Friday Open Thread

Wedgwood teacher, Kelly Clark, has been given the 2014 Civic Educator of the Year Award.  From Rep Gerry Pollet's office:  The award is sponsored by the Washington State Legislature to honor outstanding instructors in civics education.   

Other SPS honorees:

Lori Dunn, program manager for Physical Education and Health Literacy, will be presented a Fellow for Professional Excellence at a convention sponsored by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). 

• Gayle See, coordinator for Physical Education for Progress, will be acknowledged at the same convention for her outstanding contributions with an Honor Award, Non-college/University. 

Article from Crosscut by City Councilwomen Jean Godden and Sally Bagshaw about the long-promised playground at Seattle Center.  They are looking for input on its design.

The project team will begin its robust community engagement process, inviting children and adults alike to join team members in a Kick-Off Community Design Presentation and Workshop from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 1, in the Next 50 Pavilion at the Seattle Center. 
Additional community workshops will be scheduled around the city throughout the spring of 2014. Our goal is to create a family play area that is unlike any other, a place where children will beg their parents and grandparents to take them. We can only imagine the whimsical additions Seattle’s children will suggest. 
Once final plans are completed, there will be a community ground-breaking. Construction of the playground will get underway later in 2014, with a completion date expected sometime early in 2015. It took a while, Seattle-style, but the prospects are as exciting as the possibilities. 
What's on your mind?


juicygoofy said…
Totally off current topics, but I am curious about socio-emotional learning curriculum in SPS elementary schools. I see what appear to be strongly implemented programs at some schools and virtually nothing at others. Are there any standards on this topic from SPS?
Lynn said…
I have an excellent idea for a locally produced reality TV show. The fun thing is it would double as a testing ground for education reform - I'm thinking maybe the Gates Foundation might bankroll it. For one year, Lakeside School would be operated as a conversion charter. Their spending would be limited to the state and local funding allocable to their students. Something like 20% of their teachers would be replaced by TFA corps members. The students would wear those magical bracelets that monitor engagement with the learning process. We'd need to loan them the textbooks used in SPS. Oh - and 40% of their students would be replaced with children who qualify for free lunches. We'd need to get Bill to agree that his kids would attend of course.

What do you think?
Anonymous said…
Thurs March 13 6:30 pm at Pinehurst Building Library, 11530 12th Avenue NE.

The Seattle School District is requesting a waiver (departure) from 5 major City zoning regulations in order to build a replacement K8 at the Pinehurst site. The existing K8 school houses 150 students, it is a tiny triangular lot. Over the years, though, the K8 had about 250 students enrolled back in 200, and, at its peak, with 5 portables on the site, in 1954 it had 540 elementary students -- now, the District is trying to cram 720 on that same site.

The District wants to demolish the existing school and construct a new K8 for 720 students at 11530 12th Avenue. The District is requesting modifications for increase lot coverage, greater than allowed height, more building square footage, SIGNIFICANTLY less than required on-site parking spaces and on-street bus loading.

The process for considering this request includes hearings before an advisory committee composed of neighbors and District and City representatives. The Committee will gather and evaluate public comment on the departure requests. It can recommend a waiver (departure) from some regulations and any relevant conditions to be applied to minimize its impacts on the surrounding neighborhood, or it can recommend denial. The Committee may make its recommendation following this meeting or hold up to two additional meetings prior to making its recommendation.

The Committee has been formed and will host its first public meeting on Thurs Mar 13 6:30 pm at 11530 12th Avenue NE.

The meeting will include a brief presentation on the requested modifications to development standards (zoning) that have been requested. Following this presentation, the Committee will consider its recommendations. An additional meeting may be held if the Committee concludes that more information is needed.

For more info: Steve Sheppard at 684-0302, or e-mail

A school of 720 middle and elementary school students on this small site is just too much, that's why the proposed design exceeds lot coverage AND the height restrictions AND the total square footage AND didn't provide much parking AND didn't provide bus loading zone ( instead plan is to load buses on the City street). I could understand if they wanted to blow through 2 of the City's Department of Planning and Development's codes, like, height and sq. footage, in order to cram enough 'school' in to accommodate their target of 720 students on this lot, but, blow through 5 codes to get there? That really, really short changes the neighborhood. That's going to create impacts that can't be mitigated. This seems like runaway groupthink has struck again. Which, for Seattle Schools, is apparently par for the course. They are not planning to deviate a little bit from a non-major code, they are planning to deviate A LOT, a whole heck of a lot, from major code. For example, ask how many parking spaces code calls for for a 720 seat K8, and, how many this proposal includes - then you will see how far the plan is off standards, and, that is just parking, ask about the other variances too to get the big picture of what they are trying to push in.

I think they think the neighbors aren’t ‘plugged in’ and won’t notice the dis-proportionality of this over-sized building compared to other school facilities.

The design, if scaled-back, with additional parking, would be great. Not sure middle school kids can be accommodated with no fields to play football or baseball on, but Hamilton manages.

Neighbors, come to the meeting, get more information, and then let the city know that urban planning matters, and that this is not an intelligent approach to urban planning, and that the school District does not get a automatic pass to mess up this neighborhood due to their poor planning. There are better solutions. A new school will be fantastic, but, a behemoth can’t be shoehorned into this tiny spot and really work well for the next 50 years. The City has a code for a reason.

-urban planning
Eric B said…
We're halfway through Open Enrollment today. Make sure you get your forms delivered by March 7; postmarks don't cut it. If you are waiting for an Advanced Learning letter, don't bother waiting. Put your choices on the form as if your student qualify for everything they tested for, and SPS will take off anything that isn't applicable once the testing is sorted out.

I was at the Stanford Center on Wednesday, so I dropped off my form then. The line at midday was about 20 minutes.
Anonymous said…
Received our letters from Transportation TODAY, that we will not have transportation next year.

If desired we can apply for a guaranteed assignment to our attendance area school during Open Enrollment.

*sigh* At least we received notification with a few days of Open Enrollment left.


Anonymous said…
Dear Pinehust:
Before open enrollment closes, you might want to COME DOWN TO THE LINCOLN BUILDING AROUND BELL TIME OR LUNCH and see for yourself how conjested it is to have MERELY 600 kids try and play in a parking lot or be shuttled in and out via 12 buses and umpsteen parent cars doing drop off or pick-up.

Before you sign yourself up for this* you owe it to yourself to observe a recess. You don't have to enter the school property, you can observe from the Solid Ground parking lot.

Then think, if your child whose curently enjoying an intimate experience of a school whose total enrollment is 150, if you feel comfortable putting your child into a high school with no field, no playground, AND A MINIMUM OF 850 students!! (that is the existing school + your students + SpEd 18-21 program) Oh, and if Hamilton crashes and burns the subsequent year, add those kids via the "Hamilton Annex" into the other floor of the South Wing of Lincoln.

Lunch? Max. capacity is 200 in the lunch room, which means that in addition to the 3 lunch shifts, a fourth will have to be added. Your kids will get to school, and then have to turn around and eat lunch possibly. And, they will be eating lunch with kids from a different school, in a room with more kids than currently your entire school's population. Is this the experience you are looking for? Sacajawea has about the same number of kids in their entire school as what Lincoln CURRENTLY puts through in just one of there lunch shifts, and, that doesn't even include the expansion that is going to happen this September.

Oh, and you get to arrive at this school of more than 800 with no playground by a bus that will be hauling your kids at least 5 miles (on average) across the I-5.

The maximum enrollment per the much lauded "ed spec" for K5s is 650. Lincoln is going to blow the barn doors off that figure, for sure. What a mess.

**Since you will be getting an automatic continuing assignment to Pinehurst, you need to enroll in a differnt attendance area or option school by the end of open enrollment, otherwise you will be on the milk-run bus down to Lincoln.

Why this comment? Because I hate it when the District obfuscates the truth, and, parents end up in situations they really didn't see coming.

-eyes wide open
Benjamin Leis said…
@Eyes wide open.

Let's turn your plea around. How about looking for volunteers among all of the APP students to leave the program too because its going to be just too crowded in the building. If you're not willing to go that far then I wouldn't ask it of any other school.
Good advice said…
I don't want to make Pinehurst feel unwelcome. It's not the parents or kids fault. I think Sharon Peaslee needs to volunteer at Lincoln every day until this mess she created is fixed. She'll also need to bring several others with her to help.

Ben, I think eyes wide open's comments are on the obnoxious side, but they aren't untrue. Your suggestion of asking current Lincoln kids to leave wouldn't have much of an impact on numbers.

It's once again pathetic that SPS pit communities against each other. However, it is not unreasonable advice that Pinehurst parents come see for themselves what they are throwing their kids into next year.

I think it is reasonable to ask the District what the actual enrollment numbers are for JA k-8 at John Marshall next year. If the numbers aren't as big as expected for any reason, SPS should look at putting Pinehurst at JM with JA K-8. Or, move the 18-21 SPED program there since it's probably a small number of students. I'm still not clear as to why some populations (APP, Cascade, NWC, etc. etc) are in unsafe, crammed conditions while other "pet" schools/programs are living large (in a relative sense). Shouldn't there be shared sacrifice?

Speaking of John Marshall, couldn't it be used for the Cascade program at some point? It would be large enough to possibly co-locate another like-minded program.

SPS STINKS! My kid is not better than anyone else's, but SPS makes us act this way.
Good advice said…
Sorry, I fully meant to include Pinehurst in the list of schools/programs that get the shaft by SPS! They are treated much worse than APP and we've been treated pretty poorly. I don't wish anything but the best for Pinehurst. I just happen to agree that Lincoln is already way overcapacity for little kids, there are no resources (playground, lunchroom, PE, active space, etc. etc.) and next year will only be 10x worse.
Josh Hayes said…
in re the building slated for the Pinehurst site: I sure did wonder about that. When they said they could fit all those kids into a K-8 at that site, I wondered about parking, about playgrounds, about playfields.... there is a small park about two blocks north of there, but it's not on school grounds and every kid would need a permission slip for teachers to take them up there (as Pinehurst now does).

Which brings me to the second point, about Lincoln: nearly every kid at Pinehurst has permission to be taken off campus to go to nearby parks -- as I recall, there's a park only about a block from Lincoln. I wonder if some of the Pinehurst teachers might make use of that? Or will the city frown on a passel of kids using that park on a regular basis?

I don't think anyone in the Pinehurst community thinks that Lincoln is going to be hunky-dory, but figures it's just something to get through for a few years until something more plausible is finished. Best of luck to Pinehurst, Lincoln, and JAK-8 with their new building.
Anonymous said…
This was not a plea, this was sharing reality, so that these kids and their families understand what it will be like, hence 'eyes wide open'. I was not asking anyone to leave! But, if anyone does want to leave, they should be aware of mechanics. Not really possible for APP existing students to leave, since they are all advanced by 2 years in curriculum, going 'back' to some attendance area K5 would be like going back 2 full years of school. Plus, APP is an intervention, it serves kids who already are perched that far ahead, who don't fit in with their existing (fine) schools.

Really, funny to see this as obnoxious, this is what I wish the district would do: tell us about the ride we are in for BEFORE we sign our kids up for this.

Did the district say boo about opening Jane Addams Middle School last year to rising 6th graders in Eckstien, so that they would be fully aware that is was highly likely they were going to get ripped out of Eckstein as rising 7th (and 8th) graders? No. I think that information, while unpleasant, uncertain, and possibly 'obnoxious' would have been better to know upfront.

Will 'boarderline' APP-qualified students probably not opt in because Lincoln will be such a mess? It depends on their need for services, and, if their families think their students are at all possible to make their existing educational environments work. Because, if they can, I am betting they won't come.

Ask yourself this, if you were a parent in a tiny school, one that you chose on purpose, possibly for the alternative learning model, or, possibly for the small scale, wouldn't you want to know that the fundemental delivery would be incredibly altered due to a facilities issue? Don't most parents care about the impact the facilities' environment has on their student's learning? I do.

-eyes wide open
Anonymous said…
"I have an excellent idea for a locally produced reality TV show."

I think that would be a great idea, and to make it less sarcastic, they could simply do the experiment, rather than involving Lakeside.

Stu said…
. For one year, Lakeside School would be operated as a conversion charter.

It's hard to resist feeding the trolls . . .

How 'bout this for an experiment instead. For one year, every public school would get current textbooks, all classrooms would be limited to 18 kids, funding per child would be increased, and students would be taught to think instead of just pass tests. There would be no TFA and there would be a group of administrators at each school whose sole purpose is to watch over the students and help them achieve. There would be counselors at every building, teachers who really want their students to learn, and, surprise, free lunches for those who qualify. There would be full music and arts programs, all supported by the school, and every student would be taught that education is a right not a chore.

After a couple of years, wanna bet things would be better?


PS - Our neighbor's son started Lakeside this year. He was admitted on a need-blind basis and THEN was given almost 75% in financial aid. He also gets that same percentage towards his books and his computer, and is given free lunch every day, as he was in public school. This family could never come close to being able to afford private school but Lakeside went out of its way to help them.

Instead of trying to tear down the good things that schools like Lakeside can do, how 'bout trying to build up the public schools so that they can try to emulate some of those same methods? Yes, private schools have more money but SPS wastes an enormous amount each year and could take a few pages from the private school handbook!
Josh Hayes said…
Well put, Stu, but surely you see the real point here: lots of Gates types advocating for policies and approaches in the public schools, policies and approaches that they would never tolerate in their OWN kids' schools. It's strictly for the hoi polloi.

I am well aware that Lakeside does some great things and really takes outreach to the large community seriously. The point is more general than that: all these prescriptions come with an implicit "you people" -- "you people should [insert reform here]", as distinct from "We should". It's grating.
Anyone read the Seattle Times article on UW "research" on teaching AP classes a different way? My comments:
The results of this "study" are probably not valid, and is symptomatic of poor statistical design in education research. I just downloaded and read the article in the American Education Research Journal. The authors make a big deal about the difference in the average score between project based and traditional approaches for moderate-achieving schools. The trouble is that they didn't do this study properly.. For example, the two moderate achieving Bellevue school groups had very different demographics (as demonstrated in Table 1 of their paper). For example, the project-based learning school had 32.7% free/reduced lunch, while the lower-performing schools had a much higher percentage (about 47.8,49.9). You can not get any useful information by comparing schools with differing populations/demographics and the difference in performance was really quite modest (2.33 versus 2.03).What they SHOULD have done was to compare two AP classes in the SAME school, ensuring similar demographics in each. Looking at other districts, they again compared differing approaches and found a very small difference (1.8 versus 1.7) in average scores (but you had the same problem of not matching demographics). It is clear that high-achieving schools (with richer demographics) tend to do better in AP tests and that student family/economic class backgrounds make a difference. You have to properly deal with this issue..this study fails to do so.

This study is so poorly designed that it proves nothing (I could provide a lot more analysis to back this up).
I feel sorry for the Gates Foundation and others that wasted 6 millions dollars on this "research" and this front page article represents another poorly researched Seattle Times headline, something I have blogged about regarding weather/climate issues...cliff mass
Anonymous said…
The Gates Foundation is just as good at wasting money on poorly done studies as the US DOE. The $10 million Mathematica study (TFA is great!) paid for by the DOE was rife with errors and poorly drawn conclusions. Ironically DOE turned my department down for grant funding because our study proposed using mixed methods, and the White House had just announced that only research that met the "gold standard" - i.e. purely quantitative with randomized trials, etc. would be funded. They were unable to see that we could not control for all variables when working with schools and kids, thus mixed methods was a better option. But now - looks like crap is the new "gold standard" in "research" if it advances an agenda.

Anonymous said…
Rafe's new book for veteran teachers:

The most famous teacher in the world is not a fan of high-stakes standardized tests, Teach For America or the Common Core State Standards. But he loves teaching and teachers, and he has written a new book giving advice to colleagues at all stages of their careers.

He is fifth-grade teacher Rafe Esquith of Room 56 at Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles… has taught at Hobart for nearly 30 years and written several best-selling books:

*When he goes to China he is so popular he needs security guards to protect him from the crush of the crowds.
*He is the only K-12 teacher to be awarded the president’s National Medal of the Arts.
*Queen Elizabeth made him a member of the British Empire.
*The Dalai Lama gave him the Compassion in Action Award.
*He has turned down requests to have a Hollywood movie made about his work.


Patrick said…
Urban Planning, I sympathize. However, note that 720 students is 3 rooms per grade in elementary school + 3 cohorts per grade in middle school. With fewer students than that, it would be very hard to offer a reasonable set of electives.

Many schools have bus loading from the street, and minimal parking. Not trying to handwave problems, but I am not sure they make the design unworkable.
Anonymous said…
I've lived across the street from Pinehurst/AS#1 and a block from Lincoln and have visited both. Urban planning and eyes wide open raise valid points that aren't obnoxious. I can't imagine a school of this proposed size for the Pinehurst site. I also can't imagine how crowded Lincoln must be, and how chaotic it will be.

Anyone praising the good that Lakeside does really is missing the point. What Gates Foundation does and claims to do is the polar opposite of equity, and ensuring equity for all students is the only way students will succeed. Lynn's reality show could be the ultimate teachable moment.

Anonymous said…
Patrick wrote:
" However, note that 720 students is 3 rooms per grade in elementary school + 3 cohorts per grade in middle school. With fewer students than that, it would be very hard to offer a reasonable set of electives."

And this is why there are comprehensive middle schools!

It used to be that K-8s filled a niche for families who wanted a smaller, more intimate educational environment for their children (Think TOPS, Orca, Pathfinder, etc...), typically 500-600 max enrollment, with a 2-up model.

Salmon Bay is one of the exceptions...a 2-up for elementary and a 4-up for middle school. They were formed from the merger of an elementary program with a middle school program, and this configuration is what evidently fits into their building.

IMO, super-sized K-8s on a mission to deliver "comprehensive" offerings are redundant to programming already offered at comprehensive middle schools, and I don't understand why SPS is obligated to cater to the demands of boutique programs and build over-sized K-8 buildings, like the one planned for the Pinehurst site, especially when there is the very real potential for huge impacts on the surrounding neighborhood (parking, traffic, on-street bus loading/unloading etc...).

I honestly don't think that commuters stuck in traffic behind a row of buses loading or unloading kids on Pinehurst Way are going to be too sympathetic to the K-8's "need" for a 3-up configuration.

-reality check
Anonymous said…

Yep. Chaotic is what I was thinking.

Case in point: all of the currently existing kids at Lincoln, in their 3 shifts of lunch, do NOT fit into the lunchroom.

The school has been forced to put lunch tables in the hallway outside of the lunch room so as not to tip over the fire marshall's lunch room limit of 200. Although, if the fire marshall saw what was happening now in the halls with the kids eating lunch at tables, not sure it would pass muster. But then again, maybe it would, because I don't think the fire marshall rates hallways with maximum numbers of people, they just rate rooms, like gyms or auditoriums, right? (And then, I think to myself, if it gets to the point of thinking about 'what the fire marshall would do if he saw it, but, hey, wait, maybe he couldn't do anything 'cuz there's no regulation for that... you know things are just not so good).

In any event, adding more kids means they have to go to 4 shifts, that is, unless there is another magic lunch room somewhere in the building. But, it's highly unlikely there is, because, if there was, Lincoln would already be using it so that they did not have to have 3 shifts plus be using hallways to get the student throughput managed.

What other K5 has 4 lunch shifts? Is there any?

In this district, it wouldn't surprise me if there was. What are their days like (bell time - lunch shift times - dismissal)? I want to know exactly how that will work, timing-wise. It would be difficult for early primary kids to go long stretches between meals and keep up their concentration for lessons. So much for student learning.

What a mess. And, parents coming on the Lincoln tours can decide whether or not to opt in, just like Pinehurst parents, only, Pinehurst parents are not being giving tours of Lincoln during the school day, which is why there is definitely some sense in them checking it out from a distance, to see if they think this is the right fit for their student.

-4 shifts
Cliff, I was wondering about some of the assertions in this article so thanks for that update.

Ditto to CT and that particular study was noted at the conference I attended as NOT being well-done.

Reality Check is right - K-8s are NOT there to be comprehensives especially not in elective offerings.

Sorry, this goes way back to Carla Santorno but the message hasn't been delivered well by the district.

You get the small, intimate K-8 in exchange for fewer offerings. It costs way too much extra to have them at K-8s than comprehensives and you, as the parent, have to make the decision which means more to you.

The district cannot afford nor should they be offering the same things at K-8s as they do at the comprehensives.
Anonymous said…
I think JAK8 got too comfortable in a building that was too large for them and now they're too big for the smaller site. What would really help is to know the numbers for JAK8 and how many of they're middle schoolers will follow to JM vs staying on at JAMS. It's not too late to scale it back, is it?

Same Boat said…
@4 shifts
I don't know if there's a magic lunchroom at Lincoln, but there are some schools that have to eat in their classrooms, Kimball for one.
Anonymous said…
Sorry to sound naive here, but why does the lunchroom at Lincoln only seat 200 kids when, as a high school, it was built to house over 1000? Weren't Ballard, Roosevelt and Garfield housed at Lincoln during construction of those schools? Where did the high school kids eat?

- North-end Mom
Anonymous said…
-4 shifts

I remember visiting Lincoln when Roosevelt was there. I believe that Garfield was also there. Has there been some change to the building that could fit 1600 high schoolers but not 800 elementary kids?

Also, Ingraham eats lunch in classrooms. Teachers are there to supervise. Is this because those teacher volunteer to do that but other schools' teachers don't?

Anonymous said…

I don't think JA K-8 was necessarily configured as a 3-up because SPS felt the need to provide more elective choice.

The K-8 was put in the Jane Addams building as a quick-fix capacity management measure at a time when there was a huge need for more elementary space in the NE and not a whole lot of funds to open new schools. SPS needed a place to put at least 3 new kindergarten classrooms and neighboring schools couldn't handle the increased enrollment. If Summit could have filled 3 or more kindergarten classrooms, maybe they would have survived?

In its first year of existence, pre-NSAP, Jane Addams K-8 was an assignment school, and "solved" some of the area's capacity crunch. Under Debbie Nelsen's strong leadership, the K-8 was able to grow to the 3-up configuration after it became an option program.

Last year SPS needed seats for 150 "extra" middle school kids that didn't fit in Eckstein, so the K-8 middle school program was temporarily allowed to expand, and, as a result, there was funding at the K-8 for more electives (or, perhaps more electives were offered to make the school more appealing to families who would otherwise chose a comprehensive middle school?).

IMO, this has led to K-8 parents having expectations of programming and elective choice that may or may not be deliverable in the future, due to space and cost constraints.

Other option programs have not been given much say when it comes to maintaining what they see as the optimal program size. Take Thornton Creek, for instance. It was set up as a small, 2-up school, but, due to NE enrollment pressures, had to take in 3 kindergarten classes (and more portables). Now, as a proven popular option school, they are being expanded to fill a large new building. It is great that Thornton Creek is being supported with the opportunity to be housed in a new building, but I bet there are staff and parents who long for their previous intimate 2-up school.

- North-end Mom
Lynn said…
Garfield's commons holds a couple hundred students. There are many clubs that meet in classrooms during lunch - that's where my kid eats. I don't know how that works for the more than 600 kids who qualify for free and reduced price lunches.
There is NO high school (save maybe Rainier Beach) that has a cafeteria that could serve and/or hold all its students at once.

I agree - why Lincoln doesn't have a large space for an elementary to serve lunch is a good question.

Anonymous said…
I should have added...attendance area schools don't seem to have any say in their program configuration, either. It is all capacity/enrollment driven. Portables, split classes to deal with enrollment "bubbles," etc... have become the norm.

- North-end Mom
Anonymous said…
Lincoln did used to have a large lunchroom. As others have mentioned, high schools with more students have been housed there.

My child was part of the surprise summer move to Lincoln from Lowell. At the time, we knew the lunchroom would be too small and asked the same question. The answer was that the distict allowed the afterschool care program to take over a chunk of the lunchroom when MacDonald and QAE moved in. The company paid for the renovations, so the district claimed that they couldn't make them move. It was also mentioned that the afterschool care needed an outside door for parent pick ups.

Anonymous said…

Thank you for that explanation. It sort of makes sense now as to why the current Lincoln lunchroom too small to have served high schools (even in shifts), though still I don't understand why a lunch room expansion isn't in the plans for the "second elementary at Lincoln" construction project. Couldn't they expand the lunchroom and find another space for the daycare?

Interim housing is not something that the District seems to do very well. For instance, the Cedar Park ed specs were approved despite the disclaimer that the current Olympic Hills program won't fit, even without setting aside any space for a library. Their Headstart preschool is being shipped off to an unidentified NorthWEST location (not NorthEAST), and the site schematic states that there is no space at Cedar Park for the Olympic Hills before/after school programs.

They will, however, apparently have access to the adjacent park and playground for recess, so I guess that is bonus.

All of this pales in comparison, of course to the proposal to keep Cascade onsite at Wilson-Pacific during demo and construction. That, by far is the most outrageous interim housing scenario coming out of the BEXIV process so far.

- North-end Mom
Anonymous said…
Since others opened the topic about whether or not Pinehurst AS #1 will be happy to be temporarily co-housed at Lincoln w/600+ APP students, I'm going to make the leap to the next step, and hopefully people will think about this too.

First: I don't want to weigh in on whether Pinehurst should be a school or not - the Board voted to keep it - but that vote sent it to Lincoln until Wilson Pacific opens, then AS#1 would co-locate with the new Wilson Pacific Middle School (850 or more kids).

This would be a K8 located inside a comprehensive middle school.

One kindergarten class in a middle school setting.

One 1st grade class, etc.

Students who thrive in a small quirky environment would be in a 850 person middle school.

What's the cafeteria issue? Gym? Etc.

SPS has said they'll solve the problem of bathrooms by having a toilet in the K room - thus the kindergarteners won't have to use the middle schoolers' bathrooms. But what about all the other little kids? (Well, the very few of them).

It's a completely bizarre set up. The board was only giving choice A or B: dismantle the program or put it in the middle school.

Neither the board nor Pinehurst were given any other choices, such as house it at Lincoln until the Decatur building (old Thornton Creek) or the Nordic Heritage building or maybe the Cedar Park building is ready(instead of a neighborhood school). Maybe look for space at Magnuson/Sand Point.

As it is, the plan to put AS#1 at an 850 - 1000 kid middle school is really bizarre, when you think about it. I read a lot from the parents about what their kids had been through before coming to Pinehurst, and heard testimony about what it was at Pinehurst that helped their kids, but I can't see that any of that fits with the locations decisions.

Really, there must be a better choice - but the district is spending a tremendous amount of money ($550K already on architect review alone, I heard) to make the Wilson Pacific middle school "ready" for Pinehurst's elementary cohort.

Readers: THERE IS GOING TO BE ONLY ONE GYM IN WILSON PACIFIC MIDDLE SCHOOL (seriously, 60 million doesn't get you what you think it gets you anymore). PE is mandatory for elem. kids - will they close the gym and have no MS PE during part of the day? Will they have only maybe 4 classes for PE for the middle schoolers - so maybe 120 or so kids out of a 850 - 1000 can take PE, b/c the middle school and elem. share a gym?

What the heck is going on with this?

Pinehurst, please consider whether being housed in a giant comprehensive middle school is the direction you want - your program is great at turning out people with really emotional stories, but get your board supporters to ask aggressively about finding you a better space - you can't possibly think your K - 5 kids should be in a giant middle school? And your middle school kids were opting out of that experience, so why put them back?

signed: really worried
Anonymous said…
I meant Pinehurst is "great at turning out people with really emotional stories TO TESTIFY TO THE BOARD" - that carries a lot of weight - but Pinehurst should be looking for a better solution right now, and getting the board and the district to look for one too, b/c I can't see how being in the middle school is going to work out.

And re the obvious response of just put them in WP elementary instead: it's going to be a 650 kid building, and it's projected to be full from day one at all grades w/the 600 APP kids (probably bigger by then) who are sitting in Lincoln. There isn't anywhere else for those kids to go, and Pinehurst can't fit with them in the new Elem. unless it's built even bigger than 650 students.

signed: really worried
lincoln/gened mom said…
Another sad thing about the Lincoln set-up is that the kids who have to buy lunch never seem to get to eat it since they are in line almost the entire lunch period. My daughter picks-up some great things from the share table and I wonder why kids didn't eat it. She says, no time!

Eating in the classrooms is fine, but who will supervise that many classrooms at lunch? I am pretty sure the teachers have some negotiated breaks in their contracts and lunch is one of them.

Don't get me going on 'elementary kids are required to get PE'. Well, at Lincoln, PE is 30 minutes a day every 3rd week. I've done the math and that's less than 50% of the State's required 100 minutes per week. My kid at our neighborhood school gets PE every other day!

To the person who said Pinehurst kids can leave to go to the park, Lincoln parents tried that tactic and were told it takes too much time to get over there so no-can-do with 15 minute recesses.

Another topic, $1.2M in renovation costs for the South Wing elementary? Bus costs to get the Pinehurst kids to Lincoln? It's interesting that there are significant additional costs that Peaslee failed to mention.

I do want Pinehurst to survive and thrive. I just think of the supposed transportation savings that are throwing many families to the wolves, but we can find these sums of money?
Samantha said…
From Crosscut:

Bill Gates is the world's wealthiest man. Again. Forbes magazine reports that a bounce in Microsoft shares pushed his net worth up to $76 billion, surpassing Mexican telecom magnate Carlos Slim Helu. Forbes' 500 richest people are collectively worth $4.4 trillion — a record. Joining the Gates family on the most monied list are Warren Buffet (#4), Oracle's Larry Ellison (#5) and the two conservative Koch brothers (tied for #6). Walmart heiress Christy Walton is the only woman in the Top 10 — at #9. (Disclosure note: Crosscut is a recipient of Gates Foundation funding.) — J.C.
Dawn said…
Most high school building administrations don't want to deal with the student population during lunch so prefer that as many as possible leave campus.

Kudo's to those who have more than one lunch period (WSHS, Franklin, Ballard) so that kids can stay safe in school. Its why we chose Roosevelt.

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