Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Tuesday Open Thread

A heartbreaking story about the Greenwood shooting by the Ballard student via the Times.  The student was not homeless (he came from a two-parent household) but had chosen not to live at home.  Both his mother and the victim's wife seem to have deep sympathy for the situation of the other. 

From SXSW from Microsoft's CTO - "anonymity going to be more valuable than gold in near future."  Might want to keep that in mind for your children's privacy going forward.  No one may be anonymous in the future but that doesn't mean people won't want some privacy in their lives. 

Interesting new website - Funding Washington Schools - "understand the consequences of underfunded K-12 students" - good info.

You want more?  Here's the hugely useful Government Information page from Vanderbilt University with at least a hundred links.

My Northwest story on NWC and Cascade - the e-mails seem to show the district very much did know it was going to take back the QA building much longer than 6 months ago.   I will also add that I did speak with a City official and the City did offer the district the use of the City's realtor/property person to help with the search.  As of last Friday, the district had not called.

What's on your mind?


Anonymous said...

OK, I have an open thread question on the article about "recruiting" in Garfield's basketball team (Seattle Times), and then, on to the link to Bellevue HS's football team, in which it's stated that 30 of the players on the football roster do not lie in the Bellevue HS area.

How do these transfers work? I'm presuming that the athlete transfers go through the same process as others looking for "open choice" seats in the high schools? That is, if you transferred without moving?


Anonymous said...

Just saw this too in the PI


Once again Ted Howard who has a history of issues related to Athletics and sports in all the schools he has worked is back.

Garfield holding on to the past reputation of his father and a school that is nowhere near as good as it ever was.

- Signed by me

Anonymous said...

I went downtown to register my daughter during open enrollment. Cars were circling all around the SPS building looking for parking...while all the school board parking spots were open. I understand that they are important and work hard, but for the 2 week window of open enrollment, it seems like they could perhaps open up the reserved parking spots during the day.

- Waterlogged Parent

Joe Wolf said...

Melissa: What do you think of "SeriouslyRightNow"'s two comments on the MyNorthwest story?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Joe Wolf. The delayed entry by the politician into this just reeks and made the whole situation far worse. Of the two, I rather take Mr. Banda over Mr. Carlyle's smarmy holier-than-thou rap on the the big bad district's knuckles. As for city officials, right, no vacillation there on decision making. Nope, no sirrree. As for the media, journalism is dead, dead, dead! Please KIRO, stick with sensational crime, traffic accident, cute pets/children, or weather stories. (Cause even if you got it wrong and turns out the pig didn't really save the baby goat, it'll be ok.). This kind of flaccid investigational, analytical news makes me "mad as hell."

fake rage

Melissa Westbrook said...

"A Seattle School District spokesperson said all six students meet residency requirements, which doesn't always mean they live in Garfield's area -- there are exceptions. But, because students' records are closed, no one is able to verify. Neither the school district nor Garfield would provide anyone to talk about it on camera."

I find all this confusing and wonder how all six could possibly have gotten in given the district's capacity problems.

Joe, it's clearly a very upset Cascade person. I think some of the "evidence" is skewed and some not entirely correct. (I know the City has said it offered to help and I am confused on whether that is even true now.)

At the end of the day, I think this is becoming too much of a diversion from the work of the district. I hope the district lays out its case, what it can and cannot do and that its first concern is for SPS programs (especially ones like Cascade that do serve high-need students AND have the ability to grow and serve more of them).

And then move on.

Anonymous said...

Open enrollment week number two status: Really bad if you are a special education or advanced placement family. Really bad.


Anonymous said...

We still haven't received a letter regarding eligibility for spectrum/app from AL. What a debacle.


Anonymous said...

If you are looking for parking at SPS headquarters (and the 10 or so visitor spots in the front are full), you can sometimes find parking in the large back, back lot. That's north of the parking lot for school board members, where employees park.

good luck

Anonymous said...

some Rafe Esquith quotations on CCSS, TFA, and testing:


The Common Core [State Standards initiative] isn’t going to do anything. They are spending tens of millions of dollars but it isn’t going to do anything. In my classroom you still have to put a period at the end of a sentence…. I don’t need a new set of standards to make that clear to me.

I have a chapter called ‘Keeping it Real.’ If you ask most kids in school who are doing an assignment, why they are doing it, they will say, ‘Because my teacher told me to.’ In my class, if you ask a student, ‘Why are you writing this essay or doing this problem,’ they will say, ‘Because I will learn a skill and my life will be better.’… I tell my students, ‘Of course I want you to do well on the test at the end of the year, but the real test is what you are doing in 10 years.’

We always gave tests, but basically now it’s the entire day. Basically if it’s not on the test don’t teach it. Teachers spend hours and hours and hours trying to figure out what’s going to be on the test. They will teach that there are four chambers of the heart, but not why we have a heart or why it works….

They [TFA corp members] are in my room all the time. Good kids. Nice. Bitter joke: TFA really stands for ‘teach for a while.’ … They [TFA corps members] are obsessed with test scores. It becomes all about this: If you have a kid who gets a 75 on a test and then the kid gets an 85, you are a good teacher. My wife didn’t fall in love with me because of my test scores…. They [TFA leaders] are incredibly defensive about hearing an alternate idea. What’s said is that they are constantly throwing data and money showing they are successful. But they are really not. They are no more successful than any other teachers and if you read their blogs a lot give up in horrible frustration.

Q) You have long used the slogan in your classroom, “Work Hard. Be Nice.” That is now the motto of the KIPP network of charter schools.
A) Yes, Mike and Dave [KIPP founders Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin] followed me for a year, and used all my slogans. And I have to be careful. They are nice guys. But I don’t think they captured the spirit of what I’m doing. We don’t agree about how you get kids from A to B…. ‘Be nice’ in a lot of these schools means being obedient. Of course I want my kids to listen to me but not because they fear me but because they trust me….(more)


Anonymous said...

Big issue with transportation letters.

The letters sent out about eligibility only took into account address of residence and not program eligibility such as Spectrum/ELL.

For example you are enrolled in Spectrum at Wedgwood, but live over a mile away in the Sand Point attendance area.

You would have received a letter saying you are not eligible for transportation next year (based just on not residing in the Wedgwood attendance area) - when in fact you are eligible!

At this time the only corrective action planned is to notify principals of the students at their school that received an erroneous letter.

Nothing else.


Anonymous said...

Bringing something about the design of Wilson Pacific to people's attention:

I've heard from people on the design team that there are NO lockers scheduled to be included in the 850 (or so) kid middle school. Don't know about the elem. school, but middle schoolers would have to take their coats and backpacks and everything with them ALL day class to class.

Apparently the halls are only being built wide enough - like 10 feet or something - for walking, NO LOCKERS can be added into the halls.

Can this be true? Does anyone know, and does anyone have any idea why this terrible idea -- no lockers in our climate? Wet coats all day? WHAT?-- isn't being stopped?

And isn't that a safety hazard? At Eckstein and other middle schools, aren't kids forbidden from taking their backpacks to every class b/c they could have stuff in it, phones, etc, that they're not supposed to access during class? (not to mention weapons, cigarettes, medication, whatever).

Is Richard Staudt still the SPS Safety and Security guy?

If people here have the ability to confirm this, and do something about it - b/c no lockers is just not cool (I also heard ONE gym - the person was really unhappy - thought I'd put smarter people than me on the job of confirming it).

another parent

Anonymous said...

@another parent

I heard the same rumor, about no lockers at Wilson-Pacific.

I agree that 10 foot hallways with no lockers is ridiculous.

I thought the plan was for a 1000-seat middle school, not 850????

- reality check

Anonymous said...

To reality check:

Yeah, I thought it was 1000 middle schoolers too, but the Board put Pinehurst in the building, which I think reduces the number of middle school seats.

So I guess that's another issue, isn't it? One kindergarten class in a comprehensive middle school (and an elem. and middle school sharing a gym and cafeteria and library? how's that going to work? picture books at a comprehensive middle school? What?)

The whole thing sounds crazy. Do people here know more?

another parent

Anonymous said...

Sigh, many posters here seem not to realize/believe that SPS does NOT have enough $ and SPACE to house all the kids that will be attending public schools in the next decade or longer. Thus the district is trying to build as big as they can on whatever land they have left. And this is before considering that charter schools might be able to take some buildings. There is NO ROOM at the inn! Big lunchroom, playground, lockers etc take up space desperately needed for CLASSROOMS! Either build as many classrooms as poss in the available land, or have chidren sit in the halls and in portables (if there is even room for portables).

As for people who are still beating that dead horse issue of AS#1 and Native American Herritage at Lincoln. Have we not already been there done that in excruciating details?

We have to deal with things as they are: non optimal, unless the people who are still looking for the ideal school experience for their children can get our local billionaires to donate land and money. Any of you volunteering to get Gates Allen et al. to cough up lots of dough?


Anonymous said...


I am acutely aware of the capacity constraints in SPS.

One of the major drivers for moving JA K-8 out of the Jane Addams building to FINALLY put a comprehensive middle school there was the over-crowding at Eckstein. There were very real student safety issues at Eckstein, especially in the crowded corridors.

As I remember it, BEXIV planning showed that we needed two new middle schools in North Seattle. JAMS at 960 seats and Wilson-Pacific at 1000 seats.

I don't know the full story of what is going on at Wilson-Pacific. I thought that if Pinehurst/AS-1 was going to be housed there that they would bump up the W-P building size to 1250 and give Pinehurst/AS-1 a wing (250 seats).

I had no idea that the plan was to take up needed middle school seats to fit in Pinehurst/AS-1, with kindergartners sharing space with middle schoolers (lots of them). Also, I wasn't aware that Pinehurst/AS-1/Indian Heritage was content to be constricted to 150 kids.

If the plan is to use portables and hallways with no lockers to "save" on space, then what they appear to be engineering is another over-crowded, unsafe Eckstein, or worse.

Voters did not approve this. When they approved BEXIV it was for a 650-seat elementary school and a 1000-seat comprehensive middle school at the Wilson-Pacific site.

What are the plans for the Decatur building? Why can't Pinehurst/AS-1/Indian Heritage eventually go there? At least there would be room for them to grow to 300, instead of being constrained within a comprehensive middle school.

- reality check

Anonymous said...

Crosscut has a piece by a Robin Lake on SPS. It's funny how SPS right now is everybody's convenient punching bag. To the point it's starting to feel a bit contrived. Poor, poor Mr. Banda, you are most certainly pissing some great deity off.

Love how Ms. lake (who describes herself as a "the director of an education think tank focused on national issues..") castigated SPS for poorly serving special ed students and holds charter and private schools as the antidotes. Yes, Virginia, we just need to send our special needs child who needs PT/OT, speech therapy, special classroom accommodation and enroll her at the nearest private school and voila problem solved. Funny how Ms.Lake didn't provide a list of those schools. 'Cause I and many others would LOVE to have access. Seriously, are there charters out there right now opening up providing such a service?

It's disgusting when people are using their position of authority and their access to the media for this type of convenient scapegoating to manufacture fake rage while pushing an agenda that does more harm and provides no solution.

I have had my shares of SPS battles, but this kind of stuff makes it that much harder for our children. We are not stupid.

fake rage

Anonymous said...

Reality check, you sound pretty upset from your posts. How much of this stuff is fact? Reading some of the postings, I'm getting more impressions, thoughts, even one rumor.


Melissa Westbrook said...

When they approved BEXIV it was for a 650-seat elementary school and a 1000-seat comprehensive middle school at the Wilson-Pacific site.

No, we didn't. We voted for a pot of money. Now how it was going to possibly be used was described (and should mostly be done) but the reality is that once the district has the money, they will do with it what THEY now want to.

I personally am VERY tired of this movement of money and changing of plans.

There is NO one who can say - with any degree of accuracy where all the BTA and BEX money has gone and for what. The Operations Committee is given a "review" each money but it is a thousand-foot look.

I suspect that the BEX money will run out and some projects at the end of the line are going to see their projects scaled back.

Anonymous said...


I wish I knew what was going on, and had more to go on than rumors.

I did some searching, and this is what I found on the construction updates page for the Wilson-Pacific MS/BEXIV project:

"A memo was prepared for the Seattle School Board regarding the project budget and schedule impacts of integrating the Pinehurst K-8 and American Indian Heritage programs into Wilson-Pacific Middle School. The direction has been given to move ahead with Option A of the memo with a project schedule impact of an additional 10 weeks (for program integration) and a budget impact of $550,000 (for additional square footage as well as the design and process fees.)"

Does anyone know where the memo that is referred to may be found? What was "Option A?" Maybe this memo can answer some of the questions about changes to this project? It says there is additional square footage being added...are they adding enough to accommodate the entire Pinehurst/AS-1/Indian Heritage program and account for that program's growth?

I realize that there is always the possibility of building specs changing, but kindergartners in a comprehensive middle school? Really? That was not in the BEXIV voters pamphlet. If it was, the levy would have never passed.

Do they want future levy support? If so, they should put a little more common sense into their planning for this one.

- reality check

Anonymous said...

There are generic ed specs for comprehensive middle schools out there that do NOT include lockers in the list (although they do specify type of lighting in the administrative office spaces ... so it seems like it's NOT a focus on big picture, but a complete oversight about need for lockers).

Also that generic comprehensive middle school ed spec says one gym for 1250 kids. So even if it's one big gym that can be divided with a folding screen, how the heck will kids have PE?

And to CCA: The issue is NOT AS#1 at Lincoln - the issue is AS #1 going into a supposedly permanent home at a comprehensive middle school after Lincoln - is it appropriate or desirable for the elem. kids to be housed there? Is that really what AS #1 thinks they want? The old Nordic Heritage building will be coming back tot he district, etc - how is putting 1 K, 1 first grade, etc in a comprehensive middle school a good idea for anyone? How is it workable?

And "just give them a wing" -- okay, that's not really an understanding of the complexities of design. If they can't even revise the design to give locker space (or at least are unwilling), what do you think is going to happen? Even if they're in a "wing" they'll still need cafeteria, gym, library, computer room, etc - going to put a little kid playground outside a middle school?

The whole thing is a mess. And the public isn't looking.

I beg people to start to look! Email! Ask about this stuff - get answers from downtown b/c I think what I'm hearing is just the tip of the iceberg. I think the money is being spent on a complicated design with lots of "wings" (exterior work is more expensive)... remember those math things where you calculate area and perimeter of different shapes on graph paper, and when you make complicated shapes like Hs and Es you get a lot of perimeter but not much area vs a big square or rectangle - more area, less perimeter?

That's what's goingn on w/Wilson Pacific. We're getting a lot of expensive building perimeter, not enough usable building area.

-- Demand more

Anonymous said...

@Demand More

Just to be clear, I don't think "giving them a wing" is an appropriate way to house a K-8 program permanently within a comprehensive middle school, because there really is no appropriate way to house a K-8 within a comprehensive middle school without a duplication of most, if not all, of the core facilities.

I just assumed that if they were going forward with this ridiculous plan that AS-1/Indian Heritage would at least score an additional wing, with space for something like 250 kids and the middle school would not lose precious capacity. At the beginning of the BEXIV process, they were planning for a 1250-seat middle school at Wilson-Pacific. I thought the Board's decision to place another program in the middle school building meant that they would be expanding the building capacity to accommodate it.

Wilson-Pacific housing only 850 comprehensive middle school kids most likely means more portables for Whitman and JAMS. Was the Board even considering the domino effect of their last-minute "direction?"

I would really like to know exactly what is going on at Wilson-Pacific. The SDAT meeting info posted on the Wilson-Pacific BEXIV project page dates back to October.

- reality check

Anonymous said...

One reason given for backpacks not being allowed is they would present a safety issue in terms of navigating through the classroom (imagine 30 or so backpacks in an already crowded classroom), especially in an emergency. Students also need a place to secure their belongings - I can't imagine not having a locker in middle school.

Are these just rumors, or possible scenarios that will hopefully clarify the non-negotiables?

Lockers seem pretty basic.

-lockers please

Anonymous said...

@ Demand more, re: 1 gym for 1250 kids, I imagine it's doable. If you divide the gym and have two PE classes of 35 going on at the same time, that's 70 kids. Six periods a day makes 420. If each kid takes one semester of PE, that's 840 kids per year. If about 1/3 of the students get PE waivers (I don't know how much it actually is, but most of the kids we know have them), the numbers work out.

I'm not saying it's ideal--or that the gym is sufficient for sharing by multiple schools--but just explaining how the 1-for-1250 spec might be reasonable.


kellie said...

I am on the SDAT for Wilson Pacific and I can confirm that there has been significant input from the users of the future building that lockers are critical.

The commenter that postulated that we need more classroom space so sacrificing lockers, etc is just fine to get more square feel. All I can say is my much repeated mantra over many years. You only solve a capacity problems with more capacity.

Intentionally making a "white elephant" building that needs to serve students for 100 years in order to have an extra classroom is a very bad prioritization of funds. It is much better to build it right and then slap on a portable to get that extra classroom than to make a building that is NOT a comprehensive school.

No auditorium, no lockers, why not start getting rid of bathrooms, cafeteria and science labs.

kellie said...

But moreover, when you are adding a brand new building, you can also accidentally make policy decisions. This would mean that there will be 12 comprehensive middle schools and 11 of those schools have lockers and one does not. Omitting lockers creates year of exception handling with regard to pretty much every policy you make.

At 11 schools, you do this. But at this one, that won't work, you will have to make a work around. There will be hundreds of little tiny issues when you build one building that is substantially different from all the others.

The only reasons that Hamilton is able to work without an auditorium is because they use the Lincoln auditorium extensively. The district should learn from that oversight.

When Hamilton was re-built there was a decision made to give us the square footage from the auditorium in order to build flexible learning spaces. This idea was imbedded in some very limited thinking that because the school was high FRL at that time that the auditorium was not needed and that the flexible spaces would create a more intimate learning environment.

Well things changed and now the flex spaces are classrooms and the building is packed. You build buildings for 100 years, not for the people who will be using it the first year.

Greg said...

I haven't heard anything from Sue Peters for a while. She's on the Board now. Anyone seen what she's been up to in meetings? The last post on her school board election website is from back in January, and I haven't seen any other updates. I had high hopes for her, but seems like things went pretty silent after her election, so I'm curious what, if anything, is going on with the new Board and the latest Board members?

Anonymous said...

Re 1 Gym:

So maybe those numbers (70 per period) work ... if there's no elementary school in the building! They are all required to have gym, and they sure can't have it when MS kids are having gym. So that means that there is way less available time... b/c if they can't build space for lockers and an auditorium to be shared between two schools (850 MS + 550-600ES + 250 at AS#1), they sure aren't going to give AS #1 anything.

I believe everything Kellie says. So if you think there should be lockers and an auditorium, email the board and super and anyone else you can think of.

Aren't there some community people who thought they'd have an auditorium there to use? Well there isn't one. Feels like the design team pulled a joke on students (no lockers) and everyone else (no auditorium) in service of super-trendy learning zones or whatever the heck they're called, with lots of "flex spaces" that aren't rooms but are small group areas.

It's all in the ed specs (hope you can read it - do a search on 'locker', 'gym' and 'auditorium' and look at the learning space diagrams. Try not to grind your teeth to nubs:


-signed: demand more

mirmac1 said...

If you attend board meetings you would see that she is probably the most informed and the most inquisitive of the board. Have you emailed her?

Greg said...

mirmac1, could you elaborate? I'd like to hear more.

What has me worried is Charlie Mas' recent comments that he has spent 13 years helping get people elected to the school board only to see them rapidly go from representing the people to the district to representing the district staff's views to the people of Seattle. Charlie seems to be of the view now that electing good people to the board just doesn't matter. That had me feeling naive and worried, so I wanted to ask whether anyone had opinions of what's happening with the new board and whether it is looking like the new board is going to make any difference.

Anonymous said...

Apparently there was an important board meeting last night for the survival of Cascade PPP. I see a flurry of emails calling for urgent action and then silence. Any news?

- Cascadian

Anonymous said...

I watched bits and pieces of last night's Board meeting.

Sue Peters and Stephan Blanford were both absent. I didn't catch the reasons why.

I heard something mentioned about a Cascade/NWC meeting scheduled for Friday, but I missed the meeting announcement and the details (when, where, who can attend, etc...). Also, Director Peaslee asked for anyone with ideas for solutions to send them to the Board (and Superintendent?).

- North-end Mom

mirmac1 said...

I don't necessarily agree with Charlie's assessment.

Personally, I could never be elected nor serve as a board director. If I were a director in Bizarro World, I would have to temper my bombast, take Valium and be nice to try to make progress with six colleagues and district admin.

Anonymous said...

Wow, CCA, just wow!
RE: Wilson Pacific Middle School, no lockers, no auditorium, not enough gym...

And you think this is a good thing?

To the point where you are doing a back of the envelope calculation to figure out how if they run two classes at the same time in the gym AND they make sure that 30% of the kids are diverted away from gym, then, it is all good?

You are advocating intentionally to short-change kids? You're depending on kids to not get their mandated state education as a way to justify an inadequate facility?

Truly, are you comfortable going down this path, because I can think of a lot of variations, especially in this capacity challenged district, to solve problems that way.

What if I said the kids destined for this facility are kids living in apartments in urban setting, with no backyards, no safe parks nearby, whose families can't afford the fees associated with select soccer or Little League or any other organized team sport? I guess you are depending on rich kids from nice, safe neighborhoods to go to this school to make it work? That's your thesis? Nice.

But hey, whatever. Let's not support the school, lets short-sheet the facilities, and, that's okay, we're going to rely on those kids to opt out of PE, it's not like kids need exercise during the day in order to "move to think" and to support student learning. Especially if there are cooped up in an apartment all day, they will be use to being sedentary. Bonus!

Maybe they'll all be passive girls who are overweight and diabetic, they won't have much use for a gym, or, maybe there will be lots of rich active boys whose families can afford to pay the fees associated with team sports and send them to Yakima or Chelan for their soccer tournaments. Who needs a gym to bond a school kids together through athletics, school spirit is highly overrated.

Yes, let's not bother building a gym sufficient to support the 1000 seats that will be there. Definitely lets skip having big enough for passing period. Wait, better idea: Let's not have hallways! Let's pretend we live in San Diego, and have outside hallways! More savings! Brilliant! Oh, and forget about an auditorium, we can pretend that music can take place on the stage while BOTH gym classes are going, and, that that will be great!

Similarly, West seattle is having a challenge with elementary seats. So, let's work with your math: cut out the demand for the faciity! Let's encourage partial homeschooling. Same logic, if we have a gym the wrong size for a school, it is too small, then, well just stop teaching PE to 30% of the kids. For the elementary schools, if they are the wrong size for the school community, let's just encourage students to 'be excused' and 'get a waiver' from portions of school, that will fix it! I'd say do it for math, that would be ripe for homeschooling, since math materials are bad. That way, the District won't have to go through the text adoption cycle. We can just stick with the cr*p materials we have, and, kids will opt out and be partially homeschooled, and, that will save the capacity crisis! Awesome!


Anonymous said...

reposting before open enrollment closes:

Dear Pinehust (and northern elementary potential APPers):

Before open enrollment closes, you might want to COME DOWN TO THE LINCOLN BUILDING AROUND BELL TIME OR LUNCH and see for yourself how congested it is to have MERELY 600 kids try and play in a parking lot or be shuttled in and out via 12 buses and umpteen 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. See if you can spot any grass. Hint: you can't. The nearby park? Off-limits, per the City.

Then think, if your child whose currently 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. Then what happens after years 1 and 2 in Lincoln? You get to go to a comprehensive secondary middle school of 1,000! Not sure how elementary kids will fare in that, but, close your eyes, and picture your school inside of Eckstein, and, you get the picture.

**Since you will be getting an automatic continuing assignment to Pinehurst, to enroll in a different attendance area or option school by the end of open enrollment you need to turn in a form, 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

Anonymous said...

At last night's Board meeting, during the discussion around the 2nd elementary at Lincoln BAR, Director Peaslee did ask about whether or not the lunchroom would be a part of the upcoming renovations, since she has been hearing that it is small. I think staff is getting back to her on this one, but I'm not sure.

Also, the discussion around the BAR for Wilson-Pacific (increased amount for the architectural firm based upon increased project budget) was very, very difficult to follow.

According to the BAR, the Maximum Allowable Construction Contract amount for the project has grown from $62.5M to $74M. It is clear that there is "escalation" but there were no specifics given as to why there was such escalation, or what costs were escalated. Director Carr tried very, very, hard to ask the right questions, but the answers given were not very helpful, at least not in my opinion. I couldn't help but wonder if the Board had any idea of what was up for vote.

BTW, I think it would be hysterical to do a Jimmy Kimmel-esk montage, piecing together all the times the word "escalation" was said during the course of Director Carr's questioning.

- North-end Mom

PH mom said...

Eyes wide open, I'm just thankful that after threatening to close Pinehurst every year for the last many years, they found a place for our school again. Yes, Lincoln is not ideal. But I am aware of how many kids will be in the building and yes, I am aware of how far it is from the previous location, and yes, I am even aware it is across the freeway from the old location. (Not sure how ill informed you think we are...)

And not sure why the histrionics here. It seems that perhaps you just want Pinehurst to die a quiet death so your kids will have more room to have lunch, honestly.

Be well.

mirmac1 said...

In GC/CM contracts, "escalation" is synonymous with "we have no leverage in MAC negotiations, and despite SPS taking on more risk and building in fat contingencies, the contractors are going to ask for the moon." I speak from experience. And this is SPS' experience. That is why they are supposedly moving away from GC/CM. But does Herndon know that? And why retain it for W-P?

As for rewarding the A/E for designing a building that blew the budget: that's just kooky!

I remember when SPS paid a 30% premium just to demo the Denny building. What a crock!

Anonymous said...

@Be Well,

Glad to hear it is going to work out. I think the District should have done better by the AS1/Pinehurst community.

If there is space at Magnuson for a new 150 student school, why couldn't this District have rented you much better space for the interim? Magnuson, with the green space and non-crowding would have been so much better. The District has a capacity shortage, and if you had been moved to a better fitting, more reasonable facility while awaiting an exit to a better fitting permanent facility, the student learning experience would have been better for the kids. But, that is just an opinion. When I hear the families talk about the vulnerable kids in the program, whose families have specifically picked it for its small scale, so that their kids, some of whom are foster kids or have special needs, could feel safe, secure and be known... well, moving around a high school with over 800 is going to be very, very different.

Anyway, glad to hear that all of AS1 knows what lies ahead and accepts what the District is doing to them. I am curious if any of the families have asked the families who been at Lincoln with co-located elementaries 2 years ago, ask what the cafeteria was like, with 2 different 'norms' about behave and expectation and school culture, about how adults were not sure if they could 'talk' to certain kids because they were from a different program, about how the janitor had two different principals wants him to be in two different places doing 2 different things at the same time... Yes, kids left those school because of the issues.

I posted since you are recruiting at my school, not mentioning the total picture of what life at Lincoln will be like, and instead offering tours of your existing, intimate facility. The ESTEM K8 did a night last night at Marshall, so at least prospective parents could get a sense of that building that they would be sending their kids too. I think Pinehurst deserves the same opportunities. Of course, there is irony in that last sentence, since the ESTEM K8 is taking your Pinehurst K8 building... which is what made the program vulnerable in the first place.

I am going to be optimistic and hope for better for your program.


Anonymous said...

Heard some pretty disturbing stuff on KIRO just now. They added that this isn't the first time, nor the first season, to hear comments, but the social media attacks are new. I keep hoping we've progressed...


Sad Dad

PH mom said...

The ESTEM K-8 is not "taking" our building. The district moved them there and effectively shut the AS1 program down. It was only through last-ditch pleas that we got another facility. I have the utmost respect for the JA K-8 program. They were tasked with building a successful, popular K-8 program with very little lead time, which they did. Then they were told to move, which they are graciously doing, while many in the community (including on this blog) now disparage them for becoming large and popular.

I cannot presume to speak for everyone at Pinehurst, of course, so I cannot say that everyone "knows what lies ahead and accepts what the district is doing to them" as you said. I myself do not know what lies ahead and how it will work, and like I said am just thankful that we were put somewhere instead of being shut down entirely.

mirmac1 said...

I must say, I admire the graciousness shown by Pinehurst families, given their shoddy treatment by SPS and others.