Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Cedar Park: District's New Boundary Increases Inequity

Guest post by parent, Kevin Hilman, via the Seattle Education blog:

For the last year and a half, the Olympic Hills Elementary School community (in interim at Cedar Park) has pushed hard for Seattle Public Schools (SPS) to revisit the proposed Cedar Park boundary due to major concerns about equity and safety.
ell_overlay_cpLast week, SPS published its recommendation to the school board’s operations committee, and unfortunately, the proposal addresses capacity, but not equity.  We are very frustrated, and disappointed with the SPS proposal.
The SPS recommendation is especially troubling because a taskforce (including teachers and parents, myself included) met with SPS staff to attempt to use the SPS racial equity “toolkit” to analyze the boundary, yet the final decision making (which did not include teachers or parents) was based on capacity, not equity.

Have a look at the numbers and compare for yourself.


First, the Cedar Park numbers from the current, board-approved boundaries for 2017-18. Remember, these are the numbers that caused the initial equity concerns that led to community meetings and the taskforce:
  • 38.6% English language learners (ELL)
  • 65.3% free/reduced lunch (FRL)
  • 72.2% historically underserved
Then, the Cedar Park numbers for the proposed amendment.
  • 43.8% English language learners (ELL)
  • 69.0% free/reduced lunch (FRL)
  • 76.2% historically underserved
All along, our community’s desire has been to reduce the concentration of historically underserved students in Cedar Park.  However, because the proposed solution is based on capacity rather than equity, the percentages for all the categories actually increase.

If you have concerns or comments on this recommendation, let the SPS staff know by writing to growthboundaries@seattleschools.organd also write to the School Board atschoolboard@seattleschools.org.  The School Board will have the final decision on the boundaries.
There will also be upcoming community meetings where SPS will share these decisions:
  • Sept 28, 6:30pm, Olympic Hills Meeting (at Cedar Park)
  • Oct 5, 6:30pm, John Rogers Meeting (at John Rogers)
Please come and share your thoughts.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

As long as a school is eligible for Title 1 based on concentration of low income children, as opposed to funds following each child,the district will continue to gerrymander boundary zones in order to get that money.

Hidden Agenda

Anonymous said...

For comparison what are the demographics at Olympic Hills and John Rogers under this plan?

-Info

Anonymous said...

@Info - Here are the projected demographic data for Cedar Park, Olympic Hills and John Rogers from the amended plan for Cedar Park (formerly known as "Scenario F)." The FRL and ELL numbers in parentheses are from OSPI (May 2016 report).

Cedar Park (2017-18):
69% FRL
43.8% ELL
76.2% historically underserved

John Rogers (2017-18):
29.8% FRL (40.2%, May 2016)
9.9% ELL (17.7%, May 2016)
41.7% historically underserved

Olympic Hills (2017-18):
55.3% FRL (74.6%, May 2016)
26.1% ELL (35.9%, May 2016)
70.3% historically underserved

It should be noted that the projected stats for Olympic Hills include the recommended geo-splits from the Sacajawea to Olympic Hills and Olympic View to Olympic Hills change areas, both of which include significant numbers of FRL and ELL students. The way the new boundaries are drawn, Olympic Hills is losing one area of high numbers FRL/ELL students (Little Brook neighborhood), but gaining an area of more moderate-density FRL/ELL students (Pinehurst neighborhood).

Cedar Park will have two high FRL/ELL neighborhoods (Little Brook and Lake City Court/33rd Ave NE).

The numbers for John Rogers take into account the geo-slit of students from John Rogers to Cedar Park, but may not include the change areas that will be gained by John Rogers from Wedgwood and View Ridge, since those students are recommended to be grandfathered. Over time, John Rogers diversity will further decrease, since those change areas are predominately non-FRL/ELL students.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

From the beginning of planning for reopening Cedar Park I have found myself troubled. Readers of this blog as well as many citizens of this city understand the necessity of extra efforts to reach historically under-served populations and those with few economic resources. Seattle schools administrators and teachers and Seattle politicians put closing the achievement (I prefer 'opportunity') gap at the top of their public school goals.

We spend money, time, mountains of effort to close the gap. Why, then. oh why would SPS downtown create a new school draw zone that concentrates poverty and underserved minorities at this new school. It does not have to be this way. There are other ways to draw this zone, given that other boundary lines have to move anyhow. It is not as though the community has not pointed this out, and begged for another solution directly to downtown, for multiple years now.

The single easiest way to raise achievement for these kids is going to be to offer them a school of mixed incomes and mixed ethnicities. It is bordering on offensive to open the school as planned and then spend years and millions of dollars to address the problems created by the district itself. Madness.

No, crossing busy streets with a different draw of boundary lines is NOT a bigger problem. Traffic safety can be addressed via partnership with the city. Loss of federal funds is not an excuse either. At 69% FRL the school will be significantly above the threshold for getting mitigation money, and the lines can be redrawn to include more middle class families. Or a different program altogether could be placed in the building.

SPS needs to stop. Just stop. And address a potentially multi-generational problem that it is about to create.

EdVoter

Anonymous said...

What's the neighborhood idea to improve the situation and how much will it change the demographics?
-Info


Anonymous said...

@EdVoter

The primary driver in moving the Cedar Park/John Rogers boundary was not the hazardous crossing of NE 125th Street. It was driven by the need to reduce the projected enrollment at Cedar Park. The boundary lines were originally drawn with a targeted enrollment of 400. It took placing an actual school of over 300 students in the building (Olympic Hills, in interim) for them to admit that the original capacity planned for Cedar Park was optimistic, at best.

The new boundaries put fewer kids in the building the initial year, but with the number of multi-family developments going up in area, enrollment at Cedar Park will climb well over 300. The site is already maxed out with portables (8!). I certainly can't speak for everyone in the neighborhood, but I think an option school would be the best fit, as it would allow for more control over enrollment. Without some sort of enrollment cap, it is very likely that space in the building which would have been used to create a library, art room, etc... will be used for classrooms, and that is certainly not best practices for a high-needs population.

-North-end Mom

Deja vu said...

The proposed Cedar Park boundaries mirror the U.S. Census Track for that area. Census Track 1 is bounded on the south by 125th and on the west by 30th Avenue NE. That’s exactly where the district is proposing the new boundaries.

It doesn’t matter that those boundaries were drawn by the U.S. census decades ago for a completely different purpose. It doesn’t matter what the community wants. Safety and equity and all other issues are irrelevant.

Those are the boundaries that are the easiest for district staff to tabulate. Finer grained data is available, but then that would be more work for staff.

This isn't the first time the district has put on the "community input" charade.

http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/cs/groups/pan/@pan/documents/web_informational/dpds021189.pdf
http://www2.census.gov/geo/maps/dc10map/GUBlock/st53_wa/county/c53033_king/DC10BLK_C53033_019.pdf

kellie said...

Cedar Park is an ideal location for an option school, not an attendance area school.

Anonymous said...

i can't imagine how Flip can sleep.

Big mess

Anonymous said...

The census tract containing the Cedar Park attendance area (extreme NE corner of Seattle) happens to be the largest census tract in North Seattle where over 40% of children under the age of 18 are living in poverty. See Tim Burgess' City View article from May 2016:

http://timothyburgess.typepad.com/tim_burgess_city_view_/2016/05/two-cities-two-children-two-very-different-paths.html#more

-North-end Mom

Melissa Westbrook said...

"The single easiest way to raise achievement for these kids is going to be to offer them a school of mixed incomes and mixed ethnicities. It is bordering on offensive to open the school as planned and then spend years and millions of dollars to address the problems created by the district itself. Madness."

In a nutshell.

And, if the Board lets this go thru, you'll have to wonder.

It is just ridiculous to set Cedar Park this way.

Anonymous said...

I understand that in the past neighbors were insistent that it not be used as an interim site long term, and that may have something to do with the compulsion to force a neighborhood school at this location.

I would say neighbors active in the current conversation are interested in alternative to neighborhood schools. An option school would be great because it offers the enrollment cap. I'd love to explore an HCC school there, offering services not only to the HCC parents already identified, but also providing a real shot at diversifying HCC in the North End.

Cedar Park is in a really interesting area, perched on the hill top overlooking Lake City, it's nestled in a dense neighborhood with easements leading two and three lots deep. While low income housing and apartments are nearby, so are beautiful large homes with sprawling views of the lake.

If Cedar Park started under-enrolled, there are definitely the children and families nearby to fill it, if it was well-planned, if it could create the pull-factor to bring families that historically opt-out of public school in. But starting out small was never an option for Cedar Park.

-Mom of Cedar Park

Anonymous said...

@mom of Cedar Park. I agree. I drove by yesterday and immediately felt it would be a good fit for the NE HCC kids and got excited about the compassion in action opportunities.

HCC momvocate

Anonymous said...

@Mom of CedarPark

It is very odd that JAMS has HCC, but there isn't even a Spectrum school within it's local feeder schools (the linked schools are Wedgwood and View Ridge, but good luck getting in those very full schools!). HCC at Cedar Park would make sense, as there is such limited access to advanced learning, and even though Cascadia is closer than Lincoln, it is still a long bus ride from Lake City.

Apparently, enrollment planning staff are under the impression that the community doesn't want HCC at Cedar Park...so please write the school board and enrollment planning and let them know your thoughts.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@North-end Mom
Could you tell me how you got the up to date demographic information?
I used to be able to find them in school reports...
Thanks
Hidden Agenda

Anonymous said...

"And, if the Board lets this go thru, you'll have to wonder."

Please give the school board the space they need to fix this. Remember, like they promised they would during their respective campaigns? If they don't fix it, vote them out! Tic Tock of coarse that means years will go by like the last one without any positive systematic change. Is it me or does it just seems like they dish out end-less lip service while spending more money on central administration all the while knowing no one is going to stop them.

Love Democracy


Anonymous said...

@Hidden Agenda

I found it on the OSPI website, search under school report card. You can pull down the data by school year.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

It's the Title I trap. High FRL? Your school gets federal funding. Low FRL? You probably have a PTA that funds all your extras. Mid-range FRL? Better diversity but less funding opportunities than the other two options, so unfortunately our Seattle schools are constantly at one economic end or the other, with few exceptions. Title I helps kids in high poverty schools with much needed supports but it also inadvertently encourages segregation of rich and poor because it demands certain percentages of FRL students to qualify.

TO

Solving capacity said...

HCC at cedar park is not the solution. They should follow the footsteps of haze wolf and create a STEM K-5 option school at cedar park. Hazel wolf is wildly popular and has alleviated capacity problems in the district. It also has huge waitlists for every grade.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's the STEM that draws people, but the advanced learning. The district can open any kind of option school at Cedar Park, and if it has an advanced learning program people will flock to it. When we toured area schools none of them besides Hazel Wolf offered anything, aside from a suggestion to bus our child an hour away if they qualified for APP.

First Grade

Joe Wolf said...

From The Urbanist:

https://www.theurbanist.org/2016/09/26/lihi-apts-lake-city/

For the record, SPS is not the entity that has decided to focus low-income housing along this stretch of Lake City Way.

Anonymous said...

Joe - your comment over on the Urbanist is rather concerning (see below) - how exactly do you "know" that the people involved in this conundrum don't live in the neighborhood?? - from the comments above here, my take is that many do - or perhaps near enough to be concerned. Not that SPS will listen to this anymore than the 1000 of other poor decisions made everyday...sigh...

Joe's comment:
There are North Seattle school activists trying to overturn SPS' plan to open a neighborhood school at the Cedar Park campus because of development like this ... they say there's too much low-income housing focused on Lake City Way. (Note: They do not live in the neighborhood.)

reader47

Anonymous said...

Kids who live in this new development should go to Olympic Hills, not Cedar Park. Cedar Park would require crossing Lake City Way and 35th Ave NE.

I live in the neighborhood.

HP

Anonymous said...

I'd be curious what the equity effect of some of these proposals are. Don't they just shift the students so that now Olympic Hills ends up being much higher FRL than the other two schools?
-SideEffects

Anonymous said...

Olympic Hills put into place plans for helping ELL and F/RL kids with the remodel.

HP

Anonymous said...

@HP

The kids who will be living in the new development (on the site of the old Fire Station 39) WILL be assigned to Olympic Hills, not Cedar Park. The development is west of 30th Ave NE, the western boundary for Cedar Park Elementary. The kids being reassigned to Cedar Park live east of 30th, though most live across Lake City Way (aka Hwy 522) from their so called new "neighborhood" school.

@Joe Wolf

There is a great deal of development happening on both sides of Lake City Way, both low-income and market rate. As a "neighborhood"school, Cedar Park has to take anyone living in its attendance area. I am concerned that Cedar Park will not have the flexibility to expand to handle all the multi-family housing planned in it's attendance area. The site already has 8 portables, which I believe maxes out the permitted lot coverage?

What many of us who live in the area find unacceptable is that the Cedar Park boundaries are drawn so that they pull from low-income housing areas on BOTH sides of Lake City Way, resulting in the concentration of high poverty students at Cedar Park. Currently, these students are served at two schools, Olympic Hills and John Rogers.

If anyone is doubting the local origin of our advocacy for the students who will be assigned to Cedar Park, please read this letter that was sent by the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance to SPS and the School Board in March 2016 (http://olympichillspta.org/2016/03/22/lake-city-neighborhood-alliance-advocates-for-olympic-hills-and-cedar-park-students/).

Splitting Olympic Hills ES, with a portion of its students being reassigned to Cedar Park leaves "room" in the new Olympic Hills building which the current plan fills by geo-splitting students from Sacajawea and Olympic View, and space at Olympic View is being back-filled by students attending Sacajawea and Viewlands. The Viewlands students who will be reassigned to Olympic View live across I-5 from Olympic View, and some live even west of Hwy 99! Is Olympic View really their "neighborhood" school?

The decision to squeeze in an attendance-area school at Cedar Park, the same year as doubling the size of the adjacent Olympic Hills facility, has impacts on many more students than just those who will be assigned to Cedar Park. If folks from outside the neighborhood are joining in this discussion, they are more than welcome.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@Joe

The advocates for Cedar Park either live in the area or have an incredible institutional memory. It is really disappointing to have Director Blanford asking for more parents to work on district-wide issues, and then a district employee belittling people for working on issues beyond their own child. The Directors are responding to their constituents in their districts. Thank g-d for Director Pinkham's willingness to open his schedule to hear from us individually to understand the full picture.

SPS does not plan the city, but it has the ability to mitigate the equity issue created by the intersection of the capacity crisis in Seattle schools, the location of boundary lines, and the city housing policies that have pushed low-income and minority communities to the same main arterials the district uses for boundary lines. The district has all the information it needs and to create a more equitable student assignment plan and neighborhood school boundaries.

In regards to the question about percentages at Olympic Hills vs Cedar Park, Olympic Hills has an established track record of meeting the needs of the exact students it is at risk of losing. The new building is as well planned as their interventions and support programs.

Also, Cedar Park and Olympic Hills will have the privilege of holding the majority of the diversity in the Northeast, while Olympic View, Sacajawea, and John Rogers will gentrify under the current boundary plan. Olympic Hills will not be able to serve the same students they have, but they will serve other underserved students with the change. Much like Olympic View, they will have experience a change in almost half of their school community.

How many kids are being displaced from their school communities in this process?

Is it actually solving the capacity issue at all? Any pressure it does relieve will indeed be temporary. According to seattleinprogress.com, there will be an additional 1,000+ multi-family units going up in the Olympic Hills/John Rogers/Cedar Park boundary areas, with 500 in Cedar Park alone.

One success of the CPREAT was getting the enrollment under 300 at Cedar Park, it was the only solid success, aside from Ms. Davies commitment to creating a strong enrollment outreach push to help get families access to the choice system. Because the Right Fit Capacity remains at 340 for Cedar Park, and there is so much development going on in the boundary area, as north end mom said, both low-income and market value, the success in enrollment is only guaranteed to last a year. Mitigations only last a year.

So, Mr. Wolf, what indeed does SPS plan to do about SEGREGATION in our schools? How will SPS insulate the underserved and disenfranchised in our fair city from the future boundary changes? Because this solution is VERY temporary. Will you comfortably wait until the city prices these families out of your district, or will you work to give these students the best possible opportunities?

Declare a state of emergency and get more seats in the district. Be honest about the capacity of every school. Create a plan that lifts up and engages the underserved.

Mom of Cedar Park

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Assuming the buildings are right-sized, its people not renovations that private good services for ELL and Title 1 populations.

So far the objections based on equity don't seem to really end with the target kids in a more heterogeneous environment. If the answer is just Olympic Hills has great plans, I don't see why the district wouldn't respond we'll implement the same ones in the Cedar Park building.

- WhatHaveIMissed?

Anonymous said...

Well, it would be nice if the kids at Cedar Park had a library space bigger than that of the single classroom Olympic Hills is using as a temporary library. It's not clear if the 340 capacity number includes space set aside for a proper library or space for art, music, computer lab, etc... The 8 portables don't have sinks, so it is difficult to do art or science in those classrooms.

ELL kids really should have access to a decent library, as well a spaces for small group instruction (like that which was designed into the new Olympic Hills building).

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@WhatHaveImissed

There are the school level concerns about Cedar Park which led to the Cedar Park vs Olympic Hills comparison.

Then there are the district level concerns re:segregation Northeast. As I mentioned above, Olympic View, Sacajawea, and John Rogers will lose diversity as it is concentrated at Olympic Hills and Cedar Park. That is why there are people advocating for a full review of all the boundary changes, under the lens of equity.

Mom of Cedar Park

Anonymous said...

Joe Wolf: Please scroll back through the Olympic Hills PTA website, http://olympichillspta.org, to find years worth of advocacy on this issue by the community affected.

Tonight we had our SPS boundary meeting. Parents were universally against the SPS plan. The reality is that Cedar Park has a tiny lot size and a small strange building with no excess space and one bathroom for each gender-- imagine 400 kids using those facilities. The room was full of an extremely diverse group of families who were angry and disappointed. The ONLY way to make CP viable is to cap it at less than 300. Under our current system, it then has to be an option school. The families in the area are not eligible for ANY other geozone and unlike most of seattle have NO access to an option school. Families want a stem option school. Then they have a real choice, and capacity needs are met, and students from all over the north end do not have to be displaced due to ripple effects from CP as a neighborhood school.

Anonymous said...

Above signed as OHCP, sorry

Anonymous said...

@OHCP--what? One bathroom per gender for the entire school?!! How many stalls in this bathroom? This seems logistically impossible. Do kids take nature pees? Mine would.

STEM/HCC at CP, Language Immersion/HCC@Decatur? The NE area needs an elementary AL pathway for JAMS.

I agree--don't make CP a neighborhood school and rip all kids from BT eat out of their communities to fill OH and CP. it's not right.

Get creative.

Anonymous said...

Should add above that families that will be assigned to CP -- some families want stem, many are not aware of SPS ins and outs and just want the power to make a choice of some kind.

OHCP

Anonymous said...

There really is one bathroom for each gender. Boys have just 3 stalls and a few urinals, only one urinal that fits a k or 1. Girls have around 8 or 9 stalls. The site is not built for above 200 kids IMO. And with around 500 new apt units going in in the area now, there is a great likelihood CP will be over capacity very quickly. The site already has 8 portables and a small playground, can't fit any more portables. There is no room for error here, since additional portables not an option (not to mention site is landmarked). Makes me sick at heart. Hopefully the Board will have the courage we elected them for and halt this. I heard 30% of SPS elementary students well be displaced by all these boundary changes. In the NE at least it seems like a disproportionate number are already marginalized families. Board, pleaee listen!

Anonymous said...

Did it again. Above is OHCP.

Anonymous said...

Why so few bathrooms if the school was recently renovated? It doesn't even sound up to code! I think they need porta potties. Shame!!! I think the board is listening, at least Geary and Burke. They're swarming around at all sorts of meetings collecting feedback. Email them! I bet they'll read your message.

Total Chaos

Anonymous said...

I also attended the meeting at Olympic Hills (at Cedar Park). There were concerns expressed about the capacity of the Cedar Park building. The enrollment capacity is now set at 340. This is more realistic than 400 (the targeted enrollment for the original boundaries), but seemed high considering that there are 360 K-5 students in the building now, and they are operating in full surge capacity mode. Olympic Hills is using only one classroom space for a library, the computer lab is on the stage, and ELL and other pull out services are done in the hallway. Evidently, Olympic Hills lost a collaboration with reading tutors this year, because there wasn't adequate spaces in the building for instruction.

We were told that the new capacity number of 340 for Cedar Park did take into account 2 classroom spaces set aside for a library. It wasn't clear to me if this was a sure thing, with construction of the library to be completed prior to the 2017-18, or if it was just mitigation wishes.

We were also told that there was a Special Ed classroom that could be converted to a homeroom, as well as a head start classroom that could be converted to a homeroom. It wasn't clear what Special Ed services were planned for the new Cedar Park School, and apparently there won't be a head start/preschool classroom in the building, despite the projections of a very high-needs low-income population for Cedar Park. There was no mention of space set aside for before/after school care (maybe that will be in the cafeteria?).

We were told that PCP spaces were calculated according to how PCP is delivered at Olympic Hills, which is Technology (computer lab) and PE (gym). A classroom for Art or Music was evidently not factored into the space planning. It was stated that (as a small school) Cedar Park would have only two PCP offerings, and it sounded like these are being planned as Technology and PE, just like what is offered at Olympic Hills.

Cedar Park is being opened as a geo-split from both Olympic Hills and John Rogers.

There are over 100 students being re-assigned to Cedar Park from John Rogers. At John Rogers, all students, grades K-5, receive Music instruction, in addition to the SPS 4th/5th grade instrumental music program. John Rogers has a very old portable that is used as a music room. John Rogers also offers swimming lessons at nearby Meadowbrook Pool. This year, Art instruction was added(increased enrollment allowed for more PCP offerings).

Music is a huge part of the John Rogers culture. The John Rogers music program is led by an amazing teacher who celebrates the diversity of the school with her music selections. In addition to singing, kids learn how to play recorder, ukulele, and drums, and there is a choir that meets after school.

From what I was hearing at the meeting, the kids geo-split from John Rogers will probably not have access to Music instruction (K-5) or Art instruction...or at least there didn't seem to be plans to set aside space for Art or Music.

I know the planning principal for Cedar Park is fabulous, and maybe the offerings at Cedar Park haven't been set in stone. I hope there will be a way to offer Art or Music at Cedar Park.

I came away from the meeting fearful that it will be very difficult for Cedar Park, as an attendance area school, to stay under 340 students, given the amount of multi-family housing going up in the area and the increase in the number of families in the more residential areas around the school. I can't help but wonder if the computer lab on the stage, the one-classroom sized library, and no space set aside for Art or Music will become permanent features of Cedar Park.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

I think my favorite part of last night's meeting was the exhortation to Think Positive! and Just Believe! Also the caution to "speak positively" about all 3 schools, as if the parent advocates last night intend to make students feel bad about their schools. The condescension reeked. As one of those parents said last night, OF COURSE we think the principal and teachers will do their best with what they have and, because I know many of the OH teachers who might stay on at CP, go above and beyond for these students. I resent the implication that because we are speaking out against creating an "overconcentrated" (read: segregated) school from scratch and asking the Board to look at other options, we are somehow creating a negative environment for the kids. I place the blame for that squarely on the district.

OHmom

Melissa Westbrook said...

Joe, I went to the link you provided.

1) What meeting did you hear that parent advocates said there was too much low-income housing in Lake City? Because I missed that.

2) Whether people live directly in the neighborhood is not really important. Those parents live in that region, their schools will be affected and, most of all, they are advocating for BETTER for the children at Cedar Park (and not just their own children.)

Remember that all important "equity lens" that the district keeps going on about? That's just what these parents are doing.

Anonymous said...

My favorite part of the meeting ... when they assured everyone that the principals at the various schools would welcome every student. As if that was the #1 concern.

If parents were concerned about basic courtesy, the meeting would have been a lot different. Nobody in that room thought that teachers were not planning to teach.

OHparent has it exactly right. The tone was condescending. The district had already decided that the parents just didn't understand.

That's right, I just don't understand why you are ripping kids out of BT that is under enrolled, geosplit kids across the entire north end, so that you can open Cedar Park stuffed to the rafters. I just don't get it.

And I just don't understand why anyone in their right mind is planning to open a school with ZERO art or music. Maybe they should ban recess too ...

- severely disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone writing these concerns to Nyland and the board? There is clearly a disconnect between what our communities need AND want, and what the district believes is appropriate for these schools.

So sorry

Anonymous said...

Ah, but music and art won't give the poor kids the computer skills they need to take the SBAC...

-reality check

Melissa Westbrook said...

Again, just like growth boundaries, I'm hoping folks go to Director Burke's community meeting on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

So Cedar Park doesn't need music and arts because Olympic Hills doesn't have them. That really begs the question what's going on in Olympic Hills and why do they not have arts? And how many other buildings have neither art nor music that I don't know about? We need really need to define what the minimum requirements for an elementary school are and enforce them everywhere.

-Troubled

Anonymous said...

@Troubled

Schools that don't use PCP space for the Arts could be using art docent-like programs (volunteer), or "Art on a Cart" with a certificated teacher?

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

To clarify, ohe does have instrumental music for grades 4 and 5, and has for several years. And new this year, the primary grades have a music teacher, shared half time with Olympic view. The question is really space, there is no extra space for art room. Instrumental music this year meets in the library as our librarian is also part time and doesn't work at our school on Fridays when music meets. I'm not positive where the other music classes meet, could be classrooms. The computer lab is on stage which is in the cafetorium. The library takes up one classroom and we were told when the building was being renovated for our interim use, that walls could not be moved as the building us landmarked, so my understanding was the library cannot expand.

The restrooms are also an issue. I have not counted, but the number of stalls and urinals noted above sounds right and there is one boy's restroom and one girl's restroom. And again, we were told no walls could be moved to accommodate more stalls.

We have maxed out the Black top with portables, that have no running water. There is no space to expand. Our staff this year is having to share space, Ell meets in a glorified closet. Our resource room is in the former principal's office. There are bookshelves and wooden closets lining the halls. Our staff is making the best of a situation, which can be done when you know it's temporary. It's the long term solution for Cedar park that really needs to be reevaluated.

It's truly our most vulnerable population who will be hit the hardest as other people have noted above.

Our current enrollment is right about 350 and we are bursting at the seams.


OHEMom

Anonymous said...

OHEMom

Please send your concerns regarding Cedar Park and its new planning capacity (340 students) to the School Board directors.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Full room for Director Burke's meeting today. I missed it. Any reports?

HCC

Anonymous said...

My favorite part of the meeting was when the new principal of Cedar Park physically removed herself from the group receiving feedback while parents were speaking and had some one-on-one time with a small group, turned her back and totally ignored the larger meeting and comments.

Also, did anyone else notice towards the end of the meeting hey said that Little Brook accounts for 50% of the projected enrollment at CP, and they will be bused? Why not let them walk to OH, and bus in from somewhere else? Let The families of Little Brook have their community school. I think that is the real issue people are fighting for.

I have the will, the time and the education to advocate for my son. Not everyone has the same means, and it feels like that is why these decisions are being made. One slide on "this is how you option in to another school" at the end of the presentation is not the solution.

Future Cedar Park Mom?

Anonymous said...

@future cedar park mom...I am an HCC mom who thinks she could be a future cedar park mom. Was there talk of putting HCC at CP or turning it into an amazing option school so the kids who want and need to go to the new OH building can enjoy their new facility?

WTH?

Anonymous said...

@WTF

I was at the Olympic Hills@Cedar Park meeting. I don't recall any mention of Cedar Park being used for anything other than an attendance area school. There was one parent calling for a re-evaluation/do-over.

Cedar Park as an HCC or option school is not in the official SPS community meeting slide deck. They are presenting the current recommendations, which differ from the original plan only in that a portion of the John Rogers attendance area (south of NE 125th) is recommended to be retained at John Rogers. This was done in order to make Cedar Park's projected enrollment fit into the building (but without Head Start, art/music, etc...).

There is another Cedar Park meeting being held at John Rogers Wednesday evening. It will be interesting to see if there are any changes made to the slide deck, but I kind of doubt it.

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

Oops...I just noticed that I addressed the post above to WTF when it should have been addressed to WTH. :)

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

@Future Cedar Park Mom?

There is mandatory busing for the Little Brook Neighborhood, in the northern half of 'the slice.' There are huge pedestrian safety concerns in that area, it isn't suitable for walking to either OH or CP, and is outside OH's walk zone.

Mom of Cedar Park

Anonymous said...

It is almost as if SPS considers kids who are already being bused to their attendance area schools easy pickings for geo-splits:

Little Brook neighborhood (Olympic Hills to Cedar Park)
Pinehurst neighborhood (east) (Sacajawea to Olympic Hills)
Pinehurst neighborhood (west) (Olympic View to Olympic Hills)
Licton Springs neighborhood (Viewlands to Olympic View)

They are bused now, and will have to be bused to their new school when the new boundaries kick in.

"Transportation Neutral" should not be prioritized over disruption to educational continuity for these kids.

-North-end Mom