Tuesday Open Thread

Continuing the pattern of Highline and Bellevue, the Olympia School district is having community meetings with its superintendent finalists this week.   I wish our School Board would take note.

Great new summer camp offering through the UW Computer Science & Engineering:

How do computers work?  What does it take to write a computer program?  How can computing help address challenges in healthcare, water management, education and more?  What jobs are available to people with computing skills?

This summer, UW Computer Science & Engineering will answer these questions through a series of 1-week day camps in partnership with Women in Science and Engineering and the Society of Women Engineers.  Participants will get hands-on experience in computing and participate in creative projects.  Two sessions (July 16 - 20 or July 23 - 27) will be offered for students starting 7th, 8th or 9th grade in fall 2012.  One session (August 13-17) will be offered for students starting 10th, 11th or 12th grade in fall 2012.  Admission will be limited to 20 participants per session.  Further details can be found on our website:


What's on your mind?


Maureen said…
Melissa, just to clarify re the camp: I skimmed through and it looks like, even though it is sponsored by Women in Science... it is open to all kids(?). I wanted to note this because over the years, I have found it difficult to find affordable summer science programs that were open to my boy.
mirmac1 said…
One thing I noticed on the agenda. New hire Nathan Sander as Intensive School Partnership Coordinator. He is quoted in this recent article. Not that I think we need another body at JSCEE, but at least he's not a Broadie.
mirmac1 said…
Director Peaslee has proposed an amendment to Policy 1620BP. It's on the agenda. Not quite the language Charlie wanted but moving in that direction.
Anonymous said…
Three education pieces.
1: Lynne Varner and Co. run another Ed Reform (pro-TFA) editorial. This one uses a quote from PTA president Lauren McGuire to "prove" TFA belongs here. Lauren has done a real disservice to my PTA this year, allowing it to become politicized with this TFA thing and with the Seattle charter school push from Kelly Munn. When is McGuire's term over? I want someone who focuses on kids and keeps the PTA out of divisive politics. Seattle PTA has a bad name these days.

2. In Olympia, their superintendent candidates are all meeting the community. DeBell and his like-minded cohort are wrong to not let us do the same.

3. The Tukwila superintendent is being accused of racial discrimination. We're not the only messy district.

Although the camps are sponsored by the Women in Computer Science (and that group specifically reaches out to girls), they are fine with boys being in the camp as well.
Noticing said…
Edmonds is also having community meetings with perspective Superintendents.

No shortage of turn-over; that's for sure.
Karen said…
Any updates to Charlies post about any color as long as it's black? I am curious if his proposal is actually on the table - splitting APP to Broadview-Thompson and Lowell Capital Hill. It's an interesting thought that impacts our decision making for our kid. The other curiousity is if APP might go to John Marshall as a k-8 or any form.

Thanks for any input.


The Advanced Learning Taskforce is working thu these issues. No recommendations have been made to the Board and, of course, no decisions made.

I urge you to send any and all thoughts to the Taskforce and/or Board.

I think any and all thoughts are "on the table" - whether they get okayed is another story.
Charlie Mas said…
The next ALTF meeting is this Thursday, March 22 at 4:15 in room 2776 of the JSCEE.
Anonymous said…
I will keep saying this until readers get it. The PTA does mostly ZERO for the south end. DeBell is living on white man hill (aka Queen Anne) and has his head up his a** when he says PTA input on the superintendent or anything else represents the community.

And agreed that McGuire has continued the pattern of sitting on her butt downtown instead of working in our communities. She is bland, white, middle management personified.

"Nice" is not the same as "Helpful" let alone "Valid".

dan dempsey said…
In the Tacoma Tribune

School Construction Cost overruns..... in Bethel.

How refreshing that its not Seattle.
Anonymous said…
I just looked at the Lynne Varner editorial comments and she is getting slaughtered by 98 percent of the population. Amusing.

Goldy at SLOG says: "Taking Education Reform Advice From the Blethens Is Like Taking Sex Advice From Rick Santorum"

He has a follow-up article too. Both well worth a read and a comment.

Melissa says it best: TFA is a costly distraction. Whether it is this year or at the end of the 3-year contract, I want it gone.

Anonymous said…
Dora Taylor's blog reports that LEV and Stand are going to do another one of their Fake Community initiatives tomorrow by getting people to wave pro-TFA signs.

I hope some of you call the press today, let them know that this is a sham, and in general give these lobbyists hell. How about standing next to them with signs with arrows that say "Paid Lobbyists for Corporate Ed Reform". Seriously.

PS: The Dora post also has a great anti-TFA letter to the board.

Anonymous said…
The John Marshall building seems ideally located for a program that draws from several neighborhoods, but I don't see how it can be considered for any elementary school due to it being situated literally a stone's throw from the freeway. Do they take into consideration air quality/health effects, noise, and the lack of an appropriate playground space?

Is it really on the table?

Southie, I would appreciate that you do not call President DeBell names or refer to him in a derogatory manner. Criticize his work all you want but we are going to be civil.

There are a fair number of schools right by the freeway - Roosevelt and Green Lake come to mind by John Marshall. Marshall even had a pre-school in it and that's who used that playground.

It's actually a great location for an option school being right off the freeway.
Critical, I took that great phrase from Dorothy Neville - she deserves the credit.
Sahila said…
This is especially true for public education, where the forces of privatization, philanthropy and commodification have all but gutted public schooling in America.What has become clear is that the attack on public schools has nothing to do with their failings; it has to do with the fact that they are public. How else to explain the fact that a number of conservative politicians refer to them as "government schools"? I think it is fair to say that the massive assault taking place on public education in Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida, Maine and other Republican Party-led states will soon extend its poisonous attack and include higher education in its sights in ways that will make the current battle look like a walk in the park. - Henry Giroux 2012
Anonymous said…
Melissa You think I went overboard on DeBell? It's hard to see why. I didn't call him a name. Have you ever seen him in the South End? What are the demographics of Queen Anne?

Nevertheless, I stand corrected and will now refer to DeBell and the PTA leadership as "living in ivory towers". I hope this works. And yes my criticism remains of DeBell and the PTA.

In fact, anyone note the PTA's Ramona Hattendorf's attempt to support charters while not supporting charters? Geez. What a bunch of linestraddling BS from another former Seattle PTA leader who also never showed up in the South End. Like McGuire, she spent her time taking meetings with the administration instead of visiting schools. She never asked our community what we wanted or needed. Now this charter crap. Which we don't want. Makes me crazy.

Sea History said…
@curious and Melissa,

Bit of history for you, secondhand from a JM Jr High alum I spoke to last year:
As I recall John Marshall Jr High's proximity to the freeway (keep in mind the freeway came after the school did) was WHY it was closed.
Back in the early 60's those 'new' high speeds were feared to cause cars to literally fly out of control and land on kids in the playyard. So they closed the school.
Being several blocks away, Greenlake ES and RooseveltHS don't have that danger, but since JohnMarshall truly borders the freeway AND is at a lower altitude, I guess it was taken seriously.
To my knowledge no cars have actually come off and hit the playyard (though a few weeks ago a semitruck dropped from the freeway, 2 stories, and landed upside down into the Ravenna/I-5 southbound onramp, just a block south of JM).

Anonymous said…
Southie, I think it was the head up the you-know-what thing.

(I agree BTW)

Anonymous said…
Melissa, have you been to John Marshall?

Greenlake and Roosevelt are situated several blocks from the freeway, but John Marshall butts up against it. Take a walk through your neighborhood and through the John Marshall property. The paved open space is situated to the east of the building, between the building and the freeway. There is no green space.

TOPS K-8 is nearer a freeway than Greenlake or Roosevelt, but the outdoor space is not backed up to a freeway.

Perhaps John Marshall could be used for middle school, but the outdoor space does not seem appropriate for elementary.

Sahila said…
"Our whole system of raising and educating children provides the power-hungry with a ready-made railway network they can use to reach the destination of their choice...Without "poisonous pedagogy".. It would be inconceivable, for example, for politicians mouthing empty cliches to attain the highest positions of power by democratic means. But since voters, who as children would normally have been capable of seeing through these cliches with the aid of their feelings, were specifically forbidden to do so in their early years, they lose this ability as adults." Alice Miller - Poisonous Pedagogy
Anonymous said…
Thanks, HystericalHistorian.

A school survey from Lowell@Lincoln had a question about John Marshall, so it must be on the table (or someone wants it on the table).

Sahila said…
"We evaluate our teachers, up the wazzoo, until no one wants to be a teacher anymore! Why don't we evaluate our police officers?" #OWS
Sahila said…
Only in the US could a business get away with using the name, Banana Republic. No one here knows what a banana republic is. Schools teach no history and TV is a wasteland of propaganda. No one knows what American corporate colonial economic exploitation and murderous brutality is.

It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis. ~ Harold Pinter
dan dempsey said…
Math News from Portland:

Predominantly African American AP calculus class is exceptionally rare, marked by camaraderie and success

Meanwhile in Seattle 9th graders are stuck with "Discovering Algebra" and 9th Grade Black students who took Algebra in 2010-2011 on end of course testing attained a pass rate of 26% and had 45% at well below standard - the lowest level.

So did the District conduct a careful review of all options for closing the achievement gaps? .... No they brought in 5 marginally trained TFA Corps Members and lied to attain "Conditional Certification" for the 5. So this was and is a strategy to close achievement gaps.

The original plan was for about 30 of these TFA CMs as the first wave of the TFA invasion.

NOTE: This TFA action was right out of the Broad play book .... MGJ may be gone but her damage lives on.

So what will the School Directors do about the achievement gaps? The record says they will do nothing of substance.

What will the Board do about TFA? The record says ignore the evidence and rubber-stamp what the 1% want.

Here is an excellent stat for the 9th graders in Geometry and their EoC test results.

White students at level 1 =>
9/512 = 1.8%

Black students at level 1 =>
37/140 = 26.4%

White pass rate = 473/512 = 92.4%
level 4 = 72.9%

Black pass rate = 75/140 = 53.6%
level 4 = 23.6%

The SPS in October 2010 had enrollments for
White students at 42.7% of student population

and Black students at 19.2%

the Black population was 45% of the White population

the Black student population in Geometry was 27% of the white population in Geometry. 140/512 = 27%

AND THE SPS Superintendent and the School Board ignore this k-12 math situation year after year after year.

Achievement Gap = all talk and ZERO action.
Sahila said…
Joel Klein/Condi Rice report on public education not all it's cracked up to be: Not The New "Nation At Risk"
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
Tenants at John Marshall were given notice that they will need to vacate by March 2013.

3/20/12 12:29 PM

HH, but John Marshall was used WAAY after that as a school building.

Folks, I LIVE in the neighborhood and I know the distances.

When the district doesn't want to do something, they won't. When they do, they will find a way.

Meaning, I think the district will find a way for it to happen if that's their desire. (They told us that there was no way MacDonald could open and yet, it's a functioning school today.)

I agree that outdoor space is limited BUT it is almost right next door to Green Lake.
StartTimes said…
On Friday's Open Thread, there was a discussion about school start times. Here is an email I sent to Transportation today:

"I'm a little confused about the bus arrival/ departure and school bell times for elementary schools next year. Under the Transportation Plan for 2012-2013 heading is a link to bus arrival/ departure and school start/end times. But when you click on the link it takes you to a page for 2011/2012. Are those correct times for next year as well?"

Here is the response I received at 1:02 today:
"We have not published the new arrival / departure time for 2012-13 yet."

Hope that helps.
Lori said…
John Marshall might be close to Green Lake, but the idea that elementary students could go there for outdoor/recess time is not realistic. Maybe once in a while for a special occasion, but even then, shepherding a class of 28 kids along Ravenna Blvd for half a mile? Not sure that's a liability the district would take on. Plus, it would simply take too much time to do.

This will sound silly to adults, but the kids at Lincoln complain about how long it takes just to walk 4 flights of stairs from their classrooms to the lunchroom, from recess back to class, and so on. It actually seems to cut into the already short lunch period just to commute down to the cafeteria!

I'm not a fan of using the Marshall building for elementary kids. I'm skeptical that the district will pay for the necessary upgrades that would be needed to make the outdoor space suitable for young kids. And I'm very sensitive to the potential for the district to just assume that the PTA will pay for whatever is needed, thus allowing the district to abdicate its responsibilities to the northend APP kids.

The community already has pitched in a great deal to make the Lincoln site "playable" and the kids had to wait a few weeks into the school year for their play structure to be in place. If they were to move us to Marshall, they'd better have an upgraded play area ready to go on the first day of school, particularly if they want to move us for Fall 2013. One group of kids shouldn't have to keep "taking one for the team" and not having adequate play space or play equipment due to adults' failures to manage school capacities.
Anonymous said…
I don't think any amount of upgrades will make JM's outdoor space appropriate for elementary - there's a reason it hasn't been used for elementary since the freeway went through.

From Seattle's history link:

Junior high when freeway went through,

1971-75: 9th grade annex to Roosevelt,

1975: SPS offices, special education for Roosevelt, school district library and audio-visual center,

1979-1982: Indian Heritage School

1982: alternative and re-entry program, GED programs

2008: closed

aerial view of site in this link (portables now gone):


Charlie Mas said…
Would it make a difference if the elementary program placed in John Marshall were a language immersion program instead of APP?

I think that's the best use of the building: The District could move the K-5 language immersion programs from McDonald and JSIS to an option school at John Marshall. This would provide a long list of benefits.

1. It would resolve the over-crowding at Latona (JSIS). Latona could be a regular neighborhood school with a regular-sized attendance area.

2a. In fact, with the space made available at Latona after the language immersion program moves out, and with the space available at B. F. Day and McDonald, the District could find room in one of them for half of the north-end elementary APP cohort.

2b. Alternatively, McDonald could just become the north-end APP elementary site and the McDonald attendance area added to the Latona attendance area.

3. With the language immersion program in an option school, the District will fulfill its ambition to provide equitable access to the program.

4. A language immersion program at John Marshall would draw a lot of elementary students out of the over-crowded northeast.

Yep. This would kill several birds with one stone - relieve overcrowding in two of the worst spots, find space for APP, and provide equitable access to language immersion.
Sahila said…
Outrageous! As Wall St. and the govt. crashed our economy and while private contractors and the military kill and torture innocent people and rattle swords about invading more countries, creating new recruits for desperate fanatics, these “experts” blame education and teachers for our national security problems?
“The report released yesterday was written by a task force of the Council on Foreign Relations, co-chaired by Joel Klein, former head of the NYC Department of Education and now working for Murdoch’s News Corp, and directed by Julia Levy, former PR flack for DOE. The task force was stacked with privateers, including Wendy Kopp of TFA, her husband Richard Barth, CEO of KIPP, Jonah Edelman, head of Stand for Children, and Benno Schmidt, formerly CEO of the failed Edison chain of charter schools and now board chair of Chris Whittle’s for-profit private school Avenues.
In the introduction, Levy thanks “several people who met with and briefed the Task Force group, including “U.S. secretary of education Arne Duncan, Mary Cullinane formerly of Microsoft, Sir Michael Barber of Pearson, and David Coleman of Student Achievement Partners.” . . .
As Jack Jennings, former director of Center on Education Policy pointed out, everything the report recommends is already being done already, from the Common Core standards to expanding charters and privatization. . . but we need to do it in a much more accelerated way.”
Here are excerpts from their notable dissents: Certainly schools must play a critical role in assuring that these needs of national security can be met. Yet, while some of the data are disturbing, nothing in this report convinces me that that our public schools “constitute a very grave national security threat facing this country.”” http://parentsacrossamerica.org/2012/03/dissents-from-the-status-quo-council-on-foreign-relations-report/
HH said…
sitewise, I think the 71' closure was a mistake. The freeway danger was overblown. If nothing else, the noise levels during class would be my chief concern, and those are much less expensive to fix than building a whole new school on a new site. As far as playground, if you look at that aerial photo link, there's at least twice the current Lincoln playground area available north of the building (where those 6 portables used to be / where the tenant german-american school currently parks cars). Just have cars park near the freeway (like with like, imagine that).

I think Charlie's got a great plan that a lot of people could get behind. Painfully central to North seattle, lots of arterial and freeway and even transit access (plus ST's light rail will stop 2 blocks away in a few years), and a mostly reasonable -if musty- 3 story building. If the McD and L@L kids can't handle stairs, too bad - McD's new/nextyear building is at least 3 stories sans escalators too.
The footdraggers that will disagree might include NIMBYish language immersion 'hoarders' and the staff of McD who are undoubtedly & understandably looking forward to their long awaited new/old/custom reno'd building at 54th/Latona Ave.

With capacity having been once above 1200-1400 at JM Jr High, I'd consider also if John Marshal could house a K-8 magnet/option language immersion program that feeds into RHS. JSIS enrollment is just under 500 now, McD is under 200 - that's half the JM site's capacity, right? How many language immersion students are crowding Hamilton?

Benjamin Leis said…
@Lori - So what are you going to do if the school board calls your bluff and moves L@L to John Marshall and doesn't improve the playground? Will you pull out over the decision?

I understand your concerns and I think the APP program has not been well treated but I also think you have to understand what the extent of your leverage is.

HH said…
Ah, I reread and see now- Charlie's stance is that immersion is and will continue to be popular and successful, so a hypothetical John Marshal Immersion School would collect hundreds and hundreds more beyond the current north immersions. Ok, fair enough. K-5 it is.
Still a good plan.
Can Green Lake Elem spare and more enrollment? I could see McD's 54th/Latona site becoming a hypothetical "APP North Center" if GLES and JS/LatonaElem split the attendance-area difference between east greenlake, tangletown and wallingford. Though I still support moving BF day's border a few blocks East.

Damn fine idea overall though, and one that rings of being good for a decade or more. Hope it's being properly proposed to the district powers-that-be. Thanks Charlie.
Anonymous said…
Charlie, your thought makes space sense but it will never happen. JSIS and McD current families would be very very unhappy. And Carr doesn't like conflict. She starts fanning herself and making faces.

Besides, KSB seems hellbound on putting APP K-8 at John Marshall. Between her push and JM being the path of least resistance for finding a home for APP, that's my prediction. Not what I'm advocating, mind you. I've just watched the district too long to not read the political, board, staff tea leaves and thus spend time elsewhere.

Sahila said…
School Boards opting out of standardised testing?

Opt Out Chronicles
Charlie Mas said…
There is no way that the District would ever move APP into John Marshall.

There is nothing that the District needs more than elementary space in the northeast. That is the most precious thing to them.

John Marshall is potentially elementary capacity in the northeast.

There is no freakin' way that they would squander that precious, precious resource on a program that has no geographic base and a community that has said (in a recent survey) that they don't much care where the program is placed.

Elementary APP students may live in the northeast, but they will not be allowed to take up capacity there if they can be moved elsewhere.
Anonymous said…
Charlie, You overestimate the effect of common sense and reason downtown. You underestimate the political pressure of parents in SC and HMM's districts. Should have said before that HMM handles conflict even worse than SC.

And you of all people know about the millions $$$ lost on closures and the complete refusal of the district to make JSIS an option school, which would have solved this problem years ago. You have watched the disaster that is planning and using space at Lowell.

I am not saying you are wrongheaded. I am saying there's no chance.

On that note, there is no chance TFA won't be renewed tomorrow night, either. But I'll enjoy watching another year of pathetic return on energy spent on that program and will hope for a better result the minute we dislodge one more board member.
"JSIS and McD current families would be very very unhappy."

So when has unhappy parents ever stopped the Board or district?

Charlie's idea makes too much sense so naturally, no.
Charlie Mas said…
Think of it this way. The District has a shopping list and they have chits to spend.

On the shopping list are elementary capacity for the northeast, north-end middle school capacity, and a place for north-end elementary APP.

What do the have to spend? They have John Marshall, Cedar Park (if they rebuild it), Wilson-Pacific (if they rebuild it), and some various available seats in a few schools.

What's their budget for northeast capacity and for the north-end middle school? Whatever it takes.

What's their budget for APP? Whatever is left, preferably zero.

The McDonald and JSIS families will be assuaged because their children who are already in the program will move to the John Marshall building with the program and any rising siblings will be guaranteed access to the option school through the sibling tie-breaker.

These folks have already shown that they are perfectly willing to pull up the drawbridge behind them, so they won't care that other - hypothetical, future - neighborhood kids might not get language immersion. And while the school isn't just blocks from home, at least it is close.

Why would the District spend John Marshall on APP when 1) John Marshall used for language immersion solves all of their problems and 2) there are a couple of no-cost solutions for APP (B-T/Lowell, B-T/Latona, McDonald, B-T, Latona, Cedar Park).

Director Carr and Director Smith-Blum will see the benefits of this solution. Besides, it will never come before them. Program placement is a superintendent decision.
Anonymous said…
sitewise, I think the 71' closure was a mistake. The freeway danger was overblown.

This is not a hypothetical danger. A semi recently overturned and fell to the lower roadway just a few blocks away.

The peak enrollment occurred prior to the freeway cutting through.

It would surprise me if any Board member that has walked the site considers it appropriate for elementary kids.

Sahila said…
Dallas mayor sends his list of supt candidates for consideration to Dallas school board. He got candidate names from....Arne Duncan.
Anonymous said…

Also fun: Anyone notice the rating Michigan got in the Government Corruption and Non-Transparency Ratings yesterday? Bottom of Barrel. (In contrast, WA is one of the best at clean govt.)

I just laughed. OF COURSE that is where Goodloe-Johnson headed for her next job. Detroit and its political climate will suit her mgmt style just fine.

Jan said…
Here is a random thought. As I was thinking today about the problems of charter schools, TfA, mandatory online learning, and the Common Core curriculum -- all things that I think tend to siphon public education dollars away from actually teaching -- and into private "education businesses," I started wondering why it is that charter schools, instead of vouchers, have become the darling of ALEC and the Ed Reform guys. Now -- I don't really want to argue the merits and problems of vouchers here. That isn't my point. But it occurred to me that charter schools (with their takeover of public property, curriculum choices, staffing, etc.) do a much more efficient job of diverting tax dollars to private business than vouchers (which result in families taking the voucher to existing nonprofit or parochial schools). Hmm.

I would be curious to know if anyone has any idea why charters, rather than vouchers, seem to have gotten all of the Ed Reform traction?
Anonymous said…
Jan, voucher (also know by its more feel good term: "scholarship") follows the kid. Harder to control the dollars coming in if the kid leaves. The other alternative to voucher is "education tax credit". The Friedman Foundation loves voucher 'cause it's based on market principles along the idea of better schools well attract children and their parents thus increasing the schools' value and forcing poorer performing schools to shape up or close. Or something like that.

-selling education like Kibbles 'n bits
I have to wonder about this worry over cars falling off I-5 near Ravenna and the car flying over to hit Marshall. Not going to happen.
Anonymous said…

Thanks for verifying via e-mail.

From the Approved Minutes from the Feb. 1 SB meeting the only proposed change to Bell Times is five minutes for tier two schools. Of course, that doesn't rule out a school being changed from tier 2 to 3, or etc.....

Lesson learned for me. Don't try to help by relying on posting on the District website. Aargh.

Apologies to Jane who I was trying to help.

Anonymous said…
The bigger concern should be air quality and related health effects for children. For health reasons, California has a law about schools not being built within 500 ft of a freeway. The American Lung Association reports the area most affected by adverse health effects is 300 to 500 meters from the freeway.

Studies abound.
Chris S. said…
Ummmm, maybe there's something I'm missing, but isn't JSIS car-falling-off distance from the freeway as well? I realize there's vertical distance from the cars - does this remove noise and air quality concerns?
Anonymous said…
About ten years ago a tractor trailer went halfway off I-5 right next to JSIS, with the driver's part hanging over the edge. He was able to climb back onto I-5 somehow with help from other drivers. I was somehow curious and turned down the street below to see what was happening. It was super weird seeing that truck hanging off.
NE Seattle Mom
Anonymous said…
When I compare the playground at Thornton Creek to the miniature playground that has been temporarily assembled at L@L, it is really apparent that the playground at L@L is not very nice, despite the beautiful climbing structure lovingly bought and installed by parents. The grass in the front has turned into mud (like my driveway), so the kids come into the school completely covered with mud. They have chosen at times to make them go to the courtyard which is really tiny.
NE Seattle Mom
Anonymous said…
If North Seattle APP goes to John Marshall for a Grade 1 to Grade 8 solution of where to put APP, I am sad to lose the possibility for my 3rd grade son to be in the great music program at HIMS that my 8th grader is in now.
NESeatle Mom
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
I believe there are two preschools in the John Marshall building now -- Little Explorers and the german immersion school SAGA-- or have I got the wrong building?
seattle citizen said…
I drive by Marshall occasionally and stop to do some weeding out front.
A few months ago I noticed a new school in the building (along with the German program and the NW Girls Choir):

"We are an Applied Scholastics licensed school specializing in using the educational philosophy and study technology of humanitarian and author L.Ron Hubbard"

Yes, there is a scientology school in the John Marshall building. Perhaps it could be granted a charter and expanded into a fine K-8 public school in that facility?
Anonymous said…
Seattle Citizen—thanks for finding something to laugh about in all this. A Scientology Charter—now that would show 'em. Kind of like teaching that the earth is an alien teen's science project in response to the approval of intelligent design.

StepJ said…
If JM were an LI Option elementary school for the NW - check the box for easing NW elemenary LI capacity.

If JM were an LI Option school for both NW and NE - check the box for easing NW elementary LI capacity, and a bit of NE elementary capacity.

If JM were an LI Option K-8 school - check the box for easing NW elementary capacity and capacity help at Hamilton.

Am looking for a more major capacity help for NE elementary and Eckstein. Will that come into play via temporary housing at Lincoln while Wilson-Pacific is remodeled or ?

North end APP seems to remain in the same precarious situation if it is co-housed with an Attendance Area school for elementary or MS.

As for recess...there is more than one multi-story elementary in the District that manages recess. There is Bryant, Van Asselt at AAA, etc. Personally, would not argue that as a reason why not -- focus on capacity resolution.

As for security...personally, as a parent I would need to know that very stringent security -- key lock entries, cameras, etc. were in place. On three borders JM has some unsettling neighbors for children. Very busy Roosevelt Ave. on the West. A major park and ride/transit center on the south, an elevated I-5 on the East. Not an ideal locale for young kids as it currently exists.

Greenlake elementary utilizes Evans Pool at the Green Lake Community Center for PE. I imagine JM could do the same, as well as ulilizing running paths, soccer and basketball areas for PE. For recess -- not enough time.

Overall, JM could provide a portion of the solution for APP, LI, elementary overcrowding in the NW. As for middle school and elementary overcrowding in the NE, and a more long-term home for APP in the NE -- a small portion, but not a long term resolution.
StepJ said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
StepJ said…
Would ammend my last comment to say a long term solution for APP in the north vs. merely the NE.
Anonymous said…
From an analysis done during the recent closures (italics added):

"The John Marshall building was built in 1926, is past its useful lifespan, and is on a relatively small site. Although its capacity is 786, the building is underutilized, with fewer than 300 students regularly attending a variety of specialty programs. Sufficient capacity exists within the region at Wilson-Pacific to house programs currently at Marshall, except for the Seattle Evening School, which is recommended for relocation to the Meany building. We considered repurposing the John Marshall building for an alternative K-8 school, but the lack of a playground, small and poorly configured site, and high decibel level due to the proximity to I-5 would make this a undesirable site for elementary students."


Anonymous said…
Why is money being put into upgrading John Marshall if previous analysis considers is "past its useful lifespan?"

The district's own report clearly states it isn't a good site for elementary students.

karen said…
Fun historical links!! I don't think it matters that it's past it's useful life since it's cheaper than building new. Many buildings were slated for closure or closed recently due to the same issue and they either didn't close or are being reopened.

Maybe the exhaust will dumb down the APP kids helping close the achievement gap!
Kids, the district has NEVER allow the condition of a building to stop them from what they want to do. But yes, I think the number of times they have stated that J. Marshall has inadequate space for a playground could be used against them.
Kids, the district has NEVER allow the condition of a building to stop them from what they want to do. But yes, I think the number of times they have stated that J. Marshall has inadequate space for a playground could be used against them.
Anonymous said…
It's not just a lack of playground space, it's the measurable noise level because it's so close to I-5. Their own documents spell it out.

Lack of institutional memory, or intentional neglect?

wary parent
seattle citizen said…
John Marshall has these grand old windows: 1928 wood-framed, easy to slide up on a warm spring day...Necessary to slide up on a hot early summer afternoon.

And in comes the sound of 250 engines, a thousand tires, echoing around the concrete cavern that is the park-and-ride. Seattle usually has a sou-westerly, so the noxious fumes only come in some days.

Marshall is a great building, an interesting piece of history. It has utility. But like many other schools it suffers from its environment.

This is really the larger issue: ALL classrooms get toxins from outside if the windows open and toxin from within if they're closed. While we are smart to be circumspect about some buildings, let's not forget the overall environment we are providing for our kids.
Lori said…
What does it take to get an environmental or health impact assessment in a situation like this one, where John Marshall is under consideration to re-open as an elementary school? As a K-8 or an APP 1-8, we are talking about young kids spending 30 hours/week, 10 months per year, for potentially 8-9 years at this location, directly under I-5.

I skimmed thru just a couple of published papers about the relationship between proximity to freeways and children's lung health, and I think parents would be prudent to be asking some questions about whether our kids can be adequately protected from near-highway pollution before the district moves forward.

I found this document from the California Dept of Health (and other agencies) that summarizes the issues in plain language.

Building off their suggestions, I'd like to know exactly what the distance is between I-5 and the school and whether the school is downwind or upwind. There are also some good suggestions about HVAC systems, for example, that perhaps we should be investigating. Anyone with knowledge of the various BEX projects know if HVAC upgrades are planned if Marshall is re-opened?

I'm really not trying to be alarmist. I don't know the answers to the questions I just posed. Maybe there's nothing to worry about. But it's worth investigating.
Anonymous said…
Yeah, maybe someone can also do an environmental impact study on Rainier and Henderson and the effects of bullets and assaults on children's health too. We find these things have a detritmental effect on learning, not to mention morbidity and mortality rate.

-how about it?
Anonymous said…
from SPS:
Phase 1 Pathways Plan:
• McDonald School will open as an International School – fall of 2012
• Ingraham High School will open as an International School – fall of 2013
• Elementary in West Seattle and South East (TBD) to open in the fall of 2014
• Mercer MS to open as an International School in the fall of 2014
• Franklin HS to open as an International School in the fall of 2016
• Note: Franklin HS is the Central Region but is the pathway high school for the SE Region.
International Schools – Phase 2: Central Region - Two Options Option one:
o Elementary Schools: John Muir, Bailey Gatzert or Thurgood Marshall – need two schools
o Middle School: Washington MS
o High School: Franklin HS
o Note: Muir has offered Mandarin for a number of years. Franklin HS has offered Mandarin for the past two years. Potential issue: Washington MS has APP – may not be interested in an International program.
• Option two:
• Elementary schools - Montlake, Stevens, Coe, Hay or Queen Anne – need two schools
• Middle School – McClure MS
• High School – Garfield HS
• Northwest Region
• Elementary Schools – Sacajawea, Laurelhurst, View Ridge, Bryant – need two schools
• Middle School - Eckstein MS
• High School – Nathan Hale HS
Timeline for Phase 2
• 2016/17 – Franklin HS will open as the last International School in Phase 1
• 2016/17 – Exploratory/Start up/Planning for two elementary schools in Phase 2 – one for each new region.
• 2017/18 – Open the two elementary schools as International Schools.
• 2017/18 – Exploratory/Start-up/Planning for the other two elementary schools in Phase 2 – one for each region.

--signed, do these schools know?
Anonymous said…
The repair list for John Marshall includes dealing with water damage to the interior, which makes you wonder about mold. Is the indoor air quality as much of a concern as the outdoor air quality?

From Google maps, the building looks to be 100-200 ft from the freeway, with a large swath of the open space within 100 ft. There is absolutely nothing to buffer the noise (maybe there's an app for measuring decibel levels).

When it was known how overcrowded Lowell would be, wasn't it parents speaking out that put an end to the district's plans to reconfigure the building?

getting concerned
Charlie Mas said…
Do these schools know asked about the level of involvement by staff and communities at Mercer, Franklin, and other schools that are scheduled to become international schools in their transformation into "international" schools.

It's unlikely that any of those schools have given it very much thought at all.

Last year the District announced that five schools would offer ALOs. There was no collaboration with the schools prior to the announcement. The principals got an email notice just before the District issued a press release announcing that they were designated as ALO sites.

Your skepticism is warranted.
tired said…
The tension at Hamilton is a result of multiple incidents where students are presented with sensitive or inappropriate material without parental notification and seemingly with the principal's consent.

A recent example, in comments on the Seattle Times:

Funny how the Hamilton principal only decided to cancel this field trip AFTER he was questioned by the press about the issue, not when many parents complained.

Kind of like how last week a 7th grade teacher at Hamilton showed her students the graphic and controversial "Kony 2012" video (without parent approval) and when parents complained, the principal was anemic in his response.

Great leadership, Hamilton. Great oversight, Seattle Schools.

Anonymous said…
DEMONSTRATE YOUR DISAPPROVAL on August 20th, 4:40 with signs referencing the Garfield Rape
(suggested themes on Facebook: stop Sex assault in high school)

Citizens are gathering to support the movement to Stop Sexual Assault in High School. A peaceful demonstration is to occur at the Seattle School Board meeting on August 20th, 4:40. Parking is available http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/calendar/showCalendarDay.phtml?oc_id%5B0%5D=12618&day=20&month=8&year=2014&eid=87045344&sessionid=a90b91fe5370042e9c57ee173bf9c49a

It is possible that persons supporting the petition to remove Garfield Principal Howard for his role in fostering sexual violence (that led to the US Dept of Education, Office for Civil Rights, opened in response to the Garfield High School rape) may be present.

Stop Sexual Assault in High School seeks to help families nationwide advocate for a student's rights after sexual assault. We will also be addressing prevention through trainings. Stop Sexual Assault in High School recently came into being after our family member was raped on a Garfield High School field trip. Our vision is to spare others the devastation that ensued when the Seattle School District failed to keep students safe and failed to extend any of her federally mandated Title IX rights. The District is now under federal investigation for violation of Title IX.

We welcome your support and input for the welfare of students in Seattle/nationally.

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