First, the district says:
Problem Statement: Cascadia will move into its new building at the Wilson Pacific site in 2017-18. The new building is planned to have a capacity of approximately 660 seats, which is not sufficient to serve all of the students currently at Cascadia given the growth the school has experienced. As of September 9, 2016, Cascadia has 749 students currently enrolled for the 2016-17 school year.
Background: Cascadia is currently housed at Lincoln High School. Students in grades 1-5 who are eligible and wish to enroll for high capable services are assigned to a pathway school based on where they live. Cascadia is the highly capable (HC) pathway school for all students in the north end of the district, which includes students who live in the McClure, Hamilton, Whitman, Jane Addams, and Eckstein service areas.
The number of students enrolling for HC services across the district at the elementary level has increased significantly over the past five years, from 691 students in 2011-12 to 1,235 students in the 2015-16 school year. The number of students enrolled at Cascadia, which only serves HCC students, has increased from 524 students in 2012-13 to 753 students in the 2015-16 school year.
It was initially anticipated that Cascadia could fit in its new building, but with the significant growth in the HCC population, all the students currently enrolled at Cascadia cannot be accommodated in the new building. The Decatur building at Thornton Creek is the only building in the district that is available to serve students and not planned to be utilized in 2017-18. Cedar Park Elementary is currently planned to open as a neighborhood elementary in 2017.
District staff is aware that the School Board may propose amendments to the Growth Boundaries that are currently under review. For this reason, options for HCC at Cedar Park are also included in this survey.
Gee, I wonder why HCC enrollment has gone up so much. Could it be the demise of Spectrum? You look at the chart for growth and yup, it's those years.
Kellie LaRue told me: I have looked at the data and enrollment in HCC has leveled out and didn’t grow this year at all.
Here are the options that the district puts forth:
1) Cascadia split with grades 1 and 2 at Decatur and grades 3-5 at the new building at Wilson Pacific. Decatur would be its own school.
2) Cascadia split based on where students live (Geo-split). Decatur becomes a new stand-alone HCC pathway school.
3) Cascadia split based on where students live (Geo-split). HCC is integrated with Thornton Creek.
I cannot support Option 1. That's just too much change for little people and hard to create a community.
I cannot support Option 3. Thornton Creek just moved into their brand-new building and the district thinks they want a huge program in there? No. Lessons learned from HIMS (especially considering some teachers at HIMS are working to get rid of HCC.)
Option 2 would have Cascadia at Wilson Pacific as the HCC
I also don't support HCC at Cedar Creek. I think it should be an Option school (like STEM.)
They leave out the one option that Kellie thinks is better:
The thing in this survey that is just missing. Cascadia has 30 homerooms. HCC is 30 homerooms at Lincoln. If the move a portion to Decatur to make Cascadia smaller … what does anyone think is going to happen. Those homerooms at Cascadia will just sit empty? No they will fill it from the neighborhood and this whole mess repeats.
It is in everyone’s best interest that they just keep one HUGE school at Cascadia because the size of the program will keep make people considering carefully before joining.
District staff then have a brief survey for TC parents that is just ridiculous. And, why just TC parents in this survey when the overwhelming majority of them likely don't have kids in HCC?