Monday, September 28, 2015

Student Assignment Plan Updates

Update:  here's the schedule for the district boundary meetings - there are only three and they are all less than a hour.

Thornton Creek K-5 lunchroom
Tues., Oct. 1, 2015, 6:30 - 7:15 p.m.
7711 43rd Ave NE
Interpreters: Chinese and Spanish

Schmitz Park Elementary lunchroom
Mon., Oct. 5, 2015, 6:30 - 7:15 p.m.
5000 SW Spokane Street
Interpreters: Spanish, Somali and Vietnamese

Seattle World School
Meany Building lunchroom

Tues., Oct. 6, 2015, 6:30 - 7:15 p.m.
301 21st Ave E
Interpreters: Chinese, Spanish, Somali and Vietnamese

Also, a link to the map of the look of SPS in 2020 - wow is the word that comes to mind for those high school assignments.  It says it was approved in Nov 2013 and last updated 9/14/2015.  If you are in PTA, I would go to my PTA/PTO leaders and ask that this be a topic of discussion.  

My thoughts (just on first glance)
- you see that with this map, all high schools are fed by just one middle school (a couple of areas have a middle school and K-8).  Meany has two K-8s and a middle school.
- Roosevelt is getting the exact schools I would have thought it would but they don't even extend the boundary to the freeway.  Just ridiculous.
- they have Ballard right on its boundary line; also ridiculous. And having far north Green Lake feed into it? That's going to be fun to get to school.   I'd like to know the easy bus route for that one.
- I'm unclear as to where people in Magnolia and Queen Anne go to high school.
- the area for Meany/Franklin is rather large but they put Garfield right on the boundary edge so it's unclear to me how that works.

Despite this being approved in 2013, I have no recollection of any map looking like this.  

end of update

On past decisions on boundaries:

Proposed adjustments to approved future growth boundaries for Mercer, Washington and Meany middle schools  Sept. 25, 2015 — This fall, the school board will vote on a change to the boundary changes previously approved for middle schools in the Southeast region. Previously approved boundaries moved the Kimball Elementary attendance area into the Washington Middle School attendance area and the John Muir attendance area into the Meany Middle School attendance area.

Community members requested that Kimball students continue be assigned to Mercer for middle school and these proposed changes are being made in response to that feedback.


Also, there are these maps showing boundaries changes in the coming years for all areas of the city, either due to growth or new buildings.  I think it important to look at these especially if you have elementary or middle school students.

The proposed change retains the Kimball Elementary attendance area within the Mercer International Middle School attendance area and retains the John Muir Elementary attendance area within the Washington Middle School attendance area. As this is a change from the boundary adjustments approved by the School Board in 2013, a vote to amend the future growth boundaries must be taken.

Now here's the latest SPS document which is oddly dated as October 21, 2015. 

I also am having a hard time comparing it with the Student Assignment plan to see exactly what has changed.  Anybody?  I also note that the district repeatedly mentions a "Waitlist period" and then doesn't say the length of the period or when it occurs. 

98 comments:

Anonymous said...

Will there be no new High School opening?

-Clueless

Anonymous said...

Somewhat related to this - What is the rhyme or reason behind Option school geozones? I thought these were supposed to small zones to ensure folks within a couple blocks have access to their closest school. Instead, they're huge. They typically extend to places well closer to other schools. They're way bigger than walk zones.

If you're not in the zone for a popular option school, do you have any real chance of getting in? I would guess not.

Some oddities just looking around (see http://sps.ss8.sharpschool.com/cms/One.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=14844#option):
- Why does the Center School geozone not cover two blocks to the south but go a couple miles to the north?
- Why is Nova practically outside it's own geozone?
- Why does John Stanford's geozone have a panhandle (outside its walk zone)?
- Why does Tops' geozone extend to the Univ. bridge, but not even a couple blocks southeast of the school?

Confused

Anonymous said...

The new student assignment document doesn't have the distance tiebreaker....you know, the tiebreaker they forgot about during open enrollment this year.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

The geozones used to be to allow people who lived really close to access the school and help build community, but then, as with all things, they got turned into a trick to help with capacity. Thornton Creek, for example, basically just covers View Ridge and Wedgwood to help with crowding there. It can really change the culture of a school, and often means, ironically, that only more privileged families can go to those schools, because it is the most privileged neighborhood schools that tend to be the most crowded. TOPS' geozone looks like it is helping with Montlake, and avoiding Lowell, which is underenrolled.

-sleeper

Lynn said...

North-end Mom,

That's the point of the update. Last year they forgot the tiebreaker was still in place (it was meant to be transitional.)

Lynn said...

Clueless,

Lincoln High School is planned to reopen in fall 2019. If the new BTA levy passes, they'll be building an addition to Ingraham and that will change the high school assignment areas too.

Anonymous said...

And we don't need additional HS capacity before 2019?

Lynn said...

Oh we'll need it . We just won't have it.

Rmd said...

Why are people not upset that the district is very quietly getting rid of the distance tie breaker? This will force students who live close to a school (within walking distance) to attend the assigned school even if there is capacity at the closer school. This is being planned ahead of time for Lincoln boundaries that will cut out families who live two blocks away from Roosevelt from attending. Zone 45 cuts the line on 12th Ave and 70th (Roosevelt is on 12th and 68th) forcing almost half of the Roosevelt neighbor hood out of Roosevelt high school. The zone 45 boundary was a last minute bait and switch two years ago that was never presented to the community. This district is corrupt.

Anonymous said...

As someone with a house in Zone 45 just blocks from Roosevelt, I'm very curious about future high school rezoning. Why would this Zone not go to Roosevelt? (We are so close the marching band will practice on our block!) What do we know? Thanks!

Confused Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

RMD,I can only say that with the release of this newest document which does NOT point out this change of the loss of the distance tiebreaker, staff obviously wants to do this on the downlow. Any change to Enrollment procedures should be clearly noted as a change.

Rmd said...

This is being done in the down low and under the radar of most parents. As for zone 45 this was the final boundary created two years ago for the middle schools but will not go into effect till 2017. The line on the west boundary runs north on Roosevelt way then jogs over to 12th at 68th assigning those west of the line to HMS (note this section of the neighborhood is closest to Eckstein). The feeder school system the district adopted requires that the middle school feed into the high school. Those assigned to HMS will be assigned to Lincoln unless we can make them change this line. Why doesn't it go straight up Roosevelt Way? Why does it jog over? Even if you are still in the boundary I hope you will support keeping Roosevelt neighborhood in the Roosevelt boundary. Please send letters to Fip Herdon and bug Shari Carr. This line needs to be fixed and really should run along 8th ave (the freeway) but I would settle for a straight line which at least has the appearance of fairness. Here is a link to the map http://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Enrollment%20Planning/Maps/growthboundarymaps/pdfs/AA_MS_Eckstein.pdf

Rmd said...

Correction. Jogs over at 70th not 68th!

Anonymous said...

I am confused. This map says elementary and middle school boundaries. It doesn't appear to say anything about boundaries for high schools. Right now, elementaries feed into middle schools but middle schools don't necessarily feed into high schools. The high schools right now all have geographic boundaries. Hale's south boundary is 85th so some kids from Wedgwood go to Hale and some go to Roosevelt.

HP

Rmd said...

You need to dig deeper. This is happening in west Seattle right now. Changing high school boundaries to match the middle schools. The feeder system aligns all. They will not announce the Lincol boundary until after 2017 and then it will be too late to change it.

Rmd said...

Btw. The north section of the neighborhood is within the walking zone of Eckstein yet we are being assigned to Hamilton which requires busing. The line needs to be changed

Anonymous said...

They need to go to geographic boundaries for middle schools and then let them feed into high schools. The feeder elementary schools make for crazy high school and middle school boundaries. Maybe even have geographic for middle and high schools if the feeder middle school doesn't work.

HP

Lynn said...

RMD,

There is no feeder system from middle school to high school. (Except in West Seattle for some reason.) Look at the difference between the borders for Jane Addams and Nathan Hale.

Anonymous said...

@ Rmd, the boundaries you're referring to were already approved, and they're based on getting the right numbers into the various middle schools. Changes like you're proposing would likely screw that up, wouldn't they? There's also an important link between ES programming and what the corresponding MS's provide.

@HP, the elementary-middle feeder pattern is important for programming reasons. It's not just about geography. For example, APP elementary needs to feed to APP middle, but for high school, kids have more options. Another example is language immersion. JSIS and McDonald need to feed to the same MS to ensure a sufficient cohort size for continuation of language.

Half Full

Lynn said...

HP,

Why is it more important to have straight lines for middle school boundaries than to keep elementary school children together with their friends as they move to middle school? I think you're underestimating how hard that would be. (Didn't your children attend a K-8 school?) Our middle schools are huge.

Anonymous said...

My son attended a K-12 and my daughter attended a K-8 and then a 9-12 but for both, the kids scattered from both my kids classes after 8th and went to multiple high schools. Again, I believe that keeping kids with friends makes more sense from middle to high school than it does from elementary to middle.

If these boundaries are for high schools too, then kids north of 95th will now have to take a bus to Roosevelt rather walking down the hill to Hale. Kids two blocks from Roosevelt will have to take a bus to Lincoln. The same for Ballard. Kids that could walk to Ingraham would have to bus it to Hale. None of this makes sense. Yes some elementary schools need to feed to specific middle schools but Wedgwood doesn't need to go to Eckstein.

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm with HP; these high school regions do NOT all make sense especially from the transportation side.

Anonymous said...

@ Rmd

If there is a plan in the works to eventually have middle schools feed into specific high schools, then where are the kids in the McClure attendance area going to go for high school?

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

I am still confused and missing something. Where does it say that these are high school boundaries? Yes Lincoln will affect all the boundaries but I don't think this map shows the high school boundaries.

HP

Lynn said...

HP - I don't think you're missing anything. It's possible people are becoming (understandably) nervous about losing access to the high school they'd assumed their child would attend.

Anonymous said...

@ HP
There is nothing official stating that the 2020 middle school boundaries will become the high school boundaries. New high school boundaries were not approved as part of the Growth Boundaries Plan (2013). This is something that was inferred by one of the previous posters (Rmd).

Also, if the JAMS boundaries were changed to align with those of Nathan Hale, then there probably would not be room for all of NE APP in the Jane Addams building. Judging from the size of this year's and last year's incoming 6th grade class, the building will be at or above maximum capacity by next year.

- North-end Mom

Lynn said...

Melissa,

There are no high school boundaries on that map. The September 2015 changes are a couple of tiny areas affected by the opening of Schmitz Park and Arbor Heights and the switch of Muir and Kimball middle school assignments.

Anonymous said...

So while the high school boundaries will have to change when Lincoln is added, they probably won't look anything like these boundaries for elementary and middle school. I think as far as the high school boundaries go, we are getting excited prematurely.

There is enough to get excited about with the elementary and middle school changes. And North-end is right, JAMS can't have the same boundaries as Hale due to APP.

I wonder if the large APP cohort was part of the reason the Hale 9th grade class was smaller than anticipated and why they were allowed to take 30 off of the waitlist. I hope the gen ed kids are benefiting from the band at JAMS because Hale's band could really use some more musicians.

HP

Anonymous said...

Why would APP at JAMS affect Hale's current 9th grade class? Just curious- I don't see the linkage there.


-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Again people, There is not now nor I doubt in the future will there be a middle-school-attendance-area feed into high school. High school is set geographically, by address. It has to be this way due to a number of reasons - school sizes, population distributions, geography, programs and services, etc. That link Melissa posted shows only a stab at middle school service areas come 2020. The fight - and no doubt it will be a fight if not a war - over high school boundary lines is still to come. The district is inept often enough, but they were no dummies in this case. They've truncated the high school boundary issue from the revision of elementary and middle school boundaries discussion that is upon us now. We don't even know how many high school plants we will or will not have in 2020. And if you think a double-duty high school with an a.m. class cohort and a p.m. class cohort is off the table, think again. The immense problem was publicly set aside to deal with bell time changes. Which could very well be moot if high schools end up on a rotational schedule.

Capacity Wonk

Anonymous said...

@ sleeper

It seems as though there are more neighborhood kids being tested for APP, now that JAMS is open (APP at Hamilton was a long bus ride away). Since there is IBX at Ingraham, then perhaps more neighborhood kids are choosing Ingraham over Hale than in previous years?

- North-end Mom

David said...

I would assume that Hale's 9th grade class would be smaller if the majority of the JAMS APP kids go to Ingraham or Garfield.

Anonymous said...

Oops... make that HCC, not APP.

Urgh.

North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Ah. Last year's 8th grade APP cohort was small- 67 or 69 kids? Not positive where it ended up, but it was small. And the gen ed kids who were at JAMS had previously been at Eckstein(along with the still Eckstein kids in the Hale area) and supposedly planning on Hale their whole lives, so I have trouble thinking that is it, exactly. So that's probably not it yet. Though the classes below have large APP cohorts for sure. Maybe going forward that will shift enrollment patterns, but I think more likely it is that this particular grade level has been more disrupted (split off twice in some cases) and so has had more families go private, which is in direct competition with kids who might want the alt experience at Hale. And I do think Ingraham has recently become more popular, too.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Right, me too. HCC. Can't keep the acronym changes straight. Man what a waste of manpower, changing the dumb names every year instead of fixing the actual problems.

(Also last year the majority of JAMS APP/HCC 8th grade kids were from south of the Hale border so not slotted to go to Hale in any case. I believe that may change now for reasons North-end mom mentions, but it wouldn't have affected things for this year.)

-sleeper

Melissa Westbrook said...

Kids, did you not read my update? The link in bright red? It has outlines for the high schools (granted, some of it doesn't make sense to me).

Just a little irritation for me - I really try to include as much info as I can and it bothers me when readers don't read the entire thread and then post a link to something that is there.

Skim if you must but you will miss information.

Anonymous said...

Wait. The map I seen linked has only elementary school boundaries in bright red. And then the middle school ones are different colors shaded in. I could maybe see those turning into high school ones (if the middle schools are ~1200 kids, then the high schools would all be 1600, right?), but I don't think that's on there.

sleeper

Anonymous said...

One other possible explanation for lower-than expected 9th grade numbers at Hale this year is that Shorecrest, in Shoreline, is a popular choice, especially for those who live in Olympic Hills, Cedar Park, etc... I heard rumors that some Hazel Wolf K-8 kids went to Shorecrest, instead of Hale. Don't know how many, though.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Title of the map linked to this post:

Seattle School District
Elementary and Middle School Attendance Areas

I don't see actual HS boundaries on this map???

Anonymous said...

Melissa, respectfully, the map to which you linked does not show high school assignments. It is labeled as elementary and middle school attendance areas. One might extrapolate attendance areas for high schools IF there were middle school attendance area feeders into high school. But there are not. It is by address. The feeder patterns might influence the high school enrollment areas, but they are definitively not the sole determining factor.

Your question about where does QA/Magnolia go to high school remains. There are some other big ones too. Like Garfield and Franklin. Like the future of the HCC to Garfield and Ingraham pattern. (My money is on that disappearing by 2020.) Like what to do with still-underenrolled Rainier Beach. Like needing more new facilities beyond Lincoln. The map to which you linked takes none of that into account nor does it appear to be an indicator of high school enrollment patterns.

Capacity Wonk

Rmd said...

Lynn. The lines for Roosevelt will change when they open Lincoln. I am glad you trust the district to do the logical thing but I do not. If they did it in west Seattle they will do it in my neighborhood. We should be in the Eckstein boundary because we are in the walk zone we are not in the walk zone for Hamilton.

Anonymous said...

Also there is no high school for Magnolia. The map does make more obvious how RIDICULOUS that geographical fact is. It is so obviously missing one, when it is laid out like this. Unless you count Center school, I suppose(I don't.).

Anonymous said...

Sleeper, at 11:52.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

North-end Mom at 11:43

- North-end Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

Yes, that map is for middle school but it seems obvious that if those are the middle schools, then the high school in the map is where those students will go. It would be beyond silly to have one region for middle school and then change it for high school.
But no, address is not the sole factor.

Again, I can only say - speak now or the district will make ALL the decisions.

As for QA/Magnolia, Kellie LaRue and I have been singing this song a long time - so much of what drives capacity in this district comes from the single mistake of selling off Queen Anne high school property and then the district NEVER truly addressing it.

NW mom said...

Can someone please refresh my memory of the three schools at the Wilson-Pacific site?

I believe Cascadia is the K-5 HCC elementary, correct?
And Licton Springs K-8 is the former AS1/Pinehurst?
So the Eaglestaff school is an attendance area 6-8 middle school then? I am unsure.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Jamie said...

But the way things are now, your address is pretty much the deciding factor for high school, isn't it? HCC kids notwithstanding. Whitman ends up with kids going to both Ingraham and Ballard, Hamilton has a few Ballard kids on the west side of their area but most go to Roosevelt, etc. Do you think they'll change this and have it be all kids from x middle school go to y high school?

Anonymous said...

NW mom, I think that is right except I think Eaglestaff middle school is also supposed to have an HCC cohort, and the HCC elementary is 1-5, not k-5. But Cascadia (speaking of dumb names...that is the earthquake fault that is going to kill us all) is already bigger than capacity at the elementary building, and Hamilton is completely overstuffed already, so the proportions of those could change. I think they intend to begin orchestrating infighting, oh, excuse me, discussing with the public, those enrollment patterns this spring.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Melissa, we are two sides of the same coin of worry about assignments. What I am trying to get across for parents is not to look at that map tand assume that your family will go to the high school in your middle school attendance area. That assumption will break hearts. The high school boundaries fight is coming and I know it will not be pretty.

Yes, the lack of QA/Magnolia high school is huge. So are other things. Such as lack of cohesive academic programming in this district. The failure to solicit funding for more capital improvements long long ago. The denial of staff to this day that high school capacity will be at emergency status shortly. The lack of planning between Metro and the district. Surely you can add more.

I expect the central and nearer north slice of that map to be in assignment flux. Lincoln. Ballard. Roosevelt. Garfield. Franklin. Families are in for nasty, nasty surprises. As you point out, unless parents start demanding enrollment projections tied to initial district plans as to enrollment patterns and/or other solutions such as dual schedules, there will be high school chaos in short order. As you say, the warning bell keeps ringing, but the only people who can force the district into better planning are parents on the uprise.

Do not be lulled by that linked map.

Capacity Wonk

Anonymous said...

Melissa, I'm not sure that would work for high school. Too many of the current HIMS students--who would become the Lincoln HS students under that scenario--actually need to get shipped out elsewhere for special programs. I think HCC, for example, is now more than half the school. And the language immersion component is also growing now that McDonald has started sending kids. Unless they make Lincoln the new north end HCC default, it doesn't seem like the current HIMS boundary could sustain it. They'll either need to shuffle programs/pathways or use different boundaries.

HIMSmom

Anonymous said...

If Hamilton is already full, how can they possibly increase its number of feeder schools (assigning Greenlake Elementary students to Hamilton instead of Eckstein, which also means changing the HCC assignment from Jane Addams back to Hamilton for some families)? Will they move the HCC cohort out of Hamilton? Or will they change the proposed boundaries?

-whiplash

Anonymous said...

whiplash, I think at least part of the plan involves moving some of the HCC cohort (if not all) out of Hamilton to Eaglestaff(Wilson Pacific) middle school, in addition to some of the neighborhood kids. But we are all just guessing at this point as to what will actually happen. No one knows anything. I think it will depend on the Oct enrollment numbers they get, and then the projections they have for the next two years. Very by the seat of their pants.

And for high school I am sure the plan would be to put an HCC cohort at whichever school is the least overfull. That has previously been Ingraham, but who knows by 2019. Maybe Lincoln, because that has previously been popular(with the district, not the families), to use HCC to start a new school.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

They are calling them "AA High Schools", though. As in "Attendance Area", which is the language they use for feeder school patterns. Have they used that language for high schools historically, when it's been based on address rather than feeder pattern?

Also, am I missing what the Y's and M's mean all over the map?

elementary parent

Anonymous said...

High Schools that are not option schools by assignment are currently are called "Attendance Area" (AA) schools, and have been for some time. Attendance Area schools have boundaries, and kids living within those boundaries (within the attendance area) are assigned to that particular school.

"Neighborhood" elementary and middle schools are also called "attendance area" schools.

Instead of attendance areas, option schools have transportation zones and geo-zones for preferential enrollment.

Although there is supposedly a feeder pattern from elementary to middle schools, Current high school attendance area boundaries are "geographic," in that they don't necessarily align with middle or elementary school boundaries.

A bizarre outcome of the growth boundaries work is that some current elementary school boundaries do not necessarily align with the current middle school boundaries (take a look at the JAMS boundaries -vs- those of its feeder schools). The JAMS boundary is really more of a geographic boundary, as it is not defined by its "feeder" elementary school boundaries. It is all very confusing, and does not make much sense.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

The link in bright red takes you to a page titled: Seattle School District
Elementary and Middle School Attendance Areas. I don't see high school in that list. Yes the high schools are on the map, but the attendance areas all refer to middle schools.

Alt learning at Hale? Why do you consider Hale alt learning? Ingraham IB has become more popular but not Ingraham gen ed from what I have heard. I am still puzzled by the miscalculation of the freshman class at Hale but happy that Hale was allowed to let in so many off the waitlist. The kids I have heard from who choose elsewhere for high school either wanted IB (Ingraham), went to Shorecrest or went to Roosevelt with their friends from Eckstein.

HP

Anonymous said...

I consider it alt because of the coalition of essential schools philosophy, which is attractive at least to Thornton Creek families I know because it ties in directly with that school's alternative learning philsophy, and because of the lack of advanced classes, replaced by blended classes. That is all alt to me(at points we have chosen alternative learning environments for our kids, so this is a neutral statement). The people I know who tried to get in over Roosevelt were specifically hoping for a smaller, alternative learning environment, and the people hoping to go to Roosevelt were hoping for a "more traditional high school experience."

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Speaking of feeder patterns...

Wasn't there a feeder pattern tiebreaker for middle school? Was that in effect for 2015-16, or just 2014-15 (when JAMS opened)?

I notice it is not in the doc Melissa linked to this post

- North-end Mom

David said...

RMD and Capacity Wonk are correct that many families are going to be blindsided when they get their new high school assignment in a few years. I can hear the howling and fighting already.

Anonymous said...

A little clarification for the Wilson Pacific site (the one between 99 and I5, around 90th, for people who aren't familiar):

The site will have two buildings although you could call it "three schools".

One building will be Cascadia Elem (yes, crappy name) and have 1-5 HCC cohort currently in long-term temporary situation in Lincoln. That building is scheduled to be a 650 kid elem, and there are more than 650 kids in that school in Lincoln now, so good luck. And does anyone have an elem. school with 100 seats for the rest of the kids? Bueller? (FYI last I heard the elem. is only being designed for 3 portables -)

The second building is named after Robert Eaglestaff. It will house two "schools" in the building: one is supposed to be the K8 Licton Springs (formerly Pinehurst/AS1). Much revamping of the "E shapped" design, at some expense, is being done to house this school separately within what was envisioned as only a large comprehensive middle school.

The remainder of the Eaglestaff building will be used for a comprehensive 6-8. There are many statements from many sources about who will be in that school. It will undoubtedly include some or all of the HCC kids currently in Hamilton, as they will be pushed out b/c the numbers are still growing at HIMS. Since HIMS is the only middle school in the north that cannot locate portables, the only choice when it gets overly crowded is to relocate students either through feeder pattern changes (ie, Laurelhurst elem feed to Eckstein) or moving out HCC.

I suspect the district will decide the spring before it opens whether all the HIMS HCC will be pulled out, with a small geographic attendance area around Eaglestaff, or only part of the HCC kids from HIMS, with a somewhat larger geo zone around Eaglestaff. HCC parents should keep an eye on that issue, because dicing the middle school program into smaller pieces divides up the institutional knowledge and consistency of "curriculum" (ha!).

The site will also have, FYI, the football practice field and sports facilities for Lincoln High school. Yes, the high schoolers at Lincoln will be driving up to the Cascadia/Eaglestaff site just as the elem and MS kids are leaving.

While I have no inside info, logic and experience make me believe the district will put north end HCC high school pathway right back into Lincoln so that they can 1) populate the school quickly ... see HIMS reopening, JAMS, etc; 2) relieve Garfield; and 3) draw a smaller geo zone around Lincoln, thus not angering as many Roosevelt and Ballard area people. So the HCC kids there now might as well choose their lockers for high school too...

-- math counts

Rmd said...

I still think people should fight to keep distance as a tie breaker. If there is room at the school and you are close enough to get there on your own steam then you should be able to go. Why are they eliminating distance as a tie breaker?

Patrick said...

That map shows just the option elementary school at Thornton Creek. Isn't the assignment elementary supposed to be done by 2020?

Lynn said...

HP,

Some might consider Hale an alternative school due to the school's use of 9th grade academies and inclusive rather than separate honors and AP classes.

Anonymous said...

Patrick, there is no assignment elementary planned for that space. That was a plan once upon a time, but the neighborhood protested very hard, and so now the plan is that Thornton Creek will be a huge option school on that site. No plan for the small building it is in now, but a lot of "maybe" plans for it(pre-k, SPED, HCC- basically everything that gets shunted around now).

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Some of AP classes at Hale are blended and some are separate. My kid is in AP Physics, class of 32 students, and a AP Calculus, class of 45 students. There is also AP Environmental Science. Supposedly all juniors are in AP LA but it didn't seem very AP though a lot of kids took the test. AP classes are also offered in Japanese.

Weird, I never thought of Hale as alternative but maybe that is because my kids went to Waldorf for K-8. Hale's appeal was the smaller size and the academies for 9th grade. Seemed like a good way to make friends and have a school within a school. Doesn't Ballard do something similar with academies? Is it alternative? Isn't there a school down south, not Cleveland, that has academies also? Is Roosevelt then the only traditional high school?

HP

Melissa Westbrook said...

Lynn, unfortunately the new webpages don't allow me to check if Hale has AP course (I'd be willing to bet they do) but I do know that AP courses are open to every student at every high school where they are offered. There are a few, like AP Spanish, that yes, do require you have a background in Spanish to enroll.

And, in fact, every sophomore at Roosevelt takes an AP class that year.

Anonymous said...

I think it's putting it all together that makes it alternative. Garfield seems pretty traditional to me, and actually Ingraham, too. I wouldn't call IB that alternative. I don't know the southern end high schools as well. I don't see anything about academies on the Ballard high school site, but that doesn't mean it's not there. I see the Ballard 9th grade typical schedule options as honors/not honors options, and other pretty standard choices.

I imagine most SPS high school options would seem pretty traditional compared to a Waldorf school, and I also think Roosevelt is very traditional, on the traditional ---> alternative spectrum. But no, not the only traditional school.

Anonymous said...

I think it's putting it all together that makes it alternative. Garfield seems pretty traditional to me, and actually Ingraham, too. I wouldn't call IB that alternative. I don't know the southern end high schools as well. I don't see anything about academies on the Ballard high school site, but that doesn't mean it's not there. I see the Ballard 9th grade typical schedule options as honors/not honors options, and other pretty standard choices.

I imagine most SPS high school options would seem pretty traditional compared to a Waldorf school, and I also think Roosevelt is very traditional, on the traditional ---> alternative spectrum. But no, not the only traditional school.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

We looked at Shorecrest vs Hale and didn't really see any difference except one was closer and walkable. Yes, Hale has AP classes. Not as many as Garfield but I suspect they will be adding more given the overcrowded situation in the AP classes this year. Running Start is very popular at Hale too. Hale seems more traditional than my college prep school I went to for high school. IB, I would consider alternative in the US.

Anyway, it doesn't look like the borders for high schools have been studied yet.

HP

Anonymous said...

@Patrick

The new building at the Thornton Creek site was originally planned to be a new attendance area/assignment school. Due to pressure from those living near the Decatur/Thornton Creek site, it was decided that Cedar Park would open as an assignment school in 2017, instead of opening an attendance area school in the new Thornton Creek building.

The Cedar Park building is very, very, small, it does not have a library, and it is landmarked. To make up the loss of assignment seats that would have been at Decatur/Thornton Creek, SPS set a targeted enrollment of 400 for Cedar Park, and dropped 8 portables there. The highest poverty areas of the John Rogers and Olympic Hills attendance areas will be re-assigned to Cedar Park when it opens as an attendance area school in 2017.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Wilson Pacific:

There are two separate buildings on opposite ends of the 18 acres. The architects, Mahlum, did a TERRIBLE job laying out the buildings. They sprawl and create wasted courtyard space that no child will be allowed to play in because it will creaate noise for the classes in session, or, will break windows if the soccer ball goes astray. The community pushed back, but, they were absolutely resolute and not sympathetic to the security and management challenges the site posed (2000 students, local crime, security concerns, managing student safety with no budget for recess supervision, etc).

On the west edge, there is a comprehensive middle school, recently named Eaglestaff. Initially, staff's plan was to switch APP/HCC out of Hamilton (because there will be no room at Hamilton for a non-geographic kids because Wallingford is so FULL of kids), and split APP between 2 new schools: JAMS and Eaglestaff. That plan created the minimum of disruption to all other neighborhoods *and* preserved program service integrity. Common sense. So, enter Director Peaslee. She insisted staff create a plan where the neighborhood schools were pushed out of their traditional neighborhood feeding patterns. That was totally nutty, and done without community input or prodding, and universally was enraging, so staff scrambled to make a 3rd plan which pretended that Hamilton *might* have some APP, but that the rest would land at Eaglestaff. This is nested and hidden in a table, staff can switch all APP out of Hamilton to Eaglestaff, which is what will happen, just like staff originally did during growth boundaries, because Hamilton is once about far beyond capacity, and, the grades coming into it are even larger. Except now, no one is talking about it, so people will be caught off guard when it happens, and therefore upset. Eaglestaff is also the assigned comprehensive middle school to students who live in the attendance areas of Broadview Thompson k-8 (that is an assignment k5 but an optional 6-8), Northgate, Olympic View, and Bagely. Again, this feeder pattern is already locked in by the Board. And, at the last minute, Pinehurst lost their building due to Hazel Wolf taking it and pushing them out because they rejected Cedar Park as too small (it was awful listening to them say how Pinehurst were not wanted and that was confirmed by a vote by their BLT). So, Eaglestaff, which was always programmed to house the Indian Heritage middle school program (which at the time had zero students enrolled), at then last minute, got pushed in Pinehurst, got them too. BUT Pinehurst is now no longer a school, it is a program, and as such, it can be sited anywhere without Board approval. It has about 100 kids in it now, it has not grown, it has shrunk. The program is now called Licton Springs, and they are very excited to be a K8 inside of a 1,000 seat comprehensive middle school. But, realistically, time will tell if there will be enough elementary school parents willing to send their kids to a school with 1000+ students, 900 of who are middle schoolers, on a campus of 2,000. Plus, there seems to be a blank check to outfit Eaglestaff for elementary kids, which is upsetting as there is no auditorium, because there was no money for that 'extra' (which is not an extra!), yet there is no budget limit to all the changes they are making for this. Nobody is reigning this in. Scope creep like crazy. All on the down low.

Facilities Planning

Anonymous said...

Wilson Pacific con't

The other school at Wilson Pacific is an elementary school, Cascadia, on the eastern edge. Cascadia already exists, there are 750 kids who have been parked in Lincoln for 6 years, who have had to wait longer for their building than any other school community ever. They will all fit, despite the chatter, with some portables. Just like every other elementary in the north, they will have portables. So what. All elementaries have had capacity challenges that they suck up. Schools have cannibalized their music rooms, art rooms, etc. Not ideal. But, Cascadia will be no different. Anyone who says you can't fit 800 students into a building built for 660 fails to understand that the 660 is just a imaginary load and doesn't count pull out spaces or even fully loading a class from 26 to 30 or 31 (which is mostly due to budget for FTE teachers, not due to lack of homerooms, by the way). Think of it this way, 28 homerooms x 5 extra students per room yields 140 students fit into existing rooms.

Cascadia moving into Cascadia will free up the Lincoln building to become a high school and will save all other families from dreaded boundary redraws, which split siblings, cleave neighborhoods, and cause major angst. Like a unicorn, Dr. Herndon has magical thinking that says you can just split off small chunks and insert them where ever. Putting 90 kids in anywhere would trigger a boundary redraw. And any boundary redraw would trigger a neighboring boundary redraw. Boundaries would all fall down like dominoes. And this district does not have the bandwidth to do growth boundaries 2.0. Besides, you can't just insert 90 HCC students into any other buildings, because there is no space in any other building.

Just hope that they finish Eaglestaff and Cascadia on time.


Facilities Planning

Patrick said...

Thanks, Sleeper and North End Mom, for straightening me out regarding Thornton Creek.

Anonymous said...


The 'left over building' at Thornton Creek can only hold 194. It won't be able to take portables because of the new building on the same site. It was originally proposed to be turn down. Swear! The district 'promised' they would. Then, they made it vague, like, they weren't sure. Then they said they are not going to (Duh! bait an switch, again)... They were planning to put in a preschool there, which would not mess up the large school that will be there. The building is in very poor condition. The bathroom is gross. It should be held as an 'emergency site' only, in case some other school gets burnt down. Like Coe experienced. Because Marshall building will be holding Loyal Heights and Lincoln is full and will be a high school. There will be no other space at all anywhere. The district needs to lease space. It has come to that.


The distance tie breaker. Originally, from the old Student Assignment Plan. Made sense in the old plan. Then comes along the New Student Assignment Plan, and magically, everyone was suppose to fit into their assignment school. Ha-ha. Whoops. The NSAP orignially had the distance tie breaker sunsetting, and finally altogether gone. Then, along comes Peaslee. She wants it brought back. Dr. Libros couldn't take it. She retired. Anyway, they resserect it. Bravo. Then they realize that is a mistake to resserect it. But too late, because they already agreed to do it. And on top of that, staff failed to implement, or reimplement it, properly. Whoops. Again. Anybody suprised?

So, it exists, but, it was only going to be temporary. So, even if they did do it correctly for this round, next September it was suppose to get gone. Again.

They decided they made a mistake in bringing this back when the intent and the mechanics of the NSAP was the exact opposite, because the Board realized (eventually) that the entire thrust of the NSAP was to eliminate buses. The NSAP's purpose was to incentize everyone to go to their neighbourhood schools so that the number of buses got cut way down, because Olympia was breathing down their neck due to 'school choice' creating a too many buses (Preschool, Special Ed, ELL, Gifted, and, Homeless student buses are covered under a different budget, those were not the problem!)

And, from an equity point of view, why should not a student who wants Nova or a Language Immersion school be as entitled to a shot at it as a student who lives close but not in the geozone?


Really, not sure if this is entertaining or some kind of candid camera prank.


SPS Follies

Anonymous said...

Just coming into this thread late. Is it right to assume that the entire Middle School cohorts are going to feed into a single high school and not split , such as Wedgwood does now between Hale and Roosevelt.

--Wedgie Dad

Melissa Westbrook said...

Wedgie Dad, I would say that is unclear at this point but I think the district would have the good grace NOT to split communities. But honestly, who knows?

Lynn said...

Wedgie Dad,

There is no reason to assume staff have begun discussions of high school boundaries.

Anonymous said...

@ Wedgie Dad, I don't think it's safe to assume anything. If you can imagine it, it might happen.

HF

Anonymous said...

@ Facilities Planning, you said "... staff can switch all APP out of Hamilton to Eaglestaff, which is what will happen, just like staff originally did during growth boundaries, because Hamilton is once about far beyond capacity, and, the grades coming into it are even larger."

Yes, the incoming grades are larger, but they are also heavily HCC. Even after Eagle Staff opens, there's not going to be enough excess capacity for schools to be anything other than full. It seems like pulling all of HCC out of Hamilton would leave HIMS underpopulated, since it's currently about half HCC. If you yank 550 kids and send them to Eagle Staff, wouldn't HIMS have excess capacity for a few years (unless the district relocates something else there)? It also means there wouldn't be much room for neighborhood kids in the new Eagle Staff building, and I thought SPS promised the neighborhood access during the approval process (for whatever that's worth). The HCC NW middle school cohort (or whatever they're calling it) will probably be 600-700 by then. A split seems more likely to me.

Anonymous said...

What makes you think the district considers "communities" that need to be kept intact in their decisions making? They don't give a rat's patootie. Have you all hit your heads or something? We are talking about SPS, aren't we? If history tells us anything, it is they will do what they want. Period.
-LivingonEARTH

Melissa Westbrook said...

Two things:

- Please, it IS Eagle Staff (two words). This was made known to the district's by Eagle Staff's family.

- Living on EARTH (and everyone else) - You need to heed the teachers strike. No, not what the teachers did but what the PARENTS did. They organized in every single corner of this city. That means that it IS possible for parents to organize.

Parents, you raise a lot of money for this district. You work to support school levies. Flex - that - muscle with the district. Rise up in numbers and you will be surprised at what you can get.

But it rarely happens but that doesn't mean it can't happen.

Joe Wolf said...

Response to high school boundary conversation.

The Growth Boundaries work was for current and future schools with some combination of Grades K through 8 only. it explicitly did not include high schools.

Here is a link to the current high school attendance boundary map.

http://sps.ss8.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/Enrollment%20Planning/Maps/boundarymaps/pdfs/SD_HS.pdf

Obviously, the opening of Lincoln (1.600 seats) and (if placed in a levy by the Board and funding approved by the electorate) a 500-seat addition at Ingraham and a 1,600-seat comprehensive high school on the SPS property at Seattle Center wlll result in significant revision to the current boundaries.

NW mom said...

Joe, can you elaborate on the high school at the Seattle Center? Is the plan to do like they did in New Jersey (or wherever that was) that you mentioned a few months back, where they kept the stadium and built a school right next to it?

Thanks! I appreciate it when you post here.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Joe, c'mon, when is that high school at Seattle Center going to happen (and with what money)?

Joe Wolf said...

Response to NW Mom and Melissa re. Seattle Center high school.

Melissa: I'm confused. You stated to me - explicitly, and not long ago - that you were behind this proposal 100%.

In any event the seats are needed starting in 2021 or so (based on Enrollment Planning's #s; it goes w/o saying they could be used earlier than that). So this most likely will be a part of the BEX V program.

To all: The general setup would be something like Union City (NJ) High School. SPS has a bigger site - 9+ acres, compared to about 4 1/2 for UCHS - and our comprehensive high schools are about 225,000 SF compared to about 350,000 SF at UCHS. That means more layout and design flexibility, at a minimum.

I took a bunch of photos ... for now, here's a good aerial shot of UCHS.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joebehr/21849443405/

Anonymous said...

I think that UCHS is an amazing utilization of a small space.

I'd love to see this actually happen ... and it would solve what Melissa has ID'd as the biggest driver of high school enrollment issues ... no HS for QA/Magnolia.

northwesterner

Melissa Westbrook said...

I didn't say I was against it; I said where's the money and the will? Not so apparent.

Anonymous said...

@ Joe, are you suggesting Enrollment Planning has finally updated the HS projections? Or is your comment based on old projections? I've been trying to get a copy of the supposedly annually-updated 5-yr projections for over a year now, with no luck. Maybe you can post a link?

HIMSmom

Joe Wolf said...

The updated 5-year forecast is available from Enrollment Planning. Ashley Davies (the new Director) or Jay Freistadt can provide it for you.

I would rather folks contact them directly for data they develop.

Anonymous said...

The 5 year forecast should be available on the website.

HP

Joe Wolf said...

Photo album: Union City NJ High School. See last Friday's Memo to the Board for Flip's narrative on our visit and takeaways.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/joebehr/albums/72157659353417341

Joe Wolf said...

SPS Enrollment History & Forecast 2004-2020:

http://bta.seattleschools.org/assets/Uploads/documents/SPS-2020-Projections-Mar-2015.pdf

Anonymous said...

@ Joe Wolf

Are their any new projections by middle school service area, broken down by grade level? The District-wide projection, while it shows continued growth, is not very informative, since growth tends to be uneven.

Thanks.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Yikes! There, not their!

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@ Joe, thanks, but FYI, contacting Enrollment Planning for those updated 5-yr projections has proved an exercise in futility. If you say the data are available now though, I'll give it another shot. Maybe fifth time's a charm?

HIMSmom

Lynn said...

HIMSmom,

Have you made a public records request? I'd try that.

Anonymous said...

No, they kept saying the projections are not ready, and that they'll be available soon. I didn't figure it was worth requesting them if they didn't have them yet. But maybe they have them now.

Surprisingly, at one point they were somewhat apologetic and tried to explain how "complicated" it all is, because there are so many factors and assumptions that go into the projections (e.g., boundary changes, new school sites, program enrollment growth). I pointed out that developing updated projections would seem to be an essential step in actually making those important decisions over the next few years. Isn't that the point of the enrollment projections?

HIMSmom

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