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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

BEX IV Thread

I would really love to go in-depth on this subject right now but I am running a state-wide campaign against I-1240 (so I have my hands full).

However Facilities has always had a special place in my heart so I digress to put up this post. 

Charlie has pointed out the numerous issues of the lack of clarity in this BEX.  Frankly, I'm not sure the district has a real plan. 

Again, instead of long-range planning and forecasting (could they please just hire Kellie LaRue already), it's triage and putting out fires. 

It is also the wages of sin.  And the biggest sin our district has is to put off what needs to get done.  They started pulling back on basic maintenance in the late '70s and never looked back.  The chickens have come home to roost, folks. 

We also have quite a few elderly buildings (over 40-50 years old).  Those buildings are in constant need of repair and maintenance.  I think most of you and most taxpayers would be shocked at the millions and millions that have been poured into mostly small buildings that needed shoring up.  It's something of a fools game but the district doesn't have a choice.

And now they are facing down the mother of all BEXs because it's not just about old buildings jockeying for position.  It's about:

- permanent program placement for groups like NOVA, APP, and the World School

- promises made and not kept like funding like the World School getting $14M in one BEX and it mysteriously drops down to $10-11M (depending on which staff you talk to).  To be clear, every single person sitting on the Board today knows that the original sum was $14M and no one has ever publicly asked why it was reduced. 

I really should go back through my files and contrast what voters were told with what was done with BEX money.  And promises made to schools.  Let us know what promises you heard for your school building and the source of that promise.  

- the inability for our district to forecast - with any accuracy - our enrollment.  Millions wasted on closed and reopening schools.

- pressure from downtown for their elementary school.  There should be NO money set aside for this.  Not because it isn't a good idea and might be needed in the future (it surely is not needed now) but because there are so many other pressing needs.  It has that "let them eat cake" smell about it.   If there is not an organized plan of having an elementary, middle (or K-8) and high school for downtown and WHERE they would go, then they don't need money on this BEX.

- that this BEX was supposed to be the middle school BEX.  Because we have gone through nearly every high school but we do have our largest middle schools that have been quietly waiting for help.  It would appear they will wait longer.  

I am going to try to attend the BEX on Thursday.  I hope to NOT see any video touting the benefits of BEX.  I hope to not see a short Q&A time if there are questions that everyone wants to hear answers to about this capital building cycle.

I don't think the district really has a clue how close they might be to losing this thing.  If you can't get parents on-board, you're in trouble.

Last thing - if I-1240 passes and charters come in - all bets are off for BEX IV.  Because you see, the initiative has the trigger takeover of ANY existing school.  Over at the Washington Policy Center, they are saying they think 37 of the 40 charters WILL be conversion charters.  Since charters are largely an urban issue, where do you think that will happen? 

And then, according to the initiative, those conversion charters get their share of this BEX levy and this operations levy.  The BEX share would likely be about $7-8M per charter.  That would change everything.  (Conversion charters get their share of any levies passed BEFORE they were enacted.  New charters get their share of any levy money of levies passed AFTER they are enacted.)

Are you ready to see your levy money go to a building that may not even need capital money?  Because I can see - and I'll say this outloud - a group coming in to take over South Shore K-8.   I would not be surprised at all if parents or teachers at that school allowed that to happen.  The district then loses a new $73M building that probably doesn't need capital money but yes, they will get it.  And operations money as well. 

Good luck to us all if that happens. 

75 comments:

Erin from Bagley said...

For Bagley they aren't promising anything. They aren't even saying anything concrete.

How could they be so off the mark with the community meetings? The video they showed at the beginning was like a kick in the gut. Even my 3rd commented on it, at first he thought it showed what his school would be like, but then he realized his school wasn't getting anything and he was sad. He said "I just wish there was enough soap in the bathrooms and it wasn't so crowded so I could wash my hands."

Anonymous said...

I was at the Whitman meeting and couldn't agree more with Erin. I was there specifically for Whitman, but after hearing how disgracefully the district was dealing with schools with real challenges like Bagley and APP, that video was actually insulting! Honestly, how dare the district show that video to parents whose kids are in schools that don't have good drinking water or schools that don't even have schools? The gall!

Signed, shaking my head in disgust.

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

Mel has a great summary here of the BEX that was promised to too many communities. My ballpark estimate is that there is about $2 Billion in Capital needs - between deferred maintenance, building that are past their replacement schedule and soon-to-be critical capacity needs.

This BEX will provide about $100 Million per year for six years. It is really challenging to line up those two numbers.

If my estimates are even close, then the only thing BEX will accomplish is triage. It will provide relief for the most over capacity programs - (Schmidz Park where more than half the students are in portables) and potentially replace the worst of the buildings. But it can't do anything more than that. I would not take any bets on there being 5% portable usage at the end of this BEX.

I am glad they are now looking at this challenge with some of the higher enrollment projections. The difference between the mid projections and the high projections was a simple calculation in the cohort survival numbers.

The mid range numbers were based on a five year average and therefore included years under the old SAP. The two year average was for the two years under the NSAP. The five year average numbers were simply not useful in the crowded areas.

Five year average numbers where three of those years were years when you were not guaranteed a place, is not a useful tool for schools like Schmidz Park, Eckstein, Garfield, etc.

It is hard to escape the simple notion that people like high performing schools and will change their behavior in order to attend one. The high enrollment numbers more accurately reflect a demand curve.

Anonymous said...

I've gotten two separate "call to action" emails from other John Hay parents asking me to attend the next BEX meeting to voice support for the downtown school to help alleviate overcrowding at Hay.

Insanity!

Anonymous said...

At the Whitman meeting, they mentioned that they would be using the high-range projections for "some areas." I think one of these areas was middle school enrollment in the north/northeast. They also mentioned that they were taking another look at opening 2 middle schools in the north, instead of just one.

None of this is mentioned in the latest update of the BEXIV FAQs.

Was there any mention of this at the Madison meeting?

North End Mom

mirmac1 said...

insanity!

Based on email compaigns I've seen in records, there is a certain group of parents on QA who are wont to do DeBell's bidding.

Charlie Mas said...

@North End Mom,

At the Madison meeting there was no talk about any plans other than what appears in the handouts and slides.

Charlie Mas said...

Here is a link to the BEX IV Planning presentation made to the Board on March 28, 2012.

On slide 9, the 2020-21 K-5 Cumulative Capacity Shortfall
By MS Service Area (Without Portables), you can see that the McClure Service Area, which includes downtown, has a projected capacity shortfall - without portables - of 70 seats.

There is no need for a downtown elementary school to meet projected student enrollment.

If you think that downtown is in the Washington service area, then take a look. The projected capacity shortfall there is about 110 seats. Again, this is without portables.

Again, there is no need for a downtown elementary school to meet projected student enrollment.

The very fact that we are even talking about it is a reflection of the pure political power of the Downtown Seattle Association, Paul Allen, Jeff Bezos, real estate developers and other big money interests. There is absolutely no data to support the notion.

Anonymous said...

There is no straight face reason for one dime to go to a downtown school given the shameful condition of buildings and overcrowding of schools all over this district.

If SPS administrators insist on including it in the levy, then my feeling is that the district isn't responsible enough for me to give them my money. I will vote no.

SavvyVoter

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Charlie.

I was optimistic that they might be taking a serious look at middle school capacity issues in North Seattle, but perhaps not.

-North End Mom

Anonymous said...

Talk around the water cooler: folks with families who relocated to work for Amazon and other downtown offices are not looking to live next to their workplace. They are buying in the 'burbs and those who want a more urban lifestyle still want single dwelling homes with yard for their kids and dogs. Some are renting in the meantime because of low home inventory close to downtown. Good news for homeowners south of 90th looking to sell.

voter

Anonymous said...

Gee Mirmac and others. Why the hostility towards John Hay parents? There are already 4 classrooms in portables as of this year, and 4 more slated for next year. The playcourt, basketball courts, will be completely gone - leaving only a small grass yard. That will be destroyed in about a week with 6 or 7 hundred kids packed onto it daily. Overcrowding is a real issue, and Hay was listed as the most overcrowded elementary - with many siblings not getting off the waitlist like they did everywhere else. What if Hay has 700 students next year? Is it really so unreasonable to have another nearby school? Hay currently serves downtown families. Coe is packed, and QAE is also nearly full. Then what? Your dislike for DeBell makes you overlook an actual need in the area.

QA parent

Charlie Mas said...

A swirl of BEX IV notions, none of them very well connected.

* Pegi McEvoy denies that NOVA will be expanded to 700. She now says that 366 will be the new total capacity at Mann, not the net new capacity as reported on every district document. So it's good that they aren't trying to expand NOVA to 700, but it's disappointing that their work is so sloppy that they forgot to delete the seats lost from their total count and they don't know the difference between total and net - even when they specific that a number is a net.

* I still see three years of the new middle school at Meany being housed in the Columbia building and I really don't know how they are going to fit all of those students in that tiny, little school.

* I'm still concerned about the likely racial and economic disparity between Meany and Washington. If Montlake, McGilvra, Stevens, and Lowell feed Meany, while Muir, Leschi, Thurgood Marshall, and Bailey-Gatzert feed Washington, then Meany is going to be a whole lot Whiter than Washington and Washington is going to be a whole lot poorer than Meany.

* I'm not sure how the District is counting middle school seats in the Washington Service Area. Do we really need the capacity of another middle school at Meany or do we really just want a boutique school to retain affluent families in Montlake, Capitol Hill and Madison Park?

* How is program placement done? The World School is negotiating their new location with the District. The NOVA Project has been ordered back to Mann without any transparent process. North-end APP is getting advisory committeed to death with no sense of where it will land or what rationale guides the decision.

* The project order is all messed up. It does't reflect actual urgencies.

Anonymous said...

Charlie -
To add to the BEXIV rumors... I heard it was announced yesterday evening at the Jane Addams PTSA meeting that the Jane Addams K-8 will, indeed, be staying in the building, and that the Jane Addams building will definitely not be repurposed as a comprehensive middle school. Evidently, this news came from senior staff who recently visited the building.

Good news for the Jane Addams program, but what does this mean for Eckstein?

Signed, Eckstein-bound (maybe)

Anonymous said...

Combine a culture of lawlessness; a culture with a prevalent lack of accountability; a culture that ignores public/community input (unless it's from the "in-crowd"); a culture where competence seems not to matter; a culture where the checks and balances are neither checked nor balanced; a culture that has institutional amnesia with respect to commitments to school communities and what do you get?

The Administration culture of Seattle Public Schools.

If an organization is infected for an extended period of time with this lack of honor for the value of, the desire for, the rewards for, and the pursuit of competenct, accountability, accuracy, and honesty what does it take to "shift the dominant paradigm"?

Sue in Zen Field

mirmac1 said...

QA Parent,

Welcome to our world in West Seattle for the last four years.

The McClure MS attendance area has the third least number of elementary seats needed by 2020 (less than 100), second only to Aki and Mercer. According to the district's enrollment projections, THAT is the need in the area. Of course, the Downtown Seattle Association (nothing but a booster club for commercial interests) disagrees.

I guess you'd have to read the email campaign that was meant to a) bolster DeBell's ill-conceived self-abrogation of power and authority; and b) slander the four members of our school board who still give a rip.

NorthEnder said...

@Eckstein-bound and North-End Mom

Sounds like the new middle school at Wilson-Pacific is the plan for North Seattle. The capacity projections have Whitman 6-8 attendance growing about as much as Eckstein, so this sort of shares that load, I suppose, drawing from both of them.


Charlie Mas said...

The middle school capacity shortfall in the north-end is projected at about 1,350. That, of course, is without using any portables.

With portables, the 1,250 capacity middle school planned for Wilson-Pacific will easily meet the demand.

It is also possible that the students from the Laurelhurst attendance area could be shifted into the Meany Service Area. That would help.

Anonymous said...

Mirimac,

So the overflow at Hay, Coe, and QAE should go where? To Lawton or Blaine?

Asking in all seriousness.

Another QA Parent

Charlie Mas said...

QA Parent - I believe that you can see what is happening in your schools. The rest of us have to look at the data that the District produces.

How is it that you are reporting that Hay is "the most overcrowded elementary"? What is the basis for that statement?

Here is the annual capacity management report. Not a single McClure service area school is on the watchlist as approaching over-capacity. The report does, however, show West Seattle Elementary at 113% of capacity, JSIS at 114%, Gatewood at 116%, Kimball at 114%, and Stevens at 111%.

McClure does appear in the report. As severely under-capacity.

The District's enrollment projections show K-5 Enrollment in the McClure Service Area rising from 1,862 in 2010-11 to 2,146 in 2015-16, a total growth of 284 students. I would be very surprised if 170 of them ended up at Hay. Most of that growth is expected at Queen Anne Elementary.

In Fall 2011 there wasn't a single portable in use at any of the attendance area elementary schools in the McClure service area. Not one.
Here is the capacity/enrollment data. It shows that Hay's capacity, without portables, is 479. If there are four portables on the site, then the capacity with portables must be more like 579.

Hay is the only elementary in the McClure service area with any kind of capacity issue, and the portables addressed it. The total capacity use for all McClure service area elementary schools is projected at 97%. On the same sheet, take a look at the Madison Service Area listed immediately above McClure.

I don't mean to be hostile, but compare your situation - your actual situation as objectively measurable - to the situation that other school communities are in. There is no overcrowding at all in the McClure Service Area. There is none predicted. There is no growth in enrollment that can't be handled by a small number of portables and an addition at Queen Anne Elementary.

Meanwhile, the majority of students at Schmitz Park have their homerooms in portables.

mirmac1 said...

Yes. The children from Cooper went to Gatewood, Lafayette, Alki, miles away, creating stuffed conditions at those schools. In the case of the McClure area, this will fill available capacity, rather than spend millions for a school that is not needed and will cost alot to maintain (transportation, safety etc). Seriously.

Anonymous said...

Add me to the list of parents who are disappointed that the process seems to pit neighborhoods, schools and parents against each other. We need a bigger pie, not just a hard look at the slices...

What's interesting to me is how many people on this blog, including the writers themselves, seem to think of "downtown" as some place that turns into a black hole when workers leave for the evening, and families and children in downtown as some kind of mythical sasquatch - something spoken of but never seen!

In reality, there are nearly 60,000 people living in the broader downtown, and almost 2,000 of them are children under 14 (read, middle school, elementary, and p-school).

I attended the Whitman meeting, and was struck by the comments of one woman, who claimed that people and children living downtown don't exist. How strange, she must not get out much. People very much move downtown, live downtown, have children downtown and raise them downtown.

Until the writers of this blog and some of the commenters choose to look at data instead of floundering around in decades-old hatred of Paul Allen and now Amazon (yes, I'm a native Seattlite and it's a tired schtick) they'd see that downtown has more residents than ANY of the other neighborhoods in Seattle, and to top that, the number of children moving to/being born in downtown is outpacing every neighborhood as well.

With zero dollars for John Hay in the BEX IV levy, it absolutely makes sense for QA parents to consider supporting the downtown school, because it helps them and their kids stretch out a little, and can help stem the rising tide of downtown kids getting bused up the hill over the next decade - again, projected to outpace other neighborhoods. (Remember, downtown families don't have a community/neighborhood school like every other neighborhood in Seattle enjoys).

If you shun data, how can good decisions be made?

By the way, the developer/impact fees seems like a straw man and flies in the face of the purpose of a citywide levy: to tax all property owners to pay for public education. For fun, flip the idea on it's head: hey, every other neighborhood in the city of Seattle, want a bigger school or need repairs? Forget a tax levy! Better ask property owners in your neighborhood to pay for it! Can't afford it? Sucks to be you.

(and now back to the regularly-scheduled infighting...)

Anonymous said...

Mirmac. John Hay alone will have about 250 more students by next year than is room in the building. 2020? I'm talking 2013. Coe is at capacity or more. QAE is also nearly at capacity and is pretty tiny, even with its portables. Lawton, Blaine are full and they are not even on QA. Are W. Seattle students bussed to the southend to relieve pressure? Magnolia is about 5 miles away. I have no idea the where the enrollment projections are made up. Funny how you LOVE projections if they prove a point of yours, but not if they don't. John Hay is likely the most overcrowded school in the district. Your repeated, incomprehensible insults against elected board members don't change any of that.

QA parent

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

"We need a bigger pie"

Tell the school board. The middle proposal for BEX started out at ~$750M. We're down to ~$650M at this point, and there is massive resistance from people higher in the District (highest staff echelons and/or board, don't know which) to increasing that number. If anything, they'd like to drop it down.

Anonymous said...

The only reason McClure, the middle school, is under capacity is that nobody wants to go to it. Somehow, they all find somewhere else to go to school. A huge number get themselves into APP and go to Hamilton. And another big number go private. And a third large number will do anything to get to an option school such as Salmon Bay, Blaine, or even schools further away. Eg. the middle school is undercapacity because people don't like McClure.... not because of a lack of population. The elementaries are a totally different story. QA residents support public education! QAE is already loaded up with portables, as is Hay. Recess at Hay has been largely curtailed anymore because there's nowhere to have it. One idea that might work would be to close McClure, the middle school, and reopen it as a K-8. Reopen Hay as another K-8. If McClure were turned into something people wanted - then yes, capacity might be managed. Barring that, we need another elementary. The sob story: "I hate Microsoft/Amazon/Adobe/Allen/Gates/DeBell" Well, that is just a sorry excuse for not doing anything.

QA parent

Anonymous said...

QA's perspective is noted, but he/she is wrong that downtown is needed. Lowell is empty and waiting for more kids. Redraw the downtown enrollment boundaries and send kids east not west. No need whatsoever for downtown elementary.

If there were to be money put downtown, it should be at the south end near the Yesler Terrace rebuild, not in SLU for the SLU development crowd.

And yes, the SLU developers/chamber/Alliance for Ed are hard to take on this subject. They need to go walk in the SW or NE and then tell us why they MUST be on this levy. That downtown is a priority is only one word - laughable.

Again, I intend to vote no and urge others to do likewise if SLU is on the list. It is unconscionable.

DistrictWatcher

Charlie Mas said...

Again, QA Parent, I'm not saying I hate Microsoft/Amazon/Adobe/Allen/Gates/DeBell. I'm saying: Where is the data?

Do you have this data somewhere? You have not brought it forward.

In the absence of any other data, I have to go with the data I have. The data I have shows that there is a small amount of overcrowding at Hay which can be readily accomodated in portables and no overcrowding at other McClure service area schools.

Do you have any data that indicates otherwise?

What is the capacity at Hay? Is it not 479 without portables as described by the District?

What is the capacity at Hay with four portables? Isn't it about 100 more?

You claimed that Hay is the most overcrowded elementary. I find that very hard to believe when I know about the overcrowding at JSIS, Schmitz Park, West Seattle Elementary, Lafayette, and Bryant. What is your basis for that claim?

QA Parent claims that "John Hay alone will have about 250 more students by next year than is room in the building." Really? What is the basis for this projection?

There is room in the building for 479, so 250 more than that would be 729. What evidence do you - or anyone else - have to suggest that the enrollment at John Hay next year will be anything like 729?

Please. Just one little bit of data and you might be convincing. Without data, however, you aren't going to convince anyone.

Anonymous said...

DistrictWatcher and others...

Hmm. I suppose my only response is that I'm sorry your vehement dislike of commercial and residential builders means you'd punish other people's children by denying them a school they deserve (yes, deserve - and good luck telling any other district parents they should just 'redraw' the boundaries so they can be bused a couple miles away over an Interstate highway...)

Commenter from above.

Charlie Mas said...

Here is the enrollment report for September.

The total enrollment at Hay is 544.

That enrollment breaks out as:

K - 95
1 - 89
2 - 94
3 - 97
4 - 94
5 - 75

So there isn't any great surge of kindergarteners coming into the school. All of the grades are about the same size except for the fifth grade.

Where is the tsunami of students? I'm not seeing it.

Anonymous said...

"A huge number get themselves into APP and go to Hamilton."

That huge number is about 4-5 students who are in QA/Mag service area who get themselves into APP/HIMS each year. Not enough to over or under enroll McClure.


QA/Mag APP HIMS Parent

Anonymous said...

Hold up there QA parent. Plenty of people like McClure. It has had a bad rep in the past but it's turning around and is pulling more neighborhood kids in since NSAP. So broad sweeping generalizations based on (?? I don't know what) shouldn't be lobbed to help you argue your case. [and btw, I agree that Hay has a capacity problem, and that capacity in all the McClure attendance area elementary schools needs re-review) b/c what we're seeing doesn't match their data.

RE: Charlie's note about portables, when I had kids at Lawton years ago (and we also faced capacity issues then) we were told multiple times by multiple district folks that the Lawton footprint couldn't accommodate portables. They didn't elaborate but there is a city park/playfield on one side and hills on the others so I assumed that was why.

-mcclure defender

Charlie Mas said...

I read this:

"Until the writers of this blog and some of the commenters choose to look at data instead of floundering around in decades-old hatred of Paul Allen and now Amazon (yes, I'm a native Seattlite and it's a tired schtick) they'd see that downtown has more residents than ANY of the other neighborhoods in Seattle, and to top that, the number of children moving to/being born in downtown is outpacing every neighborhood as well."

I WANT to look at the data. Where is it?

Po3 said...

Has anybody mentioned the SLU School being an option school with some sort of focus (STEM, ARTs)?

Wouldn't it make sense to open a school with an all city draw to help ease overcrowding all over the city as well as provide an option to families living in the neighborhood?




Anonymous said...

@Charlie

You stated:
"The middle school capacity shortfall in the north-end is projected at about 1,350. That, of course, is without using any portables."

Was this determined using the mid-range or high-range projections, and for what time span? Does it include the current over-enrollment at Eckstein?

You also state:
"With portables, the 1,250 capacity middle school planned for Wilson-Pacific will easily meet the demand." Where would these portables go? How much room is still available for portables at Eckstein, Hamilton, and Whitman? Would there be portables added to Wilson-Pacific, too?

Thanks.
-North End Mom




Charlie Mas said...

QA parent wrote:

"Overcrowding is a real issue, and Hay was listed as the most overcrowded elementary - with many siblings not getting off the waitlist like they did everywhere else."

Where was Hay listed as the most overcrowded elementary? Where?

Also, siblings on a waitlist? That would be siblings of students who live outside the attendance area since all attendance area students are enrolled on demand.

Why is Hay admitting ANY students from outside the attendance area if it is so overcrowded?

Charlie Mas said...

North End Mom,

All good questions.

The projections are the last ones that the District has provided. Whether they are high, mid, or low range I couldn't say because the District has not divulged that information. It does, however, include all students that are expected who LIVE in that area, even if we know that some of them, for whatever reason, may not enroll in a school in that area.

Any portables would go where the District feels they are needed. The District's target is to have no more than 5% of students in portables. I don't presume that means 5% at each school. I would expect portables at Eckstein, Whitman and Wilson-Pacific. I'm not sure that Hamilton has space for them.

Charlie Mas said...

Oh - and siblings did not get off the waitlist everywhere else. There are A LOT of schools with siblings on the wait list. A LOT.

Honestly, QA Parent, you need to try to stick to the facts and provide some data to support your contentions. Your credibility is slipping and the effectiveness of your argument is going with it.

I'll ask again: where is your data?

Rufus X said...

Here's a little data:

# of kids on John Hay wait list as of today at 1:08pm: 10.

7 for K, 3 for 1st grade.

Some numbers from 2011-2012:
# of APP kids enrolled at Hamilton from McClure service area (i.e. the HUGE number): 43

# of SPS-enrolled students living in McClure area & attending Hamilton: 52 (or 8% of the 640 middle-school kids living in McClure service area and enrolled at any SPS school)

# of McClure service area students who would "do anything to get into an option school":
**Blaine - 146
**Salmon Bay - 20
**TOPS - 9

These handy tidbits and more can be found on the SPS's "Enrollment" page under "enrollment resources".

Anonymous said...

In the last 4 years, there are large class sizes and mutterings of where to put kids at Hay, but haven't heard about the 250 coming in next year. Now that is news! Where is this info found? As to comments about overcapacity, some day it feels like that, but I have to say compare to my workmates and what their families go through at Bryant and that whole NE sector, I usually give them the bully pulpit as our situation pales not only at the ES level, but through MS and HS levels, especially now that we have Ballard HS (though I know that came at a cost to folks in Ballard area).

Yes, it would be great to have another neighborhood school to bring down class sizes and not force our kids into cramped cafeteria and playgrounds. However, our situation is not unique and many others have it worse. So I do agree it isn't a good idea to pit neighborhoods against each other. I also think existing schools such as Arbor Heights with much needed building upgrade along with schools that have been shifted about so much should be first in line for BEX and promises fulfilled.

McClure while not very pretty compare to South Shore or Hamilton has space and I think this year's enrollment is not significantly more, if at all, than last year. Come Oct. we'll have a formal count.

From the latest SPS data on enrollment and capacity, it seems what we really need is a comprehensive HS to service the North end including downtown. We keep shifting boundaries and I'm not sure how much more Ingraham can take unless we want to push the northenders into Shoreline district.

PS parent





kellie said...

Here is link to the enrollment projections that North End Mom is referencing.

Enrollment Projections 2012-13 through 2021-22

There are three "official" numbers, high, medium and low. The medium numbers have been used at the BEX meetings.

There is a serious issue with the medium numbers that explains much of the frustration on this thread. The issue is that they are not high, low and medium relative to what would happen is current enrollment stayed the same. They are high, low and medium based on the result that came from the calculation methodology.

It would much more accurate if they were labeled
- very conservative (low)
- conservative and calculated using generally accepted best practices (medium)
- neither aggressive nor conservative - calculated using only data that is post the implementation of the NSAP.

The issue is that the medium number that is the official number is calculated by using three years of data from the old SAP and two years of data from the NSAP. We all know that everything is different.

Jan said...

Commenter from above writes: "punish other people's children by denying them a school they deserve (yes, deserve - and good luck telling any other district parents they should just 'redraw' the boundaries so they can be bused a couple miles away over an Interstate highway"

THIS is what I most object to in this process. In a perfect world, nay, even a moderately beneficent world, I would grant you your school. Sounds great. I am sure the kids are lovely and bright, and their parents love them (and hopefully all the rest of us who are their community want to see them get "what they deserve.") I know I do. But that is not the playing field we are on.

We are hundreds of millions dollars, maybe a couple of billion dollars, away from being able to give all of Seattle's kids "what they deserve." THIS is why we need a policy framework around which needs are "dire and in flames," which needs are "merely shockingly disgraceful and critically in need of fixing," and some which are only "a crying shame" -- NOTE -- we ran out of money a long time ago, and we are nowhere near needs that "give kids what they deserve" (presumably, a nice, reasonably new, uncrowded school within walking distance).

We have schools that have literally been displaced and have NO space to go to (SNAPP being one). We have at least a small handful of buildings that may be in the "dire and in flames" category. If they aren't there, they have certainly reached "shockingly disgraceful and critically in need of fixing." And demographically -- we can look a few years out and a whole lot of schools that are merely "a crying shame" now will end up those categories if we don't increase capacity. Oh -- and if there is an earthquake, a bunch of otherwise ok schools will soar to an altogether new category, at the very top (or bottom, maybe) called "piles of unusable rubble."

I get "Deserve." He is a nice fellow, though sometimes a little loud. Lives right down the street from "Entitlement" and "Not My Problem." We, the parents and the voters, are the adults here. We have to do the right thing by our city's kids, and address the "dire and in flames" problems, followed by the "shockingly disgraceful" problems. It is a bummer to have to spend money rebuilding old leaky plumbing when you could build a sexy new summer cabin at the beach. But sometimes, the ONLY responsible thing to do is fix the damn plumbing before the house rots or goes toxic. Even if we are sure we"deserve" the vacation at that new summer cabin. We DO deserve it. We just can't afford it.

Anonymous said...

McClure defender - McClure has the second lowest 5th grade capture rate in the district at 55%. Second only to Aki Kurose. And, that doesn't count private school attendee's. Counting them, McClure attracts well below 50% of the middle school aged kids in the neighborhood. And yes, it has been "turning around" for years, decades actually. And still it hasn't rounded the corner - which it won't do without a change in leadership.

XMcClure

kellie said...

I truly dislike this process pitting school against school, region against region and priority against priority.

FWIW, my official take is that when you try to fill a $2 Billion hole with a $100 Million dollar shovel, you have a great big mess. There are simply pennies on the dollar for capital projects and fighting over pennies is well ... fighting over pennies. I would vastly prefer to try to increase the money pot.

That said, as to Eric B's comment on the levy size. $650 Million is a very sizable levy. The problem is not the size of the levy. The problem is the depth and width of the problem. Every type of capital problem that you could have SPS does have
- maintenance backlog - check
- building currently in use long past their planed expiration/replacement date - check
- inadequate number of core facilities - check
- out of surge capacity in most areas - check

The list is likely longer if you try to move past core facilities and address teaching and learning.

Jan said...

kellie: I only want to commit time and energy to the "increasing the money pot" concept if it is one that has, or can get, traction. Clearly, the direction coming from management is "smaller, smaller, smaller." I assume that is becaue they are worried they will get 0 if they ask for too much. Does anyone know what the impetus behind the "smaller" wave is? Is management right? Or do they just lack the vision and energy to get over the hump and convince voters of the benefits of a bigger levy?

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this helps the QA/ Magnolia cluster with future capacity issue, but we do have a shuttered school in Magnolia on 28th Ave. W. Right now it's a bit of an eyesore and open to graffiti and vandalism.

PS parent

Anonymous said...

Charlie, I don't have a district "fact sheet", which we all know are generally not too accurate. Here's my data. I do know that last year, siblings from Hay under the NSAP new boundaries for Hay did not get in. And, were not admitted in relatively large numbers, something like 25 siblings not admitted. Tracey Libros stated it was the only school where that was true because it was the MOST overcrowded. That's my data point - her expert word. Yes, these siblings did not live within the NSAP boundaries, but they do live nearby, and live within the old "reference" area. Since that time - things have only gotten worse. There were last year at least 100 more than when it was "at capacity" just the year before. This year there are even more, and there are 4 new classrooms in portables. Next year they are putting in even more portables. Why is "capacity" 479? Why not 400? That used to be the capacity. Capacity is whatever they say it is. If there are now 579 attending Hay, voilla, capacity is 579 right? If another 75 show up next year for the new portables, that will be about 650 students - or 250 more than the old capacity limit of 400ish.

So, it seems capacity is however many can be squeezed on the property. Want a playground, outdoor space, garden? Well too bad, that's not part of capacity.

QA parent

Anonymous said...

"Some numbers from 2011-2012:
# of APP kids enrolled at Hamilton from McClure service area (i.e. the HUGE number): 43"

I am betting that alot of the 43 were enrolled in APP/Lowell and could never be counted on to enroll at McClure.

The number of students leaving QA/Mag after 5th grade for APP/HIMS does not impact McClure.

(nor does that 43 either, it's only 14-15 kids/grade.)


QA/Mag APP HIMS Parent

Anonymous said...

RE that capture data- I went back to an old string and found this message (not mine but I think it's the data that gets us there…thanks Rufus who pulled the data in the earlier thread)

From Seattle Schools website:

Number of SPS middle school students who reside in the McClure area: 640

# of SPS middle school students residing in McClure attendance area who are:
**enrolled at McClure - 358 (55%)
**enrolled at Blaine - 146 (23%)
**enrolled at Hamilton - 52 (8%)
**enrolled at any other SPS middle school - 84 (13%)

2011-12 McClure enrollment: 483
# of enrolled students who
**Reside in the McClure attendance area - 358 (76% of enrollment)
**Reside outside the McClure area - 125 (24% of enrollment)

Info on page 27 at this link:
http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/enrollment%20planning/Section%204_Enrollment%20Report%202011.pdf?sessionid=40dc1697b00cd10ce9593cd61cbc5833

So the kids at Blaine (146 (23%)) are in the attendance area, but most of those middle schoolers have been there since K. They are never "capturable" to McClure.

The kids going to Hamilton (like the poster above, if many of the 43 were already at Lowell/APP, again, they aren't "capturable" to McClure.

So the capture rate is much higher than 55% taking the figures above in account. Unless you can point to different data. I'd venture a guess that we lose more in our attendance area to private schools given the demographics in Magnolia and Queen Anne.

-defender

Anonymous said...

QA Mag/ HIMS parent-

Remember that in the district's middle school projections APP kids ARE counted in their attendance area MS and not HIMS. This is how HIMS looks fine if you look at district projections - they are not counting the APP kids who live outside the HIMS attendance area. I attended the BEX meeting last spring at Eckstein and about fell out of my chair when they showed HIMS with NO capacity problems until 2018. Those of us at HIMS know that the school is full now. I am concerned about next year at HIMS. There is a small 8th grade class this year, and the school is really full. The current 6th grade is big and next year's 6th grade is projected to be even bigger.

I have not seen this year's numbers for new to APP QA/Mag 6th graders who entered HIMS. Anecdotally, I have heard of fewer than 10.

-another QA HIMS parent

kellie said...

@ (and now back to the regularly-scheduled infighting...)

I am not opposed to a downtown school, either on principle or even on priority. A downtown school might be a good thing for the city and it might even be as much of a priority as the Downtown Association claims. I even willing to go so far as to give the benefit of the doubt that of all the "great ideas" of what we "could do" with capital funds, this is the greatest idea of them all.

I am, however, deeply opposed to a downtown school, as a matter of policy. There is significant and urgent capital needs district wide and I am very much opposed to allocating funds to a new school and a new core facility for future-possible-potential public school students when there are actual real live enrolled public school students without adequate core facilities.

"If you build it, they will come" is Bad Policy, plain and simple.

Sandpoint Elementary was only opened after the NE neighborhood group was able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the the district was already enrolling more than 700 elementary students in the NE that the buildings were designed to hold per their own education specs and that more were coming each year.

Only after significant lobbying did the district open Sandpoint Elementary which represented permanent facilities for less than 50% of the excess of "currently enrolled students." The rest of the students were accommodated in what is now affectionately knows as "surge capacity" other wise known as "what used to be part of the core facility is now a homeroom and portables.

It is truly bad policy to require that all other regions of the city max out surge capacity and add portables where ever possible to serve currently enrolled students AND prove that the enrollment is not a bubble but a significant trend before expensive core facilities are added but downtown can add a core facility for students who "might" enroll, someday.

And the strawman in your argument is not impact fees. Standard practice is impact fees pay for enrollment growth and levies pay for existing students. The strawman in your argument is "downtown families don't have a community/neighborhood school like every other neighborhood in Seattle enjoys"

Seriously. Have you looked at map? I don't have a neighborhood elementary school. My "assignment school is on the "other side of the freeway" and geographically further from my home than 5 other elementary schools.

Honestly, please take that argument for a test drive in Ballard where students in Ballard can't go to Ballard high school because there is no Queen Anne High School. If you manage to survive that trip, go to West Seattle where the boundaries for some of the "Assignment" schools exclude the entire neighborhood.

Charlie Mas said...

QA Parent,

Thank you for acknowledging that you have no data to support your claims. That saved me a lot of time and effort because now I can stop looking for it.

You can look at the data for yourself and you will see that Hay is not - by ANY means - the most overcrowded school in the district. It's not even in the top ten. Possibly not even in the top twenty. Get off that horse.

The waitlist is no measure of how crowded a school is. If it were, then, again, Hay would not be in the top twenty.

Also, students living outside the attendance area have no reason to believe that will be assigned to Hay - or almost any other attendance area elementary school. Siblings or not. Nor is it unique to Hay. There are lots of families who have their children in different schools as a result of boundary changes. They have been very loud about it. How could you not know?

I acknowledge that the district has been very squishy about capacity. They fired the facilities people who used to cook those numbers and they have new people who report a fixed number for each school now.

Where did you get the information that the District is adding four more portables to Hay next year? I was not aware that any decisions had been made yet about portables for next year.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with "defender" a bit because McClure is turning around by the stats with NSAP. Lots of positive energy there.

Because of this cluster demographics, on my block we have 4 families with multiple kids in private schools. 2 families have kids in parachoial schools from the start. 3 others switched to private schools at 4th and 6th grade. In talking with them, I find the reasons are not necessarily because of bad schools in the cluster, but more because of SPS in general. The ones with middle schoolers did look at McClure and Hamilton (their kids are APP qualified and their complaint was too much breadth, not enough depth), but in general were unhappy with SPS curricula, large class size which they defined as higher than 22- yeah in my dream, NOT with individual schools.

With regards to SLU school proposal, as I think about this more and more, why not redo the old Magnolia school? The property is there even though I'm sure it'll be expensive as heck to get it running. But that means SPS doesn't have to spend precious $$ buying property or renting it. Location wise, far easier commute from QA and downtown via Elliot as you are heading north out of downtown (avoiding the Mercer mess) easy parking, better parks, quiet neighborhood, and safe. Regardless, not sure can justify adding this to BEX IV offering given the many existing needs.

PS parent

Unknown said...

Where to start?

"...comprehensive HS to service the North end including downtown."

Amen, the source of many problems and yet, still nothing on horizon. (Maybe at Seattle Center but that is many, many years off.)

I'm with Charlie - no one is trying to be hostile or say that schools aren't suffering. They are but ALL over and it's the district's job to figure out how to fix the truly bad and alleviate the truly unsustainable. Many of you forget that Pathfinder's entire middle school existed for years and years in portables, they didn't have enough bathrooms, etc. and yet where was that outrage?

To the issue of downtown. One, who here has said they hate Paul Allen? Not me. I recall many children's books in Seattle libraries that came from the Allen Foundation.

But that doesn't give any company the right to try to dictate where a school will be. None.

As well, some of you are wrong in believing "every other neighborhood has a school." Just not true.

Again, it would be a good idea to have a downtown elementary but a couple of issues:

- no land. Where would you put it even if you had the money?
- there is NOTHING stopping our wealthy companies from giving over a couple of floors in their shiny new buildings to this effort. The district would, of course, kick in the infrastructure and manpower and the school could be rolled out year by year. Then by the NEXT BEX, the money (and hopefully) land would be there for a permanent location.

There could be a downtown school but the district doesn't have the money to front the capital side. Period.

No, it wouldn't make sense for a downtown school to be an option school. If we are opening one for that neighborhood, it should be for their kids. Because as downtown grows, you will find yourself in a pickle if kids from all over come to it.

Jan, the money pot for BEX. It's how much the voters will bear. I remind you all that we are NOT just asking for BEX but also a renewal of the Operations levy. Between the two, it's over $1B. That is a breathtaking number and the district would like it as low as possible no matter what. (I would like to see more of BEX go for building and not administration or other things but apparently not. We maintain all the playfields to the nth degree but I don't see the City putting money into that effort.)

QA, your argument is your school can't have a garden? I understand the discomfort but you need to go tour other schools and see what is happening for them before you say that outloud.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link to the enrollment projections, Kellie.

So, if I am understanding them correctly, for middle school enrollment, there is a difference of about 1200 students between the mid-range and high projections, district-wide, by 2021-22.

Another graph shows that the middle school service areas with the most growth over that time period are Eckstein and Whitman. I agree with a previous post that the lack of projected growth at Hamilton is off, probably due to APP.

So, things could be really off for North Seattle?

If the mid-range projections aren't an accurate way of projecting enrollment post-NSAP, then why even use them?

-North End Mom

mirmac1 said...

(And now...)

I have looked at the census tracts originally cited in support of SLU. Have you? The numbers do not support the need. The only tract that included significant #s of kids K-5 were in the SODO/ID. That is much farther south than I'm sure this "amenity" will land.

mirmac1 said...

QA Parent, my insults of insulting board members aside, Charlie provided the document with definitive projections. My child rides a bus to a good school five miles a day, no sweat. And we are "the southend".

Anonymous said...

Defender - you are right. There ARE other options for students in the McClure service area besides McClure. The same is true for EVERY comprehensive middle school in the district. All the other regions have K-8's (like Blaine), they have option schools, they have APP students too. And yet, mostly they capture a lot more of their resident students than McClure does. Only Aki attracts fewer. QAE, 0.25 miles from McClure, is applying to be a K-8. Doesn't that say that the neighborhood parents really don't want their kids to attend McClure?

I'm sure McClure serves many students well. Just not mine, and not lots of others too. Some like it, some like it not. And really, Hay, Coe are absolutely bursting at the seams, Blaine and Lawton are full. But McClure has PLENTY of room - because it still isn't being selected. There are fewer students at McClure than either Coe or Hay. On what planet are elementaries bigger than "comprehensive" middle schools?

NSAP can keep kids out of McClure (southend kids) but it can't make the neighborhood like it. Lots of QAers like to think the problem was "those southend kids", and NSAP would "fix" that "problem", but they were never the problem.

XMcClure

Charlie Mas said...

Of course, McClure could be small because there are only three elementary schools feeding it. No middle school has fewer.

Anonymous said...

Melissa,

With all due respect those "shiny new buildings" have their own capacity issues... I do not mean to downplay the issues our district is facing, but developers are packed in like sardines in those buildings, donating a couple floors would not be as simple as you imply... I know it sounds like a simple, easy, fix... but those shiny new buildings are going up faster than "planned" because of increased capacity issues that those companies face.

-Just Sayin'

Unknown said...

Okay, but there is no property for an elementary school in downtown so if they don't pony up space, what is the alternative? Lease like Center? There would have to be a burning, burning need to lease more space downtown. Unjustifiable.

mirmac1 said...

"... but those shiny new buildings are going up faster than "planned" because of increased capacity issues ..."

Beg to differ. Sounds like pure speculation. Not long ago I saw an article in a trade journal saying major projects in the area are off the table or deferred.

Well, what is it? And is our strapped public school district expected to lay bets at the bookie? Because a booster club ginned up some numbers unsupported by U.S. Census tract data?

kellie said...

@ North End Mom,

As far as I can tell, they are using the medium scenarios because most reasonable people shoot to the middle and it is the official middle number.

However, if you actually read the report, you can spot enough contradictions to see where the problems are.

To start, it opens with the heartwarming graph that shows that enrollment declined for many years and then suddenly began to increase in 08-09, much to everyone's great surprise. But then you turn the page and you can see that Kindergarten enrollment has risen practically in a straight line since the 2001-2 school year.

They then explain that in addition to the K cohort getting bigger, fewer people are leaving but it could be for lots of reason.

Suddenly with the NSAP, the big plot twist, new people are entering and not just at Kindergarten. But lots of we can't prove why ...

So they go to the projections

Version 1 - return to the past. Let's pretend that everyone leaves Seattle like they used to and that all the assumptions we used to close schools are actually true. In other words, lets be as conservative as a person could possibly be. In this scenario, SPS still grows!!

Version 2 - Let's assume that the first two years of the NSAP are an anomoly and that they are no way indicative of any future behavior. We are going to assume that the trend in Kindergarten enrollment growth slows just a touch and that people start to move to the suburbs again.

That is the medium projection. The medium number is a conservative number based on "if things stay about the same but a bit less."

That is where the problems lie. In the areas of known distress, things are not a bit less.

Version 3 - The high projections are the projections that assume that everything continues about the same and that the changes in behavior that have occurred with a "guaranteed" assignment will be persistent. So only the high numbers are the numbers that project that schools like Schmidtz Park, JSIS, Eckstein and Garfield will persist to be attractive to families over time.

IMO, the medium numbers are very conservative numbers.

Charlie Mas said...

I'm with Kellie on this.

The NSAP really did change things. It changed people's behavior in two significant ways.

First, young families with children do as they have always done. They forecast their children's school and make a decision. They compare the outcomes and decide whether they will stay in their current home or move. Under the old choice system most Seattle families faced an uncertainty. Even if it was a small uncertainty, people HATE and FEAR uncertainty. Consequently, lots of people moved to the suburbs for certainty of assignment - even if they were overwhelmingly likely to get a favorable assignment.

Under the NSAP - and in a less dynamic housing market - people foresee their child assigned to their neighborhood attendance school. They under-estimate the possibility of a boundary change, they feel a sense of certainty, and they choose to stay.

There are, however, some folks who are not satisfied with their neighborhood attendance area school or people from out of town who are choosing to re-locate INTO the city to gain access to a popular school.

Like Kellie, I believe that the NSAP radically changed the fundamental determinants of enrollment growth.

It would take a willful ignorance to not see that people move to Wallingford to gain access to JSIS, or get an address in the CD to gain access to Garfield. It is happening all over the city, and it is real. The growth at Schmitz Park is a direct consequence of the math instruction there.

Anonymous said...

Prior to the NSAP, there was definitely "fear and uncertainty" in the north end of what was then the NE Cluster. We had no idea, from year to year, what our kids' middle school assignment would be. There was a circle around Eckstein. Eckstein was held to under 1100 kids. If you lived within the circle, you got in. If you lived outside the circle, your assignment was usually Hamilton (not a very high-performing school back then). The circle shrank a little bit every year.

It was fairly common practice to jump the border to Shoreline, since their schools are closer (than Hamilton), and high-performing. You didn't have to move to do this, all it took was an inter-district transfer. The downside was that Shoreline has a junior high system (7th and 8th grade), so you have to enroll in a Shoreline elementary school for at least 6th grade, then go on to junior high for 7th and 8th grade. It was fairly typical for families outside of the Eckstein circle to transfer their 4th or 5th graders to Shoreline.

There was a great deal of attrition from SPS to Shoreline prior to the NSAP. I don't know the numbers, but I would bet there has been a fairly dramatic decrease in the number of inter-district transfers issued since the development of known middle school feeder patterns.

This "growth" didn't require a change of address.

-North End Mom

kellie said...

Thank you Charlie and North End Mom -

IMO, the vast majority of this growth was entirely predictable. The art then becomes how to make reasonable projections based on suspected but not proven behavior.

I fundamentally agree with the district that it is inappropriate to speculate on potential-possible behavior and when dealing with capital dollars you must be conservative. I want people to be conservative with my tax dollars. Typically capital money should be spent to cover a need that is for 20 years or greater.

However, there were and are more than enough metrics to substantiate a reasonable projection and very few of these metrics are in the projections.

As North End Mom mentions, it is an entirely known number of students that reside in Seattle and attend school in a neighboring district. This is known because there is a transfer of funds involved and paperwork that must be submitted to SPS in order to release the money from SPS to the district the student is actually attending. Those numbers should be noted in any set of projections. Students that go to Shoreline, Bellevue, Mercer Island, Vashon Island and Highline are Seattle residents and know public school participants. They can change their enrollment at any time.

As Charlie mentioned, people move. We are in year three of the NSAP. Three years ago, it was an educated guess that families would move to Schmitz Park and JSIS. Now, it is easy to compare the projected numbers from NSAP transition plan and compare to the actual numbers. In any place where there is a significant delta, one can reasonably extrapolate that there is some consumer behavior at play. There should be graph that shows this. This will clearly show the precise areas where higher enrollment numbers should be used.

The projections rely far too heavily on an overly simplistic world view, where families move to the suburbs at the earliest chance and blames the lack of out migration far too heavily on the real estate market. There is no mention at all of the change in gas prices.

If you are going to use the real estate market as the reason people aren't out migrating, shouldn't you at least give a counterpoint that it is possible that people might be staying because the economics of suburbia have changed drastically when gas doubles in price?

Anonymous said...

Charlie said

"The District's enrollment projections show K-5 Enrollment in the McClure Service Area rising from 1,862 in 2010-11 to 2,146 in 2015-16, a total growth of 284 students. I would be very surprised if 170 of them ended up at Hay. Most of that growth is expected at Queen Anne Elementary."

If you use Sept 2012 #s for QAE and May 2012 numbers for all the other schools, and add up just the K-5 in McClure service area you get a total of 2,112 students THIS YEAR. Already approaching the 2015/2016 projections 3 years earlier than predicted.

Hay = 547
Coe = 433
Lawton = 437
QAE = at 280 now, will be 325 next year
Blaine = 415 (excludes 6-8th grades)

QAE only has 14 very small classrooms - they max out at around 350 students. So any growth beyond the next year or so will not be happening there.

I agree 1000% that other schools and neighborhoods have it much worse. But the data is wrong for the McClure service area as well.

Another QA Parent

Anonymous said...

To continue my post from above...

Given that the numbers are wrong for the McClure area (and I'm sure many other areas), I'd rather see the remodel/expansion of QAE moved up a bit to bring that capacity online earlier AND the boundary lines redrawn east/west to fill up Lowell if needed.

That is relatively cost neutral.

Another QA Parent.

Anonymous said...

Kellie and Charlie,

Do you know HOW SPS uses the real estate market to influence their projections?

Even in the real estate slump, most of the houses that sold in my neighborhood were snatched up by young couples or families.

Also, there has been an increase in the number of family-friendly apartments and lower income family housing, particularly in the Lake City and Northgate areas. Does SPS get word (from the city?)of such developments in advance, so they can plan for growth, or are they just constantly playing catch up?

-North End Mom

Rufus X said...

Dear Supt. Banda:

Please hire Kellie L. Compensate her well. We will not complain.

All the Best,
Rufus X

Anonymous said...

Just to reenergize the downtown school thread when it seemed to have faded to other topics (wish I knew what emoticon to add to that!): there is a school that is not as full as QA schools that could serve downtown residents. LOWELL on CAP HILL. It has available seats since the move of the north APP program. The current neighborhood program is small, but vibrant, although the building needs a lot of work.

As boundaries stand now, students from the SLU and downtown core are assigned to Hay. Go to a map and check out the size of that area to the south and east of QA. Why don't more people look at nearby schools to the east of downtown instead of always focusing on QA as the only solution? There are other ways to solve SLU/downtown capacity.

Transportation under/over I-5 to Lowell doesn't seem to be any more of a challenge than busing DT kids across Denny/Mercer/99 to QA. It's hard to hear people pumping for a downtown school when there are seats at Lowell, and another school would draw from them too and perhaps decrease their enrollment.

--Thinking Beyond QA (or, "Go East, Young Man")

kellie said...

@ Rufus X, - Thank you for the shout out.

kellie said...

@ North End Mom

As far as I know, SPS does not use real estate information in the projections. The projections are a combination of Birth to K plus cohort survival. In English that means they use a percentage of live births in Seattle to calculate future Kindergarten enrollment and then use a year to year percentage to estimate how many students will continue to each grade.

For most of the years, the cohort survival numbers go down with a large(ish) drop from 5th to 6th grade and then a jump from 8th to 9th as families return to SPS for high school.

Other information may be used to influence the percentages used but the calculation they are using is very straightforward.

Anonymous said...

@Kellie,
Thanks for the information.

You mentioned that the cohort survival numbers drop between 5th and 6th grade. Has that changed since the NSAP? It seems like with the guaranteed middle school seat that the percentage of kids staying in SPS for middle school may be higher than before the NSAP (at least in some MS service areas, such as Eckstein)? Is this being factored into the projections for BEXIV?

-North End Mom