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Monday, November 15, 2010

Central NSAP Regional Meeting Tonight

(Update: sorry, I had put SE, not Central. This is the Central Region meeting.)

The third of the regional meetings will be tonight at Garfield High School from 6:30-8:00 p.m. Garfield is located at 400 23rd Ave South.

I would love to go to this one but I have a neighborhood meeting to attend. I hope someone attends and lets us know what the discussion was. (I did e-mail Tracy and the Board about shortening the district presentation so that more detailed questions and answers/discussion can take place.)

There is also an Operations Committee meeting tomorrow from 4-6 p.m. in the Board conference room. On the agenda:
- various BEX and BTA projects
- NSAP transition plan (interesting and what's that about?)
-capital monthly report
- 2010-2013 Technology plan

14 comments:

joanna said...

SE? does this mean Southeast Seattle? Garfield's meeting is defined as the one for Central Seattle and includes Queen Anne in this case.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm sorry; you're right. This is the Central one. I'll change that.

Sue said...

My twitter feed from the district just told me that there are 175 parents at this meeting. Whoah.

Sue

wseadawg said...

The meeting was very well attended. The most recurrent theme was not to force out any students currently going to Garfield. The second-most recurrent theme was to challenge the school board to redraw the boundary lines properly, as they really don't make sense. A third point that came up several times was to either temporarily freeze enrollment, and/or to reduce the 10% set asides for open choice seats.

To me, #3 is the over-the-top most logical immediate choice to reduce the overcrowding at Garfield next year. 10% is roughly how over-enrolled Garfield is. Yes, it may continue to grow, and solutions must be found, but shouldn't the 10% set asides be utilized for just these sort of problems when they occur? Why not do this while working on concurrent plans from all affected groups so each can take a step toward dealing with Garfield's overcrowding?

SE Mom said...

I don't know if the Garfield 10% choice seats really offered access to families anyhow. I suspect that there were very few if any families that got a choice seat that were not siblings. A tie breaker for siblings does not make sense to me for high school. If the choice seats don't really offer what they were designed to do, than perhaps it would be better to use those seats to balance enrollment.

wseadawg said...

The problem is simple. The district drew the borders too large. The solution is complicated. All the more reason for the Board to employ temporary measures available to them, like reducing or eliminating the open choice seats until the overcrowding problem is dealt with. How can anyone expect to reach a long term solution in a few short weeks.

The Board and SI have a chance to do right by the community here, by listening, consulting, and taking their time to do this right. Bob Vaughan is working on ideas for solutions as I write. It would be nice if the district finally showed he and APP some respect. After all, without APP, Garfield wouldn't be so desirable in the first place. I hope the whole Garfield community, APP & non-APP, will work together on this problem, instead of letting and us vs. them occur. This isn't APP's fault. It's the district's. They drew the lines.

uxolo said...

Two other suggestions for making more room at GHS until the district creates inviting programs elsewhere:
split session- for example, an 8 period "day" where some go kids go 1-6 and others go 3-8; a simpler one: use the Teen Life Center and Community Center for additional classrooms.

wave said...

I was there last night and, while a lot of people were focused on Garfield, there were plenty of others like me who were concerned about overcrowding at elementary schools. My kids are at Stevens, but the same problem is occuring at John Hay and elsewhere -- certain schools simply have boundaries that are too large and the lines must be adjusted -- immediately. At Stevens, we normally have room for 2 classes per grade, with maybe flexibility for one additional "bubble year". However, this year, we had to squeeze in a 3rd K class by displacing a very popular Spanish class from its room. We can't keep doing that year after year until there's 3 classes in each grade -- there's just no more rooms to put them in. Our property is too small to legally add portables. I heard last night that, at John Hay, they converted their stage to a classroom. I've heard about similar problems at Bryant. The ONLY solution to this is to adjust the boundaries. NOW. They can't keep forcing more and more students into classrooms that don't exist at these schools.

My small discussion group reported back on this topic, but I'm afraid it was lost in all the Garfield/APP hubub.

Maureen said...

David, I didn't know that about Stevens. Montlake appears not to be overenrolled, Lowell is and Madrona is underenrolled. Are you proposing sending the southern border to Madrona? It seems odd to me that the TOPS Geographic Zone is set to draw enrollment from Montlake since that doesn't solve any capacity problem and reduces diversity.

Can anyone else report back about the meeting?

wave said...

Maureen, yes, for the Stevens boundary I'd move the southern boundary up to probably Union and send those kids to either Madrona or Gatzert. One unfortunate result of this will be a decrease in the increased diversity we've seen at Stevens this year thanks to the extension of the draw area down to Cherry.

CCM said...

I was actually wondering about the Stevens and Lowell boundaries -- as there was a group of kids that were getting a bus to Lowell, waiting at 20th & Aloha for the first few weeks of the year (they have since disappeared...?)

If those kids live at 20th & Aloha (I live down the street) they would be in the Stevens zone. If they are APP walk zone for Lowell - why are they getting a bus?

I thought that the Lowell overcrowding had 100% to do with increased APP enrollment - or were some kids diverted to Lowell ALO because Stevens is too crowded?

It does seem strange that the Stevens boundary extends so far south - but maybe it was to offer those kids who were displaced from TT Minor a slot at a desired school (if I thought for a moment that the district cared one iota for those kids).

joanna said...

On the situation on Stevens: Forgive me. I cannot help myself. Most of you have two local programs from which you can choose, both fairly close to you, right? Lowell was able to accommodate 350+ APP students only due to the fact that only about 180 students enrolled in the neighborhood program. I also note that about 21% of the kindergartners at Stevens are from outside the area. Some maybe siblings of those who grandfathered into to the school. Who knows? I believe that when you really look at the data you will find that the assignment area around Madrona is quite huge and if the population there went to the school it would be overflowing with students. Programs vary. I think my assertions will be proven to be true when finally the District puts out a full report showing where the students live and where they go to school. Tracy promised me that this data will be posted soon.

The assignment areas could make sense if TT Minor was still open. It is still the closest school for 400+ students, but politics won over logic. Believe me, there are many who have worked for building our neighborhoods and have been long-time advocates for schools south of Union. There was a waiting list at TT Minor made up of students who live here for for the Montessori Program. After the abusive treatment that this group has endured they accepted the new assignment, breathing a sigh of relief that finally they have a stable known school to which while they have to be bused, it is known.

Gatzert and Madrona have plenty of students living within those areas. Unless you are prepared to build a coalition for a good to great program at TT Minor please don't advocate that these families are again uprooted. There is room for all the students who actually have been drawn into Stevens. There is not another school for many of these former TT Minor families who were just finally relieved to be assigned to a stable know program after decades of destabilization. Actually TT Minor would also be the only school to which many of these students can walk. I don't have time here for the history, but if enough of you want it I will do in a separate blog.

What did you think when TT Minor families were fighting for the school?

Maureen said...

From what I have seen, Stevens has always had a large number of out of area kids because of the bubble class they opened every six years--that drew kids from outside the typical circle and then their sibs got spots in the years after.

That bubble echo caused quite a bit of disruption in neighboring schools--in echo years, Montlake would not be able to enroll their standard circle of kids and that contributed to the Eastlake community's demands for set asides at TOPS. Everything is connected.

David, is joanna right? Are a large number of K kids at Stevens out of area sibs (because of the transition plan)? If so, enrollment should even out quickly--from what I hear, the out of area sib tiebreaker is not on the books this year (and some of the older kids may have to leave to be with their younger sibs.) You might want to check with Tracy Libros-she may have the data.

joanna said...

http://www.seattleschools.org/area/implementation/WhereStudentsGoElem.pdf
From the student assignment data. Currently 45% of the students at Stevens are from the assignment area and 21% of this years Kindergarten class is from outside the area. If you do the math there are about 422 public school students actually living within the boundaries. I'm sure that it will take a bit for it all to balance out with current students and siblings being grandfather into the school and some students who were not within the boundaries did not arrive at Stevens.