Growth Boundary Meetings

As I previously reported, I attended last week's Growth Boundary meeting at Eckstein.  I estimate that there were about 50 people there, many from Green Lake Elementary and Sacajawea Elementary.  Staff in attendance included Enrollment's Ashley Davies, Facilities' Flip Herndon as well as Board member, Jill Geary. 

The next boundary meeting is this Tuesday at Hamilton at 6:30 pm. and on Thursday at Mercer MS at 6:30 pm.
There was no formal agenda handed out but there was a PowerPoint.  However, there were nearly 50 pages of maps.  Printed out on very nice paper in color.  I cannot imagine the cost for this.  There was one single regional map (West Seattle.) The maps are not all that useful because they don't show the original boundaries, just "retained" or "implemented"boundaries. 

And yet, when Director Geary went to look at the maps, she asked, "Where's the big one that had it all on one page?"  It was not there.  That is a fascinating thing to know that there IS one map with all the changes and yet, not handed out nor put up for general viewing at the meeting.

Not a whisper about high schools.

(My aside is that staff had not properly prepared for this meeting.  There was no signage anywhere to the front of where the meeting was.  Even Mr. Herndon was wandering around.  As well, the meeting did not start on-time.  That's a problem for a one-hour meeting.  Also, they didn't have the microphone working for 20 minutes.  Tough to hear in a cafeteria that echoes.)

Here is the staff's list of amendments.


- If your school may be affected by boundary changes, you will get a letter - twice - from the district.  Once to let you know of the possibility and then, if your school is affected by a change.

- There was quite the wordsmithing by Ms. Davies about what different votes would mean.  The Board already voted in boundary changes but now staff wants new ones.  Indeed, the Board may want some new ones (see Cedar Park.)  The Board has to vote in any new changes via amendments.

- It does appear that the district is changing some of the Cedar Park boundaries to not have kids cross a very busy street but that doesn't change who is to be enrolled in the school.

While boundary changes are important, I think the MOST important item for parents to be aware of is that grandfathering is NOT going to happen in most cases.  This is interesting because in the last round of boundary meetings, in April 2016,  the district said this:

• Grandfathering means that students are able to remain at their current school through the highest grade offered.

– Aside from instances where new schools are opening, SPS aims to grandfather students whenever possible, based on capacity at the impacted schools.

– More information on grandfathering for 2017-18 will be provided in the fall community meetings.

• Transportation is not provided for grandfathered students.

Now yes, the district doesn't guarantee grandfathering but they certainly make it sound like it probably will only happen where new schools are opening.   That was in April so we had the same capacity issues and now? Here's what the district says now on grandfathering.

It appears it won't happen in middle school. 

On Sped and grandfathering, they said they will "try to minimize any changes or impacts."

Highlights of questions from audience:

- one teacher said it appeared that 45% of students in the district will be displaced in some way and that school staff and parents need to see the data.
- also, how will the district support schools that experience change in demographics?  We know that some schools that have a high F/RL population suffer if those number drop just below the cutoff for supports.
- Why is there no Teaching and Learning staff here to answer questions.  Ms. Davies first said they weren't needed and then said she had talked with T&L but couldn't answer any questions on that issue.  So maybe they need to make sure someone from T&L is there.
 - Why isn't there any analysis on using portables for grandfathering versus all this rearranging?  Staff seemed to want the audience to believe that the use of portables is already large and the goal is to cut back.  I'll just note that when staff wants portables, they bring them in. 
 - What big theme was how this splitting up of communities will hurt them.  One woman pointed out that her school had worked hard to create a community spirit for fundraising and that it has literally taken years.  She said that would change will all this rearranging.
- Green Lake Elementary explained they are the only neighborhood school with two dual language programs.
- There was also a complaint about being redrawn out of a school, only to get to a school that has no more spaces for childcare.  
- Apparently there is a spreadsheet with more data and Ms. Davies promised that would be made available.


Anonymous said…
This isn't going to cut it. The meeting lack of professionalism, the lack of coherent data, the failure to see the faces of the students and families behind the numbers they intend to move and manipulate. It's not going to cut it at all.

Time to start dialing our board members and making media calls. Moving students to situations in which safety, services and academic opportunities actually go down, when with a little introspection of solutions and re-examination of date students might be able to stay in place through their enrollment at grade school or middle........ Gee, what would be the appropriate move for students and families? Apparently we need to help central staff figure it out.

And if these meetings continue with no nod to high school enrollment issues, we need to start throwing a tantrum at each opportunity until staff agrees the issue is linked, urgent and must be addressed immediately.

Anonymous said…
I have to agree about the high school issue. This was flagged as crucial by parents (and on this blog) many years ago, and unless there are people at the district working in secret on a solution, it's not apparent anyone knows what to do about the HS capacity problems. Just once, I wish SPS would get ahead of an issue and be transparent/honest with parents instead of waiting for a crisis. I think there is enormous good will (and a lot of community smarts) that is wasted by these shenanigans.

- Tired
Anonymous said…
Please give the school board the space they need to fix this. Remember, like they promised they would during their respective campaigns? If they don't fix it, vote them out! Tic Tock of coarse that means years will go by like the last one without any positive systematic change. Is it me or does it just seems like they dish out end-less lip service while spending more money on central administration all the while knowing no one is going to stop them.

Love Democracy
Anonymous said…
And the NE HCC cohort is being split away from their school with no sustainable or equitable option in place. This patch work of short sighted changes all at the same time is dumbfounding. The board needs to put on the brakes!!!!!

Clown Show
kellie said…
I also attended this meeting.

I think the heart of the problem is the when the board passed the Growth Boundaries Plan in 2013, they clearly noted in all of their remarks that they were passing a "framework" to implement new boundaries for all the BEX IV projected. Sherry Carr in particular was very committed to ensure that all of the BEX projects had a "constituent base."

The board created the provision at the time, that the process would need to be "reviewed" every year in order to make course corrections when the data changed, because the data was going to change.

We have had significant staff turnover and IMHO the promise of annual review and course correction has just been lost in that turnover.

The 2015 and 2016 implementations were very straightforward. The 2017 implementation represents more than 50% of the total number of changes and as such is very complex.

None of this complexity was represented at the meeting.
kellie said…
One thing that was notably absent at the meeting was any information about the implementation of Eaglestaff. The focus has been on the geo-splitting of elementary school and there was no information about the geo-splts for middle school.

My guess is that staff is just presuming that the 2013 Geo-split for JAMS pre-approved a geo-split for Eaglestaff. However, that is not exactly correct.

Opening Eaglestaff is going to be more complex than JAMS. JAMS was formed from HCC and Eckstein. Eaglestaff has students from Hamilton, Whitman, JAMS and Eckstein. There was no information about the cohort size that will be removed from each of these schools and whether or not this represents a cohort and what mitigation is required for this work.

There was also no information on the splits / grandfathering for swaps between the other schools, When Eckstein students were Geo-spit to JAMS, the students who were moved to the Hamilton zone were Grandfathered. Each cohort was addressed individually and the expectation for 2017 was the same.

Currently there are Eckstein students who will be moved to Hamilton area. Eckstein has space and Hamilton does not. These students should be grandfathered at Eckstein. However, there was no information about this one way or another.
kellie said…
There was also no middle school assignment pathway information.

The middle school boundaries are dependent on assignment pathway. There was recommended change in West Seattle based on the HCC pathway being at Madison. The Meany / Washington changes also noted the impact of HCC assignment. However, these was nothing about assignment pathway for Eaglestaff, despite all the capacity challenges north of the ship canal.

The 2013 plan placed all of QA/Mag and North-end HCC plus Language Immersion at Hamilton. Hamilton is currently the most over-crowded school in the district. (designed for 800, currently with 1200).

The new boundaries make Hamilton's area even larger, and Hamilton gets additional students geo-split from other schools. The only possible relief for Hamilton would be to move a school out of the feeder pattern or to move language immersion or HCC to Eaglestaff. There was no information about this or the impact on the various schools.

The current projections show that Whitman's enrollment will drop precariously to 600, while Hamilton, JAMS and Eaglestaff will be very full. Clearly, there will be some assignment pathway adjustments and those need to be made the board at the same time as the boundaries.

For example, if the feeder patterns are approved as is, then it begs the question of re-assigning HCC or Language Immersion to Whitman. While Eaglestaff is central for LI, Whitman is not. So that would mean that Whitman would become the natural home for HCC for the Eaglestaff and Whitman areas.

All of those need to be board decision, not decisions after the fact.
kellie said…
And nothing about high school.

The 2013 plan, had a notation that Lincoln could be open as early as 2017, if needed. I doubt that is an option but ... it is past time for the high school community engagement to begin.

Anonymous said…
If there is any way for Lincoln to open while work is being done, that is absolutely what needs to happen. It's not like they are building a new school there. They can adjust the work plan to accommodate students and classes during the day.
Big picture
Anonymous said…
I emailed the district expressing concern about the HS capacity issue in the interim. Here was the reply: "We are set to begin conversations about boundaries for Lincoln and beyond, starting in January of 2017. This will be the beginning of about 16 months worth of planning for high school challenges throughout the city. The extent of this impact has wide implications and will extend beyond the times of the Capacity Management Task Force."

Some other info about "ample time for community input". The HS projections were wrong & some schools have reached highest numbers two years prior to their report. And projections predict more growth the next two years. If the same rate we can expect over 2000 at several schools prior to Lincoln opening. I agree that parents need to ask the board to intervene so they work on a plan for an interim solution.
-train wreck
kellie said…
IMHO, the high schoolers who will be geo-split to Lincoln are going to have enough challenges. I don't think putting them in a construction zone for two years will help anyone.

And there are enough other high schools fixes that could have more impact.

For starters, there need to be some significant support / mitigation dollars sent to the Center School. They could easily take a few hundred more students. However, that school has been not supported since the Banda/Greenberg disaster. With just a little bit of attention and support at Center School, there would likely be more real impact that putting kids at Lincoln before it is ready.

Likewise for Nova.
kellie said…
@ train wreck,

You highlight a very important point in your note.

The current capacity task force is scheduled to end in January. That's right. The capacity task force will only meet once/month for six months for total of six times and the whole mess will be replaced with a new task force that is only related to high school capacity.

Capacity is complex and has lots of moving parts. There were many issues with FACMAC but most of the issues can be traced to the simple fact that more than half of the committee just vanished after six months and the superintendent did not replace these members.

It will take six months for the people who haven't been following this for years to get a handle on the basics and then the committee will dissolve.

kellie said…
As for high school, someone needs to seriously look at Running Start and work with the community colleges. I heard from a current RS student that her NSCC English 101 class is 100% RS students. They are all from various high schools but 100% of the NSCC is RS.

RS is becoming that magic extra option high school that so many parents have suggested over the years ... but invisible because RS does not show up on any enrollment reports.

Big Picture, SPS is one of the few districts that moves school populations off-site. Most do as you suggest and build around the students (they did this at Hale.) I agree with Kellie that it seems like a lot to ask, though.

"It will take six months for the people who haven't been following this for years to get a handle on the basics and then the committee will dissolve."

Yes, but the district persists in doing this. Almost like it works for them (but not for the process.)

What's also troubling about so much RS is that the district loses money when the kids leave. If that many kids are going, that means less money for their schools for that particular period of time.
kellie said…
The whole RS picture needs more details.

As the legislature will fund up to 1.2 for part time running start folks, it is possible that when students take 1 RS class and 4 high schools classes, it is possible that there is more money.

When a student is full time running start, there is less money. Most of the dollars go to the community college (where the student is full time) and a small amount goes back to the district to pay for the counseling staff that manages all of the paperwork and graduation requirements.
xiebob said…
One sidenote - the slideshow says (as is often the wording from the district) "All students living in Seattle have a guaranteed seat at an attendance area (AA) school based on where they live."

Not true for special education students. They have to move to schools out of their neighborhood based on seats in a SpEd program.
Anonymous said…
If the high school task force doesn't start meeting until January, surely there won't be any information available for people to use in selecting high schools in February. This is complete SPS disregard for students.

Hamilton--in the heart of the future Lincoln area--is a complex middle school with multiple programs/services, including HCC and Language Immersion. Both of those involve pathways, and thus both require that students/families make major decisions when it comes to high school options. Since there's a good chance current 8th graders who live in the yet-TBD Lincoln zone will be pulled out of their original high school in order to help reopen Lincoln in 2019 (as 11th graders), the ability to continue on a particular track is a key consideration. For example:

- HCC students need to decide whether to go to Garfield for the "accelerated AP pathway" or Ingraham for a possible IB/IBX track, or potentially to their neighborhood high school if it can meet their needs (or they don't mind repeating some classes they've already taken). If Lincoln opens as an AP-type school, what happens to students who opted for Ingraham's IBX program and are halfway through the 2-yr program? Will they get pulled out anyway, even if they can't continue their IB studies? Or what about those who opted for the traditional IB approach, and who have completed their pre-IB courses and are just getting ready to start? Along the same lines, if Lincoln instead becomes an IB school, what happens to those who opted for Garfield because they weren't interested in the IB approach?
- Language Immersion students often enter high school at a higher language level (e.g., Spanish/Japanese 4). Ingraham is the LI pathway school since it offers languages up through level 6. What happens to LI students if the new Lincoln HS only offers more traditional levels of language classes?

So what's it gonna be, SPS? Will Lincoln HS offer AP, IB or both? Will it open as 9th grade only (unlikely), or will students be yanked out of their existing schools--and if so, which grades will be included in the pull? If students are supposed to be yanked, will there be an opportunity for grandfathering on a case-by-case basis if they can demonstrate that Lincoln prevents them from continuing on the SPS pathway they already selected?

How exactly are current north-end LI or HCC 8th graders supposed to choose their high school in February without any of this information?

Decision Time
kellie said…
It appears that Broadview Thomson is triggering most of the elementary changes.

BT is sending kids to Viewlands
Viewlands sends kids to Olympic View
Olympic View sends kids to Olympic Hills
Olympic Hills sends kids to Cedar Park.

Is BT over capacity?
Anonymous said…
Decision Time raises good questions about Lincoln. Sure it'll provide much needed capacity, and it's decadent to have a school that's recently renovated, but who really wants their child to attend a new high school in the first few years - whether as a 9th, 10th or 11th grader? Those of us who have opened new schools recently know all too well how painful that is, and how long it takes to build a school that can compare with the experiences of peer schools... a long time! And Kellie's right, attending the first few years at Lincoln will be hard enough, certainly don't advocate for putting students there before the building is even ready. This will be a heated topic for this blog in the next few months around the January 2017 start of the task force.
Been There
Anonymous said…
Lincoln is supposed to open as a comprehensive high school, which I'd assume means some AP classes (though which ones?). An IB pathway is very unlikely. What will be missing are classes unique to each area school - biotech, film, extensive music and drama offerings, Latin, auto shop, AP photography...When they haven't even had discussions on who goes where, the details of offerings are far, far away.

This year's 8th graders are in the same position as last year's. They don't know if they will remain at their option or neighborhood school, they don't know how SPS will handle the overcrowded schools in the interim, and they don't know what other random, massively disruptive changes will be imposed.

Anonymous said…
@ DD, this year's 8th graders are in a somewhat more precarious position that last year's. Not only are they a lot more likely to get pulled out of their initial school to open Lincoln (there is rarely talk of geosplitting seniors), they are also the first group to be subject to the new 24-credit requirement.

On top of that, when we're talking specifically about LI and HCC students who are likely to be in the new Lincoln zone, they face additional conflicts as well, since the "pathways" that give them options for HS could end up meaning they get royally screwed when the changes all play out (e.g., getting the IB or LI rug pulled out from under you midstream). That's a lot different than it would be to, say, start at one AP-based school and have to move to another that has similar AP options.

Decision Time
kellie said…
Of course, anything can change but that said, some changes are more likely that others.

Per the current Student Assignment Plan, when a student gets a "choice" seat, they get to remain in that choice seat for the entire time. Therefore the most probable outcome is that all of the students who get choice seats at Ingraham get to stay at Ingraham (making this option more and more attractive over the next few years).

It is the "guaranteed" seats that are the seats that are up for geo-splitting and re-assignment. This means that the neighborhood assignment seats at Ballard and Roosevelt will most certainly be geo-split into the new Lincoln zone. QA/Mag and Wallingford can just start to plan around going to Lincoln.

The "guaranteed" pathway seats are an open question. The pathway to Garfield for HCC and the pathway to Ingraham for the Language Immersion Cohort are also subject to geo-splits. Therefore Language Immersion can be pulled from Ingraham if Lincoln becomes the new pathway school AND HCC can be pulled from Garfield if Lincoln becomes the new HCC pathway school.
Anonymous said…
Wow, Kellie, so the District actually clarifying the pathways all the way through High school for programs and services like language immersion and HCC and SPED is necessary to do BEFORE they vote in the boundaries, or there might not actually be enough space or the right cohort sizes? Who would have thunk it. Can't they just draw boundaries based on intuition and decide later what programs they will or won't offer depending on if there is space?

Anonymous said…
@hmmmm...everyone needs to bring this up at the boundary meetings and write the board.

Total Chaos
Been There, one thing in Lincoln's favor - it WAS a school. They still have an alumni association and I believe those alums will rise up to help the students know the history of the school and support its reopening.
Anonymous said…
How'd it go at Hamilton last night?

Anonymous said…
West Woodland and Green Lake had a lot of people there to ask for more grandfathering. Someone asked about the middle school HCC pathway, and they were told they would consider HCC after these meetings were over. The PowerPoint was overly basic, but the handouts were informative. They had a list of numbers of affected families at the elementary school level, and new school capacities after class size reduction (is it going down further next year? Does anyone know how much?).
Anonymous said…
Attended last might boundary meeting at HIMS. For the most part no grandfathering is being proposed. Lots of middle school (& elementary) boundary changes proposed. Have an HCC kid at HIMS and was told they are having discussions right now with advanced learning on how to split the cohort. Was told in private by staff there may not be enough space at Eaglestaff for both Whitman & Eaglestaff HCC kids, as they intend for Eaglestaff to have a "small" HCC cohort & be a comprehensive middle school. Eaglestaff boundary being expanded to have 7 elementary schools feeding into it. Rumor Whitman is being considered as well for HCC but district did not state this information. Told as HCC is a program and is not covered by boundary proposal discusssion. No board vote/oversight then? Seems like it will be an internal decision. Seems like intention is to have small HCC cohorts at multiple middle schools.
-NW HCC parent
Anonymous said…
BT is underenrolled. The plan has 29 families going from BT with one portable to Viewlands with 11 portables. It makes no sense. They should leave the BT boundaries alone.

BT parent.
Anonymous said…
My understanding is the board has to vote on program placement. It is clear they are leaving HCC out of boundary decisions and figuring out where to tuck them after the fact.

Bait nSwitch
Anonymous said…
It appeared that staff was surprised by the HCC question. The current plan called for all of HCC to stay at Hamilton. It appears that once again they subtracted HCC out of Hamilton but forgot to add it back into Eaglestaff.


Eaglestaff will be full on day one. Hamilton gets more kids. Whitman goes below 600.
Anonymous said…
How many HCC kids are at Hamilton and what is the breakdown of those from the NW and those from QA/Magnolia?

-North-end Mom
Anonymous said…
Wasn't there a recent amendment by the school board that addressed this issue of program/service placement and when the board needs to vote? As I recall, HCC--which SPS previously said is a service, not a program--was included as requiring board approval.

Lynn said…
North-end Mom - I think these documents might answer your questions:

Enrollment Report

HCC Data
Green Lake Parent said…
At the meeting last night, SPS did provide the data that was requested at the Eckstein meeting on the number of elementary students who will be geo-split next year. It's a total of 878! That's a huge amount of disruption and churn. And for what purpose? To move students from one full school to another full school?

The handout also included school capacity numbers, but I would like clarification on how these were determined. For example, on the sheet it lists Green Lake at 319. However, on the SPS website Green Lake's 2015-2016 capacity is 352, and in the document from the September 14th Capacity Management Task Force Green Lake is 430 for 2016-2017, and 375 for 2017-2018 (decreasing due to K-3 class size reduction). That's a lot of different numbers, and 319 is by far the lowest.

In addition, without looking at the affected kids by grade level you really don’t get a full picture. Although moving a 5th grader would reduce the overall enrollment number for a school, it would not reduce the enrollment in K-3 where class sizes need to be reduced. So, in my opinion stating “no grandfathering” based on “capacity constraints” where you are only looking at a total number of students at a school is too high level to make that call and force elementary students to move in their final years at a school. (Just one of my many issues with all of this!)
Green Lake Parent and isn't that useful to staff to have different numbers depending on what they want to see happen? I mean no disrespect but this has gone on for years.

I urge you all to show up to Director Burke's Saturday community meeting from 3:30-5:00pm at Greenwood Library.
Anonymous said…
Bait & Switch-"My understanding is the board has to vote on program placement. It is clear they are leaving HCC out of boundary decisions and figuring out where to tuck them after the fact."

Yes you are correct. I looked into this and it was confirmed.There appears to be a gap in the planning, where they have drawn boundaries for middle school but not included planning for the HCC middle school pathways that were suggested during the 2013 vote on this issue. Currently the boundary vote is scheduled for Nov, but the inclusion of HCC site placement and middle school pathways does not seem to be included.

We are on year away from implementation. I suggest parents contact the board and district and ask program placement be included in the board decision in Nov.
-NW HCC parent
Anonymous said…
878 elementary students will be displaced from their school! That is an unconscionable amount of pain to families. Especially, if many of these boundary changes are no longer needed as projected back in 2013. Sand Point opened up fine as a roll-up and not a geo-split. Why not take the path of the least pain for students and proven past success for opening a school?

kellie said…

The 2013 vote for the 2020 Growth Boundaries plan had over 24 amendments and the total package for the BAR and amendment is about 350 pages.

By the end of the vote, it was quite unclear what had actually passed and the Board said the 2020 Plan would act as a "Framework" and that staff and subsequent boards would make adjustments as needed to the framework.

There are two separate problems as a result of this - adjusting the feeder patterns to make room for the K8 and the long term HCC pathways, that were NOT addressed at that meeting.

The recommended feeder pattern for Eaglestaff was designed to create a full school, without HCC and without an embedded K8. When the amendments that created the embedded K8 were addressed, it was noted at that time that staff and the future board, would need to adjust the middle school feeder pattern for Eaglestaff and that this was not-a-problem because there would be so much extra room at Whitman.

At least one of the Eaglestaff feeders schools needs to be moved back to Whitman to make room for the K8. This was not part of the 2017 plan.

kellie said…

There never was a vote to place HCC in Eaglestaff.

There was a board question about whether or not Hamilton could handle 5 feeder schools plus HCC, plus Language Immersion.

Splitting HCC and placing half into Eaglestaff was a contingency plan, in a footnote of an amendment. This footnote was to answer the question, if Hamilton needed to be adjusted in the future.

The 2012 projections had the highest enrollment for Hamilton at around 1,000 students. The 1200 students who are there this year, means that Hamilton need to either lose HCC or lose a feeder school or lose language immersion.

None of those variations were addressed in the BAR.

Now to be fair to staff. The meeting went to midnight, had 24 amendments and a scope of 350 pages. That is a lot to process and there is an entire new board that likely has different priorities. This one was complex.
Anonymous said…
Can someone direct those of us who couldn't make the meeting to the handouts/PP used and any other materials distributed?
Anonymous said…
Melissa you frequently comment about the value of the Lincoln alumni for starting Lincoln. While I don't doubt they'll help provide historical continuity, that doesn't do much for building the relationships among staff, setting up all the clubs and other extra things that exist at other schools which teachers will be too busy to do. In opening schools teachers spend a lot of time ordering new supplies, setting up rooms, building systems, processes, school culture, at the expense of academic work the other schools with already-in-place systems can focus on. It makes a big difference. Teachers will opt in to the school, and mostly will never have worked together before. That's a big deal compared with peer schools with existing relationships. The principal and other admin staff need to do the same amount of work as peers at other high schools plus the extra workload of building a new school. Everyone gets crunched for the first several years. An alumni group can't help much with those in-school burdens. The booster clubs have to start from scratch with no existing funds from the previous year. It takes a while to build those coffers. The upside, a shiny renovated building with new furniture and equipment. And fresh starts for teachers.
Been There
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
kellie said…
Lincoln is scheduled to be open two years from now. IMHO, we need to have a planning principal in place NOW. because of all the items that "been there" raised, plus a few dozen more issues.

There is a lot of work to be done to get a comprehensive high school up and running and that take planning time and a planning leader.
Anonymous said…
@ kellie, Lincoln does have a planning principal in place (Jill Hudson), but the problem is that the current planning is focusing only on design and construction of the building itself. According to Ms. Hudson, issues of enrollment will be figured out by district officials sometime in the future, and curriculum and programming issues will likely not be addressed until they hire the new principal. So no, nothing anytime soon--even though yes, it's needed NOW.

kellie said…
My understanding is that Dr. Hudson had been given significant release time to manage the 24 credit process, not be the planning principal for Lincoln.

A planning principal is the principal who will be in place once the school opens. In an ideal situation the person working on the design will be the person who has to live in that design. That changes the accountability.

I was on the design team for Jane Addams and Wilson Pacific. For Jane Addams the principal was in place. For Wilson Pacific, we had a rotating middle school principal for each meeting. The process was dramatically different.

At a minimum, the principals for Ballard and Roosevelt should be on the design team for the Lincoln building as we know for certain that students will be geo-split from both Ballard and Roosevelt. Just having those two additional voices will likely raise things that Dr. Hudson just wouldn't know, because she is not embedded in the community that will be split.

But most importantly, parents have question about the curriculum and programming issues NOW and a planning principal is where those questions should go.

Anonymous said…
Sadly, the ship has sailed on having the Lincoln HS principal in place for the new high school's building design as it seems the building design phase is largely done or at least substantially underway.

I heard from people attending the capacity meeting at Hamilton that there didn't appear to be anyone from SPS who could speak concretely and coherently about what decisions were being made and WHY. If the district is talking about forcibly transferring some 800 students out of their schools and into others, they had better have a well thought out reason for doing so and an explanation for why other (less impactful) alternatives are not possible/viable.

PLEASE attend Director Burke's community meeting this Saturday from 3:30-5 at the Greenwood Public Library to let him know the public needs ANSWERS and ACTION.

Anonymous said…
@ kellie, I was directed to Dr. Hudson as the planning principal, and Dr. Hudson verified the role in an email to me. As for the other principals, I agree they should be part of the planning but don't think they are.

To note, Jill Hudson said at one of the community meetings (boldface added): "The final design of the program for Lincoln will need community input. The new principal will work with the community to determine the needs and corresponding program. Currently, the design is focusing on flexible spaces to allow small group, individual, and large group learning opportunities. There are a variety of different spaces which will accommodate the eventual program. There will be collaboration with the community." It seems clear they are focusing on design only now, with a "design-only" planning principal. They figure they'll get to the other stuff eventually.

Also, I agree 100% that "parents have question about the curriculum and programming issues NOW and a planning principal is where those questions should go." That's where I, at least, have been sending such questions. Unfortunately, it's to no avail. As Dr. Hudson told me, "as far as curriculum and programs, that will not likely be decided until the new principal is hired and has time to work with the community of Lincoln High School."

kellie said…
Thanks oy

That is not a planning principal. That is a consulting principal in lieu of an actual planning principal. If she can't entertain questions about the school, her role is way too limited and is just not a planning principal.

Maybe an interim-limited-principal or something but ...

Families that live in the QA/Mag/Wallingford area, who will be impacted by this for the next decade at least, should really start to write the board about a planning principal. There really needs to be one ASAP and will all the drama around growth boundaries this could easily be lost.

High school really matters and a good principal will make the different between the community embracing the school or avoiding it. With $50M or so going into the building, an extra $100K in salary for a real planning principal is a very reasonable investment.

The most expensive capacity is the capacity that is NOT used. Lincoln could be a very expensive white elephant or a great use of resources - the planning principal will make or break that investment.

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