Monday, August 20, 2012

How Are Those New/Reopened Schools Doing?

So we see the progress being made in preparation for the new K-5 STEM at Boren but it got me wondering; how are the other new schools doing?

Sand Point?

Queen Anne Elementary?


Rainier View?


Did I leave anyone out?

I seem to hear more about McDonald and Queen Anne so I'd love to hear from Sand Point, Viewlands or Rainier View parents but I'm sure we would like updates from all.


Benjamin Leis said...

I'm curious in general on the distribution of parents who read this site. Could we create a thread to survey what schools are represented in general?

Unknown said...

Ben, I would have to create an off-site survey to do that as I think many parents might not want to say what school(s) they are connected to using their moniker.

Anonymous said...

Checking in:

My son got into Queen Anne for Kindergarten off the waitlist a few weeks ago. We are very excited. The Open House is scheduled for 8/30/12, and that is when we will find out our teacher assignments. They decided not to do one-on one "interviews" this year so parents and kids will be meeting and speaking with teachers at the Open House.

-QA Parent

Anonymous said...

We don't have any young children, but we live within sight of Rainier View. Children come walking down our street from all around the neighborhood during the school year-I never knew we had so many kids living so close by! I don't know how parents there feel about the school, but I do see kids of many different ethnicities, some with older siblings, some with mom and baby tagging along. There was clearly a need to reopen it.

The playground and field are gathering places for area families before and after school, on the weekends and summers. Having the school open makes the neighborhood more vibrant. I heard some moms talking as they walked past my house talking about how glad they were that they didn't have to send their kids "as far away" as Emerson (it's a 5-minuet drive).

Anonymous said...

Sorry-hit enter too soon. Sign me: Rainier View neighbor

Anonymous said...

Don't know if Jane Addams K-8 would qualify as a new/reopened school. It's been open for 3 years now. Almost all grades have waitlists (up over 600 kids for this coming year), there is a very strong ptsa, the parents have been VERY pleased with the principal and the teachers. Parents feel like students' needs are getting met - and the diversity of the students is great. So pleased we took the risk to go to a new program!

~JA Parent of a rising 2nd grader

mirmac1 said...

Is this a surprise?

6 Seattle schools have become whiter as new assignment plan changes racial balance


Doesn't that mean six schools became less white? Are they now ripe for charterization?

dj said...

Mirmac, not necessarily, if families choose to exit SPS to avoid an assigned school. The reason it is newsworthy is that one of the arguments in favor of the NSAP was that it would increase diversity at schools. Although it isn't possibl to tell from that news article what actually is going on.

Anonymous said...

The new assignment plan was supposed to increase diversity? How?


Jet City mom said...

I believe you but I don't remember diversity being touted as a way to get to neighborhood schools.
If the city is NOT as diverse as the district, and if the plan is to be neighborhood based, that isn't going to make the schools more diverse unless there is a move to making the neighborhoods more diverse. Like a good PROGRAM in that neighborhood school that attracts those from other areas, like what they did at Garfield so many years ao.

Diversity increased at West woodland 5%. Olympic Hill 7.5%
Increased at John Hay, Leschi, Mcgilvra, North Beach, Whitter and others all in the K-2 neighborhood classes.

Love to hear about the realized savings though. ;)

Patrick said...

Who said the NSAP would increase diversity in schools? The whole point of the NSAP was that schools would be as segregated as the neighborhoods they are in.

Anonymous said...

From QAE: We are in year three as a new school, year two in our QA location.

Enrollment started at 110 and will be close to 300 this year with three Ks, three 1st, two 2nd, and one each of 3, 4, and 5 grades... large enough to now use both buildings on the property for classrooms.

With the GeoZone as the tiebreaker for enrollment (after sibs) and a waitlist at the lower grades, it will be interesting to see how many students outside that zone are actually enrolled. The first two years were quite geographically diverse in terms of where the students came from. But with John Hay very crowded - more families are choosing QAE as an option.

One thing that has evolved quite a bit from the first days of QAE is the vision and focus of the school. It is not a Tech school - as some believe. The emphasis is more on Project Based Learning and integration of technology into that focus, as well as using technology to enable differentiated learning. So - NOT learning how to use technology - but using technology to learn.

There have been growing pains as the population doubled - as new families come in they bring their own set of expectation about what the school is and is not. A few families have left but most have stayed and the interest in the school is very high. A big part of that interest comes from the fact that the staff is excellent - starting with a great Principal... David Elliott (formerly at Coe). I do wonder how much the school would change if he left. But so far all the teachers are very strong, aligned with the vision of the school.

Also, the nature of having over 50% of the school population in the K and 1st grades creates an interesting parent dynamic – with almost too much focus on the needs of those grades and not a large cohort of upper grade parents to help with the onboarding of the new families. As a result, the culture of the school is still evolving…

Also, QAE put in an application to be a CAS but with that process on hold, not sure where that stands. I think as an option school, there is a lot more flexibility anyway, but the CAS would have broadened that a bit. It is my understanding that every staff member signed the application as did a very large number of parents.

The PTSA is strong and recently made a transition in leadership from the original team that started the PTSA. They work very closely with the staff on supporting the school vision and purpose, as well as managing and leading most of the parent involvement and communication. Fundraising is a big part of the PTSA as well – as a small school the enrollment numbers are not high enough to have an art teacher, tutors, etc so a fairly large % of the PTSA budget goes toward staff for those activities. They also have a very strong community events team and host a lot of non-fundraising get togethers to build the community cohesiveness. The onsite garden is a popular gathering place and is hands-on for kids and parents alike.

It will be interesting to see the QAE MSP and other score results when they are released. Last year, QAE was a level 5 school with strong scores overall in terms of student achievement and staff/parent feedback...but that was year one. Time will tell if this trend holds as the school grows.

Last I checked, QAE was on the list for some funding for BEXIV - specifically for a gym and some extra classrooms. Will be interesting to see if that stays on the list.

QAE Parent
(normally I sign QA parent but someone else used that one today)

mirmac1 said...

Update on Olympic View construction

8/10 Operations update

Anonymous said...

Wow. Where does Patrick live? The neighborhoods of our city are mostly very diverse. There are a few exceptions. But the old assignment plan was really one that facilitated white flight. And it happened. At John Hay, our school was a designated "south end choice" school. The south end buses showed up every day. Guess what? They were full of all the white kids from the south end fleeing their neighbors! It made the south end darker, and Hay whiter.


Patrick said...

Parent, open enrollment worked both ways. What the old assignment plan did that really annoyed the powers that be is that it allowed poor and minority students to enroll in mostly middle class, mostly white schools even when they didn't live in the neighborhood. In many cases, students from other neighborhoods were admitted while the local students had to go far away. And they got busing, so it was realistic for them to attend. That's why NSAP was enacted, although it was phrased more nicely as "neighborhood schools".

mirmac1 said...


That's true with SpEd and ICS (or whatever it's called now). They said nicely, let's teach Sped kids in their neighborhood school in their "natural proportions" (WTF?). What's resulted is insufficient services and supports spread too thin. But hey, gotta get those transportation cost reductions.

Anonymous said...

Well, mcgilvra is more diverse now because wealthy white students fled to private schools which left spaces for kids outside the mcgilvra boundaries. A third of mcgilvra's students come from outside the NSAP boundaries. Not sure that was the district plan, but who knows what they think will happen.
Mcgilvra mom

Jet City mom said...

Micmac, I live within four blocks of an elementary school ( west woodland- with the new SAP kids on our street were initially assigned to BF Day- & a bus, until after a few meetings SPS moved the border a block or two.)

Anyway- twins across the street are in self contained sped and are assigned to Northgate elem. The single mom doesn't have a car, speaks halting English and didn't know why they are assigned so far away, especially since their bus takes such a circuitous route that leaves them stressed before school. It may be that Northgate has programs that best serve them- I hope so.

But a good portion of students who recieve special education resources also come from low income households and one way to lower the barrier to becoming involved in the school, is to increase access- like having it close by.

What I picked up on the street, is that some principals limit the number of kids in sped in their schools, especially in the high schools.. I think this should be up to the parents- if they feel their child's neighborhood school is suitable, with the SAP, shouldn't they be assigned to the neighborhood school?

I would love to hear the Washington version of this one out of California.

Annette Wiederholt has four to six special education students in her general education algebra classes at Rosemead High School. In one class, there is only one instructional aide to assist students. Despite her best efforts, most students with disabilities are flunking algebra.

“My pacing guide doesn’t fit these students, and it’s almost inhumane to do it this way,” says the El Monte Union Educators Association (EMUEA) member. “The rigor is really too much for these kids.”

Her high school eliminated services and resource programs for students with “mild to moderate” disabilities.  General education teachers were told to collaborate with special education teachers to learn strategies for teaching students with special needs, which they were glad to do. But they were not given common planning periods, so collaboration between general and special education teachers has been spotty.

Sorry- I went off topic- this is hitting really close to home.