District Releases List of Proposed Childcare Closures

Here's the list. There are only seven on the list (so far.)

From the district:

We are collaborating with schools, providers, partners and families as we work through the complexities associated with the capacity management challenges we face as a community and their potential effect on child care, preschool providers and families.

Effected Schools

As of February 3, 2016, the following provider sites have been notified that they need to make alternative plans for the upcoming school year. The dedicated space they have been using is needed for a K-5 classroom in 2016-17.
We anticipate that all providers notified will need to move from their dedicated space by July 1, 2016.
  • Adams Elementary (will affect before and after school child care)
  • Daniel Bagley Elementary (will affect before and after school child care)
  • Bryant Elementary (will affect before and after school child care)
  • Coe Elementary (will affect preschool)
  • Hawthorne Elementary (two classrooms; will affect both preschool and before and after school child care)
  • Madrona K-8 (will affect before and after school child care)
  • Maple Elementary (will affect both preschool and before and after school child care) 

Next Steps

Over the next few weeks the district will be working with the school site, principal, and providers to review any possible space in the school that will work for before and after school care.

Our intent is to preserve onsite child care whenever possible. We are hopeful that we may be able to find multi-use space (e.g. gyms and cafeterias) within our buildings that is licensable and will work for our child care providers.

Preschool requires dedicated space during the school day so our solutions are very limited, but we will work closely with the city's Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) to support providers as they transition services into any potential community sites.

In the days ahead, we recommend families communicate directly with their providers to receive the most up to date information about the status of their program for the 2016-17 school year.


Anonymous said…
Madrona has been underenrolled for years in the middle school. What gives with taking its childcare space? Some program downtown has yet to announce or ?

Anonymous said…
Only 3 are title one schools? So Coe still has before and after just no preschool? All kinda feels random. Feeling for the parents starting to scramble tonight.
alex said…
Are there enrollment forecasts really 99% accurate historically? That seems unlikely to me. And, can they add to this list for next year if their numbers are off?
alex said…
And not to be a grammar stickler, but shouldn't it be "affected schools" not "effected schools?" It's just SPS after all...
Anonymous said…
A capacity watcher has suggested that this means the entire central cluster is full.

Anonymous said…
Madrona K8 has been underenrolled by a couple hundred students for years. The middle school is especially lean, but some grades in elementary (4th or 5th last year) had under 30 kids. This makes me think something other than capacity management is in play. Preschool perhaps? When Meany opens in a year the Madrona middle school may disappear and there will be even more room. Somethings fishy.

Anonymous said…
Funny that there's still room for the SPP preschools. I really, really, really hope we don't see any more pop up next year. I'm still also baffled by the math. We need 65 classrooms, we're freeing up 7 from these (huge) cuts. We're going to get the rest from???? Portables? Other under-utilized rooms (do we even have any left anywhere? - maybe Bryant could lose the computer lab first?)? None of this seems to make any sense.

NE Parent
Anonymous said…
It really is odd. If I was a Madrona parent now hunting for a after school nanny or offsite day care I would be feeling pretty pissed off about now.
Watching the trainwreck
A December 2015 City update to the City Council on their Pre-K program has a map. With Hawthorne and Maple on it. I wrote to the Board asking how the City knew in December that they would have these schools.

Dr. Herndon said nothing was going to be displaced for pre-K.

Yes, Madrona was ripe for the picking.
Anonymous said…
how will the district find classroom space next year, if this is what they're resorting to?

Anonymous said…
@ Alex: You aren't the only one. The first thing I noticed was effected v affected and I slapped my forehead. Yes, it is a nitpick compared to the issue at hand, but really - this is a school system and putting a huge grammatical error in a headline of a press release that is going to get widespread notice is just so amateur hour.

Also a slap to the head: Madrona? Really? Anyone who has watched SPS for more than a year or two knows Madrona has been under-enrolled. Which means anyone with the ability to strategically get ahead of PR issues downtown should have said Hmmmm, best to announce a change of programming by tackling it head on vs. grabbing the daycare space and getting the community riled up with rumors.

Finally, would not any press release about capacity include - as NE Parent notes - an "also" as in..."Also, you will note that these childcare classroom cuts do not cover our expected enrollment needs in a number of schools. We will also be using x,y,z (portables, etc.) as necessary to cover our smaller class sizes and increasing SPS population. Information on other affected schools, and these next steps, will be available on (insert date).

The district continuously causes issues for itself by rolling out big plans in piecemeal fashion, when the community craves the big picture from the get-go. Perchance the community could even help fill in the details of the big picture through collaborative problem solving. (Yes, I dream impossible dreams.)

Anonymous said…
@Melissa, the Madrona, Hawthorne and Maple schools already ARE Seattle Preschool Program sites operated by CDSA. I don't think it's about seizing SPS space for preschools, because there already are preschools there.

Unknown said…
Either way, I bet parents are livid. Most families I know are two-income households and can't pick an elementary child up at 2pm because of work. How do families, especially low-income families, find care for their kids now?

Unknown said…
Actually, just did some googling and Madrona isn't a Seattle Preschool Program site (though there is a CDSA Preschool there). The CDSA preschools at Hawthorne and Maple are already Seattle Preschool programs.

Anonymous said…
Picking up my kid at 4 today and looking around no teachers still in classrooms, library empty with lights out and doors locked (she was in the hallway with her Lego club) ... we need to figure out a reasonable way to allow the school building to be used for care. Give teachers lock closets for valuables... Allow the after school care to use the cafeteria instead of a dedicated separate kitchen (what a waste!) etc. increase the cost to cover the minor inconvenience of having the janitor make a second pass at the bathrooms at 6' and hold the programs accountable for maintaining the spaces after hours. Work together and use common sense.
Anonymous said…
LL- it's not just low income families that will have trouble. There are simply no spots and I would rather have my child in a high quality enrichment based program with other kids than have a part time nanny picking him up and letting him lose on the playground while watching her phone (see dozens of these at our school ). I would pay double what I pay now but there are no spots available even off school site.
Watching a train wreck
Lynn said…
What percentage of families is currently able to access before and after school care in their school? Those who are outraged have a great big blind spot right where they should have noticed lots of families who need this care are on waitlists or can't afford it or attend schools where it's not offered.

You need to realize what the rest of us did long ago: Convenient, enriching, safe, dependable, easily accessed child care is not something the school district is obligated to provide to you.

I would rather see my child in a less-crowded classroom for the six hours he's there.
Unknown said…
@watching a trainwreck, yes, it's a mess for all families. I don't know what the district is thinking. Where do they expect elementary kids to go? With the bell time changes there's even more need for after school programs.

Anonymous said…
Yeah. In terms of Maple and Hawthorne, it looks like this means SPS will actually be kicking those two City preschools out of their spaces!

Anonymous said…
It's school, not daycare. It's in no way the district's job to provide daycare. Even the city's preschool should have priority over daycare provision. Might be a good idea to remove daycare from all public schools. It's inequitable to provide it for a few, at high cost, and high profit, but not all. I say dump it everywhere.

Charlie Mas said…
Here is a link to the Madrona K-8 School reports.
They clearly show the enrollment of the elementary to be 197 and the middle school to be 91 students. That's a total of 288 students in a building with a capacity for over 600.
So why in the world would it be necessary to push out the before- and after-school care in this building to make room for more classrooms?
"The CDSA preschools at Hawthorne and Maple are already Seattle Preschool programs."

Yes, but they are not following the same City program as the other three City preKs in SPS. I know that however the City is spinning this that there are currently only three SPS schools that have City pre-K (as created from the levy.)

Charlie, I perceive that the district has finally woken up to the fact that the space at Madrona is being wasted. Others postulate that the Central Area is growing and they need the K-5 space (and, of course, will likely give over space to the City's pre-K.)

I'm glad they want to use the space but sad that, once again, we see a building built specifically for one size (K-8) not being used that way and middle school space is wasted. I recall at one of Director Patu's meetings a long time ago that teachers from the former Van Asselt building were complaining that the former AAA building that they were now in was too large for small children especially the stairs.
As to the "affected" versus "effected," I pointed this out the last time I wrote about this issue and apparently no one in Communications saw that. Kind of embarrassing for it to continue.
Anonymous said…
Lynn - it sucks you didn't get into your aftercare program due to waitlist. But that is just an indicator of the need for MORE spots. Had they allowed a couple classrooms to be used in addition to your gym and cafeteria your child wouldn't have to be bussed and could still take part in the after school enrichment classes. It's not the school district providing it's kids co... Everyone agrees during the school day space needs to go to classes. But after school we should work to use the facilities to help all families our....even wait listed ones like yours.
Reba Jean said…
@Melissa, do you think that before and after-school care programs are really at risk? It seems they are just last coming to the party. Before and after care programs are already in multi-use spaces at plenty of schools. I wonder why this might be a problem, at the school level.
mirmac1 said…
Ridiculous, how about you don't get personal here.

Melissa, I have huge doubts that there'll be any more City PreKs in SPS buildings any time soon. Plus, I wonder if REA is busily NOT assessing the efficacy of City PreKs.
Lynn said…

It's not relevant to the discussion - but to clear up your confusion, I have not applied for a space in the child care program at our school. I am trying to draw your attention to the experiences of other families - not my own.
Anonymous said…
Definitely not a personal attack. Lynn has said she was on the waitlist. I get how frustrating it would be. I also get the impulse to say "if my kid doesn't get this benefit then no kid should". I really understand. But for me this shows we just need more access not less. Common sense changes can be made to allow kids who need after school care to use the space. We can figure this out.
Anonymous said…
Sorry Lynn I thought you posted on the other stream that you had been unable to get a spot due to waitlist. Doesn't matter. All of us need more options.
I am at the Executive Committee meeting and yes, the City will be announcing tomorrow their (hopeful) list for more pre-Ks in SPS (up to 5 more, 4 in WestSeattle.) But the Ctm has pushed back on this, saying they need to go thru the scheduled work session on Feb. 24th before any decision can be made. More of the tortured language from Charles Wright and Cashel Toner that I've heard before (and I thought Wright was gone in Jan but apparently not.)

Yes, I think the district is serious about moving out before/after care in some locations. The discussion around Madrona K-8 was interesting. The statement was made by Flip that the reason the middle school enrollment is low is that the building has an odd layout for the middle school portion (Nyland said this as well.). I'd agree that it's not great but I don't think that's why the enrollment is low. They say elementary part is full (mostly, kind of vague on this point.).
Anonymous said…
We need many things that the district has no obligation to provide for us and should not as they are outside the scope of the district's core mission to provide education. There is a great demand for lease spaced by educational programs (like at the Horace Mann building), and I in no way think the district should give away space to those secondary programs while failing to provide reasonable class sizes. There would probably be a huge demand for classroom space as homeless shelters with our rising homelessness problem. Or for neighborhood pools since the waitlists are 15 years long. Or any number of other popular programs that have to do with liveability in this city and should therefore (like childcare) be addressed by the city with city space. Not district space, if they are legitimately out of space, and I think they are. I think the city preschool taking over space is doubly a problem because it is also a terrible offering and so unpopular, but the basic problem- that this is getting in the way of the district performing its actual function- is the same.

mirmac1 said…
Geezus, I guess Wright's still plumbin' up Steven Nielsen to pick up the PreK cause.

Interesting, it was only 2 short years ago Dev PreKs were kicked out of West Seattle and farmed out to the Old Van Asselt support facility.

I will be asking for support from legislators to get OSPI off its kiester and look at the inequities of this separate and unequal system.
Anonymous said…
From the OSPI May 2015 report card. Madrona K-8 enrollment -

May 2015 Student Count 299

Even if they increased enrollment by say fifty kids this year (unlikely) the school is still only barely half full. There should be 180 kids in the middle school (two classes of 30 each per grade) and 300 in K-5 (and that is being generous, works out to 25 kids per class, 2 classes per grade band).

The elementary part of Madrona K-8 is not full. And the middle school is nearly empty because it is not a school of choice for the area for a host of reasons, none of which are the layout of the building.

Anonymous said…
Then WHAT are they planning to do with the childcare space? Why not leave it if they don't need the space? I get it at some of these schools. They are beyond full. This is a natural if unfortunate consequence of inadequate capacity planning. But why on earth are they doing this at a half empty one?

Po3 said…
Here are the Sept 2015 Madrona enrollment figures:


Surely 13 5th graders is an error.
So, I checked the Jan 2016 report. Showing about the same enrollment, lost about 10 students, still only 13 5th graders.

With these numbers looks like they have seats for several pre-schools!

Here's my source:


What's up with Madrona?
Anonymous said…
I found the January 4, 2016 headcount for Madrona K-8 (P223)

K - 64
1 - 41
2 - 35
3 - 30
4 - 28
5 - 13 (!!!)
6 - 29
7 - 23
8 - 24

Total - 287 - which is actually lower that May 2015 OSPI count of 299

The kindergarten may be full, but there is a clear downward trend as the years go by. Families leave this school. 13 kids in 5th grade is a travesty and one class per grade in middle school is not sustainable.

They are lying. The elementary portion of Madrona K-8 is not full. Can you get fired for lying?

Wow that is just bananas
mirmac1 said…
Here are the possible sites

Arbor Heights – green (school leadership engaged in early learning work)
Thornton Creek – green (school leadership engaged in early learning work)
Boren K-7 – green (should have available capacity due to Arbor Heights moving to new
Roxhill – yellow (may not have capacity)
Schmitz Park - yellow (may have capacity challenges)
South Shore – yellow (tuition, 4 day per week schedule, preschool enrollment matriculation)

The 1/22 Friday Memo includes more info except, oddly enough, the # of SpEd PreKers served in City PreK requested by Director Leslie Harris. Apparently they're starting include the concept of equity in their "vision" (or at least conversion), but SPS does not have the luxury of continuing this discriminatory system - that effectively hands low-income Headstart, ECEAP and disabled children inferior options.
Anonymous said…
Let's say Madrona K-8 is using 2 classrooms for grades 1-3 (pretty dreamy having 20 per class in 1st, 18 in 2nd and 15 in 3rd), and 3 classrooms for K, they should have 5 empty classrooms in the building, given that grades 4-8 are only using one classroom per grade band. Unless they are also using 2 classrooms, which would be, yes, bananas. Especially given the overcrowding in the rest of the district. This school also gets a lot of Families and Education Levy money, lots of extra supports. So what is the defense for closing the before and after school programs??


Anonymous said…
While I agree that childcare isn't part of the public school's responsibility, making it as easy as possible for at least some people to have childcare is, I would argue, the right decision for the communities in which they are located. Especially since these places have been part of their schools' communities for decades. We didn't need to use it because I am lucky enough to work at home, but that is the exception rather than the rule. Watching my friends' families bending over backwards to put together the puzzle pieces of school, off-site childcare, and work leads me to believe that we need more in-school childcare, not less.

Also, the fact that Madrona is considered an extremely poor school is the elephant in the room, right? Maybe I'm not remembering correctly, but I seem to recall that when our kid was in kindergarten, it was one of the places people did their damnedest to avoid. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just pointing out my impression (which is not based on experience).

North End Parent
Anonymous said…
Madrona needs to be closed briefly and then re-opened magically with a new name and a new focus and forget middle school as the "new" Meany will take that population.. have the wing for an alternative style program that could be Pre K in the current K classrooms move K - 3 in the middle school section and have a very aggressive middle school transition program upper tier area that could be a number of programs.. from gardening, as they have a small garden and a park is adjacent so they could look it as early biology, etc

It is a great location and neighborhood that could enable this to be a true environmental program - the lake is nearby for great easy and cheap field trips..

Wow the wasted space of that school is surreal.

- What do I know
Anonymous said…
If we believe that poverty is an issue for education, how do we have public schools that require a parent to leave a career just to get a kid to and from school? If our child care goes then our family will have to have rethink the educational/financial/family plan again. When is it more advantageous to go private with wrap-around care vs. leaving one career behind to home or public school? This effects our retirement planning, and lifestyles, but I know there are many families in daycare, with a single head of household, where these choices are far more dear.
Unlivable City
Lynn said…
If Madrona housed the long-pined-for TOPS 2 or an option K-5 or K-8 Montessori program it would be fully utilized.
Po3 said…
- What do I know

Those are my exact thoughts; STEM? 6-8 IB? Montasorri?
SOMETHING to attract families to the school.
And leave the childcare and preschool ALONE for cripes sake.

Betting that the district is regretting putting Madrona on the childcare closure list as it daylighted this horrible under-enrollment.

Anonymous said…
Compared to other schools in the 98122 zipcode, Madrona K8 comes in about average for FRL percentage, not "extremely poor" (Bailey Gatzert would take that designation). From OSPI 2015 report card -

Madrona K8 59.9% FRL 179/299
Leschi K5 54.4% FRL 198/364
Bailey G K5 85.3% FRL 314/368
Washington 45.7% FRL 519/1135
Garfield 35.7% FRL 565/1600

Madrona as a K8 is smaller than its neighboring K5s. Garfield's FRL percentage is lower due to the influx of kids in the assignment area from McGilvra, Stevens and Montlake and the APP kids from the northend.

While Madrona K8 is not necessarily "poorer" than its neighbor schools, the neighborhood it sits in is very low FRL, and those families, for many many years, have made other choices than to attend Madrona K8. Many go private, APP, TOPS, McGilvra, Stevens, Montlake. It has been like that for decades.

Not new
Lynn Po3 - the possibilities are there, for sure.
Anonymous said…
"Wow the wasted space of that school..." That is someone's school you're talking about.

I say let's not make Madrona into yet another "boutique" school that creates new entitled classes (LI, STEM, Montesorri etc). Just make it a great school. If the neighbors want to spend on private, knock themselves out.

syd said…
The preschool at Hawthorne is a portable, or at least looks like one. Not sure how one small portable is here or there in the capacity issue. If they are displacing it in order to move in a city preschool, that might make some sense (if quality was an issue). However, if it is already a city preschool, I am not sure I understand all the moving pieces here. And, if the idea is to have more preschools, then closing one to open one is not a net gain.

The CDSA Hawthorne after-school program is already in the cafeteria. The Y also has an afterschool program that uses the gym, the stage, and classrooms.
Anonymous said…
BS, access to a quality education is not entitlement. Why shouldn't the Madrona neighborhood have access to a school that is appealing to the neighborhood and providing a quality education in a different way? That's not a "boutique," that's an opportunity.

Lynn said…
We are out of space. Kids are sitting in portables and the district is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on new portables. We cannot leave classrooms empty inside our buildings.

We should make it a great school - by bringing in programming that will attract families. What's the alternative - redraw boundaries to try (again) to force families into the building?
So why are they kicking out an after school program at Hawthorne that uses the gym and stage area but allowing the Coe after school program that uses the gym and stage to remain. Neither are impacting classroom space. Why are they treated differently ? I'm am getting more confused about this issue the more I learn.
Anonymous said…
Thank you for BS your initials say it all and I appreciate the Seattle Scold.. yes how dare I speak of "someone's" school.. to whom is that someONE. I believe it is a taxpayer funded school that sits in a beautiful well to do neighborhood that could serve many who live in that area..regardless of income.. and be an alternative as well that like Tops or Salmon Bay offers optional high level educational opportunities that need to be addressed to be functional performing students in the nearby schools such as Garfield that offers AP courses. So all kids should be there and with Washington shutting HCC down here is another chance to have all kids be HCC as of right now the Madrona kids are being placed in remedial classes at Garfield.. ask about that class.

But no we cannot have nice things for everyone it is one vs them. Thankfully there are those who would love to see a great building used to its fullest capacity and do so that serves anyone willing to get there as they do with Tops or Salmon Bay..

I will go away and take my evil ideas with me.. I am a bad bad person for suggesting such a thing.. thank you for helping me realize that BS

- What do I know?
Po3 said…

So what is your recommendation for Madrona to make it an attractive alternative to families?
A school w/ 13 kids in a grade is not sustainable and if the trend continues it will have to close.

What is YOUR solution?

Anonymous said…
Solution: move. Sounds crazy. But we moved to a better in-city neighborhood when we were in better finance. Why not again? I realized after watching my neighbors moved to a similar, slightly cheaper neighborhood outside Seattle where their kids are attending good schools with after school care. Their commute is a straight shot now with no transfer which amounts to same commute time.

Unless there is a strong pull to be here, the metro area abounds in diversity, great parks and rec opportunity, cheaper housing, job opportunities, and good schools with slightly lower taxes ;)

Mom of 3 said…
If there is that much capacity that close to downtown, sounds like it should be the downtown school to me. At least for now until we see all these families move into downtown and stay there with school age kids. A couple easy bus routes exist - across Madison and across James. Easy peasy.
Meg said…
Madrona's level of K to 5 attrition is extremely unusual.

I compared it to other central area schools (Montlake, TOPS, Leschi, Bailey Gatzert, McGilvra, Stevens), a couple of north end schools (Pinehurst, Broadview Thomson, Bagley, Greenwood, Olympic Hills, Northgate, Olympic View, John Rogers), and a couple of south-end schools (Kimball, Dearborn Park, Hawthorne, Concord, Gatewood, Roxhill, Emerson, Van Asselt, Graham Hill, Dunlap). Madrona averaged the highest attrition (and this year posted attrition of 70.7%).

The size of K says that many families are consistently willing to give Madrona a shot. The attrition says that something happens that consistently causes families to leave, with nobody willing to take the vacated spot. That's an issue, and it's an issue that affects students.

Filling Madrona's classrooms won't fix the capacity problem. But it will give the school better, more consistent funding, which would benefit students attending Madrona. And it will also reduce the capacity strain that Madrona is currently causing other SPS schools.

It is baffling that childcare space is being taken away from a school that has quite a bit of available space.
Charlie Mas said…
Madrona has been persistently under-enrolled since APP was moved out to Lowell. The school draws students from the poverty of the Madison Valley and the CD, and from the wealth of Madrona and Denny-Blaine. The school has (at times notoriously) focused entirely on the needs of African-American students from low-income households. One Madrona principal, Rickie Malone, is on record saying that she isn't comfortable with White people in her school building. There was an infamous encounter between Madrona principal Kaaren Andrews and community members. She also saw conflict with her (mostly White, mostly affluent) PTA. For a longer treatment read this story from the Seattle Times in 2007 or the columns by Danny Westneat in April 2007 (since deleted from the Seattle Times site).
The chronic under-enrollment at Madrona has allowed it to serve as a de-facto African-American Academy since that school closed. It doesn't draws students from within its attendance area very well, but it does draw some from outside it. And, since there is space available, families can make that choice. I don't know if this is happening as much as it once did. Given the enrollment numbers, apparently not.
Whatever the reason for the school's underenrollment, it is undeniable and therefore the expulsion of childcare is inexplicable.
Anonymous said…
Thinking about it further, I actually find it even more ridiculous that they're closing the Bryant childcare (which has a huge wait list), the year they're supposed to open a huge new school (with, at least last I heard, open space planned for the first few years as they grow from K/1 up) at Thornton Creek. The Bryant reference area appears to be very specifically excluded from the TC geo zone (which is a giant area), so it seems like a few small tweaks could balance the school populations out better.

NE Parent
Anonymous said…
Could it be that they are laying the groundwork to convert Madrona K8 into a charter? The F&E levy money and staff seem to be entwined with the Gates folks and the city pre-K folks and I could see it going that way.

not new

Not New, I doubt it. That's a pretty long timeline because
1) there is no current charter law
2) the chances of one passing this session are low
3) even if there was a new law, it's going to court (again)
4) under any law/bill, a charter could not access a school building in use without a conversion petition. I'd be hard-pressed to see that happening and again, that would probably go to court as well b/c of the issue of "gifting public funds."
Anonymous said…
Has anyone heard when the list of the other schools receiving capacity management measures for 2016-17 will be released? This would be the list of schools receiving portables, and those where more space will be carved out of the building. During his Board comments a few weeks ago, Superintendent Nyland hinted that library spaces could be lost, along with the usual art, music, etc... rooms.


-North-end Mom
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