Live Blogging from BEX IV meeting

A new scenario draft was available at the meeting and it raised some questions.

- it shows that the World School would stay at a renovated Meany but share it with a smaller middle school (400 seats).
- I was told the Roxhill and Arbor Heights principals had okayed a merge but it is not clear it's a done deal.
- the costs for the buildings look better, about $30M for an elementary but I think it could be cheaper and oddly between $45-75 for Thorton Creek K-8 and $70M for Wilson-Pacific and Olympic Hills.
- In EVERY scenario there is $32M for a South Lake Union school. The word I heard (not from staff) is that some businesses would give the land if we build it. Not this BEX. You don't give up that kind of cash when other schools are hurting.
- maybe repurpose Jane Addams as a 6-8 middle school


Directors are emphasizing that there has been NO public input on these "support for" scenarios like Jane Addams and Roxhill/Arbor Heights. So get to those meetings and send e-mails.

I am sorry to just put this forth so bluntly - I'm sure it a shock to those communities (although Jane Addams parents have always been a little wary).
Benjamin Leis said…
I suppose given free land and the need to build something you could easily co house a program like say APP at a new SLU school which might make it a net neutral outlay.

One pro for a school there is with a central location its great for option programs.

Sherry did point out that the NSAP guaranteed Jane Addams to be there through 2015 (but she wasn't sure of year).
Kay just asked if the Lowell APP community and/or AL committee knows John Marshall may be used an interim. Lucy said Pegi McEvoy would be letting them know.

There is some mention of co-location.
Michael mentioned that this was an opportunity to act on Director Carr's directive that the district needs to look at delivery models for cost reductions.
Anonymous said…
Sherry can't remember? She put forth the amendment. From the post on June 17, 2009:

The evaluation of middle school and K-8 capacity and facilities, including Jane Addams, will be included in the BEX IV capital program planning. Therefore, there would be no change to the Jane Addams K-8 program prior to completion of BEX IV levy planning in 2013.

tick tock
Anonymous said…
The NSAP has Jane Addams as a K-8 through 2015, but I remember hearing "guaranteed through 2013" at one point in the conversation.

They would have to rebuild John Rogers pretty big in order to handle the elementary capacity in the area if Jane Addams is repurposed as a middle school.

North End Mom
Combining Roxhill and Arbor Heights at their current levels would be about 600 students (but neither is running full). SPS continues to move towards larger elementaries which is okay but they are both communities with challenges to students.
FACMAC has recommended that 2B , the mushroom model, be dropped. The staff rec is to drop 2B.

It seems to be out and now they are down to three.
Anonymous said…
JM as interim for elementary APP or middle school APP or both?

JM's closure report stated the site was unsuitable for elementary students because of proximity to freeway and site configuration, so it's now ok?

Some money for building would come from BTA III, BEX II and BEX III savings but have to wonder if some buildings aren't getting bumped off BTA III (when they were listed).

Meaning some work on BEX IV is bumping off work from BTA III. I'll have to ask.
Anonymous said…
I am going to the BEX IV community meeting on April 5th to support a new school for Arbor Heights.

Who should I send emails to? Any other recommendations on how to best advocate for an Arbor Heights Elementary re-build?

-New AH
JM as interim for Wilson-Pacific students until its opening in 2017. I guess they need to take care of Eckstein (and possibly Hamilton) sooner.
AH, send them to the Board and FACMAC.
I'll write up something on how to advocate but anyone else, please weigh in.
Michael asked about shrinking down Washington if Meany reopens. The answer is yes and probably to the south and take a little of Mercer.

Michael also clarified that yes, they expect Eckstein, Washington and Whitman would shrink somewhat with these new K-8s. I'm a little unclear on if they are all K-8s - they keep talking about middle schools at elementary sites. Will update as I can.
anonymous said…
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Yes, the chart indicates that Olympic Hills would be K-5 and a middle school would be built on site.

Sherry is now chiming in about that issue. Could we move Jane Adddams program to new middle school at Olympic HIlls and use Addams'building as comprehensive middle school.

Words are a'flyin'
Karen said…
Since your were at the Lowell PTA meeting last night, how does the JM comment apply? We should rule-out the possibility of JM as north end APP? Why not give it to APP and use Lincoln as the interim site until wilson-pacific,etc. is done?
Good point, Karen. They are apparently going to reopen Lincoln as a new high school by 2018. Or that is what is on the sheet. But they have a confusing Lincoln-North and Lincoln-South but I don't know what that means.
Anonymous said…
Did I just hear Lincoln will finally be a high school? I cant believe that - it makes too much sense.

Kay is questioning a smaller K-8 and is offering that it might be 500 seat elementary and 750 middle school to have more offerings and shared costs. But she is going on so long that we are not going to get clarity on all these scenarios.
Michael is worried about what he sees as the data; some of the gen-ed K-8s are not full and the comprehensives are. When Mercer became larger, they did start doing better (but he said, of course that was not the only reason). He is not buying into the mushroom K-8s when the alt ones are the most popular.
So it looks as though LIncoln WOULD be an interim but for a couple of elementaries (depending on the scenario) and maybe this is to allow Lowell APP to stay until they figure something out. It looks like LIncoln would be closed in 2016 or 2017 as an interim and reopen in 2018?

I need to sit down with someone to explain this.
Anonymous said…
I'm not understanding the Olympic Hills middle school thing. Would that mean Olympic Hills would be an assignment K-8 (like Broadview-Thompson), or would they be putting a new comprehensive middle school there? Would this be in addition to a new comprehensive middle school at Wilson Pacific?

North End Mom
Looking over all this, I am befuddled as to where facilities thinks Lowell APP will go.

I feel like they are saying they are waiting for AL to decide a model but then what? Will they build them something new?

Also, where will the programs in Wilson-Pacific go?

Maybe there needs to be a BIG pushback on the John Marshall building. Because the district is now turning John Marshall into an interim building. So they are taking one central interim location - Lincoln - away and replacing it with John Marshall.

Boesche is now pushing back and hauling out the time-worn district cry of "we're running out of time." He's right but this district is always a dollar short and day late.

What Sharon and Kay are saying for the K-8 is not K-8 but two separate schools in different buildings on the same campus (like Denny-Sealth).
So a couple of thoughts (after confering with a FACMAC member), they look like they want to reopen TT Minor. The Lowell area apparently doesn't have a large gen ed population.

If TT Minor reopens, why not fix up Lowell building itself for Lowell APP?
Anonymous said…
Melissa-Lincoln North and Lincoln South refer to the North & South wings which have not been renovated. Only the central section has been updated.

j said…
If TT Minor reopens, why not fix up Lowell building itself for Lowell APP?

Moving APP North back out of the geographic area it serves would be a bummer. Better than splitting the program, further, but still. Plus, they'd still have to co-house another program there, since they kicked out half of APP during the TT Minor closure, probably leading to additional capacity problems down the road. Ugh.
Anonymous said…
Lowell APP back at Lowell and TTM reopening? Kind of crazy.

-cursing MGJ
Anonymous said…
NO WAY on the idea of moving northend APP back to Lowell. To lose the one thing northend families have gained after all the turmoil--moving north of the ship canal--would be almost sadistic.

NW Mama
Po3 said…
Amazing how much of this is about reopening schools (Mann, TT Minor) that never should have been closed and putting Meany back as a middle school.

I often wonder how much of the Meany shuffle was related to get that building in QA for a K-5.
dj said…
I am really confused about the suggestions for central. Yes, some of the schools (Stevens) are crowded and some (McGilvra) are on their way. But Madrona and Lowell are both way under capacity right now. Is there really such an uptick of projected capacity that not only will Madrona and Lowell get filled but we will need two more elementary schools in this area and an elementary school site expansion? I'm skeptical. And if TOPS is an option school and SLU needs an elementary, why not move TOPS to one of the undersubscribed sites and turn the TOPS site over to SLU?
Jan said…
I like dj's idea -- especially if TOPS moves to Madrona. Disclaimer: I know how badly Madrona did in attracting students a few years back, when the NSAP was in play. I have not updated my knowledge, so maybe I am off-base, but my sense is that Madrona has never attracted enough of its neighborhood kids, who are instead either in private schools or in other SSD schools.

If you put TOPS at Madrona (another K8), gave Lowell to the Eastlake/SLU neighborhood, which has no other local school, moved the TOPS kids to McGilvra, Leschi, and Lowell/TTMinor, you no longer have a need to spend money on a new SLU school. The thing that keeps NOT getting solved, though, is northend APP. Moving it "back" to Lowell works for the south end contingent, but doesn't work for the folks way north. Somehow, somewhere, we have to find, build, or open space in the northend where SNAPP can have a building that it doesn't share with a neighborhood attendance school or (per Maureen's comments) a robust option program. The more you look at it, OHTER than the location issue-- Lowell was a perfect co-location for the two programs that were there before MGJ screwed it up.
So where, NORTH of the ship canal can the District house SNAPP. They have to solve this one.
Unknown said…

Clarification: The principals at Arbor Heights and Roxhill have not okayed a merger. I think this is something that's been on the district's radar for some time.

@New AH
There will be information going out to the families, and ways to let our voices be heard.

AH momof2
Well, I didn't think the Lowell site was ideal but I feel like the district is trying to back Lowell into a corner with no options.

Now that they have all these ideas for Thorton Creek and Jane Addams and John Marshall, I feel like throwing my hands up and that's what they want.

"just do something" is not an answer.

I feel like if they are fixing up Mann for Nova and fixing up Meany for World School, gotta have some love for Lowell APP.

I'll keep searching.
Anonymous said…
I think they ended up with option 2A (from presentation) staying as one of the three options but with 2 schools on the Wilson Pacific campus? I was a little befuddled at the end (meeting went an hour long). Debell was saying wait, you guys want to take a K-8 and turn it into a middle school (Jane Adams) and then go and build a K-8? How does this make sense?

Carr also repeated comments regarding commitments to Jane Adams, although other staff and Board members repeatedly mentioned turning it into a comprehensive MS. So something to watch there.

Carr also mentioned this plan needing to be flexible from a risk management standpoint. They discussed how much money could be expected from the levy but say housing prices rise and one might expect then that people might begin to sell and move, etc. and enrollment could go down. then SPS could be in the position of instead using these dollars to reduce maintenance backlog. A shocking idea, but one that might be worth looking into!

They said the needed a decision on APP (whether to co-house or place in a single facility) and one would have to be made in April or May. But no indication of what they would do with this info.
Jan said…
Debell is right. Leave JA alone and go with dw's plan to build two schools -- SNAPP and a middle school -- on the WP site.

I have no demographer creds, and can't speak to Carr's point (though it seems valid) except to point out that "movement works both ways," the bridge tolls make it more expensive for Seattle workers to live on the eastside and commute, and the density plans around light rail and other transit suggest more population growth (not less) in Seattle, unless Seattle city politics drives us all screaming into the Issaquah woods.
Anonymous said…
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JA Parent said…
Why the hell did SPS start Jane Addams K8 if they didn't want to? We've been there since the beginning and I still don't understand it. Hopefully they've waited too long. We're expecting somewhere around 600 kids next year, and unlike the first year, when the district was using JA as a last-second dumping-ground, all the families chose it. That's a lot of PO'd parents.
Of course that's assuming the needs of the families are part of the district's equation.
TraceyS said…
So sad to hear that Jane Addams may possibly be configured once again. We came very close to choosing it as a middle school, but decided that the district was not reliable enough to guarantee stability for the three years she'd be there (or for the even longer period if we moved her younger sibling there).

I really do hope it can remain as a K-8, and continues its outstanding program as an environmental science focused school. We toured and really liked the program, the building, the staff, the future plans for the grounds, and most especially the principal there. I wish more schools in this city were like this one, to be honest. I truly hope JA is granted some much needed stability by the powers that be in this district.
Anonymous said…
Please stop promoting Thornton Creek as a K-8. This is being promoted against the vast majority of parent and staff opinion. They do the K-5 well. That's what they should stay. It's not always better to become something that you aren't.

-Happy K-5 parent and happy middle school parent too (there are other K-8 s to choose from)
Anonymous said…
I'm a bit befuddled as to why the district is proposing the merger of Arbor Heights and Roxhill. Given the enrollment at these two schools the population would be around 750, not around 600 as reported earlier. AH currently has 364 and Roxhill 377. If you take the total # of SPS K-5 students living within both of these attendance areas you get close to 800 potential students. That's not the size elementary school we should be pushing. Even Dir. Kay Smith-Blum spoke about making middle schools smaller (between 500-700 students) at the last School Board Meeting. How does it make sense to make mega-sized elementary schools while reducing the size of middle schools?
*AH Parent*
Anonymous said…
Several of them were very into the merger of AH and Roxhill. It will be very interesting to hear what people have to say at the three community meetings next week. (these proposals only reflected input from staff, facmac, etc.-- not from community).
Anonymous said…
DJ asked: I am really confused about the suggestions for central. Yes, some of the schools (Stevens) are crowded and some (McGilvra) are on their way. But Madrona and Lowell are both way under capacity right now. Is there really such an uptick of projected capacity that not only will Madrona and Lowell get filled but we will need two more elementary schools in this area and an elementary school site expansion?

Maybe the district is trying to stay ahead of the Yesler Terrace redevelopment. Yesler Terrace currently has about 500+ housing units (serving 1,200 residents). Over the next decade and a half it's slated to grow to 5,000 housing units. The southern half of the central cluster will face a capacity crunch if the district doesn't stay ahead of this growth.

-- Rita
dw said…
Jan said: Debell is right. Leave JA alone and go with dw's plan to build two schools -- SNAPP and a middle school -- on the WP site.

Since many people on this thread may not have seen it, I'll repost here from the Who Will Work On A New School post:
Assume for a minute that this BEX IV plan for Wilson Pacific pans out, and a new middle school is built there. The property is certainly big enough to support an elementary school as well. Separate, but on the same property. Imagine them on opposite corners of the property with open space for playground/track shared in the middle.

This could be north APP elementary, and the middle school could also house the north APP, relieving the severe pressure Hamilton is coming up against. But, here's the key: the middle school is comprehensive, but using some kind of option program to pull in non-APP northend kids. I have ideas about what would work, but I'll leave it to everyone's creativity to think about that.

This does the folowing:
1) creates space for north APP without displacing any kids in an existing building.
2) keeps the APP cohort together, but adds new kids in middle school
3) relieves pressure from Eckstein and Hamilton,
4) provides numbers to support full-fledged middle school programs like instrumental music, and does it all without creating yet another K-8, which turns off some people.

Also, 5) The WP site is relatively central and close to I-5, both important from a transportation standpoint for APP.

And 6) Another big advantage I didn't mention earlier is that this plan doesn't involve any redrawing of existing boundaries! SNAPP is not just homeless, but boundary-less, APP middle school is boundary-less, and whatever strong option program going in alongside MS APP would be boundary-unencumbered. Other new buildings will still drive some boundary changes, but a move like this would help keep the changes to a minimum.

What kind of MS option programs would work? Lots of options: STEM, STEAM, Language immersion, various SpEd programs, Spectrum, or how about a MS Pre-IB program? A pre-IB would be a great match with APP, one is test-in, and the other is opt-in, and both would be a great fit to feed Ingraham's IB program. But really, any good option program that would draw kids from Eckstein would help.
Charlie Mas said…
Middle School
The slide on over/under capacity by middle school service area shows a need for about 260 middle school seats in the Washington service area and about 410 in the Mercer service area.

So where are the additional 670 seats?
400 at a new middle school at Meany
An addition at Mercer of X seats

If the addition at Mercer allows for another 300 seats, they will have to shift about 120 students from Mercer to Washington. That means moving Hawthorne and one other elementary school from the Mercer service area to the Washington service area. It won't be Beacon Hill, with the language immersion program that rolls up to Mercer, so it will have to be Kimball. That would be weird since Kimball is so close to Mercer.

Then again, maybe the addition at Mercer would be bigger than that. Maybe it would be a 400 seat addition.

There is another possibility.

The McClure service area needs about another 110 seats, but there are no plans to do anything about that.

So maybe the addition at Mercer would be only 300 seats, and they would rely on surge capacity for the additional 100 or so seats, just as they appear to be doing at McClure.
Maureen said…
Just catching up here, but had to comment:

Jan said:
If you put TOPS at Madrona (another K8), gave Lowell to the Eastlake/SLU neighborhood, which has no other local school, moved the TOPS
(sic) kids to McGilvra, Leschi, and Lowell/TTMinor, you no longer have a need to spend money on a new SLU school.

I disagree (surprised?!) As Rita points out later, the Central District will need more capacity when Yesler Terrace is rebuilt and anyway, just look at a map of SPS: We need a school downtown. If Gates/Bezo want to support it, it will have to be wired to the gills (make them pay for all of that please) they won't want the little Amazonians to have to trek two miles uplake to the low tech Seward building. Anyway, TOPS at Seward is a perfect local for an all city draw-right on I-5. Madrona should be attacting the many kids who live near it, change the program there.

dw said (while discussing a new MS at W-P site): the middle school is comprehensive, but using some kind of option program to pull in non-APP northend kids.

I'm thinking International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program. It can feed into Ingraham. Something slightly different and a way for kids who want rigor but don't test into (or buy into?) the APP model to get it. It should be an Option School with a big Geographic Zone.
Maureen said…
Well geeze, if I had just read to end of dw's post before I hit 'publish' I would have seen that I'm not as original a thinker as I imagined!
Charlie Mas said…
Middle School
West Seattle

This one is easy, the projected over-enrollment at Denny equals the projected under-enrollment at Madison. All they have to do is switch one elementary school from the Denny service area to the Madison service area. People have been saying that every since the NSAP was created.
Charlie Mas said…
Middle School

There is a need for another 890 middle school seats in the Eckstein service area and another 460 in the Whitman service area.

The obvious solution is to build a middle school on the Wilson-Pacific site. That still won't be enough. Even if it were a 1,000 seat middle school (800-950 would be better), the district would still need another 350 middle school seats.

They will throw some K-8s at the problem, but that won't solve it.

They will have to build a second comprehensive middle school, and they found space for it on the Olympic Hills campus.

It's a great decision. The geographic distribution will be ideal.
Anonymous said…
Charlie, Those middle school seats would not come online until the deluge drowned us all. I see no way JA won't be getting an influx of students sooner via full middle school program or some other program.

TechyMom said…
Has anyone considered Lowell as the SLU school? We had a classmate who lived in SLU, who could walk to Lowell. There's plenty of room. With TT Minor re-opened, Lowell's attendance area could go all the way to the water, and maybe a little bit north into Lower Queen Anne, to take some pressure off John Hay. With Meany re-opened, the issue of over-crowding Washington goes away too.
Anonymous said…
Looking at the rates of taxation from what is paid now, to the conservative option to the Gold model and - yowza - we are talking substantial rate increases and this is only for BEX - not BTA. Then add all the local and regional city/state items queued up in the coming 2-4 years.

Something will have to give. The taxpayers aren't going to go for everything no matter how pressing the capacity concerns.

Anonymous said…
To continue, it looks like the $750 million (top) option would ask the average homeowner to pay another @$170 on top of current tax rates for the 1st few years of the levy. Again, this is just 1 ask from the district, with BTA and Operations asks also coming AND the Families and Education levy currently in place. AND much of the mess we are now in as the fault of the District administration who really screwed up planning under Goodloe-Johnson and before. Plus the boards that went along with the projections, refusing to listen to community.

If you think taxpayers will swallow that increase happily, good luck to you in your little bubble world. SPS needs vs. reality of the public is not a pretty sight. This could be very ugly.

Charlie Mas said…
Homes for Nomads

The greatest failures in this BEX IV plan is how it treats the nomads.

The new STEM school, now at Boren, appears to be headed for E.C. Hughes. I say that because it is either E.C. Hughes or Fairmount Park, and E.C. Hughes is really close to West Seattle Elementary, while Fairmount Park is geographically better suited to become an attendance area school. Also, the Madison service area has an option school (Pathfinder) while the Denny service area does not. STEM at E.C. Hughes would be the option school in the Denny service area.

There is a sub-optimal solution for the World School. Meany just isn't a great location for this program. It should be south of I-90. It could fit into space available at Rainier Beach. It could fit into the AAA building if Van Asselt moved back to Van Asselt. Maybe it should get a new building of its own on the Columbia site. All of those other solutions have their own faults. On the whole, the District figures that Meany is the least bad solution.

There is also a sub-optimal solution for NOVA. The District appears to be committed to moving it back to Mann, but I don't think they can really make Mann suitable for the new, bigger NOVA and provide it with all of the stuff that they say schools need, such as a cafeteria, science labs, and art studios. How much do you want to bet that the District is going to say that NOVA will be able to "share" some of Garfield's resources. HA!

There is no clear home for north-end elementary APP. None at all, they totally forgot about it. That's because the enrollment planning people only think about geographic communities and never think about non-geographic communities. The capacity for these students is distributed across their attendance area schools. It's an epic fail.

There are three likely explanations:

1) They forgot all about APP. Oops.

2) They presume the dissolution of APP.

3) They think that north-end elementary APP will split and go into spaces available at newly expanded or newly built elementary schools at Magnolia, Bagley, Thornton Creek, North Beach, or John Rogers.

None of these are good for north-end elementary APP.

It certainly appears that they don't want the program to go to John Marshall, and it certainly appears that they don't want it to stay at Lincoln. The District seems to be telling these folks that they don't have to go home, but they can't stay here.

Let me say it again: Epic Fail
Chris S. said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
I think they're going to stick 1/2 APP at Broadview Thompson and 1/2 at Jane Adams. No data to support hunch. Just observation of how the district works. It doesn't "get" K-8 appeal. It doesn't care much about option schools. It doesn't have APP cohort as most pressing issue. So divide it, shove it into 2 K-8 buildings with current capacity and done. (Wiping hands and moving on.)

Chris S. said…
I can confirm the Thornton Creek Community is not on-board with the K-8 idea. I had heard this was in one scenario but I was very surprised it was in ALL of them. This right after we agreed we could grow into a larger K-5 in a new building (BUT NOT IN PORTABLES.) It is being presented to us as "you can stay small in the current building and share the playground." I'm not really in a position to comment on how the community feels about that.

Harium supports the K-8 because he likes the idea, not because he is representing the community. Going to stick head back in sand now.
Chris S. said…
I can confirm the Thornton Creek Community is not on board with the K-8 idea. In fact, we just agreed we could grow into larger K-5 in a new building (BUT NOT IN PORTABLES, TRACY!) I knew the K-8 was in one scenario but I was very surprised it was in ALL of them.

We are being presented with the option of staying small in the old building and sharing the site with the new K-8. I am not in a position to comment on what we think of that.

Harium supports the K-8 because he likes the idea, and for its maximal seats-for-butts impact, not because he's representing the community.
Charlie Mas said…
Central/South/West Seattle

The elementary capacity shortfall in the Washington service area is only about 110 seats. How does this justify re-opening T T Minor? It doesn't. If they re-open T T Minor, they can afford to close something (yes, Montlake, I'm looking at you). The District should continue to lease T T Minor to the Hamlin-Robinson School so it is a revenue source instead of an expense.

The McClure service area needs about 80 more seats. So how does this justify rebuilding Magnolia and building a new school in South Lake Union? It doesn't. The district should drop any plans for Magnolia and the new school in South Lake Union, by itself, can handle the capacity needs for both the McClure and the Washington service areas. That allows T T Minor to stay as it is.

There are no additional elementary capacity needs in the Aki Kurose or Mercer service areas and, appropriately, no plans to spend money there.

The Madison and Denny service areas need another 830 or so elementary school seats. Wow. That's two additional schools and a little more. The District will open an option school at E.C. Hughes (the STEM now at Boren), and an attendance area school at Fairmount Park. The little bit more will come from an expansion of Arbor Heights. But they say that they also want to close Roxhill and open an expanded Schmitz Park at Genesse Hill. They could save money by not making those last two moves. They should just open Fairmount Park at Boren until their building is ready to expedite the relief for Schmitz Park.
Scott said…
TT Minor?!? Do we really need another Madrona in Central (this time without Sloan's million bucks)? Would that not just be adding to the "haves/have nots" problem that we already have in Central? Instead, why not take McGilvra and its crumbling old building (but on a fairly decent size lot) and give it a Stevens-type remodel with an addition (i.e., not a total rebuild). By adding a significant chunk of add'l capacity to McGilvra, you could push its boundaries both west and south, and thereby move both McGilvra's and Stevens' boundaries further in to the Central District. That would cover the projected capacity needs and you would be expanding access to two well-established, high performing schools rather than just reopening an under-performing school and sticking CD families with that as their assigned school.
Charlie Mas said…
Elementary Schools

The Eckstein service area needs another 900 elementary school seats. That's two big new schools. The District will put one of them (a K-8) on the Thornton Creek property. I presume that Thornton Creek will remain in the Decatur building and will remain a K-5, but the District doesn't have to be that smart. Thornton Creek doesn't want to be a K-8, but the District has its own purposes.

The District also plans to rebuild a larger version of the John Rogers building.

Ummm. Am I missing something? This does not come close to adding up to 900 seats. This response appears to be completely inadequate.
Charlie Mas said…

The Whitman service area needs another 715 elementary school seats. That's two new schools. The District will rebuild a larger version of the North Beach building and expand the Bagley building.

Ummm. Am I missing something? This does not come close to adding up to 715 seats. This response appears to be completely inadequate.
David said…
One thing we haven't talked about much yet is the cost of using portables.

In addition to providing lousy classroom space, portables do cost more in the long-term. I found an article summarizing a report from the Washington State Auditor. It says, "The Auditor concluded that while the initial cost of portables is about 50% less than permanent school buildings, the long term cost is about 52% greater."

If the district uses portables, not only do students have crappy classroom space, but also the district faces much higher ongoing costs in future years. The only benefit is that the cost today, the cost of construction, is less.
Charlie Mas said…
Elementary Schools
North (combined)

So we have three completely inadequate responses from the current BEX IV plan.

We need more elementary seats for the Eckstein service area. We need more elementary seats for the Whitman service area, and we need more elementary seats for north-end APP.

Allow me to propose a solution: a new elementary school built on the Wilson-Pacific site. This will provide the missing additional capacity for both Eckstein and Whitman. If it is a new school, then it can be the APP site.

Three birds, one stone.

How to pay for it? Easy. Cut the plans for re-opening Magnolia, T T Minor, and Genesse Hill.
Anonymous said…
Why doesn't the Thornton Creek community want to be a k-8? Please know that every year since the NSAP this same community has requested priority enrollment into Salmon Bay 6-8. That was historically how it worked, with transportation. Now, Eckstein service are doesn't get transportation to Salmon Bay.

It doesn't make sense. Are the numbers just not there to support a vibrant 6-8 community at Thornton Creek?

-Salmon Bay parent
Charlie Mas said…
High Schools

The District's high school capacity numbers are dreadful. Does anyone think that Rainier Beach is about 400 seats short on capacity right now?

The Ingraham number ignores APP, as does the Garfield number. It's not as if Garfield as 65 available seats.

No matter how bad the school-by-school numbers may be, let's just focus on the total number. If we want to continue to allow 1,000 students to leave the Rainier Beach attendance area for high school, then we need to build another high school in the north. Lincoln is the obvious choice.
Charlie Mas said…
Here's a weird thing.

Notice how the district doesn't seem to think that there is any capacity problem at Hamilton? Yet everyone knows that Hamilton is overcrowded. Why is that?

It's because the District forgot that although Hamilton has 900 seats, the school doesn't have 900 seats for attendance area students. The school only has about 750 seats for neighborhood students because they have about 150 APP students coming from outside the service area.

When the NSAP was being sold the District said that they would consider program placement when they right-sized the attendance areas. But they didn't. They didn't reserve seats for programs at Spectrum schools, APP sites, self-contained special education programs, or ELL programs. They forgot all about those. Consequently, all of these schools immediately faced capacity problems.

Has the district learned from this experience? Nope. Not at all.
Anonymous said…
Salmon Bay parent -
One of the main reasons Thornton Creek is seen as being against expanding to K-8 is the staff are against it. They have valid concerns about the distribution of time and resources to middle school vs. elementary kids. There are a few former Salmon Bay teachers who at at TC now because they wanted to be in a K-5. I couldn't tell you numbers, but my feeling is that there are a large number of parents who are in favor of TC becoming a K-8

TC parent
Anonymous said…
How would the capacity number and buidling scenario look if you dissolve APP entirely as you do spectrum from ES to HS? Send these kids back to their NSAP schools. This is purely on the speculative. Would that provide more clarity on the district's "planning"?

Anonymous said…
and if some of those pesky elitists go away to private school all the better, right?
Maureen said…
TC Parent said: (staff)... have valid concerns about the distribution of time and resources to middle school vs. elementary kids.

I'm a TOPS parent and I guess I can sort of see their point, but those kids bring resources to the school as well (an Asst. Principal for one, and 1.5 counselor and 1.0 librarian), and, most importantly, they are the same kids you have had in the building for six years. They are your own kids, why would staff begrudge sharing resources with them if creates a better academic environment for them over their entire K-8 experience?

The fact is that TC will have to get big. So staff will be sharing resources with more kids no matter what. Is there something about the Expeditionary model that they think is inappropriate for 11-14 year olds?
dw said…
Charlie said: Allow me to propose a solution: a new elementary school built on the Wilson-Pacific site. This will provide the missing additional capacity for both Eckstein and Whitman. If it is a new school, then it can be the APP site.

Three birds, one stone.

I can't tell from your description here, but are you suggesting basically what I wrote above (12:50), i.e. two buildings on that site ?

Melissa said she liked it (on another thread), if you're on board as well, maybe there's some momentum to get FACMAC to consider this. It does seem to kill multiple birds with one stone. Or at least help to greatly mitigate some big problems.

It does mean a longer time to get SNAPP a real home, but it's a feasible long-term solution with benefits not only to the students and families, but also for capacity management and stability.
Anonymous said…
West Seattle>
One thing that hasn't been addressed is what happens to the Schmitz Park campus if that program gets moved to Genesse Hill?
Do you think the district would consider moving Pathfinder to the SP site (SP backs up to Schmitz Preserve Park with old growth forest, walking paths, hiking and nature study -- just the things Pathfinder wanted) and return Cooper back to Cooper as a neighborhood school. That's the area of WS that geographically needs a neighborhood school. Unlikely senario, yet something to consider.
I always thought that the district would build a new school for Roxhill on the old Denny site or move them to EC Hughes, not combine them with Arbor Heights. AH in a new building would certainly draw more neighborhood families back to the school that "go private" or attend other SPS schools. Right now if EVERY SPS K-5 student living in the AH attendence area went to AH we'd be at 432. I'd love to see what that # would be if K-5 students in private or going out of district e.g. Vashon were included. It would probably soar to well over 500.
*AH Parent*
Anonymous said…
That is what they proposed at the meeting-- two schools on the Wilson Pacific site.
L@L parent said…
I suppose I question the notion that there must be an "interim" school right smack in the middle of the area with the most over-enrollment. The schools in the area (Ballard HS, Roosevelt HS, Hamilton MS, JSIS, etc.) have been through more recent renovations (last 10 years) and so why not an interim school in the central district or further north where there is more capacity? That would free up space for SNAPP.
Anonymous said…
"There is no clear home for north-end elementary:

1) They forgot all about APP. Oops.

2) They presume the dissolution of APP.

3) They think that north-end elementary APP will split "

Seems like the advanced learning community will continue to live under a cloud of uncertainty.

We really need a strong advocate within SPS.
The Advanced Learning department under the leadership of Bob Vaughn appears to do nothing more than act as a gatekeeper to the AL programs. It provides no specific curriculum for APP, no professional support or development for staff (eg toward gifted certification or best teaching practices for gifted ed), no advocacy to support what research shows to be the best models for teaching gifted students. Where is the AL department when capacity discussions totally omit the APP program from any consideration? Why is it not standing up for the very students it has placed in the program? Why is it standing by while spectrum programs are systematically dismantled? Other school districts champion their strong, well supported gifted programs while SPS treats ours like a white elephant. Why is it left to the parents, teachers, PTA to organize and fund professional development, develop curriculum, and advocate for an physical school building to house our nearly 500-odd students - why exactly does the AL office exist if not to do all of this. Parents need to get active and demand more of this office and more of SPS.

SAPP (Save APP)!
seattle citizen said…
Two quick notes regarding the Wilson Pacific site:

Overall, the two-school plan for WP is a good idea, but:

1) Most importantly, let's not forget that Indian Heritage High School is already on-site, and has been for a number of years. Any discussion about use of the site MUST consider this program and where it might go. The Native American community in Seattle (and elsewhere) has been kicked around too many times already, moved hither and yon, without consultation or consideration.

2) The neighborhood around WP is, well, problematic: That strip of Aurora/99 is rife with prostitution and other problems. Consider extra security and management plans to take this into account.
Anonymous said…
I'm a TC parent and think plenty of us are for the k-8 model, given that TC is going to get bigger, which some parents are not willing to take as a given yet (I do). If we could keep it a k-5, two classes per grade, I would pick that, but since we have to choose between 4 to 5 classes per grade k-5 and mushroom k-8, I would pick the mushroom k-8.

I do understand the staff's concerns about middle schools taking some resources, and I hope we could try to mitigate that a little. But I think the type of community activities and curriculum there really can't work with more classes per grade (even at 3, it's not working well at all- it's really got to be 2), so I'd take a mushroom k-8 that preserved fewer classes per grade at the lower grades over a bigger k-5 which doesn't really work with ELOB.

In middle school I think you could preserve the ELOB philosophy with more students per grade- easier to coordinate them, need less parent involvement. And there is so much excess middle school need in the NE- I am sure there would be plenty of interest. The problem would be keeping the school small enough.
Karen said…
APP absolutely can NOT move back to Lowell. Too many NW families are now moving kids into the program since it's not a 75 minute bus ride anymore.

If APP is dissolved, think about how much more crowded the neighborhood schools become. I am one parent who simply couldn't afford going to private school. We'd go back to our neighborhood school (much to the chagrin of current families who are enjoying 24 kids per class instead of 28).

This is extremely upsetting.
Anonymous said…
WP also houses the Homeschool Resource Center.

It's near Aurora, but surrounded by residential housing on all sides. There is a buffer of a few blocks. Bagley is even closer to Aurora - have there been any issues?
ArchStanton said…
and if some of those pesky elitists go away to private school all the better, right?

The problem there is that gifted private schools don't have the capacity to absorb many APP expatriates. Most non-gifted private schools won't meet the needs of gifted kids any better than public schools so; all other things being equal, APP parents aren't likely to pay more to get something they already have.
Anonymous said…
Thanks But No Thanks Says

Not all gifts are equal. A SLU school would likely be funded in part by Vulcan $$ and would be steps from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Vulcan = Alliance 4 Ed and Ed Reform. Gates = Ed Reform.

These groups can found and fund their own school. Give scholarships to those who can't afford. But no, it is not a priority to further divide our system with a "downtown partnership" with these people. Too many high priority inclusive projects elsewhere. And Lowell is sitting steps away, anyhow.
SPS for All said…
There does seem to be this attitude in the district administration that things would be better if they could just get rid of some of the children. I don't think everyone in the district administration sees the mission of Seattle Public Schools to be educating all the children of Seattle.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Erin said…
I'm a Bagley parent and live a block or two away from W-P. Bagley has not had any issues from being near Aurora. W-P has issues with transients sleeping in the halls, and the layout of the school provides hiding spots for illegal activity. The lack of foot traffic in the area doesn't help either. The neighborhood it self is fine. If the site is redeveloped it will really improve the neighborhood and chase the current issues away. One thing I would really like to keep is the open space and play fields at W-P. Our neighborhood doesn't have much open space in a safe walk zone. We have to cross 85th to get to Green Lake and while Licton Springs is a beautiful park, it's not so great for playing soccer.

I also have concerns about the elementary school idea. The NSAP did a number on Bagley and it would really be horrible if the boundaries were changed again anytime soon. However, an APP school would be awesome on the site. Traffic patterns are good and would provide easy bus access.
Anonymous said…
In looking at the plan as presented, in no case does there appear to be funding available for new elementary school capacity at Wilson Pacific. That money is dedicated to other failing elementary plants. And it would a complete outrage to boot the Indian Heritage program out of a new Wilson Pacific plant after they have dealt with a failing plant and tenuous program for years. Plus it is in a convenient location for that community to access the services, as WP is right off the highway.

I see a way to request dedicated APP middle school space at either WP or Olympic Hills. Elementary APP? Looks homeless. I agree that a further split of the program looks likely, not that I support it. I also think staff and board interest in Jane Adams means there are likely changes in programming there, again with annoyed current parents being the least-bad option from a system perspective.

See a pattern??

Savvy Voter
Anonymous said…
Sorry for the double post. My toddler was "helping" me on the computer.
Chris S. said…
TC parent said:
"I couldn't tell you numbers, but my feeling is that there are a large number of parents who are in favor of TC becoming a K-8."

I thought this too, until we DID the numbers this year. A little over half of the 30% who gave feedback favored the K-8. So that's 16%. Not enough to override staff, by a long shot.

Part of the concern is simply size. While the proposed K-5 was 450 students, the proposed K-8 was 650. That's bigger than any alternative K-8 in the district.

I was looking into Charlie's point that in the NE they are going overboard on MS seats (especially with the more expensive scenarios) without solving the elementary problem. The logical idea would be to put a huge elementary at TC or an additional one at Oly Hills, eh?

Or course, if you put a new comp. MS at Wilson-Pacific, that DRASTICALLY changes the very definition of the Eckstein and Whitman service areas! (please please don't tell me that it will be an option school and no boundaries will be changed.)
dw said…
SC said: Overall, the two-school plan for WP is a good idea, but:

1) Most importantly, let's not forget that Indian Heritage High School is already on-site, and has been for a number of years. Any discussion about use of the site MUST consider this program and where it might go. The Native American community in Seattle (and elsewhere) has been kicked around too many times already, moved hither and yon, without consultation or consideration.

Thanks for the info on this. How big is the program, and is it strictly 9-12?

As for being kicked around too many times, welcome to the club. APP, SBOC, Nova, the list goes on. If you're a "movable program" good luck with stability. Now it sounds like IHHS will join the group (since WP is likely to be rebuilt/reconfigured in any scenario). The goal should be to include them in discussions about their future and not totally ignore their concerns after "listening".

and 2) The neighborhood around WP is, well, problematic: That strip of Aurora/99 is rife with prostitution and other problems. Consider extra security and management plans to take this into account.

This is good to be aware of, but Lowell on Capitol Hill had its own similar issues. Syringes on the playground, transients, etc. But the worst problems can be mitigated by district and building staff diligence. Proper design (less places to hide), fences, etc. Just having a fully-occupied building there should help as well.
dw said…
(please please don't tell me that it will be an option school and no boundaries will be changed.)

Chris, why not? You don't actually want more boundary changes, do you? I hope I'm just missing some subtle sarcasm. I'd love to see this 2 school on WP solution w/option MS in part because it would lessen the number of required boundary changes.
Anonymous said…
Just a little point about alt K-8 size-- when Salmon Bay completes its expansion we will be at appox 670 I think.
Chris S. said…
DW - I'm talking about when the new buildings are built. Like in 2020 (their projection window) and when Melissa and I are quite elderly.
Chris S. said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris S. said…
DW: I admit I'm a little cranky about boundaries - lines around VR & Bryant were politically driven and partly responsible for the excess demand in the southern half of the NE that has driven TC to be just another overcrowded neighborhood school.

(Tracy Libros: "Option schools can control their enrollment and are therefore never over capacity" (i.e. no guaranteed assignment) - the catch is we've not had the option off turning away extra, pre-filled classrooms...

Does anyone disagree that adding a comprehensive middle school should create a new "service area?"

Must return head to sand where things make sense....
Anonymous said…
I went to the presentation and looked at tax rates, re: Skeptical's point. It appears the BEX will be on the ballot at the same time that a District Operations levy will also be on. (Feb. 2013). I agree that we have to be careful about the 'ask' for voters and that going for the largest BEX ask is problematic.

Brainstorming is good, but looking at the mid-tier selection puts boundaries on reality.

Some questions/thoughts:
An additional dedicated APP building at Wilson-Pacific? Great in isolation, but not realistic system-wide. Look at what gets dropped everywhere at the mid-tier level. Choices are going to be painful for sure.

Agreed also that SLU school at the midtier funding level is bogus. And that Lowell needs filling. And Madrona. In fact, Capitol Hill program planning seems lax in comparison to other areas. TT Minor back again? And poor NOVA. Sent back to where it started in the Odyssey of Good Ship Goodloe-Johnson.

Is Magnolia really in need, or is that a gimmee to DeBell's area as nothing else is planned there.

West Seattle needs huge focus because the district mucked it up awfully under the NSAP and Sundquist made matters worse by not advocating for the community.

And finally, anywhere light rail is cited to go must include planning for SPS increased enrollment. Plus Rita is right. The current configuration will not handle an expanded Yesler Terrace.

Chris S. said…
DW, I do think implementing all this new building (like in 2020 - their window of projections) without changing boundaries would be stupid, especially since there were so many boo-boos the first time around.

I think there needs to be a new comprehensive MS in the north and that it should be a neighborhood school. Then, N end elementary seats (which as Charlie pointed out, are still needed according to their projections could be better addressed. I realize modeling is not easy. But, I suspect they are thinking this (new MS = new boundaries = enough elem seats) but hoping it will work rather than explicitly predicting.

Does that make sense? I had that last idea as I was writing so it might not.
Charlie Mas said…
I must correct myself.

I have been advised by those who should know that Meany is, in fact, an excellent location for the World School.

I don't know how they feel about sharing the space with a small middle school, but I will find out.
Not happy, Charlie. More details soon.
Charlie Mas said…
The Indian Heritage School can be relocated into the remodeled Lincoln High School.

The Homeschool Resource Center can continue to have space at Wilson-Pacific or in the remodeled Lincoln (is it just offices or classrooms too?).

The cost of the elementary school on the Wilson-Pacific site can be met by cutting the unnecessary plans for a renovation of the Magnolia and Genesee Hill buildings and the cost of re-opening T T Minor, none of which are needed.
Anonymous said…
something is eating my posts. I want new boundaries in 2020, the window of their enrollment projections.

Chris S.
Spruiter said…
As a Jane Addams parent, I don't see how changing JA to a middle school would help - it is not large enough to provide the capacity needed in the NE for middle school, and where would the 500 elementary students go? Considering the growing popularity of the school, and the interest we saw at this years tours, we are expecting to continue to grow - the school will be at capacity pretty soon as a K-8, which I think is quite impressive for a 3 year old option school.
Anonymous said…
@Spruiter: I think the issue is JA has middle school space right now, without a drop of capital being spent. That is very very attractive. District needs space right now. And JA was only promised consistency until 2013 by the last board. Remember Harium waffled at the last minute? I do. The rooster is roosting.

What happens to the current JA grade schoolers and JA middle schoolers who don't want the traditional MS program? Dunno but that hasn't stopped the APP homeless situation. Maybe they could co-locate at Lincoln or John Marshall for the next 5 years. Maybe they could be JA@Lowell. Maybe Thornton Creek becomes the Jane Addams Thornton Creek K8. Yippee!

'Skeptical' is taken on this blog, so I choose *Cynical*
Jan said…
Seattle citizen said: "The Native American community in Seattle (and elsewhere) has been kicked around too many times already, moved hither and yon, without consultation or consideration."

Could you elaborate a little on program siting. I am aware that the District really blew it a few years ago on funding issues (by not applying on time, or not accurately counting native american kids who qualified for funding, or something), and I can well imagine that maybe there are underfunding issues. But I thought the program had been at WP (dreadful building that it now is) for several years. Is that not the case?
Anonymous said…
@Spruiter -
Are there really 500 elementary school kids at Jane Addams? That seems high, but I haven't really been paying attention.

I thought Jane Addams was supposed to be a "mushroom model" K-8, with room for kids to transfer in at grade 6. How many kids are in the middle school now, and do you know what the middle school projections are for 2012-13?

If there are 500 elementary school kids, will there be room to take on more middle schoolers in the next few years...if the program isn't dismantled?

North End Mom
seattle citizen said…
You asked "How big is the [Indian Heritage], and is it strictly 9-12?"
I believe it's just 9-12. Sizewise, I think it's pretty small, but really that's not the issue: It's treating the program with respect.
You go onto write:
"As for being kicked around too many times, welcome to the club. APP, SBOC, Nova, the list goes on. If you're a "movable program" good luck with stability"
Hmm, my point was historically, over hundreds of years, Native Americans have been shuffled around, and worse. I am in complete agreement that the programs you mention have also been moved around, and I wish them well in finding roosts where they can sit awhile, but in the larger scheme of things there is simply no comparison. Native Americans were first moved to Ballast Island (a pile of...ballast at the foot of Yesler) by "drive-by treaties" in 1853; their village at Pioneer Square destroyed, then the one at the foot of Bell, the Salmon Bay...then their longhouse was burned over in West Seattle and they were truly land-less, being moved wherever the newcomers would allow them to stand.

THAT is their history of being shuffled around, and while I don't want any program moved willy-nilly, the Indian Heritage School MUST be accorded respect and consideration.

I wonder if any has told the local Native Community yet that the school might be moved? I wonder if any asked them what they thought about that?
Anonymous said…
I agree that the number of kids at Roxhill plus the number of kids at Arbor Heights is more than the 600 reported, and a "mega-elementary" is NOT what we need.  And from what I understand, don't know for sure, the 2012/13 incoming Kindergarteners are a large group across West Seattle.

And doesn't Roxhill house a self contained program for students with Autism? I don't imagine that parents of these students would want their kids program in a huge "Mega"school? I too am interested to hear from Roxhill families on a potential merger with AH. My initial thoughts are keep Roxhill open where it is and make necessary building and program improvements. Or keep Roxhill open where it is and continuing the self contained Autism program at the new AH building.

At Arbor Heights Elementary, build a new school to replace arguably one of the two worst buildings in the entire district. Create a designated Spectrum program (and actually develop and fund it...) at Arbor Heights that Spectrum qualified students from all over West Seattle can attend. The newly formed AH Spectrum program is already trying to gain momentum. AH neighborhood kids who qualify for Spectrum could get priority seating in that program if capacity became an issue. And keep the rest of the AH population for neighborhood boundary kids and as a choice school for other students as space permits. Consider a space in the new building for a self-contained Autism program for kids from all over West Seattle.

Give Arbor Heights Spectrum program students a path/option to go to Madison for middle school and the rest of AH students go to Denny. Parents who have more than one child, and may have one in Spectrum and one not in Spectrum, can have the choice if they want one at Madison or to keep the siblings together at Denny.

Arbor Heights Elementary can go from historically being on the closure list (and impressively being saved by the neighborhood), to subsequently being termed "a Dump," to being a gem in SPS.  Add a waiver for Everyday Math, and AH will tough to beat.

-New AH
seattle citizen said…
Jan, I believe Indian Heritage has been at WP for awhile, yes. But I was speaking (inarticulately, perhaps) about respect. See my last comment about being shuffled around as a dehumanized people in recent history; add to that the much more recent mismanagement of funds, etc, and yes, the Native Community is due respect, it's due consideration, it's due collaboration.
Anonymous said…
...and what about Pinehurst K-8? Drastically under-enrolled and needs to be closed. Why is this failing program protected while a thriving program like the one at Jane Addams is contstantly in jeoporady? Couldn't the Indian Heritage program go there? Or how about yet another k-5 language immersion?

SkritchD said…
I am not familiar with World School. Where can I get more information from the district on this?
World School was formerly SBOC (Secondary Bilingual Orientation Center). Try looking under that at the district website.
Maureen said…
Here's a link for the Indian Heritage Program. It says you have to be 16 to attend, but I'm not sure that is correct. I live near there and remember a recent incident that involved some middle school age kids who were enrolled there. I don't suppose they will be able to save the great murals on the walls there. That's a shame. (google them if you haven't seen them.)
Anonymous said…
Just a clarification on the numbers for the BEX IV Meany Middle School and World School projects, as proposed by SPS staff.

New middle school at Meany: 700 students

New World School facility: 400 students

Signed, FirstHiller
Anonymous said…
Andrew Morrison is the artist - they are pretty amazing murals. He credits his 6th grade teacher for encouraging his art, which kept him in school and got him into college. I hope they try to save some of them.

sps parent
Spruiter said…
In response to North End Mom's question - the District's projection for K-5 enrollment at Jane Addams is 402 for next year. Their overall - K-8- enrollment projection is 572 - but that is only about 25 more kids than we have this year. Last year their enrollment projection was 481, and we've got about 550 enrolled this year. When numbers come out in a few weeks, I expect us to be above projections again. The District is also talking about the possibility of bumping us up to 3.5 Kindergarten classes next year because of the need for K seats in the NE. We still have smaller cohorts at the upper elementary grades (38 projected for grade 5 next year), so as we roll up, if we stay with 3-3.5 classes/grade in elementary, we're looking at 450-500 kids K-5.

Yes - the goal is to be a mushroom model middle school, and there is currently space for the grades to grow at middle school.

I'm not sure if there is space to sustain 3-3.5 classes per grade all the way through the elementary grades once our middle school cohort grows. There are 2 sections/grade at middle school this year and while the District projects that to stay the same next year, the school is expecting to have 3 sections at 6th grade next year. I think once we're at 3-4 sections / grade for middle school, the elementary grades will have to shrink a bit, but there is certainly not enough space in elementary schools in NE Seattle to absorb all of these kids.
Benjamin Leis said…
@North End Mom

Re: JA enrollment.

No as I remember offhand the split currently is more like 300-350ish elementary, under 200 for ms. Total for the building this year is 550 (including the 20 preschool kids)

This is highly dynamic since each year the enrollment has increased significantly, there have only been 3 years, and most of the gain has been in incoming kindergarten classes. So as of now current incoming class sizes are ~80. Based on interest from the school tours, the principal was expecting to reach over 600 students next year and there was an uptick in families touring who would transfer in for middle school. But we won't know for certain until the first enrollment figures come out. It will take a few more years for the school to be come established before we know its natural rate. My assumption if the school remains K-8 is that the transfers in at 6th grade will gain in popularity.

Patrick said…
North End Mom,

From the Oct. 2011 adjusted enrollment report, Jane Addams enrollment:

Pre-K 19
K (full and half day) 77
1st 71
2nd 62
3rd 67
4th 39
5th 46
total K-5: 362
6th 55
7th 55
8th 61
total 6-8: 171
total pre-K to 8: 552

Enrollment is increasing by about 100 students per year, and at that rate it will reach its rated capacity in about two years.
The increase is mostly in K and 1st grades, and the higher grades are enlarging as the kids age. Enrollment is not following the "mushroom model".

Jane Addams has a strong, popular program, and I think its enrollment is increasing as quickly as anyone could expect for an option program where the surrounding schools have good reputations as well.

The surrounding elementary schools would have huge problems if they tried to absorb Jane Addams' current elementary population.

This all tells me that the north end will need more middle school space, even when Jane Addams fills. The District should absolutely build another middle school on the Wilson-Pacific site and adjust the middle school attendance areas in the north end. If the school isn't a neighborhood assignment school, parents will continue to look at test scores at Eckstein and put their kids there if they have a choice. Option schools take a while to fill, even if they're strong programs like Jane Addams. If we don't have that time to wait, we must make a neighborhood assignment middle school and adjust the attendance areas.

We shouldn't be building monster elementary schools. I'd like to see the limit at about 540 kids (three rooms per grade), and I'd prefer more like 480. We have options -- why is Cedar Park still closed?
You can see the problem at Meany. New parents to the Meany middle school will complain it is too small, not enough offerings and the minute they get too full, The World School will get kicked out.

There is a solution which is to fix up Van Asselt's old building, move them there and move The World School into the AAA building (which was built to be a K-8 and it seems a shame it isn't being used like that). Also The World School would be a mile from RBHS with its new IB program AND more CTE offerings.

The World School wants to stay central, though, so another option is to move them to Lowell (after fix up) and reopen TT Minor.

The point is that the district cannot continue to move Nova, The World School and APP at Lowell around like chess pieces. Enough of that.

As to the size of elementaries, the trend is bigger and the district is never going to build smaller than 450 (unless someone else pays). So they don't really WANT to reopen anything but would choose to renovate for more capacity.
Meg said…
Does the World School want to stay central or does administration want it to stay central? My understanding - which may be incorrect - is that over 75% of the kids in the program reside south of I-90.

Could that change? Sure. Might I be dead wrong about the numbers? Sure. But it's worth considering.

I do agree, there are several programs currently being bounced around in a way that's just wrong. The capital money promised to the World School should be used for a place the program can reasonably be expected to stay in. If a neighborhood draw middle school is co-housed with the World School during a time enrollment is pushing up and up, it does seem possible that the World School will be pushed out sooner rather than later... and they'll have used up their renovation money fixing up a school for a different program. If it's in with an option school, the option school may never get enough enrollment to really gain traction.
I think the district is hearing - loud and clear - that the World School wants to be central but they want their own building to fulfill a plan worked out with the district.

So the district needs to take the pressure off Washington and they throw a couple of hundred in at Meany.

It will not work and I guarantee in 5 years (or less) it will be a failed experiment.

No, current numbers show an even distribution throughout the city so central is best.

However, their choice is between staying put but co-locating, taking a less desirable location (but having their own building) or finding another solution.

Keep in mind, the City likes the World School idea and is pushing it. There may be some traction there from City Hall.
TechyMom said…
Melissa said:
"New parents to the Meany middle school will complain it is too small"

I don't know about that. I think it goes both ways. We've been assuming we'll send our child to private middle school, largely because we feel that Washington is too big. We'd be in the Meany attendance area, and would seriously consider it BECAUSE it's smaller. We'd also look at a mushroom K8 if I thought there were any chance of getting into TOPS or if Madrona was a different sort of program. I've talked to a lot of parents who feel that the giant middle school isn't age-appropriate, and that kids need more one-on-one attention from adults at that age. I do like the idea of a big high school, once they're a little more mature.

If the Meany World School integrated the programs, so that neighborhood kids could learn from the experiences of immigrant kids and visa versa, this could be a really stellar program.
Anonymous said…
What the heck is "World School"? Is it something related to SBOC?

World School is the new name for SBOC but the district couldn't be bothered to announce it.
dw said…
The District should absolutely build another middle school on the Wilson-Pacific site and adjust the middle school attendance areas in the north end. If the school isn't a neighborhood assignment school, parents will continue to look at test scores at Eckstein and put their kids there if they have a choice.

If the WP middle school gets APP and another desirable option program that would mesh w/APP, like Spectrum or Pre-IB landed there, you just watch how quickly the kids from Eckstein (and Hamilton and Whitman, for that matter) start showing up. The building would be at capacity within a couple years.
dw said…
And it would work without requiring boundary changes! They just need to use a carrot rather than a stick (which seems to be working well at Ingraham).

My fear is that while this solution seems great to a logical-minded person looking out for the best interest of students, if the district is really looking to distribute high test scores, they are going to frown on something that will cluster more of them together, regardless of whether it's good for students.
Jan said…
dw: I wonder at this point if the "butts in seats" problem is not so overwhelmingly bad that it will swamp the "distribution of test scores" problem -- at least at the district-wide level. (Still plenty of mischief to be done WITHIN spectrum schools, as they dismantle self-contained and replace it with smoke and mirrors). Not that they will prioritize or value any needs of high performing kids, but my reading of BEX IV is that we are so screwed that everything (program integrity, unhappy parents, jiggering class composition for test score reasons -- everything (except cost)) will give way to the need to just find places for northend kids. Even the "trying not to look like total idiots because we are unwinding all the stupid school closure decisions we made before" factor -- though that probably trumps most other issues. If ever the time existed for creativity and foresight to earn their keep at the Board and FACMAC level -- it is now, because it will take all the intelligence and creativing people have to preserve as much value as possible while finding/making room for everybody over the next few years.

I wish I had more faith in current district leadership.
dw said…
Jan, what you're saying is certainly a worry. It won't stop me from fighting against more dilution of APP and Spectrum, but I agree we should be looking at the big picture when proposing solutions.

The problem I've seen over the years is that staff has never been reluctant to skew the data (costs, facility capacities, demographics, anything) in favor of their internal plans. And the Board usually just sucks it all in like gospel.

If they don't want portables, then portables cost double what they did last month. If they do want portables, amazingly, they're a lot cheaper now. McDonald/Sandpoint couldn't possibly be opened quickly. Oh wait, we need those seats, so sure, we can throw more money at that and make it happen.

Solutions are always available, it's just a matter of priorities. If the district values APP and what it offers students who are often marginalized and shut out of an appropriate education elsewhere, then there are options to keep that program viable. If the superintendent who happens to be rotating through this year doesn't understand this or doesn't support it, then they will not propose any viable solutions. They may in fact propose solutions that they know will not work, simply to feign interest.

One possible way to fight back is in the Friday Open Thread.
Jan said…
you are absolutely correct, dw. I forget about the propensity of the District to never let a crisis go to waste in foisting their agenda off on the Board -- and skewing whatever data they need to in order to accomplish it.

My sense is that Dr. E is pretty much a non-factor at this point (and she has never championed APP anyway -- so it is no great loss). Who on the board can be counted on to make APP a priority and push back against staff fiction? One would think KSB, but look at the disaster that Lowell (her district's school) has become on her watch!
Anonymous said…
My understanding is that no, the Native American community was not informed of the district's plans in regard to Wilson-Pacific. I'm white, not Native American, but I have lived here my whole life and have lost count of the times the Indian Heritage School/Middle College has been bashed around/moved/etc.

dv said: "As for being kicked around too many times, welcome to the club. APP, SBOC, Nova, the list goes on." Wow, what a condescending remark. APP, SBOC etc - they've had frustrations, yes, but anyone who has read the local news much in the last many years should know that it is *those* programs that are just barely beginning to join the club of "bash around this school program" that the Indian Heritage School/Middle College has been in for many years.

Also, the Native community has a long, long history in that neighborhood, and Wilson-Pacific has been a gathering point for many many years for the Native community. It's appalling to me that the district is talking about trying to somehow preserve the murals but planning to kick out the living breathing community that those murals are intimately tied to.
Air said…
Here's hoping they'll leave Jane Addams alone. Our son will be starting there in the Fall and we specifically chose it based on the K-8 system, awesome building, perfect location, and environmental program. If this was to somehow be compromised we'd be crushed. Nothing else was remotely as interesting.

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