Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Seattle Schools Levy Results

Operations levy  71.07% Yes

BTA IV levy  70.97 Yes
 
After listening to a painful discussion at a meeting at Cedar Park about race and equity regarding Olympic Hills and who ends up at what school, I tweeted out that I regretted my yes votes on the levies.



Naturally, I understand the need.  But what I witnessed tonight was a reminder of a district that listens but does not want to hear.  A district that talks engagement when they mean "we'll show up to a meeting. Done and done."  A district that hires people who sure can say a whole lot of nothing and never clearly answer a question. 

Bottom line, Cedar Park will be full on day one with mostly non-white and low-income students and Olympic Hills, after its nearly $42M remodel with new boundaries, will be more white and less than half (!) the building will be full.  More than half of Cedar Park's kids will be in portables from third grade on.

As a taxpayer, I resent my levy dollars going for a building that will be half-full for, how many years?  Well, the district just can't say but won't deny it will be half-full.

I suspect there is some other shoe to drop there but, per district protocol, mum's the word.


62 comments:

Mark Ahlness said...

Well said Melissa, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for coming out to the Cedar Park boundaries meeting, Melissa. Olympic Hills put on a great meeting.

FYI. The Mayor will be having a press event tomorrow in Lake City.

As part of the new Office of Planning and Community Development, the Mayor and Councilmember Juarez will hold a press event in Lake City tomorrow at 11:00am. They will be joined by many department directors to highlight their support for coordinated planning and community development in Lake City this year.

The event will be at the location for the new park on 33rd Ave NE, just north of NE 125th Street.

- North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Ok, then my new guess is that they intend to put part of hcc at Oly hills(probably disqualifying them from federal funds by diluting the frl percentage) and city preschool at Decatur. So slimy.

Oly hills should stay at Oly hills, hcc should go to Decatur, and the city can have their preschool at cedar park. Or not at all and we can make a tiny social justice option high school, because what we really need is high school seats, in the north end. Any more high school seats.

-sleeper

Lynn said...

I think your prediction is correct sleeper. It was the original staff suggestion during the growth boundaries process. What is their goal in placing HCC there? They wanted an early learning center (massive preschool) at Decatur. They must be holding out hope for board approval of more preschool locations.

Anonymous said...

Put HCC at shiny new Oly Hills while the browns and blacks and poor are shunted to portables at Cedar Park and see HCC in its current delivery model implode once and for all. And no I'm not talking about the merits of HCC or the students and families in HCC. I'm talking about the political reality of optics. Those optics suck a big fat lemon. City's Race and Equity Department can fill in the SPS downtown crowd if they somehow can't figure it out. Abort plan. Fix it before it's the next front page embarrassment for SPS.

SOS

Melissa Westbrook said...

I want to emphasis that the teachers at OH (mostly white) and many, many OH parents - across the spectrum - are against this, from all angles.

There was one student who said his cousins were with him at OH and they would all be split up.

A Head Start teacher asked what would happen to families who had to go to different schools. (It was stated maybe they would have a "geo-split" for that which doesn't make a lot of sense to me.)

SOS has it right - someone better get out in front of this. Our schools are already segregated - why would the district want to make it worse?

Anonymous said...

This will just put Oly Hills on those awards lists for "most growth," along with other gentrifying or new schools. Sps has always managed the optics south of the cut when they have done this. I don't like this but doubt they will have trouble with that aspect when they never have before. I am mostly disgruntled that the entire region appears to be moving around the city wanting preschool. I am frustrated to be aware that sps will probably allow a story to be spun about racist/entitled hcc families so they can get their city preschool capacity.

I don't think hcc elementary should co-locate. Elementary is classroom based, so the program ends up completely separate from the co located school, and just creates dueling enrollment pressure along with culture clash. If it has to in the capacity crisis, fine, we all have to deal with what we have. But not if doing so creates extra problems.

Sleeper

Anonymous said...

I don't see how they could put a preschool at Cedar Park. The 8 portables don't have plumbing or sinks. Aren't sinks required in a preschool classrooms? Ideally, you would have sinks in an elementary school classroom (for washing hands, doing art, science, etc..), but it seems that they can get away without them in portables, because they aren't meant to be permanent. Unfortunately, the the Cedar Park portables aren't really portables. They are "modular" classrooms, on permanent foundations.

Improvements to the Cedar Park building, including putting sinks in the modulars, were nominated for BTAIV, but didn't make the project list.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Adding sinks is just the kind of project that gets pushed through during these capacity fire drills. Or they could have the city pay for it.

-sleeper

NW mom said...

I voted no on the Levys for the first time, in all my 30 years of voting. It's BS like this that made me do it.

Anonymous said...

Someones -multiple- need to get in front of Murray at the meet n greet tomorrow at 11 as mentioned above. Can't emphasize this enough.

Tell him and his staff what is going on with Cedar Park and Olympic Hills as proposed by JSCEE. He always has staff taking notes at these events. Point out that school and families against this. Point out as SOS bluntly says "the optics" and "the political reality". Ask him to follow up directly with you. Supply email address for follow up. Those of us who have rallied through a decade of SPS shenanigans now know how this goes. Political pressure or media shame necessary to move the immovable JSCEE planners.

DistrictWatcher

Anonymous said...

@ sleeper

They would also have to re-do the bathrooms if they put a preschool at Cedar Park. I've heard that most of the urinals are not kiddie-sized, so the little ones have to aim high...

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Why not use this "Exhibit A" as a means of advocating for more equity district-wide?
The district has been highly segregated for quite some time and the issue hasn't raised a ruckus on this blog in any meaningful way.

The whole "optics" approach makes it sound like some are actually concerned that if the real truth is daylighted in such an obvious manner, ie how privileged people in this district are getting an unfair advantage, then what is benefitting the beholder risks being lost.

Thou dost protest too much on fear of being exposed--rather than being concerned about the deeper issue of how neighborhood schools have created segregated schools of haves and have nots.

If the truth isn't so obvious, you can keep going on with business as usual. Self interest at any cost under the guise of being so concerned.

--about time

Lynn said...

enough already. How are you adding to this conversation?

Charlie Mas said...

@about time, there was never any question that neighborhood schools in a segregated city creates segregated schools. This was known at the time that the District decided to switch to a neighborhood assignment protocol.

Your criticism of the blog, that it hasn't discussed this fact to your satisfaction, is noted. I hope that you will continue to raise the issue and raise awareness of the issue at every opportunity.

Anonymous said...

I see this as 'the other shoe'.
The district took away school choice for low income and working class people, when they took away transport for schools outside of their neighborhood.
Force students that tend to have lower test scores into one school and voila!, more Title 1 funds for the district.
If their is equal distribution of good test takers who gets Title1 money ?
Nobody?


Dead Horse

Anonymous said...

The decision to open Cedar Park as an assignment school came late in Growth Boundaries planning, and made about as much sense then as it does now. SPS was already planning to add about 400 new seats at the Olympic Hills building. The Cedar Park and Olympic Hills sites are only about a mile apart. While there has been enrollment growth at local schools, adding another theoretical 400 seats to Cedar Park at the same time the new seats were due to come online at Olympic Hills was over-kill.

The original plan had a 660-seat assignment/neighborhood school at Thornton Creek, which would have spread the new capacity out over more of the NE.

-North-end Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

North-end Mom, yes, your point was made last night when it was pointed out that Cedar Park would open, packed to the gills at 356 (and maybe climb to 400). A parent said that obviously they believe there is little growth in that area and the enrollment person agreed. And yet, OH will open half-full. Is there growth to support two schools in that area or not?

Don't forget that John Rogers will also lose students for a very carefully built-up ELL program at their school. OH was designed, by the building design team, for the ELL program.

Anonymous said...

Can OH be filled, and CP used for HCC?

Kitty

Anonymous said...

Yes, the John Rogers BLT worked with Tracy Libros to bring ELL services to John Rogers, because the school had children and families who needed those services. The first ELL staff arrived at John Rogers mid-year of 2013-14 (after the School Board approved Growth Boundaries). John Rogers ELL population and staffing has grown significantly since then. The majority of ELL students at John Rogers live within what will become the Cedar Park attendance area.

The Cedar Park attendance area encompasses the Lake City Hub Urban Village, along both sides of Lake City Way, where old structures are being torn down and rebuilt with much larger, denser housing, including housing designated for low-income families. This area has one of the fastest-growing immigrant populations in Seattle.

There will be no way to accommodate any "unexpected" enrollment growth at Cedar Park. The site is landmarked, which prohibits alterations to the building's exterior, and is already maxed out with portables. It is much more suitable for a program with a capped enrollment, such as an option school, than it is for an assignment school, which under the NSAP, cannot turn away residents of the attendance area.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

My kids all went to preschools with only regular sized toilets. I think it should be a tiny high school, because we should be stuffing high school seats wherever we can find them. It's a bit close to nathan hale, which is already pretty alternative and social justice focused. Maybe environmental science, with NOAA so close.

If the city is going to take over seats for preschool, they should take only the least desirable buildings, and from your descriptions you don't think it's appropriate for elementary.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

@sleeper

In a feasibility study performed during BEX planning in 2012, Cedar Park was found to be suitable as an interim elementary school site.

I don't know if Cedar Park was ever formally evaluated for use as a permanent elementary school, or for any other purpose (high school, etc...). From the 2012 feasibility study:

"Existing support spaces (administration, gymnasium, dining/auditorium) do not meet School District standards. As an interim site this may be adequate for short terms,

The existing school does not include a library. An additional portable classroom is recommended to be used as a library"

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Isn't Thorton Creek getting a shiny new building that will be half empty? Put NE HCC there. Thorton Creek will hate it, but at least the demographics will be the same. They both pull heavily from the same set of neighborhood schools, right?

NE Mom

Anonymous said...

Without knowing anything about this particular situation, it sounds like what has become a typical Seattle modus operandi - right hand does not know what left hand is doing. Add more housing, which is sorely needed, but don't make sure there is adequate school space for the children that will come with that housing. It's happening all over Seattle - in rich and poor neighborhoods. Most reasonable large cities have impact fees to cover such situations - so that development chips in for schools, roads, etc. Not lovely Seattle. What a dysfunctional mess the whole city/school management has become.

I don't disagree with District Watcher, but I have zero faith the mayor can/will do anything that doesn't make his true constituency happy - and it isn't low income families in Lake City.

Sigh..yes, I have become jaded of late..

reader47

kellie said...

I have blogged about this many times ... IMHO, the situation at Cedar Park is the worst thing this district has done in the name of capacity management. Considering all of the tragic capacity management poor choices over the last decade, that should be shocking and it is.

The BEX IV levy needed to solve the capacity problems CREATED by closing schools that never needed to be closed. As such the same people who closed schools were terrified of over-building.

There were a number of known bad compromises in BEX IV that were promised to be addressed in BTA IV. However, as expected NOT ONE of those were addressed in BTA IV because the institutional memory had moved on. Flip Herdon was hired after BEX IV and not ONE community submitted request to have any of these promised honored was included in BTA IV.

BTA IV will no NOTHING to help capacity problems. It is simply more band aids.

For example, IB programs are MORE EXPENSIVE to run than typical high school programs precisely because the International part of IB has an international standard and it requires extra staff to manage. There is NO MONEY in this BTA to cover that extra funds. So build 500 seats for high school IB but don't include the money to run IB.



Melissa Westbrook said...

"Can OH be filled, and CP used for HCC?"

Well, considering we don't actually know why OH will be so empty, hard to say. But CP should be almost anything else but an elementary. A small option school (Montessori), pre-K, you name it.

That's why this is bullshit because Herndon stood mutely last night, not disagreeing with one single point made (including the numbers of students in each school) and yet not explaining any of it.

I am debating whether to go to the Mayor's event.

kellie said...

Cedar Park was pushed into the BEX IV plan AFTER BEX IV was packaged and sent to the voters. It never got the same daylight as other capacity decisions and three years later, it is still not getting the daylight it deserves.

This is an issue that truly deserves some daylight. SPS is INTENTIONALLY creating one the highest FRL schools and placing that community in a KNOWN substandard facility.

It was pushed in ONLY because there was no way to implement BEX without it. It should have been promised to Pinehurst as it would have been an ideal location for their intentionally small program but ...that has passed.

As an aside this is one of those issues that FACMAC kept trying to daylight.

Anonymous said...

Ne mom, no, tc will not be half empty. Tc is currently a 3-up, and is supposed to roll up to a 4-up(which is what the building was made for), probably within 2 years at most. 5 classrooms empty(maybe, or maybe 4) the furst year, full the following or 3rd year at the very latest. It's such a crowded area, and peoplr love that program. If anything was put there, it would need to be something with declining enrollment. I could see them adding a sped pathway that rolls up and out maybe. You may not know this but tc did not want this new building. Tc wanted to remain small, which works better with their pedagogy. But the neighborhood refused an attendance area school on that site, so the district told tc they would be growing. They have since tried to embrace the change, but honestly of all the option schools I find tc to have the most empathy for the larger capacity situation.

Last year at community meetings and pta meetings sherry Carr said she thought HCC was going to be split off to the decatur, after oly hills said no. Then the district started talking about reducing appeals and that talk abruptly stopped. Now nothing has changed with appeals and we are back to the way back staff plan

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

I think they could be planning to put preschool classrooms at John Rogers.

They will be cutting enrollment at John Rogers by about 150 kids via the planned geo-split in 2017, and there has been no explanation for why they have to do such a dramatic enrollment cut.

At the John Rogers community meeting last week, Flip Herndon said there were no plans that he was aware of to move the newer portables from John Rogers after the geo-split (which gave us hope that maybe there could be grandfathering after all). There are two kindergarten classrooms at John Rogers that have their own bathrooms (a luxury these days!). Could they be looking to turn those kindergarten classrooms, and maybe even more classrooms at John Rogers, into preschool classrooms??? How are preschool plans revealed, and is there any opportunity for community input?

not cool

Anonymous said...

HCC has less stable enrollment than either an option school (best) or a neighborhood school (better). It can't go somrwhere with a hard cap that doesn't allow for portables (ask HIMS if you don't believe me).

-sleeper

kellie said...

At the beginning of the last boundary conversations, Sharon Peaslee wanted to split HCC and put half at OH and half at WP and then have the boundaries drawn to support that.

I testified early in the process that this was a terrible idea for many reasons,

1) Lake City was already over capacity and the NE desperately needed to export students, not keep them closer to home.

2) OH was being intentionally designed to support the neighborhood population and was already scheduled to be full on day ONE. (aka there was a health center and family support workers built into the plan)

CP being used for HCC was something that was brought up frequently during that conversation and the official answer was ... we do NOT have stand-alone HCC sites.

The bottom line is that the boundary plan does not match the growth patterns and the boundaries for the entire north end need to be re-visited to reflect the demographic reality.

Lynn said...

Cascadia will be (and has been) a stand-alone HCC site. I don't see any benefit to a program from sharing a site with HCC. What can staff be thinking?

kellie said...

The mythology of space at TC is compelling but the reality is not there.

The old Decatur building was 11 homerooms and the building is was scheduled to be demolished, twice. The capacity for the site came from all the portables that are being replaced with the new building.

At best the site would make sense to be used as a developmental preschool site.

Anonymous said...

At last night's meeting, both Flip and Ashley insisted that race could not be used to determine boundaries, but that they could use other factors, like ELL and FRL.

There is absolutely no evidence that they took the area's demographics into account when they drew the boundary changes for 2017.

There was public testimony concerning Cedar Park demographics, during school board and regional community meetings, emails sent to growthboundaries@, and comments made during the "Walk the Boundaries" project.

Between now and April, SPS staff is tasked with researching data around the boundaries, and collecting public input. They are planning to have additional meetings in late April/May, to present their findings, with any changes presented at community meetings in the fall and up for school board approval in November.

It is highly-frustrating that this plan has been in place for almost 3 years and they are just now looking at the data. To their credit, demographics and other factors have probably changed since 2013. For instance, ELL kids were not assigned to John Rogers or Sacajawea (neighborhood schools) back when Growth Boundaries was being planned. They were assigned to Hazel Wolf/Jane Addams K-8, an option school, and, as such, they were kind of out-of-sight, out-of-mind during Growth Boundaries planning. In October 2013, John Rogers had an official ELL population of zero. It now has about 70 ELL students.

As Kellie mentioned, there is no institutional memory around the early planning for BEXIV. I don't think there was even a demographer on staff during much of the planning. Growth Boundaries deteriorated into a last minute shuffle to accommodate the loudest voices in the district, and the chaotic aftermath resulting from last minute changes to the plan and last minute amendments that were submitted, whether they were approved, rejected, or withdrawn, is becoming apparent now as we get closer to 2017.

I can only hope that current SPS staff will stick to their task of making some sense of all this.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Kellie,

Do you know if the portables can be retained, temporarily, at Decatur? John Rogers is in dire need of a building replacement, and, since it was left off of BEXIV and BTAIV, the next possible funding cycle would be BEXV, with construction possible in the early 2020s. One of the points brought up by the John Rogers community is that is doesn't make sense to make such a dramatic cut in enrollment at John Rogers in 2017, if there are future plans to rebuild (and expand) the facilities a few years later. They would probably need to find an interim site for John Rogers during its construction. I was wondering if the Decatur building could be used as an interim site for John Rogers (with the portables).

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

I believe the space is considered at capacity by zoning ordinances(without portables) and the surrounding community is fairly vicious about enforcement. I have logged a lot of parent years at tc and am very aware of the space. It could not take half of HCC, but it could take some, and perhaps sps could get one portable, placed on an interim basis, if enrollment dictated, ala the Laurelhurst fight. But i doubt it could fit all of john rogers, even if shrunk a bit. What about john marshall for an interim site? How sure are we of the john rogers renovation timeline? Where is it on the facilities ranking?

-sleeper

Melissa Westbrook said...

Sleeper, that's quite the question. Where is ANYTHING on the timeline?

There are many schools that should have been on BEX but because the powers that be pushed other schools ahead or capacity issues rose up, that didn't happen. Staff does care about the buildings at the top of the list but often, T&L gets to muscle in.

I sometimes wonder if Facilities got to manage itself, how the decisions might be different.

Lynn said...

I forgot about John Marshall. So in a few years, we'll have Decatur, Roxhill, Schmitz Park and (hopefully) Cedar Park sitting empty. They are also reopening Webster and Magnolia. There will be more boundary decisions to come.

The big question is of course - where are all the high school students going to be sitting for the next few years? Ingraham's 500 new seats will have to be taken into account when redrawing north end boundaries. They can't count on those as option seats.

Anonymous said...

Queen Anne Elementary is moving into John Marshall in 2 years.
QA Mama

Robyn said...

Kellie,

Is it possible the district knows the k-8 will take up very needed space at WilPac middle school and plans on putting the k-8 in the 1/2 empty OH building? They obviously know what they are planning. This is why I voted no on the levy. With transparency, parents can give positive input instead of last minute fights.

I agree SOS, if they put HCC into the new building, things look really, really bad. Put HCC in the old, crappy building. It makes so much sense that the District had to have thought of that, but has other reasons.

Anonymous said...

Instead of deciding which program "deserves" a nice building and which one need to be punished with a crappy building, we need to put programs in buildings where they fit. If a building is too crappy or unsuited to be an elementary school, it is too crappy to be an elementary school.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Lynn, I completely agree with you about what the big question is. Comprehensive high schools take half a decade to bring online, and need swaths of space the district doesn't have. We need more seats, so we need to start thinking creatively about how to use our smaller spaces. Option high schools do not have to cost money. They just need to have an enticing program. Maybe an outdoor focused school. Maybe a tech focused high school. Something that would actually convince people to give up their seat at their neighborhood comprehensive.

-sleeper

kellie said...

@ Robyn,

I sincerely doubt there are any plans regarding moving the K8 in the Will PAC middle school. It was a horrifically bad idea but ... that ship has sailed and the Eaglestaff K8 is more in place in that building than a middle school will ever be. The design has creeped and the K8 has spread over much more space than originally planned.

Plus once again ... the projections say that there is plenty of middle school space.

The bottom line is the same ... over and over again. The only thing that solves a capacity problem is more capacity. All of this shuffling the deck chairs helps a wee bit with utilization but we simply don't have enough capacity for elementary, middle, high school, option schools, sped, pre-school ...

Greenwoody said...

If there are any SPS buildings sitting empty for any period of time, they will become ripe targets for being turned over to charter schools.

I continue to believe that is one driver behind the seemingly bizarre decisions being made here.

Anonymous said...

" neighborhood schools in a segregated city creates segregated schools."

Dude your stoned again! Seattle is nothing close to segregated. Get off you horse!


PC sucks

Anonymous said...

De facto segregation versus de jure segregation. Still segregation.

NE Mom

Anonymous said...

@sleeper

You asked: "How sure are we of the john rogers renovation timeline? Where is it on the facilities ranking?"

Short answer, nothing is ever certain regarding a John Rogers rebuild. It has been nominated, but left off of BEXIII, BEXIV, and BTAIV. They were so sure it was going to make it on BEXIV that no John Rogers building repairs were approved for BTAIII. Maintenance guys have been telling school staff for at least the past decade that they won't be doing any major repairs, because the District plans to tear down and rebuild John Rogers.

At the John Rogers community meeting last week, Flip Herndon told us that the John Rogers building met the criteria for a building replacement, namely, poor building condition and over-enrollment, but he did not say when or how it would be funded. In 2014, the building carried about $8.7M of deferred maintenance, and the school has grown by over 140 students since 2011-12.

As far as priority, in the facilities report used for BTAIV planning (released last summer), John Rogers ranked as the 5th worst building in SPS inventory of buildings needing extensive modernization or replacement:

#1 Alki
#2 Magnolia (closed) (selected for BTAIV)
#3 Columbia Annex (closed)
#4 Whitman
#5 John Rogers

Other projects chosen for BTAIV:
#9 North Queen Anne (CPPP)
#11 E. C. Hughes (Roxhill, which is proposed to go to Hughes, came in at #13)

The full list, ranked by priority, starts on page 9 of this document:
http://bta.seattleschools.org/assets/Uploads/documents/20150701-2016LeviesReport.pdf


-North-end Mom

Lynn said...

That is the list by building condition but not replacement priority. Staff had prioritized rebuilding Mercer or Washington if a larger BTA-IV levy had been authorized.

How many kids are at John Rogers? Could they fit into Cedar Park?

Anonymous said...

Lynn,

The title of the table where the data I posted came from is: "School Major Modernization or Replacement Assessment (Sorted by Priority)." It begins on page 9 of the 2016 Levies Report. If you have a link to a different prioritization list, please share. Thank you.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

According to the January 2016 P223 report, John Rogers' enrollment is 381 students. It is projected to be at 420 for 2016-17 (according to the 5-year projections that came out in October). It is possible that it won't grow as much as projected, due to the planned geo-split in 2017. I would think families would try to avoid that situation, if possible.

John Rogers would be a very tight fit at Cedar Park (Olympic Hills is tight in there now at 300). It might be doable with limited or no library space or PCP space (other than the gym and stage). If the JR attendance area is somewhat reduced, there is a chance that John Rogers could hang out at Cedar Park for a short time...I'm not sure it will hold out until potential BEXV funding rolls in. I am pretty sure that lot coverage at Cedar Park is maxed out, so expansion by adding more portables is likely not to be possible.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

It is prioritized according to the shape the facilities are in, but not according to what we need for capacity at different grade bands. I am glad that the addition at Ingraham(and Lincoln) was prioritized over whatever it jumped the line for. It does sound like John Rogers is on the list for very soon (which is probably still 2020 at the earliest, so not a time when interim space is spoken for), but we also have plenty of interim space coming online. Too much elementary space, honestly, when compared to the need at high school and to a lesser degree middle school. The surplus elementary space needs to be converted to high school space, or high school remodels need to jump the line. Overcrowding certainly does make a building strain, so decreased enrollment, if it happens, would help until the next BEX cycle. TC is about 375 kids right now(with a relatively large SPED program- 61 kids), and it is not particularly workable with the core facilities of the building, but a smaller program could work more easily.

-sleeper

Anonymous said...

Is there a list that prioritizes buildings both by building condition and capacity needs? Or even just by capacity needs? However, since the decision was made to make Cedar Park an assignment school, and the plan for John Rogers is apparently to split it by geo-split into Cedar Park, as opposed to accommodating its growth with a larger building, then it probably didn't score very high as a capacity priority.

-North-end Mom

Lynn said...

I don't know if there is a list. I just remember seeing that they had prioritized rebuilding either Mercer or Washington if the money were available.

Anonymous said...

This, and nearly everything else I have observed as a parent over the past 18 years influenced me to vote no on both levies. Though I knew I was in the minority, and that Seattleites would always vote "for the kids," I wanted to vote my wise-mind rather than my emotional one, as I know that so much of that money will not help kids—especially those most in need.

Somehow, the people in the know (and I admit I am no longer on the forefront of SPS doings as my daughter is in college) must get the truth out to more than the people on this blog. Until that happens, I will keep seeing the comments here, shaking my head at the state of public education in this city, and worrying about the future of this country. For I know that there are communities all over the U.S. having the same, or similar discussions as we have here.

I mourn the loss of investigative reporters from our local media.

SolvayGirl

Anonymous said...

How about SPS use eminent domain to take back the old Maple Leaf elementary site? ( It now is the parking lot for Maple Leaf Lutheran church off 100th )...

or the Lake City Professional Center on 125th?



NEWatcher

Anonymous said...

"Comprehensive high schools take half a decade to bring online, and need swaths of space the district doesn't have."

The Oak Tree shopping center area is SPS land. Cancel the leases and raze the site.

--NEWatcher

Anonymous said...

Do you think we could feasibly politically building another new large high school and not have it be in or very near Queen Anne? And right next to Ingraham like that? Genuinely asking, not rhetorical. It is space, and we should use it. Smaller programs could be started in a year and folded into an eventual, well placed comprehensive, though. I agree ideally we would just build another comprehensive high school.

I noticed on the facilities list northend mom posted above that Memorial Stadium is listed, with a price tag of 90 million, 40% less than rebuilds or new builds for other high school spaces. It doesn't have much detail, though, so I don't know if that is for a full high school or just some exorbitant sports space remodel.

-sleeper

Lynn said...

sleeper - that is (in theory) the cost of building a comprehensive high school with a football field on the roof. Facilities staff toured a new school like this in New Jersey.

Anonymous said...

The parking lot of Maple Leaf Lutheran is a third of the size of the old Maple Leaf Elementary. The rest of the site is now occupied by houses. I think the space is too small.

HP

Lynn said...

Here's some info on the high school in Union City, NJ

https://www.seattleschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_543/File/District/Departments/School%20Board/Friday%20Memos/2015-16/September%2025/20150925_FridayMemo_CapitalUpdate.pdf

Anonymous said...

Lake City Professional Building (AKA Lake City School) is still owned by SPS, but there is a long-term land lease. About 4 or 5 years ago, the lease-holder offered to let SPS buy out the land lease for about $3M dollars, and the School Board voted against doing so.

When they were looking for an interim site for Olympic Hills, there was a feasibility study comparison done between Cedar Park and Lake City School. The Lake City School building would have delivered 22 internal classrooms (as opposed to fewer classrooms with lots of portables at Cedar Park), though they would have had to build a gym, and the former field behind the building is now owned by the City (it is a park). Estimates had Lake City School being more expensive and time-consuming to open, so they went with tiny Cedar Park.

The feasibility study for Lake City School was done with the assumption that it would house 400 elementary school kids. The interior would have to be gutted, since it is currently office space, so it is possible it could be used for something other than an elementary school. The Children's Home Society of WA occupies a portion of the building, so they would be displaced if SPS decided to re-open the Lake City School building.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

I thought so, Lynn, but then I wondered why it didn't have an estimated number of seats added, like the other remodels. Seems like a pretty important data point.

-sleeper