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Monday, May 11, 2009

Denny/Sealth Bell Times

This from our friends at the West Seattle Blog:

"Two weeks ago, we published a short report from the city Hearing Examiner’s chambers in the Municipal Tower, after listening to arguments from both sides in the appeal of the decision granting “departures” crucial to the Denny Middle School/Chief Sealth High School co-located-campus project (rendering above). At the end of that hearing, deputy hearing examiner Anne Watanabe promised to publish her ruling in two weeks. Though the ruling is not yet available online, we got a call tonight from the person who filed and argued the appeal, West Seattle-based district watchdog Chris Jackins. He has received a copy of the decision and tells WSB that while the ruling upholds the city’s granting of the “departures” - allowing the project more height and less parking than city code otherwise would have required - he says “we did get two of the things we wanted”: One, a stipulation that the two schools’ start/dismissal times must be staggered by at least 30 minutes; two, a stipulation that a certified arborist be present for any future “tree removal activities.” (Jackins had documented the removal of trees on the site while a different appeal was still pending, as we reported last August.) “I’m happy about those two things,” he added. We will check with the Hearing Examiner tomorrow to seek a copy of the full ruling so we can add it here."

So much for saving money on busing at this "joint" campus.

10 comments:

speducator said...

Since both schools are scheduled to start at 8:05, how will it be decided which school will start first?

Shouldn't Sealth start first considering the fact that many high schoolers have jobs after school?

To throw a curve ball into the mix, the Denny and Sealth special ed students ride the same buses. Do we duplicate these buses so that they can arrive 30 minutes apart?

ParentofThree said...

Why on earth was this an issue that was brought to the city? Were parents really that against students having the two schools start at the same time?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Uh, because normally you don't have a middle school and high school right next to each other because of the different ages of the students. Add to that that Sealth has had some behavior issues with some students and it's not a great mix.

And yes, teachers and parents at Sealth overwhelmingly did not want a joint campus. Denny teachers were apparently more supportive but it's not clear if the parents were.

speducator said...

Also, the city is apparently concerned with the influx of 450 cars inundating a quiet, residential neighborhood all at one time.

The decision to allow such a small parking area to accommodate two schools is a departure from the city zoning requirements.

Charlie Mas said...

The design of the schools was to have their bus drop off/pick up points at different ends of the property.

In addition, when promoting the shared campus plan, the District promised that the schools would have staggered start and end times.

ParentofThree said...

"the city is apparently concerned with the influx of 450 cars inundating a quiet, residential neighborhood all at one time."

Well that makes sense why the city intervened on this issue as they typically steer clear of school stuff.

But aren't highschoolers on the Metro? Or will Sealth HS loose their Metro passes for yellow school bus transport?

Charlie Mas said...

All high schools have some students who come on a yellow bus. They are primarily students with IEPs, but there are also some yellow bus routes to serve areas that are not adequately served by METRO.

speducator said...

Ironically, the Denny and Sealth special education students ride the same bus to school. Will the district duplicate the current sped buses? How will they justify the cost?

ParentofThree said...

So the argument to not have the same start/end times is so that the middle school students don't run into the highschool students, correct?

But the ramification is that now SPS will need to run two sets of busses, one for middle school and one for highschool students with IEPs, which I assume is not a great number of kids.

There must be a way to keep one set of busses coming/going?

Couldn't the yellow busses come for the IEP highschool students and then very slowly drive to the other end of the school and pick up the middle school students?

dan dempsey said...

There must be a way to keep one set of busses coming/going?I believe there was .....
Not build this ill designed 6-12 fiasco in the first place.

Typical of the SPS, do not go with the proven. Instead create a 6-12 school of well over 1500, which no other urban district would intentionally build.

Credit if any is due Irene Stewart and Steve Sunquist as well as facilities.