Coverage of Banda's West Seattle Visit

Here's is the exceptional coverage from the West Seattle Blog of Superintendent Banda's visit to that region last night.


mirmac1 said…
This was actually Tuesday night. Thanks Tracy for the excellent coverage.
Anonymous said…
Any thoughts or validity to the idea that if a 650 capacity new building gets bumped up on the levy at Arbor Heights that the WS STEM program would be housed there?

mirmac1 said…
...and what would happen to the Arbor Heights "program"?
Anonymous said…
Arbor Heights moving in with STEM school at Boren for interim and then Arbor Heights Elem and the STEM school both move into the new Arbor Heights building? Is that feasbile?

Anonymous said…
Very informative, thank you for posting. I'm confused by Sanislo's outrage at their K class sizes. While I agree that 28 is too big, their situation is by no means unique or in need of immediate action. All of the Kindergartens at Coe are at 28), and I assume many others as well?? One easy way to find more space? Start offering half-day K again to the families who want it or can't afford to pay. With K tuition expected to rise substantially over the next two years, the list of those who can't afford it will increase.
Teacher Sally
Eileen said…
Teacher Sally,

I agree. While 28 kindergardners is not ideal, it is not unusual in either public or private schools. I guess it depends on the make up of the class. If there are lots of kids coming from different language backgrounds, that is a different scenario than a kindergarten made up of kids whose primary language is English. Same with kids whose first educational experience is kindergarten vs. kids who have been to (a quality) preschool.
K-5 STEM Parent said…
I don't think K-5 STEM and Arbor Heights in a new building built for the Arbor Heights neighborhood is feasible because there is no room for both. The number of kids currently at the two schools already exceeds the planned capacity for the new building. K-5 STEM is already popular and it's just getting started. K-5 STEM needs a building with capacity accommodate 400-500 to alleviate overcrowding in all of our other schools and make access equitable. Fairmount Park is the only feasible location to make that happen.
wsmama3 said…
I agree with K-5 Parent.
We need AH to get a new building AND a location for K-5 STEM (which is at over 250 this first year out).
K-5 STEM mom said…
My son had 29 in his kindergarten class at Gatewood last year. WAY too many! He would have been better served in a half-day class of 15. I was under the impression that half-day was not available. What still irritates me is that we paid the district/teacher whoever for this terrible experience. For this reason we had NO trouble taking the leap of faith and enrolling in STEM. We have 25 in our 1st grade class now and a teacher who has control of the class and is TEACHING her kids everyday not drowning in a loud, chaotic classroom.

I agree it seems the norm to have large class sizes in Seattle. I would rather see the district do ANYTHING to reduce class sizes especially in kindergarten than build new schools. And regarding STEM - if it ain't broke don't fix it.
Anonymous said…
@ Stem mom,

Very ironic. Reducing class size would require building even more schools.

The passed an initiative in CA to reduce class size. It started a huge staffing and facilities crisis because they couldn't find enough teachers or classrooms.

- north seattle mom
K-5 STEM mom said…
We don't need to build more schools. In West Seattle we rent out one of our schools to a private school, we have another school that is an interim school (Boren) several that are closed (Fairmont Park, Genesee Hill). We have schools lets use them and keep our class sizes down. The students and teachers deserve better. I cannot think of any other single factor that would have improved our experience at Gatewood than having a smaller class. I agree with some of the other comments - let's not build more schools. Let's fix the ones we have and the ones we aren't using.
Eric B said…
I believe that the plan has always been that WS K-5 STEM will go to Fairmount Park as soon as it's open. I don't remember how much rebuild it's getting but as I recall it's not all that much. There are substantial costs ($5-10M) in opening a school that's been closed for a while, since it has to meet all current codes, including seismic.
"Reducing class size would require building even more schools."

Actually you don't. If we had the money, you could reduce class size with an aide. Two adults in a larger class would reduce the class size (maybe not more room but more attention).
Anonymous said…
I love it that he wants to fix the math curriculum. That would help students throughout the district.

I bet the two new board members and parents have had something to do with this change of thinking in math. It is a very positive comment from Banda.

S parent
Anonymous said…
@Eric B: I believe I read they are adding 6 to 8 classrooms to Fairmont Park. It's going to be much, much larger when it reopens. I suspect STEM, or perhaps another magnet program will go there, because it's located dead-center in WS. (Which of course, begs the question: Why in the hell was it ever closed, then left empty for a year, in the first place? I know, I know...) WSDWG

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