A Thoughtful Article about Downtown Elementary

Today in Crosscut we find an article about the Downtown elementary school that actually includes some data  - census numbers - that could be used to make a case for the school. It actually makes a stronger case for a downtown high school than a downtown elementary school, but there's no mention of that.

I have a number of questions that I would like to see answered.

  • Where are these kids going to school now?
  • Do we only need an elementary school downtown - not a middle school and a high school?
  • Why don't we need a middle school or a high school?
  • If these kids are in the census data, why didn't they appear in the District's enrollment projections?
It's nice to finally see some numbers associated with this school idea, which has seemed like a pet project by downtown elites until this.


mirmac1 said…
I believe the majority of board directors think this is a non-starter. My hope is they are perturbed by yet another hard sell from downtown business types and their media syncophants.
Anonymous said…
Is the Center School High School considered downtown?

suep. said…
I think it's still a pet project of a few.
Yes, Center High is considered downtown. The problem is that it is not a comprehensive high school and that is what is/will be needed. There is some sort of plan to trade some of the SPS land around Memorial Stadium for a parking garage at Mercer that the district could then build a high school on.

I think all this needs to be planned from K-12 and not K-5 as Charlie has mentioned. It would seem easiest to create a K-8 and a high school or K-5 and a 6-12 rather than three separate schools.

We cannot endanger the BEX by putting in money for a downtown school. I think this would be the last straw for many district parents who might still vote for it but refuse to work for it. We need everyone to work for it and the district needs to craft a great message to sell it.

However, there are other options and I think if the City, the district and the downtown association work together, it can be a win-win for everyone. I am working on this now and I hope to be able to report on some good news by the beginning of July.
Anonymous said…
Yes, yes, and yes to a downtown comprehensive HS. It would relieve so much of the pressure on Ballard and Garfield. We have kids from QA/Magnolia/Cap Hill/Eastlake/1st Hill who will fill a downtown HS now. Of course, this makes just too much sense from the present capacity/enrollment POV.

From an MBA Yale grad urban planner POV, targeted SLU demographic is the ubber hip techies and well off retirees who will forever be young and live downtown. Many of my work colleagues are the uber young hipsters of today and they are already planning to be out of their mini condos/HOA once they start to have the 1st costly mini-me. They want more space, more parks, single dwelling homes, "safer" environment, and better schools of course. I'm not sure we will be anything like Vancouver BC for its well designed urban planinng where people of all ages (though not all income unless you're lucky enough to buy a condo 20 years ago or got in in one of the subsidized apts) live in dense downtown neighborhoods among well used parks, schools, and community centers. Vancouver started this in the 1950's and they stuck with their vision where city planners control the growth and not leave it all up to real estate developers. In our case, developers are dictating where our schools will be and how our public space and dollars will be used to enhance their investments.

kellie said…
I have seen some of these materials and the students are enrolled in the many schools that are "close to downtown" aka Lowell, Queen Anne, etc. The proposed re-opening of TTMinor would add more than enough central capacity to accommodate all of the students mentioned in this article.

I agree that these numbers (once again) point more to the need for a downtown (aka Queen Anne) high school.
Anonymous said…
One option would be to rebuild and reopen the vacant school on 28th in Magnolia into an elementary school. Then you could turn Blaine into a high school.

If a high school is built at Seattle Center it could have internships with the Gates Foundation. They may not like that unless it is a charter school.

The Center School is a wonderful place and really nurtures the students. The only thing we objected to was the math curriculum, but this should be improved at all schools.

S parent
Kelly said…
S Parent, I have been saying that for years. Turn Blaine into a high school, make McClure a K-8, and open the old Magnolia school as a middle school. Or Magnolia could be the K-8 and leave McClure as is. Or McClure could be remodeled as a high school and leave Blaine as is. There are several possibilities. The high school does not have to hold 1600 kids ala Garfield or Ballard. It could hold half that and still work.
Anonymous said…
Yes, Kelly, there are many options. SPS could do any of your suggestions to ease the overcrowding at Ballard and Garfield to provide more high school seats near downtown.

Some folks think Q.A. and Magnolia parents all do private schools but that is an unfair generalization. Our sons went to The Center School and Ballard H.S. and the neighborhoods around these schools are growing.

Making smart use of existing school properties makes sense in these economically challenged times.

S Parent

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