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Thursday, December 01, 2011

Needed Middle School Capacity in the North-end


There is an urgent need for additional middle school capacity in the north-end.


Possible Solution A: A new attendance area middle school with a capacity of about 1,000 eventually located at the Wilson-Pacific site (the building is a tear-down). The program will meet at the Lincoln site until the new building is ready. I, personally, think this is the best path.

Possible Solution B: A new attendance area middle school eventually located at the John Marshall site (the building needs significant renovation). The program will meet at the Lincoln site until the building is ready.

Possible Solution C: What suggestion do you have?

10 comments:

Melissa Westbrook said...

The problem with both, just immediately, is money. There is not enough money for either options (well, maybe Marshall but it needs a real renovation).

I think Wilson-Pacific is a great site for a new middle school but we don't vote for BEX IV until Feb. 2013 and unless it's a bond, we don't get the money upfront.

Lincoln is increasingly becoming important but it can't carry the load for more than one idea. It may be crucial to figure out which one.

But maybe it could be an interim middle school until one is built and then a permanent high school.

Anonymous said...

I guess I want to know whether we're trying to accommodate a surge or a steady growth before bringing on that much fixed capacity in the 6-8 middle school model.

I'd be worried about devoting scarce funds to building a new school if there are more upheavals coming.

(zb)

TraceyS said...

Why not make Lincoln the interim home to APP and make Marshall the permanent middle school? If I understand the Marshall property (I used to walk by it a lot), there is not a lot of playground room. But it is close enough to Greenlake that perhaps some outdoor PE space could be arranged with the city. I know that Billings, the small private MS just a couple of blocks from Marshall, uses Greenlake extensively.

If I understand the current capacity of Lincoln, it could host elementary APP for a few years until a permanent site is renovated/built, and still have room to host a second small school that is undergoing renovations (like MacDonald which is there now). Though the playground situation there is far from ideal, it seems like a better option than Marshall.

David said...

Another solution might be to open a new K-8 program like TOPS up in the north-end. There's a shortage of capacity up there for elementary schools too, so this may make sense. Alternative schools like TOPS tend to be extremely popular with parents.

It is also true that, as Tracey said, one version of that would be a 1-8 APP (possibly co-housed with a Spectrum-like 1-8 program for kids that nearly qualify for APP). Lincoln is not ideal for elementary kids, but that could be at Lincoln, especially since there are already elementary APP kids at Lincoln.

TraceyS said...

Jane Addams has a great K-8 program right now, and I anticipate enrollment will be increasing in the next couple of years as word gets out. Not sure where to place another K-8 program in the north end right now, other than Lincoln or Marshall (and Marshall is ill suited for elementary without a playground).

Here is a random idea: Pinehurst is underutilized - if anything, turning that school into a Spectrum-only 1-5, with all self-contained, one-year-ahead classes would fill it to the rafters. Give first dibs on space to existing students there regardless of Spectrum designation. Heck, it could simply be an option school that offers all self-contained Spectrum and allows in anyone, district-identified or not, via a lottery. That would be interesting to watch.

I do know that the existing school community has been trying very hard to maintain its own identity (I know a family who went there), so changing its focus may not go well.

StepJ said...

Just general thoughts without seeing the scatter graphs to know where the students actually reside in relation to these locations...

I like the idea of a K-8 LI Option school at Marshall. This is in the neighborhood of the kids that already attend JSIS so it wouldn't be an onerous shift for this program. If a multi-service area draw it could help with overcrowding at nearby Bryant and Wedgwood at the elementary level. Then would also help with the overcrowding at Hamilton and Eckstein.

Wilson-Pacific is in an area where there is ease of access from both NE and NW so seems to be a good spot for a north end APP K-8?

It is also right next to North Seattle Community College so perhaps there could be some partnerships for any middle school APP kids that are doing college level work in a particular topic. Wouldn't it be great to not place a ceiling on a student if they have the interest and the ability!

Perhaps, NSCC even has some extra space on their campus that could be leased for APP until Wilson-Pacific was ready?

Both of these moves would free up space at Hamilton. Perhaps enough to designate Green Lake elementary as a feeder to Hamilton instead of Eckstein?

Once north end APP has a home start the conversion of Lincoln to another north end high school. It is only a few years before the surge of kids causing the capacity crisis currently at Eckstein, and moving up from elementary will be in high school.

If none of these options are feasible -- there are enormous vacant buildings at Magnuson with adjacent soccer, baseball, and elementary play areas...perhaps a good interim site for a middle school or 6-9 school?

Patrick said...

Sand Point has some disadvantages as a school site, too. It would be a new build. It's very close to Eckstein. If another middle school is built, ideally it would be placed farther north and not at the eastern edge of the city so as to minimize travel for more students.

Anonymous said...

This is from a 5/26/09 SSS post on the rumor of Jane Addams going from a K-5 (or K-8? it's hard to track) to a comprehensive middle school (after open enrollment).

From @5:59: If this rumor is true, then I think the District is finally GETTING a clue. They are finally taking the numbers, especially the middle school numbers, seriously.

There's no way a new student assignment plan, built around middle school feeder patterns, would have worked with just Hamilton, Eckstein and Whitman as the only comprehensive middle schools in the north end, especially after the addition of APP to Hamilton.

Hamilton, Eckstein, and presumably Whitman are FULL. THIS YEAR! And we haven't begun to experience the wave (tsunami!), that is on its way in a few years. This goes way beyond fighting over who goes to Hamilton vs Eckstein. Its a matter of there not being enough seats in the north end, period.

I'm glad they are finally taking the north end middle school capacity issue seriously. I hope Jane Addams will become a great comprehensive middle school, and that by having it in place there will be logical feeder patterns developed.

I totally agree that this is mind-boggling, a horrible thing to do to the affected families, and yes, I wish they had come up with this plan months ago. Even being upfront about using Jane Addams as a temporary elementary site while prepping Sand Point would have been preferable to what is happening (if the rumor is true), but I honestly think that they thought the K-8 would be the miracle solution to both elementary and middle school capacity, and they are finally realizing that Jane Addams won't solve middle school capacity as a K-8.


Then from Melissa (also 5/26/09):
Jane Addams will be a K-8 for a couple of years and then become a 6-8.

And then from Charlie (5/27/09):
The District doesn't freakin' care if they toss students around from school to school. They just don't care. You can complain about it all you like; they are deaf to your concerns and callous to the harm it causes. In their minds, you are whiners and the so-called "harm" is negligible. Get over it. Consequently, they don't see any problem with announcing all of this after open enrollment or after families make a commitment to a program that is announced as closing before it even opens.

CT said...

So why hasn't anyone brought up the idea of different tracks for students when there is both a capacity and a budget issue. Utah has had year round schools for years because they've got too many kids, too few schools.
Split the school into 3 or 4 groups or "tracks" and only 3 are attending at any one time. It's not ideal, but when faced with overcrowded classrooms and unsafe buildings, I find it much more preferable.
Here's an example of an elementary school schedule with 4 tracks.
Jordan School District PDF

Maureen said...

Just posted this on the elementary APP thread which seems more active:

What about an option International Baccalaureate Middle School at Wilson Pacific co-housed with MS APP and or language immersion? The right Geographic Zone could draw kids from Eckstein and the APP/Immersion focus could draw kids from HIMS. The kids could feed into Ingraham and help strengthen the program there.