Thursday, June 09, 2011

Long Term Enrollment Projections

The Demographic Task Force got data on longer term enrollment projections through 2015 by geographic areas. The District expects significant growth in K-5 enrollment in just about every middle school service area. These numbers are for SPS students who live in these areas, not necessarily enrolled at a school in the same area.

Washington + 869
Denny +726
Mercer +725
Eckstein +673
Aki Kurose +606
Whitman +515

The other three are positive as well, but to a lesser extent.
If you look at each of these it is easy to prescribe a solution:

Washington - move north-end APP out of Lowell, attract students to Madrona
Denny - build a K-5 on the location of old Denny
Mercer - re-open Van Asselt
Eckstein - McDonald and Sand Point need to take up the growth
Aki Kurose - Rainier View needs to take up most of the growth
Whitman - Viewlands will take up most, bring students to Broadview-Thomson

The move of elementary north-end APP to a north-end location is a challenge. This may be, however, the only population that would accept John Marshall as a site. The building is bad enough, but it is also right next to the freeway and it has no playground. Honestly, though, these folks would take a tent pitched in an open field so long as the instruction is appropriate. I regret the only alternative is Broadview-Thomson. Suggestions?

Nearly all of the 6-8 enrollment growth over the next 5 years is expected to come north of downtown.
Whitman +315
Eckstein +279
McClure +188
Hamilton +169

Again, the District needs to get to work re-opening Wilson-Pacific as a middle school and they need to get started on it right now.

The high school picture is mixed. There are a number of attendance areas where the District expects a decline in high school enrollment.

Chief Sealth -149
Hale -35 (why are we expanding this building?)
Rainier Beach -31
Ingraham -29 (why are we expanding this building?)

Other areas are expected to see real growth in enrollment
Roosevelt +266
Ballard +229
West Seattle +182
Garfield +71
Franklin +18

Hmmm. Does this suggest that we re-open Lincoln to anyone else but me?


anonymous said...

Simple solution for the Roosevelt over crowding - shift the Hale/Roosevelt boundaries, and assign the 226+ Roosevelt students to Hale. Perfect balance.

This solution would leave every north end school full to capacity, and over enrolled. No wiggle room at all. But probably not over crowded enough to open Lincoln. Maybe a small alternative high school, like NOVA, in the north end would work? The north end has no local alt high schools - maybe that would be a solution?

Anonymous said...

Regarding this - Eckstein - McDonald and Sand Point need to take up the growth

McDonald is in the Hamilton service area.

Sandpoint capacity is 300 and they are going to have over 200 next year. Sandpoint is going to be FULL within two year.

- north seattle mom

Anonymous said...

BB - so you want the Roosevelt boundary maybe 1 block north of the school or should you move it actually on block south of the school???

To shift that many kids to Hale, you will need to move the boundary to be practically on top of the school. What do you think this is? Ballard?? (Meant to be more painful than funny)

But seriously, the solution for Roosevelt is to move the West boundary back to Ballard and to get Queen Anne a High School of their own.

Queen Anne has to go somewhere and there are enough students enrolled in elementary school, north of the ship canal to completely and totally fill all four high schools and Lincoln. In six years, they are going to have the same problem at high school as they are having in middle school.

- north seattle mom

Anonymous said...

"Ingraham -29 (why are we expanding this building?)"

Had you ever actually visited the old Ingraham portables? That would answer your question.


Chris S. said...

I thought Michael DeBell at one of his coffee hours was talking about re-opening Lincoln as a high school as pretty much a given.

Wayne said...

As DWE mentioned, the old math building at Ingraham was dismal. It was built as a temporary structure about 40 years ago (I could be off on the time here, but you get the picture). It's a miracle the thing hadn't collapsed at some point. At any rate, the school isn't being enlarged so much as improved, which was a dire need.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Reopen Lincoln? What and ruin the district's need to always move everyone off-site during a rebuild? Eckstein and/or Whitman or Washington will be renovated under BEX IV. If Lincoln gets reopened, then they will have to build on-site. (Of course, Lincoln is almost at the end of its lifecycle so it might need help as well.)

a different name said...

Speaking of John Marshall and APP (yet again!), at the APP-AC meeting on Tuesday, Kay Smith-Blum showed up, which was great. She shared some thoughts with the group, some good and some scary.

The huge immediate issue in front of the APP community right now is that Lowell will be incredibly overcrowded this fall. More than you can believe. Honestly, I don't know how the numbers we're hearing (easily over 700) can be safely accommodated. There's a $50k project planned for the summer to carve a new classroom out of the current art room, but with 5 add'l classrooms needed on top of a very crowded building already, I can't imagine what will happen.

KSB made one suggestion that got a round of applause: an APP 1-8 ! :-)

She is concerned about middle school, however, having heard that MS kids don't want to be with the same group of kids in middle school as elementary (although I know at least a few MS APP kids that would take it in a heartbeat over the existing system, but I digress). What she mentioned as a possible solution sounded wonderful:

A mushroom 1-8 APP at John Marshall, with 6-8 filling in from the area. One could imagine a Spectrum program in the building that could pull (not push!) kids from Eckstein. And she mentioned using Lincoln at the temporary building for the north APP kids for 1 year while getting Marshall up to code.

NOTE: this was not an official proposal by her, just something to discuss and consider, but it was a solution that seemed to be a palatable in her mind to the APP over-crowding problem at Lowell (and soon to be at HIMS as well).

Now, on the downside, she also brought up something that many of us feel would be the final stake in the heart of APP: more splits. As in further splitting the Lowell cohort into a central and north APP (as if ThM is south!), and she mentioned even splitting again for West Seattle.

Unfortunately, she's totally missing the boat on this one. The first split has been really, really hard on the families, staff, students. The program has changed a lot, and not for the better. Another split, especially in the near future would be devastating. The only reason this might not spectacularly fail is that Spectrum is systematically being eliminated from the district, and that's creating more demand for APP by kids that could be well-served in a regional Spectrum program.

This would essentially be the end of APP as it morphs into what Spectrum should be. I hope everyone understands the ramifications of another split and takes it very seriously.

cascade said...

A Different Name

Conjecture of one but yabetcha a north end APP split is going to be fastracked. I'd put big $$ on it. Next year will be close to untenable at Lowell. Neighborhood and medically fragile kids aren't going to move. That leaves APP.

It all goes back to closing TT Minor. And dismantling Spectrum. Put them together and boom, North End APP here we come. Broadview-Thompson anyone? Marshall?


Lori said...

Actually, Charlie, I would not be okay with a site for North end elementary APP that did not have a play ground. Yes, the instruction is critical, but so is the rest of the school experience, including what the kids learn on the playground. These kids may be bright but they are also kids. They need to get outside and play and learn to socialize and all the other stuff that happens in every elementary school in this city. I for one would be furious if they dumped my kid into a building with no playground.

Now, looking at John Marshall on Google maps, I see that there are two tennis courts and a basketball court and a big parking lot surrounding/behind the school. Are those school property or do they belong to another adjacent structure? If they could be repurposed into playground, that's a whole 'nother story.

biliruben said...

It is 2 blocks from Greenlake's sports fields. Maybe some sort of sharing with Parks would work, at least for the older kids.

GreyWatch said...

At a Hamilton parent PTA meeting a few months ago, Sherry Carr said the district was planning to open another north end middle school within the next 4 years. At that point all she could say was they were looking into options. It does seem to follow that you'd need more high school capacity as well, unless there is another option by then for QA and Magnolia families.

Anonymous said...

The bid for Lowell modifications is actually for $100,000, which includes the art room, and changes to rooms on the first floor as well - some to special ed space and a combining of two smaller rooms/offices into a class sized space.

-saw the plans

Anonymous said...


I've heard that the remodels at Hale and Ingraham are NOT expansions. They will not increase capacity, just replace buildings in poor condition.
Have you heard otherwise?

I think that enrollment at both of these schools will increase soon after 2015, based upon what's happening at north end elementary schools (opening Jane Addams, Viewlands, most elementaries at or over capacity, etc...).

I actually wish they HAD factored an increase in capacity into the Hale and Ingraham remodels.

North End Mom

Charlie Mas said...

Looking at the expected elementary growth in the Washington Service Area, the District may have to do something more. I'm not sure what. I don't know how much available capacity there is at Thurgood Marshall, Leschi or Gatzert.

Mercermom said...

How many kids at Lowell are in the "Walk Zone"? I.e., would eliminating the Walk Zone option for South End students have a significant impact on the overcrowding? SPS is already transporting kids from the Walk Zone area (and beyond, like Montlake) to TM, so there would be no additional transportation impact.

wsnorth said...

Interesting and odd that Chief Sealth and Denny share an attendance area, yet one is projected to be way up and the other down.

seattle citizen said...

John Marshall:
Yes, tennis courts and part of the parking lot north or south side)could be repurposed to make a small playground. Not a sports field, but a grassy area to run around. And park is a short walk away.
Building: Three stories, no elevator, so access issues. Cafeteria was long ago repurposed into auditorium (no cooking equipment, but these days, a moot point I suppose.) Could be used as cafeteria/auditorium with addition of food warmers, etc...
TWO small gyms. Daycare facility on site (unless it was torn out)
Condition: Some earthquake retrofitting over the years. Structure is sound, some external condition issues. One of two boilers not in good shape. Overall, probably a three out of five (if you like the old school buildings!) Capacity, they say, is right around 800, but some rooms have been repurposed and at a guess I'd say it would fit 650 or so comfortably.

Science lab was code a few years ago, but needs updating and is small. Library is beautiful but also a bit small.

A noisy building with freeway right there and older windows allowing noise in.

Marshall Alternative wanted to open a community school in the facility, and used an apparent APP interest in it to make wild claims about equity in a desperate attempt to save itself from closure, but those days are past and an APP K-8 makes good sense: Central north for access; clears out space in other buildings; a fine, usable building; and the idea of an APP K-8 is just good sense.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Hale was built for increased capacity (up about 300 seats). Ingraham's is just an addition (they, along with RBHS and Sealth never received a full renovation).

Jon said...

Mercermom, there are only a couple dozen kids in the Lowell APP walk zone. Moving them isn't enough to make a difference in the crowding at Lowell. Besides, Thurgood Marshall is full and cannot handle a major influx of APP kids unless the general education program there was kicked out, which doesn't seem like a good idea.

David said...

It's pretty clear the district is going to have to open as many schools at it can in the next 1-5 years, especially in the north. That is the only solution to this problem.

Of course, that is going to be embarrassing for a School Board that approved closing a bunch of schools just two years ago. But they are going to have to do it anyway.

kellie said...

wsnorth - those are projections through 2015 only. So it is a short term increase and a short term decrease. It is most likely that both will be an increase so they will be revised next year.

The same with the highschools in the north end. Those projections are only for the next three years when the normal completely full three middle schools roll up.

The more interesting High School projections would be six years out when the current middle schools cohorts are fully in the highschools.

Anonymous said...

Charlie – I know you were being facetious but I completely disagree with your comment that APP families would be happy with a tent. I have 2 APP qualified kids who are very active and need a lot of room to run around at recess and burn off steam. I am getting pretty tired of just moving the APP kids from one school to another to either solve capacity problems or to try and improve a school's reputation and draw families there. There’s a co-hort of APP middle school kids (the ones just about to graduate from 8th grade) that went to Washington for 6th grade, Lincoln for 7th, and Hamilton for 8th - because the APP program kept getting moved. I understand the need for Lincoln due to the Hamilton remodel - but still, it was 3 schools in 3 years. I would love to see a long term vision for APP that is based (or at least takes into consideration) the needs of the APP kids - rather than continually moving the program around to solve other problems. I would also like the District to factor in how the apparent dismantling of Spectrum is going to funnel more kids into APP (you’ll have families like ours that chose to keep our APP qualified kids in an elementary school that was closer to home deciding to make the switch to APP because the neighborhood school can no longer meet the needs of our kids). Jane

Fremont Mama said...

I would love a true north end APP. We went to the ice cream social last night and going from Fremont to Lowell during the evening commute was a NIGHTMARE! But, I agree with the others that a playground is essential. That was the highlight for my daughter last night....playing on Lowell's playground. We are currently at B.F. Day and they have several empyt classrooms - why not move elementary APP there?

Charlie Mas said...

@Jon, The APP community and a number of other observers told the District that south-end APP students would quickly fill the Thurgood Marshall building to the point that there would not be room for local students. They were asked to make the general education program there an option program without an attendance area. In that case it would fill with APP siblings.

There were 579 elementary APP students this year. If half of them are at T. Marshall, that would be 290 kids. The building has a functional capacity of about 425. A K-5 general education program with just one class per grade would need about 130 seats. There is no room for a second class per grade.

I don't think the District can draw an attendance area that small.

Charlie Mas said...

Jane, APP at John Marshall would make use of the playfields in the park across the street. Kids would lose some time getting there and back, but it could be made to work.

And yes, of course the talk about school in tents was hyperbole. That said, as bad as you may think Lowell is now, it is WAY better than it used to be. During the last round of closures the District wanted to close it because it was uninhabitable. Kinda harsh thing to say when they are assigning your kid there.

wsnorth said...

Who can believe these "projections" any more. It looks like the 4 "north" West Seattle Elementary schools are oversubscribed by almost 4 full classes of K. This is after the district added portables for at least 4 full K classes (maybe 5, I've lost count). AND this is the "cluster" where they CLOSED 2 schools!

Capacity down 33%. Enrollment up 50% +++

Great projecting so far!

LG said...

Charlie, I'd rather make Rainier Beach a safe and effective HS than open another north end HS.

Charlie Mas said...

LG, I, too, would like to see Rainier Beach become a safe and effective high school, but that wouldn't create the needed capacity in the north-end.