Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Board Work Session on NSAP Transition

The Board met to get background on the Transition Plan decisions for the coming year. The meeting was strictly informational - there wasn't any discussion to speak of. Dr. Libros just ran through the long stack of slide one after the other bang, bang, bang.

Here's a link to the PowerPoint.

Here are some interesting points.

1. Nevermind what you thought the Capacity Management Policy says or what you thought the District would report about Capacity Management in the fall. The District staff won't even set the criteria or the metrics for capacity management until February or March of next year so there will not be a real Capacity Management Report this fall. Expect nothing from them.

2. Don't expect much Community Engagement. It's already November. It will soon be Thanksgiving and then Christmas and winter break and the Board will get their motion at the first meeting in January and vote on it in mid-January, so there just won't be any time for Community Engagement on any of the elements of the Transition Plan.

3. Your best chance at community engagement will come this month at meetings or online. There's supposed to be a link on the Enrollment web page for submitting comments and suggestions. I didn't see it.

4. The deadline for Program Placement proposals is November 24. I presume this process will be just as corrupt as it has always been.

5. There are 99 out-of-area students in the 9th grade at Franklin. That's over a quarter of the freshman class.

Some things are pretty clear:

The District staff don't really want to do anything about changing the Garfield attendance area. In fact, they don't appear to really want to change any attendance areas. Instead, a lot of the options for Garfield had to do with re-arranging APP.

AS#1 is, once again, on the chopping block.

The staff wanted to make it very clear that the Superintendent would decide - unilaterally - whether to re-purpose Jane Addams as a traditional middle school or leave it as a K-8.

The District wants to build a new middle school in the north-end. Where could it go? Not into the Pinehurst building - it is too desirable as a K-5. There area a lot of other options. The District has buildings and land in the north-end: Wilson-Pacific, Cedar Park, John Marshall, and more.

The Board was anxious for some action on creating more international schools but the staff is successfully delaying them.


Maureen said...

Proposed Geographic Zones look huge to me. The one around Salmon Bay is about 150 square blocks and contains 754 kids already enrolled in SPS (100 of them are at SB already). TOPS' is similar in area, but supposedly only contains 87 kids-28 already at TOPS, 27 at Montlake.I don't know if the maps are posted yet--I picked up a hard copy. No attempt to account for private school kids.

Jet City mom said...

Salmon bay ( James Monroe) used to be a junior high.
I suggest reopening it as a middle school- move Salmon Bay to a more central location

( glad I didn't go to the meeting- it sounds excruciating)

Parent said...

Looking at the PPT:
-APP numbers for Garfield are listed, but not how many live in the Garfield attendance area. That seems like an important number. What about APP students in elem/middle who live in the Garfield attendance area?
-Rainier Beach's low numbers are posted, but unlike with the other schools, there is nothing Pending and no Implications are pointed out.

Anonymous said...

Where did you find the geographic zone maps? I'm very interested for Queen Anne Elementary.
thank you!
Parent at Lincoln

lendlees said...

During the board meeting last night, the new person in charge of the Native American program mentioned in passing that Wilson Pacific was going to be repurposed as a middle school. So...that might be the site.

I did find the PPT interesting in that they are planning once again to move/split/whatever APP without any thought as to where the students will go. (or as Parent said, how many APP students live in the Garfield zone)

Maureen said...

Parent at Lincoln, I walked in at the end of the Work Session and managed to grab a hard copy. The maps are labeled "Draft GeoZone" I didn't hear the discussion, so I don't know if they are actually proposed or just a convenient starting place.

I was at the first transition plan community meeting last Friday and Tracy Libros again referred to GeoZones as being so kids don't have to walk past a school every day that they can't get into. These Draft Zones are nothing like that.

The QA boundaries are: Mercer on the south, 3rd AVE W on the west and Florentia on the north, Terry and the Lake on the east. Currently 413 SPS K-5 students live in those boundaries. 246 at Hay, 86 at Coe and 31 at QA already.

kellie said...

The impression I am getting is the the GeoZones have very quickly morphed into an attempt to alleviate some capacity issues. But this is very different from the original intent of it being a "postage stamp" sized zone.

Do you have the zones for Thornton Creek?

dj said...
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dj said...

Can program placement proposals include establishing new programs (or replicating old programs) at new sites? Or only moving existing programs? Because, as the parent of three kids under the age of five, living right by Madrona, I have some ideas for the district if they are serious about increasing neighborhood buy-in.

Maureen said...

Kellie, Thornton Creek's Draft GeoZone boundaries are: NE 70th, 30th AVE NE, NE 95th, and Sandpoint Way. 547 K-5 SPS kids live inside those boundaries, 247 at View Ridge, 125 at Wedgewood, 65 already at TC.

One interesting feature of the maps is that they each have a little table that compares the ethnic distribution of the Geo Zone to the distribution of the school. There's some difference at TC (TC is 83% white, TCGZ is 73% white), but it's really striking for TOPS: TOPS 47% White TOPSGZ 75% White. I wish they had done an ELL and Sped breakout as well.

s-ender said...

Does anyone know the proposed GZ around Orca?

Central Mom said...

I attended the workshop last night. As Charlie said, Tracy Libros (enrollment) said this was a chance to get a lot of info into the community. The ppt slides, geozone drafts and multiple solutions for addressing Garfield overcrowding were put into the public domain to begin conversation.

The PR (er communications) person there (Patty) said they are "working" to get the geozone and Garfield items online today under a 2010-2011 NSAP transition page. The actual ppt presentation is linked under the board workshop agenda. (more about this in the following post!!!!). There is also an email "submit" option for comments on all things NSAP, so the Board members can quickly access public comment.

Central Mom said...

Specifically to Orca, since it's not electronically available, looks like Rainier Ave to the West, Lake Washington to the East. Can't see the street names to north and south, and each have one stairstep "jog" in them, but basically they are (North) the street one block north of Hudson and (South) the next arterial south of Graham...on the south side of Graham Hill Elementary.

zb said...

Geo Zones -- are these geographic boundaries for option schools? where you'll get preference into the option school? Is it a 2nd tie-breaker (after sibling)?

I'm making guesses, but can someone explain what the geo zones are?

zb said...

Ok, I read the PPT, and I seem to be right about the geo zones. Does this effectively mean that some neighborhoods (take, for example, between 70-75th street in View Ridge, which includes View Ridge Elementary) have 2 schools that they'll be (virtually) guaranteed attendance in? I know the PPT says it is *not* a guarantee, but effectively, the folks in the GeoZone get preference into the option school over everyone but sibs.

Clearly, they're planning on using the option schools for capacity management, where the option school is popular, and where the reference schools are full.

SolvayGirl said...

I don't understand the geo-zone for option schools. They're all very different and should be available to the entire city. Without transportation if outside the "zone" is OK with me for budget reasons, but I'd hate to think that a child on my block (thinking about my neighbor's 1-yr-old and others) could not have access to Orcas if they so desired (we're one block outside the zone.)

seattle said...

Is every family in some option schools geo zone? Or do some families have two guaranteed schools (neighborhood and option), while other families only have one (neighborhood)?

SolvayGirl said...

That's a good question Hawk...but still doesn't address the fact that the philosophy of each option school is different. Access should be equitable city-wide. You may want Option A, but live in Option C's geo-zone, or perhaps, as you questioned, have no option at all.

The NSAP has definitely created even more less-desirable neighborhoods in Seattle.

Charlie Mas said...

Is the link to submit comments live? I could only find this email address: newassign@seattleschools.org. Is that it?

Maureen said...

zb is right about GeoZones. Some people have what amounts to a guaranteed seat at two different schools. Most people won't be in a GeoZone for any Option school. Whatever seats don't fill with sibs and GeoZOne people are assigned by lottery equally to anyone else in the city.

Unclear what happens to people who get in under a GeoZone preference and then move out side the Zone (in neighborhood schools you would have to reapply.)

Central Mom, do you know if there was any discussion of turning the International Schools into Option Schools with GeoZones that match their attendance area boundaries for now?

Central Mom said...

OK part II of my post and SPS Comms staff: This one is for you.

You (SPS staffer in communications whom I won't name publicly this time) told the board the 2011-12 NSAP enrollment page is available online. Really? Where is it? If it is on the site, then it's buried.

You (same staffer) told the board that the email address/feedback form was operational on that enrollment page. If the page is indeed live, I have my bets that it's not operational.

In short, this is another case of many I have documented this year when various staff has said "it's done" when in fact the actual status is "it WILL be done (and we're working hard and it's a pain and etc. etc.)"

Look staff, don't lie about the true status of projects when the board or the public inquires. Even for small things. It's a shoddy work habit and it undermines the public trust in you as well as promulgates a perception that you are unprofessional.

On the public outreach front, you also demurred about allowing NSAP input directly from the SPS homepage. Why? Make it easy for people. This is the #1 issue for the coming months. Reach out to your populace. This isn't exactly a difficult website content priority decision.

In short, let's step it up in communications and general staff professionalism, shall we? Critique over.

wseadawg said...

Can anyone explain what is meant by re-arranging APP at Garfield? We keep hearing about this over, and over again.

Central Mom said...

OK, a few more highlights from the worksession, then I have to be offline. In order of ppt slides:

Slide 11) This year's Open Enrollment process will be OFF the VAX and ONTO the new software system. (Hooray and good job SPS!)

Slide 22-25) WHOA. Early warning from staff surrounding grandfathering of non-attendance area siblings (the big pushback from the community last year) that because of major capacity issues "it is unrealistic for families to expect that it will be possible to do that again" THIS WILL BE A BIG DEAL FOR SOME FAMILIES.

Slides 32-34: I don't think Charlie captured this quite right in his overview. In fact, staff has presented all kinds of possibilities for managing crowding at Garfield. No recommendation yet. Whole separate not online yet slides showing how current Garfield boundaries could be changed and communities sent to different schools than this year (Roosevelt, Franklin, Rainier Beach, etc.) And yes, APP change is another of the list of options.

SLIDE 37, 38) Without specifically recommending it, staff is suggesting portables for Thornton Creek to increase capacity.

SLIDE 39-42) Without specifically recommending it, staff hard push to close AS 1, repurpose site as preschool for gen ed and SPED. Note: In one of the few areas of discussion deBell pushed back and asked why AS #1 was the only school in this presentation where closure was being pushed. Wants that sort of discussion to happen in conjunction w/ performance mgmt and wants to see other options for AS1 program. I point this out because the AS1 community has really been tossed around by Central Admin in the past few years and it was refreshing to see a Board member give the program a break.

Slide 46) Good news for K-8s! Staff appears to have "gotten it" that the WSS funding for these schools is currently messed up. Yes, some hints that other programs at Madrona may be possible to attract area families.

Slide 62) The 10 percent open enrollment rule for high schools is ill defined and needs to be better-defined by the board for the next round of enrollment.

Slide 65) The other area with Board discussion. Yes, staff has (FINALLY) realized that we need to think about International Schools as possibly moving to Option status. Doesn't mean they'll do it, but at least they've been forced to think about it. HUGE pushback from board to get roadmaps for new elementary International Schools out the door IN CONJUNCTION WITH the coming year's enrollment. They also want a middle school and high school pathway defined. deBell, Carr, Smith-Blum and Maier all pushing extremely hard. Staff clearly not thrilled, but I think this is finally THE year, esp. because of issues of program placement w/ all the new schools opening. This blog will need a different thread on this sometime during the NSAP process.

That's it for now.

Central Mom said...
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Charlie Mas said...

When originally introduced, and when previously discussed, the Geographic Zones around the Option Schools were supposed to be really small - just the immediate neighborhood. The draft ones on these maps appear bigger than I had been led to expect.

Dorothy Neville said...

So this is proof of what someone recently said (Charlie?) that the VAX was used for the NSAP in last year's enrollment.

Remind me again of why the NSAP was two years late? Wasn't it because they needed to migrate off the VAX?

Yes, this sounds like whining, but the thing that makes this so sad and frustrating is that if they had done the NSAP on schedule, a lot of the sibling issues would be moot, because the attendance areas would have been set before many of these sibling issue families would have started school. Would have also meant that they wouldn't be in the position of having that SURGE capacity thing totally maxed out during the transition so fast.

Dorothy Neville said...

Oh, and that geozone around TC is brilliant in that it effectively shuts out Hawthorne Hills from TC. I conclude that was done to boost up the attendance at Sand Point.

Philosophy of the geozone has clearly morphed into capacity management tool.

Maureen said...

I don't want to put too much emphasis on the Draft GeoZones until I hear if they are just arbitrary starting points or if they are actual initial staff proposals.

The one around TOPS looks to be geographic/traffic based to some extent, but definitely not walk zone based--most of those kids would have to be offered a bus to TOPS. As far as capacity is concerned, Montlake may be able to afford losing up to 27 kids -- most of them would probably stay-- though I heard recently that they are still buying extra teachers (18 kids in 3rd grade) so maybe they would be happy to lose a few?

West Seattle said...

During the whole NSAP community discussion (at a meeting the Schmitz Park Elem PTA organized), I specifically asked Sundquist about these Zones around option Schools (using TCS as the example). He very clearly stated that they would be very small and indicated that they would be a few blocks around each school.

Whast the point of Options Schools with such large boundaries. Especially HS option Schools. They should be all city lottery. once again we are created a two tiered class system where some have won the gold tickets.

zb said...

I think we should pay attention to Maureen's caution on putting too much store into these maps until we know what they are.

But, there's no question that the TC map is way beyond any kind of "walk zone" map. The boundary looks drawn to relieve pressure on View Ridge.

And, yes, I agree that they're warning folks that K sibling grandfathering (in the transition plan, to the older child's school) is not going survive next year.

Charlie Mas said...

Actually, Maureen, you should put GREAT store in the Draft GeoZones.

At Seattle Public Schools the things that appear as innocuous "drafts" typically end up as the actual final version.

In fact, the more the staff discourage you from regarding them as actual proposals (and therefore speak about them) the more likely they are to be the final decision.

Charlie Mas said...

And, yes, Dorothy, the staff delayed the implementation of the new Student Assignment Plan for two years - it was implemented two years late - saying that they couldn't do it on the VAX. Then they did it on the VAX.

They proved their excuse false.

There was no accountability. The Board never even mentioned it. The Board never even mentioned the fact that the New Student Assignment Plan was two years late.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I can't remember if I said this from the drop-in session I went to but I asked Tracy about the 10% choice seats being 10% of the freshman class and then later 10% of entire school population. She looked a bit surprised and said that she thought it would just be 10% of the freshman class. Those are two different things and that should get nailed down. I think staff is treating the whole NSAP as a pilot for capacity management and wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of things change.

About the VAX. One, we should all send the Board e-mail on this issue to make sure that they know (remember) that these things were said. Two, I had suggested to Tracy that we have a bonfire of the VAX. (Bonfire of the VAX).

Spruiter said...

I'd like to clarify what you said about Jane Addams.

There were two slides regarding Jane Addams that mentioned the strong growth of the program this year and also said:

"Superintendant does not plan any changes in the Jane Addams K-8 program/grade. Jane Addams will continue as a K-8 option school"

As a Jane Addams parent, I was ecstatic to see these slides.

I was surprised that there is no immediate plan to increase north end middle school capacity as that is sorely needed, but it does not make sense to locate that middle school at Jane Addams.

For one, it would significantly reduce diversity at Eckstein. It would also only help alleviate crowding at Eckstein and not Hamilton or Whitman, which are also full.

Based on the current elementary school numbers and attendance area maps, John Marshall or Wilson Pacific would make much more sense, and be less disruptive to families.

Jane Addams is a strong school with an involved parent community, an excellent principal, and amazing teachers.

We are the most diverse option school in the north end, and that diversity is holding in the entry level grades that have all opted in. We have both ELL and Spectrum programs. While I don't have Spectrum numbers, I know that access to an advanced learning program was a selling point for a number of the kindergarten families, and I expect that our Spectrum numbers will climb.

Our biggest challenge at the moment is battling the ongoing rumor of our building being repurposed. While I know that no school has an ironclad guarantee, knowing that the superintendent does not intend to alter our program is reassuring, and hopefully reassuring to the many families who are interested in Jane Addams but have yet to make the change because they aren't willing to take the risk on the school closing.

Lori said...

Thanks for your post, Spruiter. It's good to hear things are going well at JA and that there seems to finally be a commitment to the school.

One question: I'm not sure what you mean when you say that increasing middle school enrollment at JA would decrease the diversity at Eckstein. Certainly it would relieve overcrowding at Eckstein, but I don't follow the diversity comment.

Also, as it stands right now, does JA "bubble" at 6th grade? That is, are there the same number of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade classes as there are 5th grade classes, or does enrollment swell a little such that the middle school grades are relatively larger (I think they call that a "mushroom model").

Anonymous said...

Well Jeez. Of course they have to use the geographic zones of option schools for capacity management. Option schools are part of the capacity of the system. Some people will complain no matter what. If they didn't consider the options with an eye towards capacity, people would be complaining about that too. Oh those district people. Don't they know people are attending option schools?

I don't think Tracey Libros ever meant that a kid wouldn't have to walk past a school if they were attending an "Option" school.

Yes. It looks like the VAX migration never happened. Perhaps they simply don't have the talent to do it. That would seem the case. What sort of "accountability" would somebody propose? Oh. Let's see, fire the VAX people? Fire Tracey Libros? "Hold their feet to the fire"?? The accountability machinationists cry, cry, cry but never have "accountability" specifics.

A Parent

Anonymous said...

I am thrilled that you are happy at Jane Addams. I hear lots of wonderful things and I am glad they are true.

But the continuing problem is that Jane Addams is the perfect location for a neighborhood middle school.

Marshall is in the walk zone for both Eckstein and Hamilton. So adding Marshall to the mix would only mean needing to creating some very bizarre feeder patterns. Not that this is likely to slow anyone down.

Wilson Pacific is also very close to Whitman and has the same problem of making some just strange feeder patterns with some area being very close to more than one middle school.

Whereas, Jane Addams as a middle school would mean that there were 4 middle schools in the 4 corners of the north end and there could be logical feeder patterns.

Jane Addams middle school would very much help with Hamilton and Whitman because then Laurelhurst could then go back to Eckstein, where they should have been assigned in the first place and a more logical boundary for Hamilton and Whitman can be formed as well.

North Seattle Parent

Patrick said...

Spruiter, thank you for the post. Yes, Jane Addams' biggest problem is the cloud hanging over it since June 2009, and I hope this will finally put those rumors to rest.

Anonymous North Seattle Parent, if Jane Addams were reconfigured as middle school only, it might help the middle school capacity problems. But it would create capacity problems in the NE elementary schools.

Spruiter said...

In response to Lori:

Jane Addams will be a mushroom model K-8 - meaning the 6-8 classes will be larger that the K-5. Right now our K,1,2 classes are comparable in size to 6,7,8 and 3,4,5 are smaller, but as the school fills, everything I've heard indicates that the intent is to have a mushroom model.

If Jane Addams were turned into a middle school, it would likely have the following feeder schools: Olympic Hills, Olympic View, John Rogers and Sacajawea. These schools are considerably more diverse than Wedgwood, View Ridge, Bryant and Green Lake (based on the 2008 numbers available on the district website under school reports). Thus, my comment that peeling off the north end of the NE service area to go to Jane Addams, will likely reduce diversity at Eckstein.

joanna said...
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Spruiter said...

North Seattle Parent -

When you look at the K enrollment numbers, I don't think a comprehensive middle school at Jane Addams takes enough pressure off Eckstein to even add Laurelhurst back into the service area. The 4 schools at the north end of the cluster (Oly Hills, Oly View, Sac and John Rogers) are small schools, with the exception of Oly View.

If you look at the K numbers for those schools, and assume all the current JA kindergarteners are coming from those 4 schools (most are), that only gives you 267 kids in that class feeding into a Jane Addams comprehensive middle school.

Compare that to the 500 kids in K at Bryant, Green Lake, Sand Point, View Ridge, Wedgwood, AS1 and Thornton Creek.

Even with a percentage going to private school for middle school, the numbers don't work.

In order to draw enough kids, you would need to pull Wedgwood up to Jane Addams, and I'm sure many Wedgwood families, especially in the southern part of their boundary, which is literally across the street from Eckstein, wouldn't be too happy about that. Plus, that would likely put Jane Addams over capacity.

And this does nothing for overcrowding at Whitman or Hamilton.

Alternatively, a middle school at John Marshall could be fed from McDonald, Green Lake, Bagley, Oly View, Greenwood, & AS1 - that would be 288 kids, and the McDonald #s will certainly grow.

That takes pressure off all 3 schools, and Marshall (with a capacity around 1200) is even big enough to take APP, thus making even more space at Hamilton.

Yes, it would put 3 middle schools fairly close together, but the density in that part of town is much greater than up north.

The 4 middle schools in the 4 corners of town argument doesn't hold for me - Hamilton is hardly in Ballard, and Whitman is basically equidistant from the ship canal and the Shoreline border. Middle school walk zones are 2 miles and are likely to be revised.

I haven't looked at Wilson Pacific as an option - maybe it's a better compromise, but I stand by my statement that the numbers don't work for Jane Addams as a comprehensive middle school.

joanna said...
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joanna said...

The Board members did talk about rearranging APP and may prefer that option. However, a 9 page packet of hard copy maps with titled Boundary Change Options for Garfield was presented. Yes, knowing the number of APP students within the Garfield area, along with numbers attending or living in any other high school areas that might be involved would be important.

Back to the maps, one shows Montlake area students going to Roosevelt. Maybe this was proposed since the current Roosevelt assignment area has fewer resident students than had been projected.

That one and the one showing the Lowell attendance area folding in Ballard would be provocative. Both attendance areas are both much closer to Garfield than to either of the other high schools. What happened to keeping students close to where they live.

Charlie Mas said...

Anonymous A Parent wrote: "What sort of 'accountability' would somebody propose? Oh. Let's see, fire the VAX people? Fire Tracey Libros? 'Hold their feet to the fire'?? The accountability machinationists cry, cry, cry but never have 'accountability' specifics."

The biggest "accountability machinationists" in the District are the superintendent and the Board. And you're right: they talk about accountability but they never do anything about it.

What would I like to see as accountability? First, an acknowledgement of the facts. Second, it should be duly noted on someone's performance review. Nowhere on the superintendent's performance review was there any mention of the fact that the new student assignment plan was two years late. It should have been there.

I don't think that failure alone would be enough to cost someone their job, but if there were a lot of other failures then it might.

seattle said...

"Whereas, Jane Addams as a middle school would mean that there were 4 middle schools in the 4 corners of the north end and there could be logical feeder patterns."

This makes so much sense. It would be devastating to dismantle JA K-8, but would it be that devastating to just move the program intact to Marshall or another north location? Option schools are just not tied to building geographically, like neighborhood schools are. that doesn't mean they should be moved on a whim, but in this case I don't see any other options.

"Anonymous North Seattle Parent, if Jane Addams were reconfigured as middle school only, it might help the middle school capacity problems. But it would create capacity problems in the NE elementary schools."

Are you sure about that? John Rogers didn't fill this year, and we have two new schools -Sandpoint and McDonald. We also have Viewlands coming online this year too. And, possibly Pinehurst. That's a whole lot of new seats. Seems like we could redraw some boundaries.

JamieC said...

Lowell attendance area going to Ballard HIgh seems crazy.

north seattle mom said...


I really do appreciate your sticking up for your school and you are certainly correct that the threat of closure wrecks havoc on a school. AS1 can certainly attest to that at this point.

All three north end middle schools are maxed out and facing varying degrees of difficulty in managing the overloaded students. Adding an extra middle school will balance middle school capacity. Everyone seems to agree on that, since middle schools take only feeder schools that are geographically contiguous any new school would relieve some pressure because they just move to the next area and pick up a feeder school. So essentially it is a zero sum game as you simply divide the number of elementary schools by the number of middle schools and you have a feeder patterns.

Your argument that Jane Addams as a middle school does "nothing for for overcrowding at Whitman or Hamilton" and that John Marshall would put "3 middle schools fairly close together, but the density in that part of town is much greater than up north" has a few flaws in it.

Current enrollment is not an indicator of where the students actually live. They used to have these great maps of where the students actually live on the seattle schools website. They showed them all the time during the NSAP meetings. And it showed that the greatest density of students lived in the Lake City and Jane Addams area, not the south part of the cluster.

Even using the K enrollments as a guide isn't that helpful because we don't know how many are out of area sibs.

And your feeder pattern for a new John Marshall school is a bit of a stretch. McDonald is mostly in the walk zone of Hamilton; Most of Green Lake and much of Oly View is in the walk zone of Eckstein; Bagley and Greenwood are mostly in the walk zone for Whitman. And AS1 is a K8.

So you are proposing mostly moving kids that are in a walk zone for their current middle school and then leaving all of Lake City and the entire North end of the city can not have any students in a walk zone for middle school.

I understand that the "4 middle schools in the 4 corners of town argument doesn't hold" for you but maybe you can agree that having Whitman as the most north school is a little rough on feeder patterns.

Hamilton is not in Ballard - It is it in Wallingford and practically on the ship canal. Whitman is equidistant from the ship canal and the Shoreline border and that is the northern most school. Adding another middle school in the south part of the cluster is just not fair to the families like mine that live in the north part of town and want a middle school.

I just think it is ridiculous that both Jane Addams and Broadview Thompson were built as middle schools and have all the athletic fields and stuff to support a middle school but are used as a K8 and John Marshall doesn't have any of those facilities.

So if you add John Marshall to the mix, you create a real imbalance by having 3 schools with a facility and one without.

newbie said...

slide 46 about k-8 funding-- forgive my ignorance about these matters. i am just learning about how they fund these things. Is that just about Madrona or about all K-8s? Does that mean they are thinking about funding K8 schools more instead of like elemtary schools?

Sabine Mecking said...

By the way, SPS has been renting out the John Marshall Building. There are many non-profits in there by now that have at least 5 years leases. So, I think the discussion whether John Marshall should become another middle school anytime soon is kind of obsolete.

Locationwise, squished between Hamilton and Eckstein, it does not seem to make much sense either (as some posters already mentioned).

Maureen said...

newbie, yes I have heard that there is a K-8 taskforce working on fixing the problems K-8s have because they have been funded like K-5s.

Maureen said...

The Geographic Zone and Garfield Boundary Change Option maps are posted:
Transition Plan '11-'12

Josh Hayes said...

I'd just add that proposals to reopen Marshall or Wilson-Pacific as regular middle schools is crazy because both buildings are in horrible physical shape. The expense of bringing either one up to something resembling code would be immense.

wsnorth said...

West Seattle (and others) speaking of "gold ticket" insanity. Can someone please tell me what those of us living in the Schmitz Park, Lafayette and Alki areas have done to totally p!$$ off the district? now this proposal:

Make Gatewood, West Seattle Elementary, and Sanislo dual feed with transportation.

To non West Seattle folk, this would give 7 of the 10 elementary feeders in WS carte blanc on assignment, and the other three, stuck in our rusty, moldy portables and falling apart 50's era schools no access to international programs and no choice at all. wtf? It is like they are singling us out and punishing us... for what???

SP said...
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SP said...

Seattle Parent said...
WS North-
I agree- It's a nice gift to the 3 areas on the border, but no one else gets that dual-feeder choice in the district. How will that help balance the "4 vs. 6" feeder pattern problem?

All of the Options (proposals) listed on p. 67-69 of the PowerPoint EXCEPT for the "Realign Feeder Patterns" proposal, are from Steve Sundquists's pet favorites. All 7 of his proposals do NOTHING to address the Feeder Pattern Imbalances acknowledged on p. 67 (4 vs. 6 = guaranteed imbalance).

In the new "Key Facts & Data" book online now, pages 51 & 52 say it all: The traditional West Seattle north/south migration for high school didn't happen this year. It apprears that 70% of Sealth area 9th graders accepted their default Sealth assignment, whereas only 49% of WSHS area 9th graders took their default assignment at WSHS. Over half of the WSHS area 9th graders still jumped ship, the lowest % by far in the whole district? (Franklin & Ingraham come in next lowest at 66% and 69%). Even Rainier Beach had 71% of their 9th grade kids accept their default assignment!

Check out the proposed Garfield maps online- there are all sorts of proposals to rearrange the assignment area boundaries at the high school level (in WS, it would have to also include the MS area because of the unique MS to HS link that WS has). The district has to make the WS feeder pattern/boundary change NOW before it's too late and more damage has been done!

wsnorth said...

Can we get a link to the "facts and data" book? I looked for links from the Enrollment page, but couldn't find it. Does that mean that RBHS only has ~ 600 students assigned to it? 600 x 70% =~ 420. No wonder it is so under-enrolled.

And, I live in WS, and have no idea what this "unique" HS/MS link we supposedly have - do you mean the International school at Denny to Sealth? There should be an international feeder or option, but there is not as far as I know.

SP said...

WS North-
Maureen posted the link on 11/05 on this strand (for both maps & data), and I have posted it actually 2 times on the "free Friday" strand.

From the Enrollment page, click on the big orange circle, "Transition Plan for 2011-12".


Then, on the New SAP & Transition page about 1/2 way down you'll find the "Key Facts & Data (all 50+ pages of it---except for future enrollment projections, still pending...).

Also on the same SAP/Transition page you'll find the Option schools proposed maps, Garfield's map proposals, etc.

As far as the MS/HS link, the two sets of secondary schools in WS (Madison/WSHS and Denny/Sealth) were given the only MS/HS linked assignments in the whole District. After the first maps were released and everyone protested that the MS & HS maps weren't aligned for Denny & Sealth, i.e. some people in the mid areas were assigned to Madison and then to Sealth (or Denny & then to WSHS). So the District/Board changed it in the 2nd go-around with new maps (because they had to link Denny/Sealth, then they also had to do Madison/WSHS which was not ever part of a organized plan).

This is different than anywhere else in the city, where designated elementary schools feed into a specific MS, but the HS assignment map is completely different, which allows at that point for enrollment adjustments.

I would encourage you to go Steve Sundquist's meeting also (on Sat. 11/13 @ High Point Library 11:00am), before the 11/16 District SAP meeting, if only to be able to talk with other parents and come up with some options to get WS out of this mess.

Jan said...

Seattle Parent: is this just as simple as going back to a plan that delinks the two MSs from the HSs? Or is that not possible because of the shared Denny/Sealth campus (some kids would be at Denny for MS and then feel totally disenfranchised by being "moved " from what they reasonably see as "their school" while everybody else gets to stay)?