Disqus

Friday, November 14, 2008

Become Temporary Contributor During Closure Discussions

I'd like to invite parent/community members from Summit and any other school affected by the upcoming closure process to become temporary contributors to this blog.

When my daughters were at Graham Hill Elementary during the closure process, I found it really valuable to post information we had about the school that we wanted more widely known. I'd like others to get the same chance to share information and advocate for their points of view.

If you would like to become a temporary contributor to this blog during the closure discussions, just send me an e-mail and I will set that up.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I heard from a friend who was at a recent school board meeting that there was a petition circulated in Seattle to close down Summit. She said 17,000 signatures were collected in support of closing the school. I've looked online for info about this but I can't find anything. Have you heard about this? She said she heard Peter Maier was involved with this somehow.

I'd just like to know if this is true or if it was some kind of misunderstanding. This rumor has some parents I know convinced that Summit and AS#1 are doomed.

Beth Bakeman said...

I've heard nothing about a petition in support of closing Summit. I have seen signs Chris has put up around the city in opposition to closing Summit K-12.

Jet City mom said...

Possibly the inference was from the northeast Seattle cluster coaliton petition.
Its not really a petition to grab the Adams building away from the community that has been there for over two decades- but I can see how some would think that was the case.

( and they have 600 signatures- not 17,000)
petitiononline.com/SPSNEClu/petition.html

Jet City mom said...

not sure where this will be picked up- but I was sent this media release.

SUMMIT K-12 ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL TO FIGHT FOR NEW HOME



On Wednesday, November 12, the Seattle School Board voted to "re-purpose" the Jane Addams Building as a traditional K-8 school, leaving the existing Summit K-12 Alternative program without a location for the 2009-2010 School Year.



It is important to note that the Summit K-12 program is not being changed to a K-8. Rather, it is being relocated to an as-yet un-named site and the Jane Addams BUILDING is being made into a new traditional K-8. While the board motion states that a new location for Summit K-12 MAY be determined as part of the upcoming school closures process, the Summit K-12 community plans to vigorously fight for an appropriate site.



In addition, the community is deeply concerned about the cascading impact of the board's decision. According to parent Dan Landers, "Summit K-12 does not want to prey on an even more disadvantaged community". The Summit K-12 community is hopeful that the school board will equitably find a new home for our program and students in the context of the upcoming closures and assignment changes.



By "re-purposing" Jane Addams before finding a new home for Summit K-12, the district is impacting Summit's 528 current students as well as jeopardizing 2009-10 enrollments. According to Fera Marter, a Summit K-12 parent, "Late fall is generally a time when families consider where their students will attend school in the upcoming year. How many people are willing to sign up their child for a school that is located at 'TBD'?"



Parents are concerned with issues of equity, and how this decision will impact vulnerable populations at the school. Summit is a much more economically and ethnically diverse population than any other alternative school in the district, and every other school in the NE Cluster. Summit also has a relatively high percentage (17%) of its student population under IEP and holds the only program for internalized disorders in the district. Additionally, Summit's multi-age classrooms allow personalized learning, so that each student can either get additional help or work above grade level as appropriate.



Regardless of their needs, every family has chosen Summit K-12 because of the stable and accepting environment that our community provides. A third of Summit K-12 families now bus their children from south of the ship canal to attend because of the unique program and community. Summit K-12 has a successful track record preparing students for college entry with a strong focus on the Arts, Social Justice and Experiential Learning. The Summit K-12 community is hopeful that moving to a more central location will increase access to this quality program for the entire city.



# # #



For more information visit http://www.summitparentgroup.org or contact Ed Lambert at 206.790.2475 (edlambert@...) or Sabia Becerra at 206.387.0910 (sabiabecerra@...).

Flingdingo said...

Just wanted to confirm that the NECC had a petition in June. This was a petition solely about wanting a new elementary school and middle school opened in the NE cluster. There were 600 signers electronically and about 1000 signers by hand. It was sent around in 3 languages.
It was presented to the school board over the summer. It was never the goal of the NECC to target anyones school, program, or "disadvantaged" community, nor was it our desire to target the programs that serve special education, or the ARTS.
For the Summit community to state that the moving of Summit was the doing of NECC, well, they have fallen into the trap of the 2006 closure model, which was to pit us against each other. They should be blaming the district for not helping out/ marketing/advocating for their special programming...
Hopefully when this closure round is over, we can take a page from the Queen Anne/Magnolia Clusters book. One member from each school in the cluster meet to help each other and share resources and be a unified voice to the district. Any takers?
This was the intent of the NECC, we had every school in the cluster represented . Although Gary Sievert, a Summit advocate, came to many of the NECC meetings, I am not sure he communicated to the Summit community?......he may have been there representing the PTSA....
In conclusion, Can Summit state on this blog what they would like from this whole process? I think they can use this time to leverage and demand a space that suits them, possibly even better than Jane Addams. and DEMAND better support for their program.
I pledge my help to the Summit Community, as an artist and member of the NECC. Please email me for insight into how the NECC approached the board and district this summer. I would be happy to share.
PS, Frank Chopp supports alternative programs and would fight for Summits placement at Marshall. a little birdie said.......
He should be contacted by the Summit Leaders asap.

Jet City mom said...

I don't think Marshall would be an appropriate building- it seems to be in worse shape than Horace Mann, however Lincoln could house several comparable programs ( for instance- the Center school - they do not have to be @ the center house)

From Wallingford, both Summit & the Center school, can access the resources of the mid city, like the UW & the art
museum- downtown library- etc quite well.

The school would be able to serve FRL students more equitably, the elementary students would have a playground just steps away & the Center school parents would not have the problem of worrying about the kind of predators that hang out all day at the Center looking for a fight or drugs.

Additionally, as both the Center school & Summit have an arts focus, additional classes could open up for more choice.

SolvayGirl said...

The Center School DOES have to be at The Center House. Other than the visual art teacher, the "Arts Programs" at the school are actually partnerships with various arts groups housed at Seattle Center. If they were at Lincoln—or anywhere else—they would have no one to partner with and thus there would be NO arts program.

I just love the way you all are moving programs around like chess pieces without any real understanding of how they work.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, there you may have a problem. What if the district has to kick in capital funds when Seattle Center is rebuilt? What if the lease price goes up? Can we justify the costs of the Center School in the face of everyone else closing, moving or making do? I have an e-mail out to find out this information but it seems plausible that these things may happen. There are arts everywhere in this city.

SolvayGirl said...

I think the Center School is well aware that they may cease and desist when/if the city rebuilds Seattle Center. They have at least 4 years left on their current lease, but I don't know how easily that lease can be broken.

The partnerships allow the school to offer a performing arts program that the District does not pay for. It is my understanding that parents fund what little costs are attached to it. And yes, there are arts in other parts of the city, but not so many in one central place. I just don't see the program working very well anywhere else since the students would have to travel to the arts groups or vice versa, making it more costly and logistically difficult. Right now, they just walk over to the Rep, or Book-it, or the symphony or PNB (different partnerships over the years).

It could continue as some kind of program in another location, but I don't think it would be the same as it is now. It very well may be one of the schools on the chopping block come Nov. 25. If so, it will just push us closer to opting for an independent school for Fall 2009. There are no other performing arts options that combine with rigorous academics for us coming from the southend.