Obama sends his children to a school that does not use Common Core nor does it have linking teacher pay to test scores.  Bill Gates sends his children to Lakeside which, of course, does not use Common Core and has small class sizes.  I call this out because of this quote from John Dewey (who Diane Ravitch frequently quotes):

“What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon, it destroys our democracy.”

Which brings us to Candice McQueen who used to be a dean at a College of Education.  She was a big booster of Common Core and actively testified in its defense to the Tennessee legislature.  But, now she got a job overseeing a private preK-12 attached to the university she was at, Lipscomb University.  Guess who won't be using Common Core at her new job?

“I will continue to be part of the ongoing CCSS conversation. However, this should not be extrapolated to indicate or predict the adoption of CCSS at Lipscomb Academy.”

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

That's too bad. Curious about what you are seeing- I looked around after the thread the other day and couldn't find anything.

I was just thinking after Joe's comments that maybe it could help with our coming high school problem. I remember 3 years ago being very worried about middle school crowding, and I've got that same feeling about high school now, with an additional sense of dread that the district really did not work through this in an orderly and competent feeling way. I imagine that will be times 10 for high school. I still maintain my anti eminent domain bias, but what leased properties do we have now? Does anybody know where to find those? I see lists sometimes, but I don't know where they come from.


Anonymous said...

Melissa, could you please elaborate on this comment.

"I have to say, based on descriptions of the inside, that it is likely not the best place for a school."

Downtown Dad

Melissa Westbrook said...

What properties are we leasing to others? Lake City, Oak Tree (but I think that one is almost unbreakable), what else? I'd have to check the list.

I still think W-P should be middle and a high school. Too late.

Downtown Dad, I haven't given up. But I talked to a guy at the GSA and the entire basement - nearly all of it - is a giant vault. That's almost half the building and what do you do with that? As well, the upper floors have 5 elevators and 3-4 staircases and he said that takes up a lot of room.

There also still seems to be an issue over the historic registry of the building (also an issue).

But I'm still looking into it as I think it is worth being really sure.

mirmac1 said...

Resident expert kellie rightfully points out that comprehensive HSs have extraordinary space needs that come at high cost. K-5 can be plunked in fairly basic spaces but not HSs.

Charlie Mas said...

Other leased properties are Jefferson Square to a shopping center and the Webster building which is leased to the Nordic Heritage Museum.

Anonymous said...

I had been thinking not comprehensive, but an option high school, like the Center School, only based around something downtown has to offer, like marine biology or civics or something. I don't think it's enough square feet for a comprehensive high school, but I haven't found these documents Melissa is talking about, so I don't know.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the leased property information, by the way.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Sleeper, which documents are you referring to about me?

I can only tell you we do NOT need another boutique high school downtown. Kellie can tell you and I'll tell you that nothing would enrage Magnolia/QA/Downtown like NOT getting a comprehensive high school.

Kellie can tell you how this one thing - lack of a high school for QA/Magnolia - has driven so much of Facilities and I agree. Something should have changed after the Supreme Court ruling and all that happened was the creation of Center School. It's a great little school but is not solving the real problem.

Not opening a comprehensive high school downtown is like saying to those people, "you chose where to live so no 'real' high school for you."

Anonymous said...

Whatever you are seeing that talks about the state of the inside of the building, that makes it unsuitable- the vault for one, and whatever else.

I can certainly hear that not getting a comprehensive school could be enraging; I just see the citywide lack of high school seats as likely an even bigger problem than the lack of middle school seats has been and continues to be. So I want more seats, however we can get them. I also think a large high school at w-p, several years before Lincoln can come online, would have helped. But even with that there are not enough seats, and I'm not sure there's another suitable comprehensive high school site (could the Nordic heritage museum site be one?), certainly not that could be finished by the time the crisis comes to head, so I'm left with the only answer being some smaller high schools, hopefully made attractive by some program, that maybe would end up co-located with a new comprehensive high school built in the next bex cycle(at discovery park? At magnuson?)

Happy to be told there is a better way out- I agree generally that there is only so much real need for boutique high schools, except in this case where I think we need the seats, and that's the only way to get them.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Sleeper, you're not hearing the issue.

At some point,there HAS to be a comprehensive high school for Magnolia/Queen Anne. The number of students will be there AND really help take the stress off all the other high schools.

Fine, if you want to create one at Magnuson (and boy would that make some heads spin if Roosevelt was cut off to some) but you will need to address the QA/Magnolia issue.

Anonymous said...

I know there does! I think Discovery Park might be a good site, or I wonder about the Nordic Heritage museum site. But can it happen in this bex cycle? I don't think it can. And we will run out of high school seats before the next one, so what do we do about that?


Eric B said...

Webster/Nordic Heritage is way too small for a high school. The playground was sold to the city a while back, so it's marginal as an elementary unless they buy back the park or make a use agreement for the school day.

In my not very humble opinion, the only possible sites for a comprehensive high school are in Interbay. The best one would be the National Guard armory off 15th. If Patty Murray were approached, she could probably arrange a transfer. Less optimal options would be the bus barn parking lot in Interbay or Discovery Park. Both have more access issues than the armory, and the bus barn would make it hard to support yellow bus service.

kellie said...

Thanks for the various shout outs.

An oversimple but very useful way to think about facilities is in terms of complexity rather than in terms of seats or square footage. The same amount of square footage can translate into many different things.

Pre-Schools are extraordinary simple as they are almost exclusively homerooms with very little additional wrap around spaces. As such they can be placed in a wide variety of settings, including very small spaces that might not be useful for anything else.

An elementary school is relatively simple. The school is based on homerooms with a limited amount of shared core facilities. You need a minimum amount of space to make it work but there is tremendous flexibility and range as to what that can look like and still provide a great experience.

Option or Boutique schools are the next level of complexity. There are still relatively simple, as they are often built around a theme, that theme can be expanded or contracted to fix the amount of space available. In other words, they can small, medium or large but in general folks are willing to trade large dedicated infrastructure items for the shared theme and continuity of theme,

Comprehensive schools have a huge leap in complexity that is much greater than their increase in space needs. Comprehensive schools are expected to be well ... comprehensive and comprehensive is complicated and expensive.

Comprehensive translates into specific spaces that are used for specific purposes. Hence all the tension around science rooms at JAMS and the auditorium at WP. The tension is that a space that is specifically designed to be one thing has very little adaptability and is much more expensive that a generic homeroom.

kellie said...

There is always a push to off-set these more expensive comprehensive facilities with the much less expensive and less complex option style programs. The primary driver for this is COMMITMENT vs FLEXIBILITY.

When you are uncertain about what your capacity needs might be, there are really great reasons to build as flexible and adaptable a space as you can. That is why Center School became this downtown option, rather than a comprehensive school. With Rainier Beach not full, it was a stretch to COMMIT to a comprehensive facility.

But we are in a very different place now. There is real demand and real need for the features that only come with a comprehensive school, like sports fields and auditoriums. The need is not just because of increasing secondary enrollment but also because the significant increase in elementary enrollment places significant demands on the comprehensive schools.

The auditoriums at all the high schools and middle schools in the north end are BOOKED first by the school and then by the elementary schools.

More option high schools will help with capacity but that does not in any way change the simple fact that district wide there is now a shortage of comprehensive services.

mirmac1 said...

The "boutiques" just drive the capacity problems elsewhere, in my view. For one thing, they are not available to all students. Yes, they exclude whole classes of students (ELL, SpEd). Further, they can restrict enrollment. Guess who can't. Neighborhood schools. So, no, we have more pressing needs than special interest schools.

kellie said...

The crux of the soon coming comprehensive high school issue, is the "school desert" that is Queen Anne and Magnolia.

The fact that there just isn't a comprehensive facility in that area, puts extraordinary pressure on Garfield, Ballard and Roosevelt. The only way to mitigate the pressure is to draw the boundaries for those three schools almost at the door of the school. The north boundary for both Ballard and Roosevelt is very close to those schools and the south boundary for Garfield is very close.

Without an additional comprehensive school in the QA/Mag area, the next round of boundary re-draws could easily have the boundaries just a block or two from those schools. That is why a high school at Magnuson just doesn't do anything to fix this problem. A high school at Magnuson would simple cause high school boundaries to become significantly gerrymandered.

Anonymous said...

Is there an option I am not aware of for what to do when we are 1200 high school seats short in 5 years(or was it 6?)? It would be better for the whole city to go to high school in shifts than to have an un-ideal number of boutique schools? Make them have a certain number of set aside ell and sped seats.

Is there a way to build another comprehensive high school in the next 5 years? Where? We'd need to own it already. I completely agree that we need another comprehensive high school next bex cycle. I'd rather we were building another one in this one. But we are not, so now what? Where should all the high school kids sit in 5 years?


Anonymous said...

I guess what I am trying to say is I understand and agree that we have more important things to do than make up some more super spiffy elaborate specialty schools. So from that point of view an option high school seems silly.

But I DON'T think we have anything better to do than to find more high school seats, pronto. In the next 5 years, before another bex gets voted on. The only way I can think to do that is to open option high schools, 1 or 2. I suppose I do think that's better than high school in shifts, which is the other option. I think that would also be a very divisive one, though, and met with a lot of opposition and probably similar showdowns to the middle school wars of 2013.


kellie said...

@ Sleeper, that is the question, I wish everyone was asking and why I pushed fairly recently to make Wilson Pacific a middle and high school campus and leave Lincoln as the interim facility and an elementary facility. While it is an imperfect plan in many ways, it would bring needed high school capacity on line two years sooner.

There are some options to give QA/Mag a high school but they all require commitment to solve the problem and funding.

The district does own some property in Interbay that would be a good location for a QA/Mag high school. There is the Discovery Park facility that could become a good location. There is a often chatted about plan to do a facility swap and make McClue a high school, Blaine returned to a middle school and a K8 built on the Magnolia property.

Those are only a handful of options. If there was any commitment to solve the high school issue before it implodes, it could be done. But it can't be done with BEX IV, as that money is already over-committed. There would have to be another funding source.

The bottom line is the still the bottom line. There needs to be a full examination of capacity issues from first principles. It may be that many or most of the planned BEX IV solutions really are solutions. But in the places where enrollment growth has already out paced expectations, it would be far less expensive to just take a look at the big picture and see where what really needs to be fixed asap.

Mary said...

Interbay was considered too dangerous for the rebuild of Fire Station 20 due to concerns of earthquake damage. It's also the site of a huge BNSF rail yard, which sees toxic rail cars and, increasingly, crude oil shipments. They also have a rail maintenance yard that routinely bellows clouds of dense diesel smoke into the air as they" clean out" the engines. Finally, the area is susceptible to mudslides and flooding, the latter increasingly so as sea levels rise.
The Army Reserve site at Discovery Park is still vacant after neighbors nixed the planned homeless center. It's a large property with great views to the north. It's off the beaten track, but a trolley up from 15th would be pretty easy. They had one back in the old days.

Lori said...

I know that Joe Wolf said on another thread that we'd be out of high school space (by about 1200 seats, I think) in 6-7 years.

But, what happens in the next 3-5 years? The first bubble of enrollment growth is currently in 6th grade, I believe. Current 4th and 5th grades are very big cohorts too, hence the immediate middle school crisis.

I talk to a lot of other 5th grade parents and most are already wondering what the landscape will be for high school just 3 years from now. Do all the northend highschools have room 2 years from now? 3 years from now? Lincoln opens in 2019 last I'd look - is there an interim site planned when we need capacity sooner than that?

I don't recall ever seeing numbers or projections at the high school level in this last capacity go round.

David said...

I still think you could remodel Blaine (or McClure, but Blaine has a bigger lot) to be a high school. It would be on the smallish side, like 1000 instead of 1600 like Ballard or Roosevelt, but I think that would be ok. Then put the K-8 in the Magnolia building. The district already has these buildings, it just needs the $ to remodel them. (Which is another question, I know).

Anonymous said...

God willing, the beautiful Magnolia School will be razed. It's a death trap. The district does not retrofit based on current knowledge of potential earthquakes. There are many unreinforced masonry buildings like Magnolia School or Salmon Bay and they get some steel bracing, but if the big one or a reasonably big comes on the Seattle fault, the offshore subduction zone or an unmapped fault, it will be disastrous. Japan would have torn all these old buildings down and rebuilt them. Look at Santa Cruz Ca after the 1989 quake. All the old brick buildings are gone.

Jamie said...

Trembling - that is too bad, because I love the old Salmon Bay and Magnolia buildings. I totally see your point though, and I happen to be originally from Santa Cruz. Safety first, definitely!

Blueglass said...

There is no longer a bus barn at Interbay - things were moved out last year.

Also, as pointed out, the rail transports in that area often deal in hazardous materials. Space yes. Healthy safe space? Not so much.

Melissa Westbrook said...

One, not every high school has to be "big." I think a 1,000 is a good number.

Two, I thought we had some exchange already at Interbay (but I may be thinking of another area around there).

Three, Joe did say he's looking into ideas like shifts, etc. which is what we may come to.

Anonymous said...

The Webster building, where the Nordic Heritage Museum is, seems to be on too small of a lot to have a high school there. Could be another elementary though.

- NW parent

Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does the thought of high school shifts or year-round schedules sound awful? I understand our capacity issues are so bad that it may in fact come to this, but I get the sense that some folks maybe think this wouldn't be so bad? Or are folks just resigned to this already?

Thinking I'd better start saving for private HS now,


Anonymous said...

Well I obviously agree with you. I'm sort of surprised that split shift high schools sound palatable enough to other people that they'd rather that than a slightly off balance mix of comprehensive and boutique schools for a few years. I certainly would not.


mirmac1 said...

Off-balance or not, once established how the heck would we get rid of a boutique HS in order to put in what we really need? This is much like the K-5 STEM in WS. It was pitched in an orchestrated, emotional campaign as an equity tool and just the ticket to relieve enrollment pressure (eventually) at the MS level. Except it took the one space, Boren, that could serve as a safety valve for MS and HS seats in the near to mid-term. Now we'll have STEM seats for kindergartners while our MS and HSers are fighting to get a schedule with pre-college coursework.

Joe Wolf said...

I have to push back on "trembling"'s comment about SPS's seismic retrofit work, as it's untrue. It did and does meet all code.

(Sidebar: Really??)

The estimate to modernize Magnolia, including seismic retrofit is about $20M in 2014 $$. That doesn't include any additional square footage to expand capacity (its K-5 capacity is rated at about 350-400) or provide more core space.

One of the possibilities staff has on the "talking table" is similar to one mentioned upthread:

- Re-open and expand Magnolia as a new home for Blaine K-8

- Retrofit the current Blaine site as a small comprehensive HS (1,000-1,200 students)

- Add permanent capacity/core space to Ingraham, up to 1,600 studehts

Anonymous said...

I think it could be started and then planned to be incorporated into the new comprehensive hs that would be built in the next BEX cycle. So it would be a say 500 seat school, and then a 500 kid program within a school. Like the Montessori parts of elementaries.

I know this requires more long range planning than the district usually does, but the options joe wolf mentioned yesterday seem atrocious enough to me that I started trying to brainstorm other ideas. Sit shifts are worst case scenarios, if we can avoid them, and I think we should try to.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Sleeper, you would be okay with a non-comprehensive merely to create seats? There's an equity issue there and believe me, high school parents would play that card.

I don't know that shifts are the worst case.

Joe, I think repurposing Blaine makes more sense.

I just shake my head over upgrading Ingraham. You can look it up but Ingraham - rather than a full remodel - has been done piecemeal on every single BTA and BEX since they have existed. And now we want to make it bigger?

Anonymous said...

I would. I am surprised so many people would not. It would need to be a specialty program, something to compensate for the lack of comprehensiveness. A relative of mine went to a high school half set at her city zoo in the early 2000's, and that city had many such programs which were extremely attractive to families despite lack of sports/facilities.

Lots of people here choose non-comprehensive options now; I imagine that would be more and more attractive when the comprehensive options are even more overstuffed and overtaxed than they are now. I would prefer my kid have a comprehensive option with reasonable class sizes and a shot at electives and some chance of building community and connecting with teachers, but at the overcapacity we are talking about, that's not going to be available any of the kids currently in mid elementary school. So I'd choose a specialty school over those overstuffed schools, the same as many people would prefer their neighborhood elementary school if it was not overstuffed, but it is, so they choose an option school.

I like the retrofitting Blaine option, though where would the kids there now go? Is that politically possible, and could it be done in time to help? I am not wedded to my idea, but I am horrified at the idea of split shifts or year round school and want to think of other options.


Melissa Westbrook said...

Here's your problem. You don't get to choose your high school. So if it's a boutique, will you get enough people to choose a non-comprehensive high school to help capacity problems? Better be a great program. And better not be downtown because those people will howl.

mirmac1 said...

Interesting fact: Banda's former district runs year-round on a multi-track system, where one track takes month-long breaks.

With the City DSA and other interests acting as cheerleaders, pushing unhelpful ideas and not helping in a bonafide manner...Well ya do what ya gotta do.

TechyMom said...

I think a 6-12 boutique would fill very quickly. There are so few option seats available for 6th grade, and joining a k8 in 6th grade can be tough socially. Families who like their neighborhood elementary school, but who don't want a large middle school have very few choices.

Maybe some of our existing option high schools could be expanded to 6-12, and Magnusson or Discovery Park (or both) could host a new comprehensive High School?

TechyMom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kellie said...

Thank you Joe, as always for your very thoughtful participation and contribution, both here and every where in the district. Please know it is truly appreciated not just by me but by many many families.

I am thrilled to know that the Blaine / Magnolia K8 option is in the mix. I pushed very hard for that option in the BEX planning and it really never got very far. I am delighted to know that it could be in the mix. It is expensive (what isn't) but it could be a key part of BTA IV and it would provide real and genuine relief to the high school issue by adding the most critical part of a geographic assignment system - geographically relevant seats.

An expansion at Ingraham would also be a significant capacity solution. Those seats are not really nearly as geographically relevant, (ie there is not much opportunity to expand Ingraham's boundaries, unless you want the boundaries to actually touch the doors of Ballard and Nathan Hale). However, there is substantial demand for the IB program and as long as the facilities expansion also included funding for expanding the IB program, that capacity could easily provide much need relief for Roosevelt, Hale and Ballard.

kellie said...

While the biggest shortfall in the near future is going to be "true-comprehensive" secondary seats, option seats do help with capacity issues. While I agree with Mirmac that there are significant challenges regarding SPED, ELL and FRL when it comes to option school set ups, these issues are not insurmountable when handled thoughtfully with an assignment component so that these families who do not typically get to participate fully in the choice process still have access.

For example, the placement of ELL at SPED at option program creates seats that are set aside for these communities that might not gain access in the lottery system. New or expanded Option high schools would need to include something like this.

But the bottom line is that we are going to need more "option" high school seats, no matter what, in addition to comprehensive seats. FWIW, in many ways running start is very much an option high school and one of the things that is holding high school enrollment together. Options can include an expansion of running start and some potential collaboration with the UW.

Magnuson would be a great location for an option high school of some sort. Simply because drawing boundaries for Magnuson would be a nightmare.

kellie said...

Here is my final notes on this topic. Regardless of what happens with this downtown property, we are now in a place where we truly need to examine new properties.

No matter how you slice this, there is very little available SPS inventory. During the BEX planning process, I wrote up a long summary that the critical overlooked issue was that the BEX plan was exhausting all of the available inventory while not creating any plans for contingency inventory, let alone new inventory.

However, I think at that time, it was such a huge culture change to be opening schools at all, that the idea the contingency/emergency inventory was going to need to be replaced was just too "out there." Please remember that the BEX conversation was dominated by fears of "over-building" so my concerns about property inventory seemed quite extreme.

Now, two years later, it is very clear that a critical issue is contingency inventory. All things relative, the projects in BEX IV are all coming on-line relatively quickly because all of the projects involve district owned property. Any project that includes NEW property is going to take at least twice as long. The property acquisition piece of this puzzle is both expensive AND time consuming.

mirmac1 said...

All we need do is look at existing option schools and see to what extend SpEd and ELL are truly included. And I don't mean those ELL used to leverage IAs in language-immersion schools.

Anonymous said...

The history of magnet/option schools had the goal of inclusion as one of the main reasons to come into existence.

Charter schools were originally a teacher initiative to give teachers more autonomy.

The moral of the story for me is that once "public" becomes less public, even for the best of original intentions, it seems to pave the road to hell and create its opposite.

Providing lip service to the idea of inclusion for SpED, ELL or at-risk children will provide no chance of these students being included, as history has shown. Federal laws and policies exist for these students because they have not been protected by good intentions, lip service, school districts or even state governments.

We need to be very vigilant and not pretend cavalierly that, because space is needed and more option schools may be convenient, that the these students will be suddenly be included in the mix simply because "we care". They. simply. won't. be. Are they included now? Then why and how would that change with even more of them?

The term "boutique" schools seemed originally to be a form of derision but has been taken up on this thread as ordinary vocabulary.

This is a cautionary tale of the need for laws and vigilance to protect the most vulnerable. This is how quickly intentions morph and how the process happens.

--enough already

Anonymous said...

Is this really an issue of option vs. non-option schools? The language immersion schools were mentions, but these have been neighborhood schools. JSIS had 5% ELL last year, McDonald had 3%. Yes, these are lower than the district, but better than some of the surrounding schools (e.g., 2% ELL at Green Lake, 2% at Bryant, 1% at Laurelhurst). With the conversion of JSIS and McD to options schools next year, there will be spots set aside for heritage speakers, so neighborhood home price is less of a barrier. SpEd numbers are also similar to many of the surrounding neighborhood schools. So is it really an options schools issue?


mirmac1 said...

Yes "there will be spots set aside for heritage speakers", because the district wants to use them and their IAs to help the "non-heritage" speakers with a new language. And no, it is not a mutually-beneficial arrangement. That ELL IA is now supporting 10-20 times more kids. One man's "leveraging" of resources is another's misuse of restricted federal funds.

It's a real problem. The JSIS SpEd counts are resource room students. The district has flat out said, if your kid has anything more than SLD, we can't provide any support. Ballard has boutique academies, you should see the SpEd counts in those classes as opposed to the others. Center School doesn't take students needing the support an autism inclusion program would provide.

Anonymous said...

So mirmac1, should heritage speakers be banned from immersions schools then, since it's apparently not a beneficial arrangement for them? And can you point me to the research that says two-way immersion doesn't work for ELLs? I didn't think that was the case. With a half-day immersion program, it seems to me that ELLs could get the best of both worlds--math and science instruction in their native language (which helps to overcome some of the language barriers inherent in EDM), and English language instruction for the other half of the day. To me, the issue is then the IAs. If there's additional federal funding for ELL students, it should be used to support them in the English portion of the day, not their native language. It seems, however, that federal guidelines allow dual immersion as the delivery model for providing the English instruction, and I suppose the district considers the IAs in the non-English portion of the day to be necessary to make the immersion model work? I get it, but personally would like to see some additional English support (during the English portion of the say) for ELLs as well.

And I don't think JSIS and McD are planning to fund IAs on the back of these ELL students, even after saving some add'l spots for heritage speakers. Parents are still being asked to pony up big time for next year's IAs. If the ELL numbers are ultimately high enough to support additional position(s), it would be great to see that money go toward English IAs--and let the parents keep funding the Japanese/Spanish ones.


TechyMom said...

Option, boutique, alternative, magnet, choice -- call it what you like. It's a school that focuses on doing one thing and doing it well. Often, these schools are also smaller than comprehensive secondary schools. Some kids do much better in this sort of environment (including some kids with learning disabilities). What is inequitable is to make this available only to families that can fork over $20-30k per year.

I agree that in Seattle, some of the option programs are more exclusive than they should be. Let's work on that, rather than limiting options. How about a school with inclusive instruction as part of its focus? I've heard AS1, cascade, and NOVA are doing well at this, along with some neighborhood schools like Montlake and Hale. Are there other schools, maybe in other districts, that are good models?

Anonymous said...

What about an environmental studies school with an outdoor focus? Not e-stem, just the e, plus outdoor. Partnered with the aquarium? I could see that being excellent for many kids with disabilities, and I can think of several elementary and middle schools that would have interested families.


mirmac1 said...

HIMSMom, perhaps we'll talk at an Audit and Finance committee meeting. That's where I get my information. Also from State Auditor and OSPI reports. Admin ad directors have made it clear over the years that this is their "strategy" to finance LI. Likewise, the law is quite clear about what these restricted use funds are for. So, by all means, families can finance this cost if that is their choice. Just don't assume that ELL students must kick in their support and funding for the "mutual benefit" of a JSIS or McDonald. I'll be the first to rat the district out on this.