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Saturday, August 17, 2013

Seattle Schools Boundaries Session Today

Today, from 1 PM to 3 PM,  Dr. Tracy Libros, Manager of Enrollment, will be available to talk informally about the Growth Boundaries Project. Meeting will be at the John Stanford Center; probably room 2750.

This from Director McLaren; thanks for the reminder!

26 comments:

Heidi A said...

Good session focused on option schools, international schools and APP. Many k-5 STEM families and future (hopefully) families, as well as a couple from MacDonald and JSIS hopefuls, WS APP parent who has to send her daughter outside of west seattle, and Ingraham's well-spoken APP representative.
K-5 STEM proposal to stay at Boren, rolling into a k-8, with APP program has broad support from all. Makes so much sense. Fingers crossed, holding breath.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'm not on-board with any more K-8s. It is not the direction the district should go.

Anonymous said...

Awesome that so many people represented.

As far as I've seen there are tons of families who prefer K-8. Our oldest went to one and it was just right for her. It seems like an option there's a lot of demand for.

As as an incoming STEM and current APP parent, I'm enthusiastic about the K-8, especially because there isn't a middle school pathway that makes sense.

I am much less on board with splitting the south end APP program--despite the terrible bus ride from West Seattle, it's the right size and it's working.

--3kids 3schools

Melissa Westbrook said...

We should all have a discussion about K-8s and their history in our district.

Heidi A said...

So, does not being on board with more k-8s mean it's ok for a service area to not have a k-8? I get not being on board with more where there are already options. But here's some facts about West Seattle:
There is only 1 K-8 (Pathfinder) in all of West Seattle and it's in the Madison area. There is no K-8 option in the Denny service area. K-5 STEM is the only other option school in all of west seattle. It's currently in the Denny service area, but proposed to be moved to Madison.
In the next few years, projections are that we will need about 300 middle school seats. Not enough for a full middle school (and there isn't one planned anyways), but enough to justify another k-8.
So, I'm curious, why isn't adding a k-8 in the Denny service area the direction the district should go in?

Anonymous said...

As the parent of a future high-schooler in WS, I am not onboard with giving the critical Boren building to a K-8, if Denny may need it. I don't feel it is right to "require" neighborhood kids to choose a K-8.

Not STEMified

Unknown said...

The district needs Boren as an interim site should anything go wrong and one of our schools needs to be housed there temporarily.

-W.Seattle parent

Charlie Mas said...

Boren isn't needed as an interim site.

Denny won't need it; Denny has a brand new building. Why in the world would Denny need Boren?

There are four secondary schools in West Seattle and all four of them were recently redone - West Seattle High School and Madison were totally renovated as BEX projects, Chief Sealth has been renovated in a series of projects, and Denny is new construction. The District won't need to move any of those schools into an interim site for over thirty years.

If Boren were a K-8 there is no reason to expect that the middle school capacity in West Seattle wouldn't be sufficient to meet the foreseeable demand.

There may be some need for additional high school capacity in West Seattle, but not enough for a whole school. If you want to get ahead of that need, then let's work to develop a boutique high school that would serve West Seattle. That's the smart way to do it, not to leave the Boren building empty and unused for ten years so we can find space for 300 students in 2022.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the meeting summary. Was there any discussion of geozones for JSIS and MacDonald if they are converted to option schools, or where Wallingford kids will go if the only two neighborhood elementary schools are both stripped away?

HIMSmom

Heidi A said...

West Seattle -parent, yes one of our schools, Arbor Heights, needs to be housed there temporarily. That is part of the current plan, they will be co-located with STEM. Plenty of room to start with a "roll-up" 6 to 8 grades (starting first with 6, then add 7, etc. By time more room is needed for 6-8, AH will be gone and enjoying a new building. It's a bad use of tax payer resources to leave a good building empty "just in case". It's a luxury we can't afford and cannot be empty for more than 2 years without substantial additional costs.
In case of an emergency, there are lots of other options and resources from the state, county and city that can't turn their backs on an emergency. Other districts cope without an empty building, so can we.

Anonymous said...

WHEN RBHS gets a new building (have you been in that place?), where will the students be housed? Oh, that's right. They'll never get a new building.

SE Parent

Melissa Westbrook said...

"In case of an emergency, there are lots of other options and resources from the state, county and city that can't turn their backs on an emergency."

I wouldn't count on that.

Our district does like to put kids in a separate building while they renovate/rebuild. It allows them to move faster (so they say) but I agree that it's not a great idea to have an empty school building. However, Boren seems to be in line for a number of uses in West Seattle.

SE Parent, sadly, I think you are right. I've said this for many years - Sealth and Ingraham, while never getting a complete renovation, have had tons of work on their buildings. So, they won't get anything like that. RBHS, though, has had some spotty things done but until the enrollment goes up, the district has no motivation to do anything.

Heidi A said...

Not STEMified? I appreciate the difference of opinion, but what's with the hatin'? We are a school of 350 kids in your community, with approximately 60 on the waitlist hoping for the opportunity to attend a project based learning school. We're just trying to come up with workable solutions for 400 plus kids. Would it be ok to say not Schmitz parkified or not arbor heightsified? I hope not, because it feels pretty mean and dismissive of a whole lot of kids.

Anonymous said...

SE Parent,

Do you think if the district renovated RBHS 800 more students would enroll there? If so, I think it would be worthwhile. Renovating a school that size for less than 500 students makes no sense.

Lynn

Melissa Westbrook said...

Lynn, it is rather a chicken and egg question. Ballard got a HUGE increase after their school got renovated (and have never looked back). This after they even had a drive-by killing in the early '80s.

But it certainly didn't help Cleveland and that's why STEM got put there and not RBHS. (Question is, why put STEM at Cleveland when Franklin is the high school right next to light rail and STEM is an all-city draw?)

It just leaves RBHS ripe for taking over by a charter (either completely or partially). Luckily, I think the charter law is in such limbo that it won't happen any time soon.

Heidi, you said:

"Not STEMified?" Who said that because I can't find it anywhere on this thread. K-5 STEM is an option school so yes, that does make it different from Arbor Heights or Schmitz Park.

Anonymous said...

Heidi A

You ask "what's with the hatin'?" Bit hyperbolic, no? I don't believe anyone should be required to send their kid to an option school just because the district can't manage its capacity, let alone the latest crises.

SE Parent, I hope you get a building deserving of the students and families who live in the neighborhood and want a decent education in a decent building. Same goes for Aki and Mercer. There are many substandard buildings what will need a place to land once their number comes up in BEX. Every one else should get in line.

I agree with those who say elementaries are easy and cheap to house. It is middle schools and high schools that cost $60M<$X<$120M to build and must be planned sooner, rather than later.

Not STEMified

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone has ever been forced to send their kids to an option school...? And a STEM-focused middle school option would attract plenty of volunteers, especially if it continued to be an all WS draw. Is there a reason that option schools are a more appropriate target of hostility than neighborhood schools? I don't get it.

--3kids 3schools

Anonymous said...

Uh. Yes. Students with disabilities are forced into option schools all the time. They are also denied opportunities at other option schools. And, they are often treated as visitors in their option schools and in their attendance area school.

Sped parent

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for the chronic injustices you and many others face in terms of program placements, but that wasn't what I was talking about--I just meant that there's no reason to think that adding a K-8 would effect general eligibility to attendance area middle schools as a means of capacity management.

--3kids 3schools

Charlie Mas said...

"WHEN RBHS gets a new building (have you been in that place?), where will the students be housed?"

Umm... Van Asselt.

Anonymous said...

What is going on with the John Marshall building? It looks as though it's being readied for use by a school. Does anyone know if there a school slated to use that building this school year, as a temporary location or a permanent one?

Curious NE

Anonymous said...

My guess is that JM will be an interim location for a new NE middle school, starting in 2014-2015. Perhaps the Wilson Pacific population? There are some health issues with it being sited adjacent to the freeway, but perhaps they are getting around it by calling it an interim location. The original work contract specified completion for this school year, so I'm not sure what's in the works.

curious too

mirmac1 said...

I was wondering...how do secondary schools handle science and CTE classes when they're are at an interim site that lacks facilities?

Charlie Mas said...

The District has two interim sites in the North: John Marshall and Lincoln. We know how Lincoln is being used. The plan is to re-open it as a high school at the end of BEX IV. John Marshall will be used by one or more of the new middle schools (or by JA K-8) and will then be the only interim site available in the north.

I don't believe that the Magnolia school is in suitable condition for use as an interim site. There are no interim sites available elsewhere in the Central Region. There are, however, over 300 empty seats at Lowell.

The South/Southeast Region has Columbia and Van Asselt. T T Minor and Mann, the only other unused buildings in the region are spoken for.

West Seattle has E C Hughes and either Schmitz Park or Boren as available space. Unless, of course, the District leaves STEM at Boren and opens a new, small attendance area school at Schmitz Park.

The District doesn't need a lot of interim sites and they have all they need. West Seattle is richer in interim sites than any other part of the city.

Maureen said...

Was anything said about the new school(s) at Wilson Pacific? I'm wondering how the boundaries for Bagley and all of the N end MSs will change. And what the timing will be.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Maureen, your comment reminded me of a comment made at the Ex Ctm meeting last week. Staff were giving the directors updates and Sharon Peaslee asked why they couldn't get a one-pager with all this info so they could refer to it (and answer basic questions on the status of any given initiative/building).

It is a wonder because the directors seem to have try to even get the information they need to do their jobs.