Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Option School Fair

Option Schools Fair
10 a.m. - noon
at the John Stanford Center for
Educational Excellence
(District Headquarters),
2445 3rd Avenue South, Seattle, 98134

UPDATE: Queen Anne Elementary, and the Accelerated Progress Program (APP) will also be represented at the fair.

(QAE: http://www.queenanneview.com/2010/03/04/new-queen-anne-elementary-to-focus-on-tech/)

(APP: http://www.seattleschools.org/area/advlearning/program_app.htm)

Come and learn about all of Seattle Public School District's unique and inspiring options for your children!

A Family-to-Family Event
Meet with families from throughout the school district. Parents will be on hand to answer questions about the schools and programs, with valuable firsthand knowledge.

Talk with enrollment personnel about how Option Schools fit into the New Student Assignment Plan, and find out how to enroll and apply.

Open enrollment for all schools is March 1-31, 2010.

Registration available onsite.

Represented schools will include:
AS#1 (K-8); Thornton Creek (K-5); Jane Addams (K-8); Salmon Bay (K-8); TOPS (K-8); ORCA (K-8); Pathfinder (K-8); Queen Anne Elementary (K-5); South Shore (PreK-8); the Center School (H.S.); NOVA (H.S); the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) School at Cleveland H.S., and APP (located at Lowell and Thurgood Marshall elementary schools, Washington and Hamilton middle schools, and Garfield High School).

What is an option school?
(from the district's site):
Option Schools are the schools that, in the New Student Assignment Plan, do not have specific attendance area boundaries.
Students may apply for any Option School in the city, and transportation is provided to specific linked Option Schools based on attendance area. Option Schools include a number of schools that follow an alternative curriculum (for example, expeditionary learning).

More info:

How to get to the John Stanford Center (2445 3rd Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98134, X-street: Lander):

MAP: http://www.mapquest.com/maps?city=Seattle&state=WA&address=2445+3rd+Ave+S&zipcode=98134-1923&country=US&latitude=47.581501&longitude=-122.329956&geocode=ADDRESS


Sponsored by: the Alternative Schools Coalition

For Seattle Public Schools information on the enrollment and application process, the new student
assignment plan, and information about schools, please visit www.seattleschools.org. Select “Enrollment.”


ARB said...

did you know that last I heard, no option middle school has room for special ed risers? sound fair?

Maureen said...

TOPS has a Middle School self contained special ed program, so 5th graders at other Option Schools can request placement there. There is no self contained (only integrated) special ed at the primary grades so spaces aren't filled with rising TOPS students (unlike the gen ed 6th grade spots at TOPS).

Rebecca said...

Thanks for posting this. I work in a social services agency and a recent immigrant mom with a rising kindergartener asked me what options they have, in addition to their assigned school Hawthorne. I will let her know about this and hope she can connect with folks who can offer more guidance. Thanks!

spedvocate said...

Maureen... no, there isn't any "integrated" special education in alternative schools... there's only resource room/rotation and self-contained programs. Do people still like being dumped in lifelong kindergartens where they can be prepared for a life of coloring? Not too many. Salmon Bay has 2 autism inclusion programs, both full for next year. District says, wink wink, go ahead and sign up, we'll take care of you. We all know that never happens. Either they won't assign you to the school, or they'll assign you the school but forget about the stuff you need... like teachers. Blaine, which isn't an alternative school, does have a couple of inclusion programs. Maybe there's some openings there. But, these alternative schools have been allowed to slam the door in the faces of students with disabilities for many years now... Maybe that's what alternative means, alternative to serving all comers.

ma'am said...

Spedvocate- alternative schools have no contol over which programs the distict cohouses in their building or which students the districtg refuses to place or adequetly serve their needs when they are placed at the schools. As#1 has accommotaded a wide range of disabilities over the years and maNy of our regular ed teachers are former special ed teachers that wanted to work in a more inclusive environment.

The problem is the districts allocation of services not the exclusivity of alternative schools.

ma'am said...

That parent should aso receive an NCLB opt out letter in the fall w/ schools they can transfer to because hawthorn is in level 5 failure. Someone at the option school fair can explain that process to her.

spedvocate said...

Actually not Rebecca, schools themselves argue over program placement and fight to keep sped programs out of their schools. And alternative schools, at least in the recent past, have fought to keep these special education programs out of their buildings. The whole notion of "co-housing" is exactly illustrative of the discriminatory attitude. Special education is supposed to be service, not a program. Viewing special education programs, and considering them as a "co-housed" in "your" building, means the students are not full members of the community. Consider TOPs. The DHH students are all booted out to Eckstein in 6th grade. Were they ever really members of TOPs? If so, why are they moved? Is anybody else systematically removed due to the natural circumstances of their birth? Does anybody care?

AS1 may well be an exception, but the trend is pretty clear.

spedvocate said...

Sorry, I meant Megan.

Unknown said...

The TOPS DHH program is in the building but in self-contained classrooms. No integration of kids into regular classrooms. At best a passing recognition of the DHH kids in the hallways or occasional assembly. But is that TOPS' fault or the way the District has set up the program? Guess the latter.

When no one asks questions or pushes back, then that's the way it stays. Sped just may be the weakest dept. in the district. But many of you already know that.

owlhouse said...

The Option School Fair is a new event, built by parents in response to a range of questions re: "options" under the NSAP. It represents a unique opportunity to connect with representatives from across the city, learning more about a dozen school programs. We are looking forward to this as a community building event and welcome those planning to enroll in an Option School as well as those just curious about programs and practices w/in our district.

Services and opportunities for special ed and all Seattle students are of concern to me. As a supporter of alternative ed pedagogy, curriculum and practices, I will continue to advocate for these options as I see them as best educational practices for many children, not limited to gen ed kids. Aurora and spedvocate, if you have suggestions on how I can better advocate, please let me know.
~Nora- owlhouse88@hotmail.com

ARB said...


Even self-contained kids are supposed to participate in gen ed to at least some extent. This means more than just making lunch or recess open to them.

The district points spec ed parents to school principals if they complain. In fact, parents with any issues that arise with the new spec ed/ICS program are told that they need to work with individual school principals.


How about at the very least giving ALL kids the chance to find the school that is right for them (whether option or attendance area) without first closing options entirely (saying no spec ed seats) or by action (saying you can apply, but we won't necessarily be able to support your kid if they get in)?

What would you do if you were told that option schools were restricted or unavailable for your child? If you are a parent in an option school, ask your principal what he or she tells interested spec ed parents... maybe some places are more aware then others.

Thanks for your support and concern.

spedvocate said...

District --- where have you been? The way the PRINCIPAL runs the programs is almost entirely the fault of the principal. Get a grip. We have site based management. Do you really think somebody at the district says, "Hey TOPs, make sure to self-contain all the deaf kids. Make sure they're not members of the community, no fraternizing should be allowed." Absolutely not. The school is entirely responsible for the way the students are educated. In the case of DHH, the district must have some clustering for costs, and for critical mass as required by use of sign language interpreters and speakers. Signed English at TOPs I believe. But other than the clustering for that 1 particular program, there isn't any other requirement for exclusion mandated by the district. For example, almost all students with emotional/behavioral disabilities (EBD) are completley isolated from peers in maximally restricted self-contained programs with 0 accountability. BUT, some schools like Gatewood and Eckstein have decided that their EBD students will be fully included in all classes, all day long. How is that? Are they somehow tricking the district? No. That is the decision of their school, as led by their principals.

Owlhouse -- ask for inclusion programs in your alternative schools. These have already been requested and denied. If you want to be truly inclusive, you've got to have inclusion programs and you have got to include all students. All means all, doesn't it? It's a huge limitation of both alternative and charter schools that students with disabilities get no seat, or have limited access.

owlhouse said...

Thanks to all who participated in the fair today. I learned a lot about our schools and appreciated connecting with families and staff.

Unknown said...

It looks like there are a lot to discuss on this event, I’m sure there will be a fun and informing event.
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Unknown said...

This sounds like a fun family bonding event, looking forward of this tomorrow. Thanks for the announcements.
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