NE Growth Boundaries Open Thread

Let's hear your thoughts on any changes (as I write this, I have not read anything yet). 


dylanw said…
They sliced off the northern half of Olympic View's area and gave it to Olympic Hills. I bet that won't sit well, especially since most of that area isn't in the new Jane Addams geozone.

No APP at Olympic Hills but Spectrum there.
Anonymous said…
APP MS is now to be split 3 ways - JAMS, Hamilton, and Wilson Pacific MS. APP elementary will not be at Olympic Hills, but will remain as one cohort at Lincoln, to be assigned to the Wilson Pacific ES. JAK8 will be housed at JM as interim, with JAMS starting in 2014-2015. 6th grade students will be assigned to JAMS, but 7th and 8th grade students can opt in, as well as current JAK8 middle school students.

The Intermediate Capacity Plan is not yet released, so it's not clear which students will be grandfathered.

Oct 16 Board Agenda

dylanw said…
Just caught that JAK8 heads to Marshall for two years.

It does settle the how-much-can-we-cram-into-the-JAMS-lot question, but that's a huge change for JAK8. Trading one year of two schools crammed into a single building for two years in Marshall.
NW mum said…
Still no Option elementary for WP MS catchment area, or am I missing something?
Anonymous said…
The original plan had co-housing of JAMS, JA K-8, and possibly APP for TWO years (2014-15 and 2015-16) at the JA building/parking lot (not just for one year), assuming that the K-8 would move to their new building for the 2016-17 school year.

-North-end Mom
Josh Hayes said…
NW mum, as I look at the map it seems to claim that there will be an "option elementary" at the W-P site itself. The pale blue school with the little flag. I have no earthly idea what they mean by this, but that's a frequent affair with the SPS.
Josh Hayes said…
But as I read that map, I don't see an option elementary for the Washington MS catchment. Again, I could be reading it entirely wrong.
Lynn said…
The reference documents show that TOPS is the option school for both Meany and Washington and JA K-8 is the option for JAMS and WP.
Josh Hayes said…
I guess I can see the Jane Addams in exile at Pinehurst location as making sense for the W-P catchment, but TOPS for Washington? That catchment extends down well below I-90. That'd be a schlep.
Anonymous said…
I don't understand what this means for kids in the new Wilson-Pacific Middle School boundary area. The building is scheduled to be demolished and rebuilt. Where will they go in 2014?

-NE Mom
Lynn said…
NE mom - I think wherever they're currently assigned for middle school. WPMS won't start up until 2016.
Anonymous said…
Eckstein seems to really benefit from the loss of the northern schools. Whiter and richer...

--looking to shoreline
Anonymous said…
The conversion of McDonald and JSIS to option schools seems to be just a way to control capacity. Though they have moved the dividing line between the two schools in the geozones, the zones together appear to include all of the current attendance area for the two immersion schools. Conversion to option schools with a set aside for native speakers will simply allow them to turn away neighborhood kids to manage school size and to incorporate more native speakers.

My reaction to this is first that it seems misleading to suggest that that equal access is a goal in this process when they are only really opening the schools up to native speakers outside the geozone. Second, they obviously need to manage the size of these schools, but I would prefer a more realistic geozone instead of giving all current AA kids a lottery ticket to get in even if the lottery does select from a very limited pool. Finally, I'm not clear on why they would want to shift some of the McDonald kids to the JSIS geozone. Does McDonald have bigger capacity problems long term than JSIS?

McDonald Parent
Anonymous said…
I was shocked at the size of the JSIS/McDonald geozones -- really not much different than what they currently have. Is attendance guaranteed if you're in the geozone? Or is it just that, we'll pull from this region if we need to, in order of increasing distance from the school?

The geozones also leave this very weird little disconnected island south of 45th and west of Bagley that jumps over the 2 block high JSIS geozone, and the McDonald geozone, into Greenlake. That's just bizaare, especially when you look at the distance from the lower left corner of that region (36th and Woodlawn) to Greenlake compared to the distance to BF Day, which still has capacity.

Anonymous said…
Looking to Shoreline,

As an eckstein parent before & after the last boundary shift, I have to say that the change in demographics was a benefit to the school. The staff & involved community had to be very deliberate about meeting the needs of students when so many of them did not have the extra supports of the former middle class population. Last year there were over 100 homeless kids at Eckstein. Many of us are sorry to see the lower income population moved away to a different school. We worry about transitions for them & how long it will take another school community to get to know those families & understand what support is needed. And we will not benefit by their removal. We will loose out because they are not there. We wonder how we can continue to be involved with this population when they are at a different school.

-Eckstein Parent
Charlie Mas said…
j, the geozones are a tie-breaker, but they do not guarantee assignment.

If the schools are filled by students from within the geozones, however, that guarantees that students from outside the geozone cannot gain access.

If the schools get filled by students from within the geozone, then there is a lottery to determine which geozone students are assigned to the schools.
Anonymous said…
Lynne & NE Mom:

Re where the WP MS kids go until the building opens in 2017:

I do NOT read it as they stay in their currently assigned school until WP MS opens.

I think the WP gen ed kids would go to one of the 6th grade rollups being proposed for somewhere, basically a variety of small programs like part of 6th grade APP and the 6th grade gen ed component shoved into some rollup site together -- neither group getting a comprehensive experience, but the district thinking it can rely upon APP families to advocate and "fix" for the gen ed students in the same boat too, and thus district doesn't have to "do" anything for anyone.

Everyone always asks why should anyone care about APP? B/c it's sort of the canary in the coal mine.

What the district does to APP students becomes the "new normal" and then they do it to everyone else. So while pull out and use APP 6th grade in little chunks to start schools w/out support might be okay to most people b/c it's "just APP - they'll be fine", then they start doing it to other kids from other schools too b/c it becomes acceptable down at central office.

It's NOT acceptable for any 6th grader to be isolated in a single grade building. And what about the few 7th or 8th graders who move to the zone and can't go to the comprehensive MS that used to serve the zone? Will they be stuck as a handful in with the 6th graders for the new WP or new JAMS rollup schools? YES, you can bet that they WILL be, and that they will be disproportionately disadvantaged, b/c savvy parents with resources will not move in at 7th or 8th grade until the school is established.

A roll up is (sort of) tolerable for elem. school b/c kids mostly need a good classroom teacher, and small class sizes are a blessing, and the things like art and PE can be layered on. In contrast, at MS they actually change around classes, and thus they MUST have enough kids to do so. Rollups are not a valid educational model at MS, as the rocky Hamilton start shows.

So - for all the people advocating for grandfathering "your" kids at Hamilton or Eckstein, remember that is totally advocating for throwing a whole bunch of other kids - upcoming 6th graders and 7/8ers who are unlucky enough to move in - under the bus. Really?

My kids actually come out okay in this, but I STILL oppose 6th grade rollups across the board for everyone and believe that vertical splits of 6-7-8 lead to a better education for all.

Signed: Educate All
Anonymous said…
Educate All,

I am not clear on what you are advocating for. Are you saying that instead of 300 6th graders in a separate building during the transition, there should be 300 kids evenly divided among, 6th, 7th & 8th graders in a separate building? Or are you suggesting split schedules & just have everyone in a comprehensive school during the transition because every child deserves a comprehensive middle school experience? Or is there some other model that seems better to you? Can you clarify how to make it fair to all? I just don't see options that will be good for all students, or even for most students with the current lack of buildings.

-Eckstein Parent
Lori said…
Are there numbers anywhere on how many 6th graders they expect to have in the JAMS roll-up?

Looking back at last year's October counts, there were 41 4th graders at John Rogers and 40 at Oly Hills. So let's ballpark that there are about 80 5th graders this year between those 2 schools.

APP@Lincoln has 150 5th graders right now. I don't know the geographic breakdown, but let's assume half of them end up at JAMS after the geographic split and attrition to private school.

That leaves me with a 6th grade roll up of about 150 kids. Is that viable?

Are they assuming that JAK-8 program's middle schoolers will stay behind? If so, how many kids is that?
Anonymous said…
@Ecktstein Parent (and any other Eckstein parents who are concerned about the loss of diversity at Eckstein and the fate of the low-income kids who are being assigned to JAMS)

Feel free to join us at JAMS! According to the new Growth Boundaries Plan, admission to 7th and 8th grade at JAMS is voluntary. Anyone from Eckstein can choose JAMS!

Seriously! Join us! There should be plenty of room, and we would welcome your compassion for our families in need, not to mention a more robust cohort of 7th and 8th graders!

- JR Mom
Anonymous said…
Educate All answering:

I actually think the way to start is 700 kids in JAMS and 700 in Eckstein. Split the experienced teachers. Split the kids once. Not just dump the less desirable teachers or the volunteers onto JAMS, but actually an even split of teachers and of kids - at 700 each, both schools will be robust enough for fairly comprehensive offerings while also having a tiny bit of room to breathe and grow.

Yes, that means moving a lot of 7th and 8th graders - but the buses will already be going there for the 6th graders. If you move enough, then you're actually going to be able to recreate the offerings in an approximate fashion.

300 6th graders don't recreate anything. A 300 kid school doesn't even get a full-time librarian or a full time art teacher at the Elem. level - think it does at the MS level? That is unacceptable.

I think both schools should have 700 kids across the grades in Sept 2014 to be viable and comprehensive and equitable. It's also a huge transportation cost savings - you're not busing to both MS's from the same neighborhoods in the NE, and not continuing to bus from the JAMS walk zone into Eckstein, for instance.

Let's face it: kids are more flexible than parents. Divide Eckstein in half, and yes, some kids will be separated from a friend, but all kids will still have a whole lot of people they know - no one will be isolated.

Signed: Educate All
Anonymous said…
I agree with Educate All! If there are going to be new middle schools, the kids have to be split so that there is a comprehensive school at each location.

Anonymous said…
The spilt for Eckstein's area with 1/2 to JAMS next year is the only viable option and we have both a 5th and 7th grader impacted. Already the building will be almost full with neighborhood children, so APP should not join JAMS. There seems to be little support on either side for it, send them (including my 3rd grader) to Wilson Pacific.

NE Parent
Anonymous said…
Between JA K-8 having ELL and AL programs not available in enough NNE assignment K-5s, and the goal for every MS assignment zone to have a viable K-8 option, I doubt the Board will approve a JAK-8-to-JM-to-Pinehurst interim plan. Here's how it's going to shake out: either JAMS ends up co-housed with JA K-8 a couple more years or JAMS, not JA K-8, rolls up in an interim location.
There will no doubt be whining about this. Hopefully however we won't have to endure tantrums on the level of last year when the Board rejected an interim move for JA K-8.

- Deja Vu
Anonymous said…
I don't think it is fair to force teachers to move to the new middle school. Does the contract say you can do that? I think you want to have the teachers who want to be there, not the ones who are resenting it & spending their time applying to other schools or waiting to retire. There are some great teachers who would move if you have a good principal.

I am not sure what happens to Pinehurst in this plan either. Is this plan fair to them?

My biggest concern is the needy population that needs support from the school community. Often it takes a full year to develop the relationships with these students & families to even uncover the problems that should be addressed. Throwing those kids into a brand new culture without those supports & relationships when middle school only lasts 3 years anyway is not fair.

Maybe you know how to address these issues but didn't write it yet. I would like to hear more ideas of how your plan makes it fair for everyone.

My kids will be in high school so I don't have horse in this race.

-Eckstein Parent
Anonymous said…
JR Mom,

I will no long have middle school kids, but I would continue to be involved as a volunteer. I believe that is true of other parents in the Eckstein community.

I think that the 2 middle schools could partner on some programs like the feeding program & toiletries program. Also the Eckstein volunteer coordinator has developed systems to improve communication among staff & parents, so that student needs don't fall through the cracks. And she has a very good idea of the types of problems families are having. She would be able to talk to someone from JAMS.

I would like to be on an email list of volunteer needs for JAMS. You could send regular emails asking for someone to sponsor a science fair project or tutor a child struggling with math during 2nd period or to donate printer, etc. If you do put an email list like that together you could ask the Eckstein volunteer coordinator to post the contact information in their newsletter.

-Eckstein parent
Anonymous said…
@Eckstein Parent

Those are all good ideas. Please have your volunteer coordinator contact Paula Montgomery, the JAMS Planning Principal (plmontgomery "at"

The kids you are concerned about are rising to JAMS from area elementary schools (i.e. John Rogers and Olympic Hills), which have a long history of supporting low-income families through the PTA and other resources. For instance, at John Rogers we have HIP (Hunger Intervention Program), which provides weekend meals to many of our families. I'm hopeful that this type of support will continue at JAMS, our neighborhood middle school.

The good news is that we have time to plan what I am hoping will be a really great middle school at JAMS, one which will be able to support ALL our kids. I just hope that by the end of November we have a clearer idea of who those kids will be, so that JAMS can be planned to meet their needs.

- JR Mom

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