Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Seattle Schools Renames Programs

 Editor's note: They renamed PROGRAMS and not the buildings that will house these programs.  I also hope that one of the buildings at Wilson-Pacific will be named after Native American leader, Robert Eaglestaff.  It is unclear to me in the naming of the Pinehurst K-8/Indian Heritage program if any Native American parents, staff or leaders were consulted.  I'm checking.

Update: I confirmed that yes, Native American leaders and parents were on the Pinehurst K-8/Indian Heritage program, did work together and the vote was to name the program, Licton Springs K-8.

From SPS:

Superintendent José Banda has approved new names for the Jane Addams K-8 program and the Pinehurst K-8/Indian Heritage program.
• Jane Addams K-8 is newly named Hazel Wolf K-8
• Pinehurst K-8/Indian Heritage combined program is newly named Licton Springs K-8 

As a result of the voter-approved Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) capital levy in 2013, a number of schools are being built or renovated.

The Jane Addams building is becoming a neighborhood Middle School and as a result, Jane Addams K-8—now Hazel Wolf K-8— is moving to the John Marshall building for two years while their new home, the Pinehurst building, is being newly constructed.

The Pinehurst K-8/Indian Heritage combined program — now Licton Springs K-8 — is moving to the Lincoln building for three years while their new home in the middle school building on the Wilson-Pacific site is being constructed.
Jane Addams K-8 principal Debbie Nelsen and Pinehurst K-8 principal Roy Merca have worked with their respective students, staff, program’s leadership and partnerships teams and PTSA to identify and vote on possible new names. Each principal then sent a letter of recommendation with suggested names to Superintendent Banda for his review and decision.
“I am pleased to approve the new names of these two school programs, which were identified as a result of a collaborative effort that included students, staff and families,” said Superintendent José Banda. “It’s clear that the naming process was thoughtful and took into consideration the legacy of these programs and what they represent.”

Hazel Wolf was a Seattle-based environmental and social justice advocate whose causes ranged from the rights of workers, immigrants, women and minorities to the protection of wilderness, wetlands, and wildlife. She eventually became one of the most respected figures in the Northwest environmental community, passing away in 2000 at the age of 101.

Those participating in the naming process noted that Hazel Wolf bridges the social justice movement represented by the Jane Addams K-8 school program’s original namesake, Jane Addams, with the environmental focus of its program. Licton Springs, the neighborhood where the Wilson-Pacific site is located, takes its name from Liq'tid or Licton, the Salish word for the reddish mud of the springs and is one of the few Puget Sound Salish words still used as a place name.

The actual source of the springs is in a small park not far from the Wilson-Pacific site and has deep spiritual significance to the Duwamish people first settled the area. Building naming process to begin this fall. The new middle school and elementary school buildings on the Wilson-Pacific site will open for the 2017-18 school year and the naming process for each of these two buildings will begin this fall.

Community residents, families, school staffs and PTSAs will be included in the naming process for each building. The School Board will then vote on and approve the two new names. 


mirmac1 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe Wolf said...

To the best of my knowledge Ms. Wolf is not related to the Stuttgart ->
Odessa -> Ellis Island -> South Dakota Wolf clan. :) Regardless she was quite a lady.


Ragweed said...

Kudos to Jane Addams K-8 for choosing to name the school after Hazel Wolf. She was an incredible force for good in this city and deserves to be commemorated.

Ragweed said...


Yes, we definitely included Native parents and community members in the naming process, and we received several truly excellent ideas. In the end, Licton Springs had the overwhelming support of the students, faculty, and parents, and did have support from the Native community.

That said, I think the process could have been better. We used a fairly standard voting model, which, though we went to great pains to include a wide spectrum of people in the Native community, was not typically the way that the Native community decides things. I and several other people requested that we defer the decision to the Spring of 2015, which would give us a chance to do a more comprehensive level of community engagement, hold listening sessions and community meetings, and possibly called a council of elders to advise us. However, we were told there were hard deadlines with OSPI and the district, and we were eager to move on from the Pinehurst site and enter next year with a new name to go with our new sense of purpose. Plus the students really wanted to know what name to call their school.

In the end I think the decision was sound - Licton Springs K-8 will be a good name that reflect our school and a sense of place, and will give us the opportunity to use the Lushootseed version of the name (liq'tud). The process could have been better, but these are growing pains .

Several other very good suggestions came forward in the nomination process which I hope to see us work into our identity in other ways. Zeke Zalmai, one of the foremost experts on Lushootseed in the region and an AS 1 alumni, suggested the name kʷaxʷtagʷilali (Kwawh-tah-gweel-lah-lee) which means "A place where we help each other". I hope that this will become some sort of motto for the school. Also "First People's Alternative School", which represented both a school for the First People, and the first alternative school in Seattle, was very popular and I think could be worked in some way.


Anonymous said...

"The Pinehurst K-8/Indian Heritage combined program — now Licton Springs K-8 — is moving to the Lincoln building for three years while their new home in the middle school building on the Wilson-Pacific site is being constructed."

three years? I thought they were to be in the building in two years (2016/17). I've been watching closely with one kid likely drawn into the middle school @ Wilson Pac.


Ragweed said...

The Wilson Pacific construction will not be complete until the fall of 2017, for the 2017-2018 school year.

Anonymous said...

What is Pathfinder? Is that not a Native American School?


Melissa Westbrook said...

JWT, no, Pathfinder is an expeditionary learning Option school. From their website:
Pathfinder K-8 is an alternative public school where children are engaged in expeditionary learning. Native American cultures are the foundation from which we teach about many cultures, providing opportunities for our students to make their own cultural connections."

Charlie Mas said...

The nomenclature is tricky. The school has one name, the school building may have a different name, and there can be programs, such as Spectrum, APP, or a B.O.C., in the schools.

That's how we have Van Asselt at African American Academy and STEM at Boren.

Anonymous said...

The Waldorf High school started as Hazel Wolf High School. It is now Seattle Waldorf High School. Nice to see her honored elsewhere.