If you are at one of the option schools listed below -- you will have LARGER class room sizes in 2017/2018.end of Facebook notice
Option schools are being enrolled at 26 students for kindergarten - 3rd grade while attendance area schools are being enrolled at LOWER class sizes (22). (HCC is a “pathway” school, and while erroneously listed on the option school website, it will have the lower class ratio.)
The district is doing this because:
--two option schools (Pathfinder and language immersion) asked for larger K cohorts to mitigate attrition at the upper grades;
--More parents are asking for option school placements than there are spots;
While some option schools have asked for flexibility, the MAJORITY of option schools do not want increased class room size.
Increasing classrooms at K is a 6-year commitment.
To mitigate the increase in size the district is offering additional funds for 2017/2018 and “funding” option schools at the 22:1 ratio.
For Thornton Creek this means we’d get an additional 1.0 FTE, .5 PCP and a .5 certificated staff. There is no guarantee that this funding will continue in future years.
And more importantly, while we appreciate that the district is looking for creative ways to increase capacity, our teachers and staff are emphatic that the lower class sizes are critical for student success.
Not all option schools will want the lower class sizes and will appreciate the increased funding.
Please make it clear if you are representing your child or school. If you are at an option school that wants increased class size and appreciates the extra funding – I know the district staff would love to hear from you too!
What we’d like to see is a policy where option schools are enrolled like attendance area schools but if option schools want a waiver for higher class sizes, that can be granted. This is the only equitable option for students and teachers.
Please let your communities know through your school email lists and Facebook pages. It's important to be heard asap -- before student assignments are determined. The staff to email are: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Louisa Boren STEM K-8 School
Cedar Park Elementary
Licton Springs K-8 School (formerly Pinehurst)
F.A. McDonald International Elementary School
Orca K-8 School
Pathfinder K-8 School
Queen Anne Elementary School
Salmon Bay K-8 School
John Stanford International Elementary School at Latona
Thornton Creek Elementary School
Hazel Wolf K-8 School
I had heard from some parents and I note that the speakers list for tomorrow night's Board meeting includes several speakers on this topic. (Other speaker topics include ethnic studies, rebuilding Rainier Beach High, funding IB and the budget.)
It is not clear to me exactly why this is happening or what sort of notification that parents received. I think Director Geary referenced it somewhat in last night's Board work session on the budget, saying that some schools took the money but chose to use it for other things then class size reduction.
Does anyone have direct knowledge/comment from their school leadership or Executive Director?