Most of you know that Seattle has always held steady - at least for the last 30+years - with private school enrollment of about 25%. At one time, that was a problem for SPS but now, I'd be willing to bet the district is glad so many people go private.
A reader let me know that Lakeside, one of top private schools in our area, is considering opening a "micro-school" to meet demand. From their newsletter:
The catalyst for this work was a basic supply and demand issue: There is huge student demand to attend Lakeside and comparatively few spots available. Given constraints of campus space and class size, Lakeside turns away a considerable number of stellar students every year. The board anticipated that Seattle's projected growth would only make the demand increase. Furthermore, as independent school costs around the country continue to rise, they wanted to explore how to meet the need for an independent school that is more economically accessible to the middle class.That last part - about it being economically accessible to the middle class - is followed by this:
Things to know about the micro-school:
- The Lakeside Board of Trustees has set fall 2018 as the target date for opening the school.
- It will serve 160 students in grades 9-12. Tuition will be set at approximately $17,000 per year.
- We hope to start with 80 students, likely freshmen and sophomores, and grow by 40 students each year – one grade level at a time.
- We hope to lease a site in the general area of the intersection of I-5 and I-90.
- The school will be separate from but affiliated with Lakeside, with a different educational model, admissions process, and student-life program.
- The board has approved $300,000 for the research and development phase; a donor gave $1 million toward startup costs.
So between this kind of move by private schools and new charter schools, it will be interesting to see who goes where.
I can say that if the district does not get its act together - to be transparent, coherent, consistent to all students - they will may be less-than-happy with their demographics and how that plays out for resources and outcomes.