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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Merged Schools Pick Name

This article appeared in the West Seattle Herald. It is about how Fairmount Park Elementary (closing building) and High Point Elementary (accepting school) are merging together and came up with a joint plan to pick a new name for their school (including keeping the High Point name). They decided on West Seattle Elementary and it was approved by the Board.

From the article:

"Besides investigating a name change, much more was done to prepare for the joining of the schools. There were joint staff meetings and several collaborative community events.

Enrollment at the new school will be around 325 kindergarten-through-fifth-grade students, double the amount previously at each school. That doesn't include a YMCA childcare service and two special education pre-school sessions, said Everly.

Teaching staff will consist of about a 50-50 mix of Fairmount and High Point faculty. Everly expects class size to hold steady at around 26 students."

In terms of match, this from the article:

"The schools, which are less than a mile away from each other, had already shared librarians, psychologists and buses. The student populations have similarities as well.

More than 90 percent of the students at High Point are on the free and reduced lunch program, typically an indicator of poverty, and nearly 80 percent of Fairmount Park students qualify for the federal program. Both schools are more than three-quarters African American, Hispanic and Asian. About 20 percent are bilingual."

These were two nice small schools that struggled with chronic underenrollment. They have strong, caring principals who truly knew their populations. As I have said in the past, I hope that schools that are consolidated get extra attention and help from the district because of the difficulties they have faced. I have high hopes for the success of the new West Seattle Elementary.

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