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Saturday, June 16, 2012

True to Form

The district loves to do an end-of-school-year flurry of activities.  It's like parents are just about out the door and the district says "have a good summer and oh, we are changing XYZ".

Bryant's long-time child-care provider (17 years)  is getting the boot (but can reapply but good luck).  Parents are rightly suspicious as the answers they are receiving on why this is happening don't quite mesh.  The district says it is compliance issues but it seems that may not be the issue (the provider's license is fine).  Their PTA had no notification this was coming and the Bryant administration does not favor the decision. 

Over in West Seattle, it suddenly got announced that the Middle College program that has been at South Seattle Community College for nearly 20 years is getting the boot because SSCC needs the space.  Interestingly, the district has never paid a cent of rent to SSCC and it might have been that with tight times, they asked for some money from our district.  The program in that area serves 70-125 students (usually ages 16-20) who have not been successful in a regular high school and provides them with guidance and attention to get their diploma.  (They are opening a new Middle College program but it's over at Seattle University.) 

From the West Seattle Blog:

We have some followup questions out – for one, since Boren’s main mission has continued to be described by the district as that of a temporary campus, is this a permanent or temporary home for the MCHS program? Plus, we are renewing a request for comment from SSCC on the grants mentioned by SPS as a reason for the move. Earlier this week, the 34th District Democrats passed a resolution that urged the two school systems to work out an agreement for MCHS to stay at the college, since a hallmark of the program has been college readiness, and being in that atmosphere was considered one of its key points.

Great questions.   SPS Communications let the WS blog know that yes, it is a temporary location for Middle College and that Ex Director Aurora Lora will be sending a letter to the STEM K-5 families about the campus arrangement to keep the programs separated. 

Marty McLaren, trying to walk a fine line, has come down on the side of the district.  She has a statement at the WS blog.

Although I haven’t had a chance to discuss this option with Middle College representatives, Principal McKinney of STEM, or with families of either school, my “first blush” personal reaction is favorable. If Middle College must be uprooted, Boren seems to me to be a good destination; I think the two schools would be good neighbors.

I'm not sure giving an opinion without talking to those involved was a good idea.  

Interestingly, the district seems to say there is no money to pay rent and yet they are fine with paying lease money over the last 12 years for Center School to be at Seattle Center. 

And, despite a K-5 STEM meeting on Wednesday night, the district waited until Thursday to let those families know that the Middle College program will be co-housed at Boren in portables.   Charmingly, the district let parents know there would be opportunities for "mentoring and tutoring."  The question does get to be asked - why wasn't this announced at the Wednesday night meeting?   The STEM K-5 parents have asked the district for an emergency meeting.

Nobody's happy. 

In the category of "groups who continually get kicked around", we then come to the Indian Heritage Program that is being moved to the Northgate Mall Middle College site.  They cite the "poor condition" of Wilson Pacific as a reason.  That might be but really, that program has been there forever.  Where was this concern before?  Isn't more realistic that they need to move them out for BEX IV? 

The only director to have a Saturday Community Meeting today is Director Peaslee.  It is from 1-2:30 p.m. at the Northgate Library.   She better get a bigger room.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why didn't they look at RBHS for Middle College high schoolers? We put in a lot of money to fix up Ranier Beach and it's underenrolled. Wouldn't it make more sense to co-house it there temporarily?

PS parent

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I just came back from a meeting at Bryant concerning the situation at Tamie's. What an amazing community. Tamie and her staff are truly awesome and the district once again is doing their best to destroy something that really works for the community.

~Ripley

seattle citizen said...

The stated reason for moving Indian Heritage is the "poor condition" of the site? Really? As you indicate, Melissa, they and other programs have been there forever. We know the reason for moving them now is that they want the site for other purposes. They could acknowledge that they are going to likely tear down the building, but IH could be put into the new facility, right? Wrong, I guess, I so the district should be up front (transparent!) and tell us that IH doesn't fit with the program(s) planned for the site.

And about those murals: I am usre they are over 25 years old, which make them subject to review by the city and/or state under historic preservation. I"m SURE the district, city and state are working hard to ensure that as many of the murals as possible are saved and moved, correct? I'm sure the district is aware of its responsibility under historic preservation laws to evaluate the murals and determine best strategies for preservation? Perhaps someone should make sure that all parties (district, city, state, are up to speed on preservation....

My suggestion for moving them it to put some of them along the south wall of JSCEE, facing the parking lot. There is already the story pole there, in front of the building..They could be put up there in a relatively removable fashion, so as to be moved later as needed.

So we need a heavy equipment contractor, and we need district, city, and state to do the right thing and save the murals.

Josh Hayes said...

Actually, seattle citizen, the murals at Wilson-Pacific are not all that old; less than ten years, I think. I was living in this neighborhood (Licton Springs) when they were painted. The artist worked from a tiny little photo, which he held in one hand. He'd glance at the photo, then spray some paint, then look back at the photo, spray a little more.... in all, I'd guess he scaled 3x5 photos up to, what, 30 x 30 foot paintings? They're amazing, and I would strenuously protest their removal.

It's worth noting that the building in general, and a lot of other structures in this neighborhood, get tagged all the time, but those murals have remained untouched since the day they were painted. They get massive respect.

Jet City mom said...

They were painted in 2001. Time flies.

seattle citizen said...

Let's save the murals.

Lara said...

As a Bryant parent, the school district's decision to cancel Tamie's seems like a total violation of due process, lack of tranparency and frankly, no matter how I read it, incompetence. There will be a public hearing at the Bryant gym on Tuesday 6/19 at 7pm. Parents are sending questions to our PTSA president in advance to hand off to those who will be representing School District--to give them ample time to formulate answers and hopefully DATA. If you post questions in the forum, I can also make sure they make it into the queue.