Seattle Schools This Week

Monday, October 3rd

Starting today and thru November 30th, the district is asking for input on K-5 instructional materials. 

Growth Boundaries meeting from 6:30-7:30 pm at Viewlands Elementary.

Wednesday, October 5th
Board Work Session from 4:30-7:30 pm.

4:30-5:15pm:   Oversight Work Session - Distribution Services
5:15-5:30pm*: Interrelated Initiatives Process Update
6:00-7:30 pm*: Work Session - Advanced Learning

I can't wait to hear what both staff the Board have to say on Advanced Learning.

Thursday, October 6th
Advanced Learning applications due.

Executive Committee meeting from 8:30-10:30 am in Board conference room.   Agenda not yet available.

No community meeting with directors on Saturday. 


Anonymous said…
I can't make the growth boundaries meeting, but can someone please point out that there's NO WAY they can make north end middle school attendance area boundaries in the absence of simultaneous decisions around middle school HCC pathways?

I don't know how many HCC middle school students there in the north end (incl. Magnolia and QA), but it has to be over 1000. It's a large percentage of the middle school population in the north end, and as such, must be accounted for in the boundary redraw. It is absolute nuts not to incorporate this into the decision making.

Go nut-free

Anonymous said…
I wonder if there will be better answers at the Growth Boundary meeting tonight, than last week.

For the last two years, there has been no capacity oversight as FACMAC was dissolved and then capacity management was removed from the top three board priorities.

This plan is what happens when there is no oversight from either the board or the community for two years. Feeder patterns that don't work, a planned geo-split that moves students out of schools that are not crowded and into schools that are crowded and no plan for high school.

Nobody liked FACMAC but at least they were proactive, thought about future consequences and pointed out these types of basic math errors to staff before it went to the board.

- crazy capacity parent
Anonymous said…
Is Flip having Ashley run the meetings because he doesn't want to take the heat for a poorly baked plan?

WTH? (Aka WTF)
Anonymous said…
I am also completely perplexed by the middle school planning and boundary changes in the North end. The original direction from SPS was that the HCC population currently at Hamilton would be split between Eagle Staff and Hamilton (no detail on how it would be split).

Now the district is saying the following:
--very small HCC cohort at Eagle Staff as it will be mostly attendance area kids
--Eagle Staff will be pretty much at capacity when it opens
--Whitman's population is going to decrease significantly as kids will be shifted to Eagle Staff
--Doesn't look like Hamilton's population will change much
--They won't put HCC kids at Whitman (email from Flip Herndon to a parent)
--They won't make decisions on where HCC goes until next year

I genuinely don't understand where the District is planning on housing HCC kids next year if there's no capacity at Hamilton or Eagle Staff and they aren't putting them at Whitman.

My kid is a 6th grader at Hamilton and will likely be moved to a different school next year. I'm not thrilled about this but willing to accept it. But I'm very unhappy that I won't find out until February. I'm also concerned that there are a lot of parents who would be helping with planning for Eagle Staff, fundraising, etc. now - but instead are going to be waiting to find out if their child will be going there first.

Anonymous said…
p.s. when I say that the district won't make a decision on where HCC kids will go until next year, I mean Feb. 2017 (not the next school year).

Anonymous said…
Right... So the boundaries get set and there are only seats left where ever they are left, and the decision for HCC pathways will be made in February 2017?

Don't fool yourself. The decision is being made now. Once the board votes on the growth boundaries plan, and IF they do not fix the chaos that is planned, HCC middle school pathways will be splintered again. HCC kids from Queen Anne and Magnolia will be sent to Washington. HCC kids from the Eagle Staff area will be sent to Eagle Staff with a tiny little cohort size. Where will the Whitman service area HCC kids go? They think they are going to Hamilton, they may have been told they will still go there, but when there isn't enough space at Hamilton and the only seats available are at Whitman, what is left?

If the board does not insist that they day-light and approve the HCC middle school pathway as part of the growth boundaries plan, it will already have been done, and there will be no opportunity to change it come February.

Anonymous said…
Cartbeforehorse, I had forgotten that they are peeling Spectrum kids out of Washington next year. Had been wondering about HCC placement and the Queen Anne + Mag students to Washington makes sense in the special way that SPS doesn't make sense. Inner city kids in the school plus white kids bussed into the CD. This will not help all of us who want to feel good about the HCC program. They are setting the program up to fail with that move. But our students will have seats. Tiny hand clap.

With that illumination the writing is on the wall for me. They'll fill up Eaglestaff with HCC kids after everyone else is placed, with the rest staying at Hamilton. And Whitman is clearly the escape valve for HCC if they are mistaken on Hamilton and Eaglestaff and JAMS and Washington being able to handle the cohort. That announcement will come so late and be so 'dire' that the staff will just shrug and say sorry it is an emergency, we have to do another split to Whitman. No time for other ideas. We families have gone down this road before haven't we!

I am sad for the kids being divided up again and I'm sad for how Washington will play out and I think that after this split the district will probably keep dividing the program out until it is just a part of every middle school. To me that means the kids who come after ours will be unlikely to get the services they need as HCC will not be something a lot of the middle school principals will be happy to have to deal with I am thinking.

Sad mom
Charlie Mas said…
It's the day before, but no agendas are posted yet.
cartbeforehorse is absolutely right. Just because the district either says nothing or says they are waiting for later on a decision does NOT mean they haven't already made a plan. Timing is everything and they love to put a decision before the Board that just HAS to be made right now.
Anonymous said…
Jane, cartbeforehorse, sad mom- It is important for parents to contact board members about this situation prior to Nov vote on boundaries. Jane- Apparently flip's answer did not rule out Whitman as a possibility, as it was pointed out that 2013 recommendations (JAMS, HIMS & Eaglestaff) on north end pathways were not made into policy.
NW HCC parent
Lynn said…
What are Ms. Fullmer's plans for the general education classrooms at Washington Middle School next year when the majority of her Spectrum students move to Meany? She's stated that before she instituted blended classrooms, kids were just sitting at their desks doing worksheets.
Anonymous said…
But doesn't policy state that HCC pathways are required?

Anonymous said…
Not sure what exactly these tell you, but there's an interesting series of maps on the SPS site, dated in Late Sept 2016, detailing where both "eligible" and "enrolled" HCC students live - the maps included are:

Elementary School Highly Capable Cohort Pathway
Middle School Highly Capable Cohort Pathway
High School Highly Capable Cohort Pathway
Advanced Learning Opportunities for Grades 1-5
Where Spectrum Eligible Students in Grades 1-5 Live
Where Spectrum Enrolled Students in Grades 1-5 Live
Where Spectrum Eligible Students in Grades 6-8 Live
Where Spectrum Enrolled Students in Grades 6-8 Live
Where HCC Eligible Students in Grades 1-5 Live
Where HCC Enrolled Students in Grades 1-5 Live
Where HCC Eligible Students in Grades 6-8 Live
Where HCC Enrolled Students in Grades 6-8 Live
Where HCC Eligible Students in Grades 9-12 Live
Where HCC Enrolled Students in Grades 9-12 Live
And all can be found on this page under Enrollment Planning - HCC maps listed above are at bottom of page


There's also this data set from 2015 that gives HCC enrollment in various breakout charts
Highly Capable Cohort

Anonymous said…
Thanks, reader47, for the link to the maps. Wow, a high % of HCC students live and in the Roosevelt and Ballard HS areas. It would be interesting to see how many of them choose to go to their neighborhood high schools, versus the "Pathway" high schools. I can't believe how much time our sophomore spends commuting to Garfield from NE Seattle.

The maps also make it clear that Lincoln should offer as many AP classes as Garfield or Roosevelt (or IB?) to be a good option for these kids. It's proximity to UW and seeking partnerships there could be great.

JAMS Parent

Anonymous said…
I confess - I'm not up on this stuff enough to know, but it would appear from the maps that selling off Queen Anne High school was probably one of the MOST completely stupid things SPS ever did - it would certainly seem that having Queen Anne available would free up some elbow room at both Ballard & Roosevelt.

Ah the benefits of hindsight eh? ;o)

Anonymous said…
Does anyone know what the rotation schedule will be at John Marshall over the next five years? I mean which schools will occupy that space?

Total Chaos
Anonymous said…
Reader47, to be fair, we should note that plenty of people pointed out before the fact that selling Queen Anne High School would be stupid. And if you ever take a look at the terms of sale, then you will have to say that it was MONUMENTALLY stupid. So really no hindsight was necessary.

Anonymous said…
@Old Timer--is there anyone left that was involved in that decision and do they have anything to do with capacity planning now? Or maybe C&I? I really wonder about the lack of vision and ability to see interrelated issues and contingencies.

Anonymous said…
Queen Anne High School closed in 1981 and the process of sale started between then and 1986, and the actual sale took place in 2007, but all of the legal documents had been drawn up in the 1980s. By then even the district realized the sale was a bad idea, but it was too late to recover the loss. I'm quite sure all of the people who worked out the deal in the 1980s are long gone.

kellie said…
The decision to sell QAHA was made in 2006 as part of the 06-07 round of closures.

Someone has the great idea that if they sold QAHS, then maybe they wouldn't need to close as many schools and they started the authorizing of the sale of almost a dozen buildings that year.

It was a very bad idea. The closure era was truly a time of just madness.
Anonymous said…
The decision to sell the Queen Anne High School Gym was made in 2008.

The decision to purchase Queen Anne High School in 2007 was made by the developer under terms of a contract signed by the school district in 1986, which allowed the developer to make that decision at a time convenient for the developer, without consulting the school district. It coincided in time with the 2006-2007 closures, possibly for reasons having to do with the state of the real estate market then.

The school board in 2006-2007 was chaotic to say the least and it was indeed a time of madness. The sale of Queen Anne High School was a repercussion of an earlier time of madness, exacerbated by astonishing legal incompetence at the district in the 1980s, which resulted in only a small fraction of the purchase price of QAHS being paid to the school district.

The building is very high value and it is conceivable that someone at the district might have thought of selling it to collect a lot of money and forestall school closures. But that ship had sailed 20 years previously.

kellie said…
@ Old Timer,

You are absolutely correct on the official timing.

At one of the board meetings towards the end 06-07 closure time, Michael DeBell and Mary Bass instructed staff to start the sale process for several buildings as a strategy because they did not close enough schools.

This triggered the sale of multiple buildings over the next few years. Michael DeBell was the organizer of this big push as he wanted to get the old inventory "off the books" before the NSAP was implemented. I was just so crazy sad.

It was all about optics. They wanted the buildings off of the inventory sheet BEFORE boundaries were drawn so that people didn't request schools that were never going to be needed, like Queen Anne High School, University Heights, etc.

The district got pennies on the dollar for these critical properties.
Anonymous said…
Can you imagine how nice it would be to have U Heights as an option for the NE HCC split?

Coulda shoulda
Anonymous said…
The idea of selling your real property to pay your current expenses might make sense if you are 95 years old and therefore not planning to get much more use out of your real property. There is no way that kind of advice makes sense for an entity like the school district that expects to continue past the next ten years.

UW is plenty glad they didn't sell their extra block of land in the middle of downtown Seattle, even if they don't hold classes there. I can think of NO circumstance in which it would have made sense to sell Queen Anne High School, and certainly none that would justify selling it at a loss.


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