Seattle Schools Work Session on Growth Boundaries

From North End Mom:

Here is a link to the presentation from yesterday's Growth Boundaries work session.

There is a new staff proposal to "implement full grade assignment in year one." (see slide 24 and 25).

Basically, it is assigning JAMS and JAMS/Eckstein APP, grades 6, 7, and 8, to JAMS, in the JA building, beginning next fall. The APP kids living in the Eckstein SA would have the choice of going to Eckstein as GenEd or going to APP at JAMS.

JA K-8 is relocated to John Marshall, so no co-location with JAMS for the K-8.

Wilson Pacific would start up (grades 6, 7, and 8) in John Marshall 2016-17.

They give enrollment numbers for all the north middle schools, and it looks like the building utilization would be pretty good, if everyone does what they want them to do.

End of NE Mom post.  (Thanks!)

Here's what the agenda looked like:

Work Session: Growth Boundaries–Presentation

Discussion of major issues:
•T. T. Minor
•Washington Middle SchoolBoundary
•Accelerated Progress Program (APP)
•North End High School
•Capacity Management/Phase-In

If you attended, please weigh in on the discussion as I would love to hear what the directors had to say (and what questions they asked).  


Anonymous said…
Glad that they have realized it might not make sense to make big decisions about APP placement before they get recommendations from the new task forces around how best to implement the program. But then they say "Research shows that there are not significant differences
between stand-alone and self-contained models." I'm not an expert, but based on what people have referenced on this blog, I don't believe this is true, or at least not so clear-cut.

I don't know what to say about TT Minor other than that I hope they undue the damage that has been done to kids in this neighborhood. Some stability is in order.

- Slide Reader
Eric B said…
I wasn't there, but I noticed they have an option for HS/MS at the W-P site. On the enrollment side, they project 6161 HS students in the North End (Ballard, Ingraham, Hale, Roosevelt) in 2017-18, which is before Lincoln comes on line. Does anyone have handy either current enrollment or a capacity number for those four schools? That plus another thousand or so for Lincoln should daylight the HS capacity needs in the medium term.

I hate to say it, but we can probably find $50M to pay for it by cutting back on fancy construction elsewhere.

On another topic entirely, if TT Minor is held for an attendance area elementary, one of the impacts is that Madrona is underenrolled. Is there enough capacity at Madrona to put World School there? This is just a wild hare, so please tell me if it's a terrible idea!
Anonymous said…
There is a comment on the bottom of page 24, "No change to current Hamilton, Whitman or New WilPac MS assignments through 2015-16."

Fine Print
Lynn said…
Eric B,

Attachment B in the BAR from Wednesday's board meeting reports that the Central District has 800 excess elementary seats and that without TT Minor in 2017-18 there will be 170 excess seats. Madrona's capacity is 226 K-5 students plus 150 6-8 students. 2012 World School enrollment was only 217 so they could easily fit in Madrona. I think that would leave the space underutilized though.

The same attachment reports high school capacity numbers:

Ballard 1,585
Ingraham 1,189
Hale 1,140
Roosevelt 1,707
Lincoln 1,600

Total capacity 7,221
Anonymous said…
Yes! Put World School @ Madrona!

Capitol Hiller
Anonymous said…
Is it a correct read that any MS student that lives in the JAMS AA will be moved out of their current school and reassigned to JAMS next year?

And for any APP MS student from the Eckstein/JAMS areas the same? They would be pulled out of Hamilton?


Eric B said…
Thanks, Lynn. That means that until Lincoln opens, we have 5621 HS seats north of the Ship Canal. In 2017-18, that's about 540 seats, but the trend is definitely upward until Lincoln opens late in the decade. Do we have lot space to put 10% of HS North population into portables?
Benjamin Leis said…
Its refreshing to see the staff just outline the possibilities although they could add some more pro/cons for each one.

Its unclear to me from the description, where they were soliciting for board input were votes taken last night or are they going to happen in a future board meeting?

Beacon Hiller said…
I understand the argument in favor of keeping Gatzert in the Washington MS pathway, but I don't get why Muir was taken out and replaced by Kimball. It seems like a lot of unnecessary disruption for the Muir and Kimball communities. I guess Meany needs another school if they lose Bailey Gatzert? But then Mercer loses Kimball. Plus two elementary schools have had to change their feeder pattern. I don't get it.
Anonymous said…
StepJ, I think you're reading it correctly. Looks like they realized roll-ups aren't likely to work and will open both new middles schools with all grade bands.

Lynn said…
Step J,

That's what it says. It makes sense to me - except that we would be busing 267 Eckstein kids north when we could instead bus 87 JAMS kids south. Flipping that would both reduce transportation costs and provide services closer to where the students live.

Why not assign Sacajawea and/or Wedgwood to JAMS and move Eckstein and JAMS APP to Eckstein?

Anonymous said…
@ Slide Reader - I don't think slide 20 is talking about self contained classrooms, but APP stand alone schools vs. APP self contained classes in a gened school. I haven't actually heard much discussion about the former except in terms of not wanting APP to continue to be moved around -- the thinking being if APP is a stand alone it's not likley to be sqeezed our repeatedly as capacity grows at a neighbohood school.
Anonymous said…
Thanks, North End Mom for the information on SPS ever-evolving updated ideas. I think the school district puts out ideas that aren't fully thought through, like the 6th grade NE APP going to JAMS with some unknown number of other NE kids that might not necessarily have had enough students to make a school.

New question: Why is JA K-8 getting moved out of the building at the same time that JAMS is moving in? Are they building a new school at the same time that JAMS will be operating in the old building?

NEMom (Northeast Mom)
JS said…

Jane Addams K-8 would spend 2 years at John Marshall while their new building is built at Pinehurst.
Anonymous said…
It does appear that they are considering taking current students out of Eckstein if they’re address is in the new JAMS boundary. They also added 7th and 8th to Wilpac instead of a roll-up (2016-17), but I don't see an indication that they are moving students out of Whitman.
Anonymous said…
@Northeast Mom

The Jane Addams K-8 would go to interim housing at John Marshall until their new building is completed at the Pinehurst site. It is supposed to be ready by Fall 2016.

JAMS is to be started next year, 2014-15, so as to provide relief for Eckstein (and Hamilton, if APP goes into JAMS).

- North-end Mom
Carol Simmons said…
Thank you for the update.

Has anyone heard anything about the Indian Heritage Program/School placement?
Lynn said…
Beacon Hiller,

Makes no sense to me either. When Meany reopens, there will be an extra 500 middle school seats in the central region. The south east will have only 170 extra middle schools seats. What they really should do is keep Muir at Washington and reassign Kimball to Washington when Meany reopens.
Anonymous said…
Assigning Wedgwood to JAMS removes a significant number of assignment area students from a walk zone. Since yellow bus transportation is provided for APP, but not neighborhood middle school, doesn't it makes more sense to preserve walkability for neighborhood students as much as possible?

You can't simply look at total number of students being bused. You need to look at the number of bus routes required for each scenario.

Please maintain walkability for as many neighborhood students as possible - it's one of the stated objectives.

My bigger question is how many JAK8 middle school students will opt to stay at JAMS (to preserve their walkability and improve their MS options) rather than relocate to an interim site. Would JAMS be full with portables under that scenario?
pam said…
I was at the meeting and I was very impressed with Director Patu's heartfelt comments regarding Pinehurst and the school district's intention of closing this school. Both she and Director McLaren spoke in favor of honoring what is in the best interest for these children, rather than what might be easier for the budget. I think she even said something like, "We are talking about children. Children who are thriving at this school, children who obviously need this school to thrive." It was so nice to hear such a kind and humane statement. I don't even know where Pinehurst school is, but we so often complain about the what the directors are doing, I thought it might be nice to point out that Patu and McLaren were advocating for this community from their hearts. They might not always make decisions or recommendations that we agree with or understand, but these two women have compassion.
Pinehurst/ AS-1 parent said…
It's nice to hear from a kindred spirit who values compassion in our elected officials.
Thanks for posting.
Anonymous said…
It looks to me like all 7th and 9th graders in the Wilpac middle school assignment area will be moved to John Marshall in 2016-17. While this is not ideal, it is something people can plan for (e.g., looking forward to teachers that will and will not move, creating a PTA, planned social events across schools). Not great. Our family is affected by this and I think this is a fair compromise.

@Carol Simmons
There has been little or no mention of the Indian Heritage Program or School. As these capacity issues start to form up, we need to start thinking about how to tie these issues into the Wilson Pacific move. Can you say more about the program (grade levels, number of students...) Is there an interim site planned yet? How could WP tie into the Heritage sites and the significance of Licton Springs. How about getting a more meaningful name than Wilson Pacific?

Jackie said…
what happened to HIMS APP designated students? Stay at HIMS, or transitions to Marshall and WP?
joanna said…
Here are a few quick notes:
Kay Smith-Blum strongly supported TT Minor's reopening and presented an idea for the World School to be build on the Gatzert grounds, and going to the State or BTA funds to add to what has already been set aside. Debell and Martin-Morris were opposed to the idea, citing the promise to the World school. Currently there are around 500 students who could walk to TT Minor and it is projected to grow to 600 by 2017. DeBell thought that there were overlapping walk zones. (I know that is not true. These students will be forever bused if TT Minor is not reopened.) Marty expressed doubt about any over lapping walk zones there. If there is any small corner of overlap it would be minute. I don't think there is.

Betty Patu wants Kimball back for Mercer, and Kay advocated that Muir go to Washington and not to Meany. They kept that and the TT Minor discussion fairly short given some of the complexities.

Sharon Peaslee was a strong advocate for Pinehurst and thinking about it sharing space with Thorton Creek. There is still confusion over whether Thorton Creek will get transportation in the future to Salmon Bay. Betty and Marty expressed support for finding a home for Pinehurst. Harium expressed strong doubt about the idea of Pinehurst sharing space with Thorton Creek.

APP--the discussion centered on the delivery model--one vs two vs three. And I don't have time to write more at the moment. Stand alone or not for elementary is a question, and only Sharon voiced strong opposition to an elementary stand alone. General agreement that stand alone was not good for secondary. General agreement that the District needs a plan for APP before determining locations

Middle School Roll Ups-- all seemed to agree that ensuring enough students for Jane Adams MS is important. At least there was no opposition. APP roll middle school roll up with a 6th grade academy seem to be getting squashed. Even from testimony on Wednesday and from sitting in on other meetings, I am not surprised. Generally the staff seems to support the idea of just moving all students in the corresponding assignment area to a new middle school when it is ready. That is all the students assigned to that attendance area would simple move as a group to the new school--no grandfathering; thus assuring all middle school students a full middle school experience.

General agreement that Wilson Pacific will have not high school on it. It is costly when the District owns Lincoln if it is needed. Kay mentioned that when opening Lincoln, do not open with the idea that you will assign students south of the ship canal to it.

I am sure I left a few things out. These are the things that stick in my mind.
I got the impression from the last iteration kids entering Eckstein next year could have the choice of going to JAMS instead (I don't mean the K8). Is that option not available now?
Anonymous said…
@ joanaa,
I'm eagerly awaiting yours or anyone's take on discussion about APP middle at 2 vs. 3 locations. I'm sure you have nothing to do but update on blogs! ;)

Also, regarding, "Middle School Roll Ups-- all seemed to agree that ensuring enough students for Jane Adams MS is important." Did they mention that is an issue for Wilpac, too, at all?! Read the latter with frustration. I understand that JAMS is next year, but I fear that Wilpac is getting forgotten.

TechyMom said…
Any word on Meany rollup at Van Asselt vs. portables at Washington?
joanna said…
Lyne, about 500 students currently live the TT Minor walk zone with 600 being projected for 2017. These are students where there is no other school to which they can walk. They will forever be bused and sliced and diced into other schools. Costly for the community cohesiveness and for transportation. Students just north of the Madrona boundary can walk to Madrona and are not in the walk zone for McGilvra where they are currently assigned.
Lynne, you only called out the excess capacity for central when all areas have some noted. The numbers shown for the 2012-2013 numbers are for current boundaries in all areas. Yes, in the new boundaries where Lowell moves further west (really most students who live in Lowell walk zone are also in the Steven walk zone.) Remember too, that McGivra has huge boundaries with a lot of portables. They could get some relief and have an art room and some other room that they are lacking if TT Minor opened. Those just north of Madrona boundary then could go to Madrona. Portable are suppose to be to just solve temporary problems. Reopening TT Minor will stabilize the entire area and seriously decrease the need for transportation.

I realize that there would be excess capacity in the area if TT Minor opened, but really it would not be any greater than that noted for some other areas. I don't really want to call out any one area, but all areas have some noted in elementary or middle school.
In regard to you comments:
Attachment B in the BAR from Wednesday's board meeting reports that the Central District has 800 excess elementary seats and that without TT Minor in 2017-18 there will be 170 excess seats. Madrona's capacity is 226 K-5 students plus 150 6-8 students. 2012 World School enrollment was only 217 so they could easily fit in Madrona. I think that would leave the space underutilized though.
Anonymous said…
@ yup,

Yep, it looks like they're planning to start Wilson-Pacific MS with a full 6-7-8 as well. One interim year at Marshall (2016/17), then on to the new building.

Anonymous said…
In the mean time, it looks like Whitman will be packed to the gills while everyone else is getting some relief. I not seeing anything obvious, but it seems like there could be something done about that.

- soon to be Whitman parent
Lynn said…

I was responding to Eric B's comment on TT Minor, Madrona and World School. There are several areas where it looks like we're building unnecessary seats.
You make a good point about the portables. I don't think the district's 2017-18 calculations remove those from capacity.
Is there room at Gatzert for another building?
joanna said…
As I said they went through the Meany and TT Minor pieces quickly and spent quite a lot of time on Pinehurst and to some degree APP. Sharon was the only one to express a definite opposition to the stand alone elementary APP. That is not to say the others supported it. The discussion ended with the fact that they have to come up with an actual recommendation for APP with the task force--that is the plan, the best plan. Staff obviously favors non-stand alone at all levels if possible. I had the impression that the staff also favored at least two sites if possible, but no decision was made. I guess the staff is suppose to work on it with the task force.
joanna said…
On the question of middle school roll ups these are my impressions: Meany was not specifically discussed. I believe there was some indication that JAMs boundary could be expanded. Whatever if the idea of rolling 6-8 together into new middle schools sticks then that would probably mean portables at Washington until Meany opens to give all students the middle school experience. The JAMS situation is more immediate, and I could not exactly tell what direction was being favored. Choice or shrinking the boundaries of other middle schools. As I said there was no one who spoke up to say that JAMS did not need a larger cohort to get a good start.
joanna said…
Yes, there is room to build on the Gatzert site. Staff responded that there was and that is had been considered an area to be held in case ever they need more elementary space. I think the World School probably needs to be looped into the discussion.
Carol Simmons said…
Dear Uncertain,

Thank you for your interest in the Indian Heritage Program/School. We are requesting that the School be revitalized (as Superintendent Banda promised) and restored to its home at Licton Springs. This is a sacred site for our Native community. Regarding a name change for Wilson-Pacific, an application has been filed with the District to name the Buildings at Licton Springs after Robert Eaglestaff (Native educator in the SPS). The Robert Eaglestaff School would be either K-8 or K-12 and serve all students with an emphasis on Native culture. Members of the Native community have met with the Licton Springs community council which supports these efforts. The Indian Heritage School/Program and administrative offices are currently housed at Lincoln High School after the District closed the Indian Heritage School/Program. The Native community coalition has been meeting with Superintendent Banda to discuss Indian education. There is some progress being made in saving the Murals in their original state at Licton Springs, but the efforts will continue to save the school and restore it to its original site.
joanna said…
Step J, that would seem to be one read on the general direction. Kay mentioned that maybe 8th graders should have some special treatment. These were only discussions not definite directions. The staff was suppose to read whatever into the Board remarks.
Anonymous said…
Thank you Carol Simmons, is there anything we can do to help? If you have a letter that we could send to the Board or Supt Banda, our family and our friends would be very glad to copy it and send it to express our support.

juicygoofy said…
Am I interpreting this wrong, but now would the 4th grade APP Whitman area students go to Hamilton in 6th grade (2015/16), John Marshall in 7th (2016/17), and then Wilson Pacific in 8th (2017/18)?
Charlie Mas said…
I can't believe that they can look right at the data and see that Eckstein is the closest school for the greatest number of APP students and that Jane Addams is the closest school for the lowest number of APP students and go ahead and place APP at Jane Addams instead of Eckstein.

That's in direct violation of the program placement policy.
Anonymous said…
Yep. Amazing, isn't it?

- North-end Mom
seattle citizen said…
Summit,John Marshall, AS#1/Pinehurst, and Indian Heritage Alternative schools, all in the north/northeast, have all been displaced/closed and gen-ed programs moved/moving into their facilities.
What about THAT?

Granted, JA K-8 is an option school, but why have FOUR alternative schools been pushed out?

Pinehurst should retain its program and get guarantees against closure for, say, ten years (so it can rebuild the numbers it lost under yearly threat of closure), either in its existing building or elsewhere (in John Marshall after the other two programs are moved into their locations?)

And Indian Heritage should be restored at its sacred place at Wilson Pacific, by Licton Springs, as part of the rebuild on that property.

To do otherwise is to sound the death knell of alternative schools, generally, which is counter to Board Policy C54.00, enacted a mere five years ago in support of alternative schools.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said…
Re-posting for anon:
"Charlie, JAMS is still close to where APP students live if you are talking about NE APP students. If APP were placed in Eckstein, the resulting boundaries for JAMS would be practically at Eckstein's back door. Think about it."

I agree. Does program placement guarantee the CLOSEST school, or just close to where students live? Many neighborhood assignments are not even to one's CLOSEST school, because in some areas there are several schools in proximity to eachother. I know this is program placement, not reference area, but I don't think CLOSE to where students live has to mean the closest possible building.


Lynn said…
So it shouldn't be a problem to assign Wedgwood kids to JAMS. It's pretty close to them.

If the district decides to provide most AL services at a student's neighborhood school - or Eckstein APP students choose not to go to JAMS, Eckstein's boundaries will have to change.
Anonymous said…
There's nothing especially sacred about Licton Springs - the program was fine when we went there on Delridge. It's all Duwamish land.

The building and location are worthless if they screw the kids by denying them access to any services.

-SW Skin
Anonymous said…
How do you define close? I'm within 5 blocks of Eckstein. My kids would have to walk 25 blocks just going north to JAMS. I think that's a problem.

seattle citizen said…
@SW Skin - True that, it's all Duwamish land. It's disheartening that the Indian Heritage program is shuffled around it and left unsupported as others clamor for the spaces. Sorta like the Duwamish were shuffled off the land, denied a promised reservatiin, burned out of their longhouses on the SW shore of Elliott Bay, moved to Ballast Island and then off of that, made illegal inside Seattle borders...the negligent lack of stabilty doesn't do IH any favors. The services offered by IH are certainly valuable, true, but note that the support of the program by the district has been problematic. While there is a new district director of Native services (who, by initial reports, is quite capable) the displacement, with apparently little consultation, of IH is still an unsettling thing.
(By some accounts, Licton Springs, a mineral spring, has some pre-contact significance...)
katie said…
The entire area in between JAMS and Eckstein is "walk zone." The area north of 75th could go to Eckstein or JAMS and there would be no transportation charges.

If you divided the space 50/50, the boundary would be 85th, right where the boundary between Roosevelt and Hale is currently.

As for the folks that are upset at walking 25 blocks instead of 5. That happens all over the district. There are dozens of schools where the boundary is just blocks aways. A large chunk of Ballard does not go to Ballard. Folks in West Seattle that are even closer to Denny, don't go to Denny.

Just because you are close to Eckstein, doesn't mean anything because the feeder patterns distort everything.
katie said…
FWIW, when Jane Addams was a middle school, before the closures in the 80's Sac and Wedgwood both feed into Jane Addams.

It makes sense to me that those historical lines would still work.
Anonymous said…
So what would be the elementary school for the area of WW between 75th & 85th? Or are you suggesting that middle schools get their own feeder patterns?

Anonymous said…
@katie is incorrect. For middle school, the walk zone is 2.0 miles. There is a significant portion of Eckstein that is more than that distance from JAMS. They would be eligible for transportation (at the expense of the district) rather than being able to walk.

Transportation Service Standards

Anonymous said…
It makes sense to me that those historical lines would still work. So we should just go back to old boundaries from before the 1980's, more than three decades ago, because those are historical boundaries? Okay...

There were also different grade configurations at one time, so junior highs started at 7th grade.

Jane Addams building history here:

joanna said…
How would people feel if the specific elementary schools did not wholly feed into any one middle school? That is, the boundaries of the middle school were more balanced for geographic reasons rather than by elementary feeders. Programs such as language immersion would still have a pathway. Just thinking.
Anonymous said…
If you want to go way back, to the 1940's, the city's northern boundary used to be 85th.
MomAnon said…
Is there any quick resource that gives background on option schools like Pinehurst, Indian Heritage program, Salmon Bay, the World School, etc. I'm probably making a mistake in even grouping those programs together, but as a new SPS parent, I'm not sure how to learn about programs that aren't the standard neighborhood schools. The SPS schools pages aren't helpful in finding a succinct description (check out the Pinehurst background page which was an overload of history for me, and I'm still left not understanding why families are so passionate about keeping it intact--and I'd like to know!), and I would love to see a simple description with the number of students affected by any potential changes to the program. I know, I'm dreaming about finding something that straightforward, but surely there's something out there?
seattle citizen said…
MomAnon - I can't think of a resource that provides the info you want. More history: Starting in 1970 or so, a number of "alternative" schools started popping up. These were mainly parent/community driven (with varying degrees of district support. Many of these were began to be "democratic" schools, with various values incorporated. Some were "themed" around ideas or ideals.
Some of the early ones were Summit, Alt. School One (now Pinehurst), People's School One (John Marshall Alternative), Pathfinder, NOVA, Pathfinder...later (1980s) we saw New Options Middle School, Salmon Bay Elem (since merged), TOPS, Orca, Indian Heritage,..Some later schools (nineties) were the African American Academy and others. Separate from these but sometimes merged with them were/are some programs that might be considered remedial, alternative in the sense if drawing back in students who are struggling. Interagency (various sites), Middle College, a teen mother program, South Lake HS...
In about 2004, alternatives were being closed and new "option" schools were springing up, mainly internatiinsl or STEM schools.
Many communities are very fond of their alt schools: they offer various diffetent approaches to education that vary from the main stream. Unfortunately, we have seen increased stsndardization and centraluzation - many of the newer option schools are more district driven than community driven.
All of the older alt schools are worth a look - dedicated and passionate communites of students, parents snd educators.
Unfortunately many are gone or going: Summit, John Marshall, AAA, As#1/Pathfinder, Indian Heritage...others are moved around snd suffer because of that, such as NOVA snd Pathfinder. Lack of stability doesn't help.
The newer option schools are fine snd popular, but they're not the same, philosophically, as the older alternative schools.
Katie said…
@ parent,

I am very confused by the definition of incorrect you are applying here.

Google maps has the distance between Jane Addams at Eckstein as 2.1 miles door to door and the 2.0 mile radius for transportation is as the crow flies.

IMHO, that means exactly what I said, almost the entire area in BETWEEN Jane Addams and Eckstein is walk zone. It would be very very easy to draw boundary for all of Wedgwood to be in the JAMS walk zone and therefore sending Wedgwood to JAMS would not add any transportation costs as those students live in the walk zone for two schools.

Sending Wedgwood to JAMS would actually balance the NE. Eckstein would actually get relief. JAMS would be socio-economically diverse.

And because of the distance tie breaker those Wedgwood students would be the first to get choice seats if they actually do a geo split and Eckstein is finally right sized.

MomAnon said…
Thanks, Seattle citizen. That helps!
Charlie Mas said…
I find it odd that some people think it's crazy for their child to go 25 blocks to middle school but are perfectly find with other people's children going twice that distance so their child only has to go five.

Read the data. The overwhelming majority of the APP students live south of Eckstein. They would have to go past Eckstein on their way to Jane Addams. And you think they should go all that way so your child doesn't have to go half that distance? Nice.
dw said…
Charlie makes an interesting point, but people should also remember that 25 blocks is quite different for different ages. That's a long hike for a 1st grader, even walking with a parent, but probably not a big deal for a middle schooler (unless crossing major arterials, maybe).

But pushing for Wedgwood going to JAMS is a tough sell for me without changing the actual boundaries. The south edge of Wedgwood's boundary is literally across the street from Eckstein. Not 5 blocks away or even 2 blocks away, but homes in WW AA literally face the front of the school. I can't help but think those families would feel taunted every school day for 3 years!
Anonymous said…
I think it is twisted guile to glom onto Charlie's argument of adhering to policy when your true desire is to kick as many kids out of Eckstein as possible.

Especially, as you were one of the key pot stirrers to kick all of the JAMS kids out of Eckstein last year. You don’t want the APP kids there either. Better to just take on one false pretense at a time?

You live seven blocks south of Eckstein, but advocate for kids that live across the street from Eckstein to attend JAMS. BTW - Eckstein is in Wedgwood not Bryant! I fell for it. I used to trust you. I hope no one else falls for the false ingénue.

dw said…
Daylight, it's a good idea to address who your comment is directed at. I posted, reloaded, and couldn't figure out why you were mad at me until I backed up 4 posts earlier. At least I think that's where your comment was directed.
katie said…
@ Daylight,

I'm with dw here. I live in Lake City and I have always said that. I have no idea what you are talking about. Lake City is not 7 blocks south of Eckstein.
Anonymous said…
I think they need to dump the feeder patterns for elementary to middle schools and switch to geographic boundaries for middle schools. Kids are going to get split in high school with all those kids north of 85th going to Nathan Hale and the kids south of 85th going to Roosevelt. Friendships tend to fluctuate in middle school as kids become teens and their personalities further develop. Yes, many still do keep their good friends from earlier but many develop new friendships and closer ones with new kids. I have seen it in my daughter who attended the same school K-8 with the same kids all 8+ years. She is now in high school and her group of friends has changed and expanded. I don't think having some of Wedgwood going to Eckstein and some to JAMS will be as heartbreaking or as difficult as many seem to think it would be. As long as kids know it is happening, the vast majority of them would be fine.

I'll write about this when I do my update from Director Martin-Morris' community meeting but yes, there was a LOT of talk about using geographical boundaries, not feeder boundaries. He seemed quite interested and it was a good discussion.
Anonymous said…
If the goal is to send every kid to their closest middle school, then do that. APP kids who live in Eckstein area go to Eckstein/ APP kids who live in JA area go to JAMS.

If the goal is to create an option program that draws from several areas, then every kid can not go to their closest school. Then site the program at the best place for the program.

I think that APP will be a better program if the community is in on the planning stage of the school & staff apply who want to work with a self-contained advanced learning program.

I am the parent of 2 APP qualified kids who stayed in their neighborhood schools mostly but traveled to the APP program for some part of their SPS years, I am glad to have the choice.

Anonymous said…
If you use your analysis, Katie, you need to draw a circle (as the crow flies) from JAMS. If Eckstein is just on that boundary, points due east and west are not within that walking zone. The newest boundaries for Wedgwood return some of Wedgwood's previous draw from Greenlake, which are some 2.5 miles from JAMS. I'm not sure that the current transportation standards are as the crow flies, however. You also have Lake City Way cutting through, which would be the Google walking route, despite there being no sidewalks for some segments.

Lynn said…
Page 12 of this document shows Wilson Pacific Middle School's Walk Zone. It seems quite possible to be in the zones for both JAMS and Eckstein. Eckstein's for instance, streches from NE 40th to 107th and from Greenlake to 60th Ave NE.
katie said…
It is clear that some folks just want to go to Eckstein and will use any opportunity to pick apart basic facts. I'm sorry that you don't like facts.

But the simple fact is that with attendance areas there are lot of students all over the district that do not go to their closest school. There are even students that could walk to a school that are bused to another school.

There is a lot of space in between JAMS and Eckstein that is dual walk zone. That is a fact. Period. Dual walk zone means that those kids can go to either school and there are no transportation costs.

So go ahead and keep trying to make the argument that it is just so awful to have to bus anyone to JAMS and that it adds expense. I would prefer that 85th is used as the boundary as that would make a nice tie in from JAMS to Nathan Hale as well as be in the middle and have the least transportation.

But if they are not going to abandon feeder patterns, then it just not OK to send every single school in the zone in between Eckstein and JAMS under the false idea that transportation will increase. It is just not true and will only lead to one school being over-crowded and one being under-crowded.

West Seattle kept arguing in the last round of this that have 6 feeder school at Denny and 4 at Madison would create an imbalance. Guess what happened. There was a big imbalance. Sending more feeder schools to Eckstein than JAMS will create an imbalance.

And BTW, the area outside of the 2 mile as the crow flies to the East is in View Ridge. IMHO, I think that Sac and Wedgwood should go to JAMS.
Anonymous said…
Katie, do have a student in either the Sac or Wedgwood boundary that would be affected by your plan? It's amazing how adamant you are.


Anonymous said…
@Katie-it's not about going to Eckstein at all costs. I'm in the Eckstein service area and much closer to Eckstein than JAMS as others have posted but my kids are in APP. Contrary to what Charlie suggests, I do not advocate for my kids to go to Eckstein and definitely not at the expense of my neighbors. I think for North APP at least, being in a neighborhood school, even Eckstein, is not preferred. It means a split and no guarantee we won't be pushed out in the future. I am personally OK with having a central school and having my kids get bussed and have the neighborhood kids go to their neighborhood school. Lastly, I would agree with HP to dump the feeder program for MS. Bottom line, it's valid for folks to want to go to the school closer to them. Try to look at it from that point of view.

katie said…
@ observer,

yes, it is amazing how adamant I am about facts. So now I am not getting attacked on my facts, but my attitude about facts. Wow!

I am really clear about these difference

facts - there is a dual walk zone area that those students could go to either school without transportation costs

opinion - IMHO, I would split the boundary at 85th so that students were going to a school that was closer, rather than taking students from 95th and sending to Eckstein OR from 75th and sending them to JAMS.

Policy - they are seeming to be stuck on feeder patterns. if they are going to be stuck on feeder patterns, then they need to have an equal number of feeder schools to each middle school so that enrollment is actually balanced.

Why do I care about this?? Because failing to make a balance between the two schools will only repeat a problem that they had last time because of sheer pig-headedness. They drew the boundaries in West Seattle so that six school went to more popular Denny and four schools went to less popular Madison. And then inevitable happened. Denny is over-crowded and Madison is under-resourced.

What do I want? I want the district to learn from their mistakes and I want parents to know that "not everyone is going to get Eckstein." How much more can Eckstein take? So that means that someone in the Eckstein walk zone is NOT going to Eckstein. Because just the number of students in the walk zone is more than the school can handle in 2-3 years.
katie said…
@ kp

of course, people want to go to their closest school and I do see it from that point of view. But that is not happening.

There are students everywhere not going to their closest school and not because they choose a program like APP but because the schools are evenly distributed.

What I object to, is the continuous stream of postings that "we are in the walk zone don't send us to JAMS, it will cost more money in transportation" that includes no acknowledgement that many of these kids are in two walk zones. With two new middle schools coming on line, there are going to be lots and lots of families in two walk zones so this problem is going to continue and moreover, the families in two walk zone are going to most likely be swung back and forth between those schools over time.
katie said…
@ kp

FWIW, of all the folks with opinions about Eckstein, I think Charlie is the most off-base. APP at Eckstein. Insane.

The walk zone alone can fill the school, let alone the students for whom Eckstein is the closest school (Laurelhurst? - they got drawn out the last time). Even with JAMS coming on line just because of geography, Eckstein is the closest school for far more students than could ever go there.

The idea that you would then import students on top of that belies a logic that defies gravity. The simplest fact here is that some areas need to import students and some need to export students. Eckstein needs to export students.

Does that stink? Yup. Is that fair? No. But it is geography and the choices to balance Eckstein's enrollment is
- take the South part of Eckstein and bus them to Hamilton (been there, done that, didn't work) or
- take the east part of Eckstein and bus them to JAMS (that adds transportation costs) or
- take the dual walk zone and send them to another walk zone school.

I didn't invent this set of options. I am just willing to talk about them.
Anonymous said…
So families have expressed a desire to not have APP in JAMS, but if APP does not get sent to JAMS, then middle school boundaries have to shift for a lot more families. I think Charlie's contention that APP students should go to Eckstein, because that's the closest school, is only highlighting the problem with the district policy. APP at Eckstein would shrink the boundaries for other neighborhood kids even more.

Students will be impacted by whatever plan comes to be - whether it be splitting from friends, having to move schools, losing walkability, or whatever. What I can't get behind is the attitude of, tough, suck it up. This is the district's doing (by closing schools, neglecting AL, take your pick of reasons) and it's difficult to watch parents throwing out plans that they know will create change for other families.

Lynn said…
What I've noticed is that no community wants to share space with APP - not JAMS, not Eckstein, not Olympic Hills. In the south end, there is a vocal group complaining about APP kids being bused into their schools. It's completely understandable - space is tight and no one wants to be moved out of their school to make room for someone else. I don't get why district staff continues to suggest placing the program in neighborhood schools.
Anonymous said…
@Katie - Fair enough. Splitting the boundary at 85th makes sense for MS. Not sure what that would mean for the Wedgwood boundary but that could be left as is or changed with the idea that part of Wedgwood may go to Eckstein and the other JAMS.

Is it for certain that Wegdwood (or part of WW) and/or Sacajawea (haven't heard anything from parents there) would have to feed into JAMS in order for the capacity numbers to work out? Is this also assuming a 6/7/8 split with no grandfathering?

Personally, I've noticed how small NE Seattle really kids run into somebody they know whether they go to school with them or not wherever we go. Friendships are not just based on who you go to school with.


Anonymous said…
kp said:

Personally, I've noticed how small NE Seattle really kids run into somebody they know whether they go to school with them or not wherever we go. Friendships are not just based on who you go to school with.

You are spot on. One of my daughter's best friends went to a totally different grade school and middle school. Now they have met up again at Nathan Hale and they are glad to be in the same school again together. Kids maintain friendships if there is a connection.

HP, thank you.

Folks, I know that continuity and community - once started -are important to both students and parents. But life doesn't always work out that way. People move (both to other parts of town or even out of town), boundaries change, things happen.

My son left his elementary school and we moved and yup, he made new friends AND kept some of his old. Do you have ALL the friends you had in your K-12 years?

It's one thing to worry that the school might not be as good at meeting your child's needs as a current one. I can understand that. But give your child some credit for resilency. It's probably the number ONE trait you want to build for your child.

Modeling that resilency is a good idea and yes, you can maintain friendships even if the kdis aren't all at the same school.

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