Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Fairmount Park Elementary to Re-Open?

From the West Seattle Blog, West Seattle schools: Fairmount Park Elementary reopening as soon as fall 2012?

At his community meeting today, Steve Sundquist said that the district is likely to re-open a closed elementary in West Seattle and that Fairmount Park is the likely choice.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, at a cost of $6M-$10M to bring it up to code. Oh, it's only levy money. We can push out some of those BEX II and III projects even further.

Mr. Ed

dj said...

Am I an idiot? Didn't they just close a west Seattle elementary two years ago? Is this for real?

Anonymous said...

Yessirree, dj. Not that you're an idiot but that they did just close Fairmount Park. And created untenable capacity issues. Sundquist must've realized he's not going to win re-election on his looks : (

Mr. Ed

Anonymous said...

Yes, they did close one two years ago and they closed another one two years before that. Take away two schools, create an absolute crisis and then spend $10M to reopen one of them.

- Cindy

Zebra (or Zulu) said...

This grotesque (or cynical) miscalculation (or intentional subterfuge) has finally come home to roost in West Seattle. Steve Sundquist had several opportunities to repair this mess before he turned two currently operating West Seattle Schools into trailer parks.

What we need to ask ourselves at this point is whether Sundquist and the District co-opted demographers did this intentionally or if they were just plain incompetent.

The former means that we need to broaden our targeted blame beyond Sundquist's re-election effort, the latter indicates that we need to target Sunquist's poison specifically in the next election.

Opening Fairmont Park will repair some of the damage, but you can rest assured that the school will not be functional academically for four years. Plan on about five hundred kids entering Denny or Madison Middle School ill-prepared for 6th grade in the next several years.

Parents in West Seattle...blame Sundquist. There are other guilty parties, but naming them would sound churlish.

seattle citizen said...

Yes, Cindy, some of us think the "crisis" is part of the plan. Churn (and burn) the lives of students, report "failing" test scores thereby, then bring in the Reform Rescue Team...

maybe too cynical, but hmmm...

Anonymous said...

@zebra: just curious, why does it take 4 years for a school to become " functional academically"? thx!

WS123 said...

To be fair, Fairmount Park merged with the then-Highpoint Elementary in 2006. Irene Stewart was the WS SB rep at that time, not Steve Sundquist.

Charlie Mas said...

The closure of Fairmount Park in 2007 was not a mistake. The closure of Cooper in 2009 was a mistake.

The 2007 decision was based on data. The West Seattle-North cluster did have that much too much capacity.

The 2009 decision was based on internal District politics and pushed the capacity too low.

Anonymous said...

Time flies when your kids are in portables. That sounds right WS123. So the OTHER WS school closed and exacerbating capacity in WS was Cooper. Maybe Sundquist means to place the kids he kicked out of Cooper into Fairmount Park? Either way, he deserves to hit the road.

Mr. Ed

Melissa Westbrook said...

I wish I had been there. Steve must have been twirling in circles to keep his stories straight.

Where the heck does he think all this capital money is? It's already promised to other projects and we are $530M in backlogged maintenance.

And, given our discussion about Spectrum, I love the "viable" Spectrum programs in West Seattle. I'll bet he doesn't have a clue what Spectrum is in West Seattle nor how it's being dismantled in the Northeast.

Anonymous said...

Time for a West Seattle Representative who does not come from Pathfinder.

8 years of Pathfinder School Board reps is too much in my lifetime.

That school got everything it wanted on the backs of every child in a common elementary school in West Seattle.

Sundquist has to go.

Ready to Storm the Castle

Anonymous said...

Sundquist wasn't responsible for the Fairmount Park closure. But it was Martin-Morris, not Sundquist, who voted against the closure of Cooper and the shuttering of Pathfinder's then-building.
I think when Meg Diaz said West Seattle would be overcrowded if Cooper closed, he said she didn't understand.

- not letting Sunquist off the hook

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Maybe they can open a spectrum only school.


Jan said...

Yes, Cindy, maybe they COULD open a Spectrum-only school -- but then, just think how far all those kids (and the cluster kids from other schools) would have to "walk to math" to keep it from being elitist! :>)

Jan said...

According to the West Seattle blog (boy, what wouldn't I give to have ST have such great coverage of education issues), Steve Sundquist said, in response to a parent with a split sibling issue who challenged him by asking if the current alternatives (pull your older child from Spectrum to attend the younger child's school, or split them):

Are those acceptable options to you?” the parent asked. “I don’t like them,” Sundquist acknowledged. “There’s a lot of things I don’t like about (current scenarios),” but, he indicated, there’s no way around it with the new policy – you have to make an “educational or lifestyle choice.” He noted that similar situations had arisen under the previous “school choice” assignment system as well.

He is wrong. One of the few things the old system DID do well was place siblings together (those schmucks with no older siblings to grease their way into TOPS, GHS, BHS, etc., didn't agree -- but that is my point).

What Steve needed to say, to be honest, was "other situations, which screwed OTHER groups of parents had arisen under the old system as well."

The NSAP has:
pleased some parents (at the expense of making others miserable).
Saved no money (evidently -- because no savings have ever been shown).
Cut most parents out of any ability to place their kids at Montessori schools or LI schools --because they are part of neighborhood assignment schools, and are not option programs;
Totally divested themselves of any ability whatsoever to limit school populations, regardless of program degredation, safety issues, etc. -- the best they can do, at this point, is try to fix it the following year by either moving one or more programs, by moving the boundaries (with or without opening new schools) -- all of which leads to the same uncertainty that the NSAP was supporsed to fix in the first place.

How much time and money was wasted implementing this program (INCLUDING the famous MGJ "salary bonus" which was based on her excellent work in this regard?

How much of that time/money might have been profitably spent putting people in schools, working on targeted interventions with kids behind grade level?

Charlie Mas said...

The District doesn't want to re-draw the attendance area boundaries. So if they re-open Fairmount Park, it would be great if they could re-open it with a non-geographic community and without an attendance area. Then they wouldn't have to make any changes to the attendance area boundaries.

There are a few options along those lines.

1) As Cindy wrote, it could be a Spectrum school. That would pull about a hundred students out of the tragically over-crowded Lafayette.

2) I have suggested that it house a language immersion program with Option School enrollment.

3) It could be an alternative school. I don't know what type - STEM, or tech, or Montessori, or whatever. One of the big advantages of this would be that, as an alternative school (or an "innovation school" in parlance of our times) it could use alternative materials, such as Singapore math.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, the district is not taking Spectrum seriously any longer. Lafayette is crazy over-enrolled. How long is it going to be before the Spectrum program there is dismantled the same way that the program has been dismantled in QA and the NE.

Many families pick Spectrum because in the past the siblings could go to the same school, well that is not going to happen at Lafayette any longer. If they are going to make the new program an option program anyway, then it would be easy to move Spectrum from Lafayette and then you get to both preserve the Spectrum program and families get to stay together.

So I just answered my own question. There is no way the district would ever do this because it might actually be good for West Seattle and apparently, they can only do things that split siblings in West Seattle and scatter communities.

- Cindy

rugles said...

Mixed signals...

They published this RFP for Fairmount but it has since been cancelled.

No. RFP04127,

Architectural & Engineering Services for Fairmount Park Elementary School

Until: May 2, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.

Seattle Public Schools (the District) is requesting proposals from Architectural & Engineering (A&E) firms interested in providing professional services for renovation upgrades at Fairmount Park Elementary School. Required services will include preliminary design, preparation of construction documents, and construction administration. The District intends to engage one A & E firm that has structural, electrical, mechanical, and cost estimating capabilities in one firm, as

Melissa Westbrook said...

Cindy, a Spectrum-only school? That's crazy talk.

Charlie and I have said that if you opened a Spectrum or APP (or both) K-8, it would be fully enrolled in a day. Then other parents could have those annoying parents and their kids out of their schools and Spectrum/APP parents would work their asses off for a great school.

Rugles, I'm going to the BEX Oversight Committee meeting tomorrow. I'll see if Fairmount Park comes up.

I believe the NSAP has saved some money on transportation but it's hard to say how much.

Anonymous said...

I don't mean Spectrum only, but I do mean a Spectrum Option school. Only option schools can keep siblings together.

If they are thinking about making the new West Seattle school an option program because they don't want to re-draw the boundaries, then why not make it a Spectrum option school. It is only a matter of time before the Spectrum program at Lafayette is done in this new cluster model.

It may be the only way to save advanced learning in West Seattle.