Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Updated High School Boundaries Info

This just came up on the district's Twitter feed.

Seattle Public Schools' High School Boundary Task Force met last week to review additional Lincoln High School boundary scenarios and discuss potential high school boundaries in Southeast Seattle.
During their meeting, task force members created a new "H Version 2" potential boundary scenario for Lincoln. The district now has that potential scenario map posted on the High School Boundary Task Force Webpage.

Here is a link to the "H Version 2" potential scenario map.

Here is a link to the latest information that came out of last week's High School Boundary Task Force Meeting.

Next Steps

The Task Force will hold one more meeting, and potentially two more, where they will discuss Southeast High School Boundaries and high school Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) pathways. The district’s SAP, High School Boundaries, HCC and Advanced Learning opportunities are interconnected and require community engagement. Over the course of the next couple of months, district staff will be asking stakeholders for ideas, analyzing impacts and making final recommendations to the School Board.
Here is the agenda from Thursday’s High School Boundary Task Force meeting. Minutes of the meeting will be available in the next few weeks. 

(Editor's note: there was no link at the district's website for the agenda for next week.  I am querying them about that.  Also to note, that it is odd to create boundaries for HCC and Advanced Learning BEFORE you know the changes to the program from any review of it.)


Anonymous said...

There's no difference between Version H and Version H2 in the changes, I think the district uploaded the wrong map. Or what am I missing?


TwentyFiveFifty said...

So many kids trying to get across one tiny bridge (Fremont). Traffic will surely be a nightmare. Is there a reason why Queen Anne and Magnolia can't get a HS on their side of a bridge??

Anonymous said...

These boundaries will get totally upended once again when a downtown high school is approved and built. Magnolia and Queen Anne would surely feed into the downtown HS at Seattle Center. Then Ballard, Lincoln, Ingraham, Roosevelt, and Hale will see big changes yet again. Is SPS planning for this at all, or will it be a Mad Hatter style "change places!" drill?

I saw in one of the BEX V planning documents that the cost of a new downtown high school would be around $175 million. I wonder if it would be cheaper to use eminent domain power to take over the Gates Foundation HQ and turn that campus into a public high school - and perhaps even an elementary school or a K-8 as well.

Denny Mercer

Anonymous said...

Here's the link to version 2:


Eric B said...

I would really like to see convincing data that we need a downtown (Seattle Center, Ft. Lawton, or whatever) high school. I've seen lots of "sure, the kids are in the pipeline for this" stuff, but no real data.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, still has kids who could walk to Hale reassigned to Roosevelt. Thank goodness my kid has already graduated.


Anonymous said...

I take that back, H2 is much better than H. Looks much more logical for getting to school. Poor Queen Anne, you can still clearly see the lack of a high school in that area.


kellie said...

@ Denny Mercer,

There is NO reason to consider a potential-future-possible downtown high school in any current boundary conversations.

1) If a downtown high were approved as part of the next BEX levy, the earliest open date would be 2025. That is way too far in the future to plan boundaries. And would unnecessarily complicate the current situation.

2) A downtown high school, on land we already own, would likely cost almost $200M. I sincerely doubt that this large amount of money would be approved in the next levy. Rainier Beach and Franklin have far more pressing need for that money.

3) I sincerely doubt the need for a "comprehensive" downtown high school. We already have the center school at that location. A modest expansion of Center would be infinitely more economical than a comprehensive. Any downtown school would likely be a magnet school of some sort and Center already fills this niche.

4) If we do need another comprehensive high school, Fort Lawton makes a lot more sense. There is tremendous density planned for Magnolia and a school in that part of town would likely create new demand as well as serve current student growth.

kellie said...

At the last board meeting, Superintendent Nyland stated that the high school boundaries would be established before open enrollment. That is a very fast timeline for a substantial number of changes in the pipeline. While the task force has been looking at a wide variety of scenarios, there hasn't been any broad based community engagement yet.

While many families are very aware of Lincoln and the need for new boundaries in the north end, I am certain that many people will be surprised to learn that there could be even bigger changes in the south end, if Cleveland is changed to an attendance area school.

It may be worth remembering that the last time, SPS drew high school boundaries, the process happened over a few years (not months). Additionally, while Open enrollment typically happens in Feb-March, there were a few years where Open Enrollment was pushed out until May so that staff and the board had enough time to establish the boundaries.

It would be really helpful if there was a public timeline of some sort to follow these changes. If anyone has seen anything like this, please share.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I really like Kellie's suggestion to expand Center School.

-Pragmatic Xennial

Spare a Dime said...

Well, good. Now the Hale zone in Version H2 almost perfectly lines up with who has sidewalks and who doesn't. Fantastic, Seattle!

Anonymous said...

So...they acknowledge that "the district’s SAP, High School Boundaries, HCC and Advanced Learning opportunities are interconnected," yet the proposed boundary options don't seem to be reflect the range of HCC-related decisions they could make?

If there are going to be a couple schools designated as HCC pathways, the boundaries will need to reflect that, with smaller zones around those schools. If they are going to be eliminating the pathways, the boundaries need to be adjusted to accordingly.

Option H (version 2) that seems to be favored by the Task Force appears to be based on the elimination of pathways. Is that correct?
Or are they intentionally forgetting to add the extra 500 seats to Ingraham's capacity during this boundary exercise (even though they are adding the Lincoln capacity that is supposed to come online the same year) because they plan to make that an HCC pathway?

They need to be more transparent about what assumptions are going into these boundary maps so that placement decisions are made intentionally, not by default.

options, please

Anonymous said...

My apologies if this has been discussed elsewhere, but I seem to have missed that Cleveland is under consideration to become an attendance school. Does anyone know why— is it a request from the neighborhood or a capacity issue or something else?
- southpaw

Anonymous said...

This is from the report of a parent who attended the last high school boundaries task force meeting:

Then the conversation moved to the south end, specifically around Cleveland. I want to mention that everyone in the meeting was very concerned about appearing on the blogs, and so there was some pressure in the room, but I was very impressed with everyone's dedication, and I hope they see themselves as portrayed positively. But most especially the Cleveland representatives, who seemed to have built such a thoughtful school and community. Their school is 868 students with a capped waitlist, and it is hard for them to provide services with a small school. The district would like to consider making it an attendance area school for stability for Cleveland as well as surrounding area schools. Someone asked if they'd be able to provide a robust experience if it was attendance vs option, given that in that facility the very largest it could get was 930 students(well shy of the 1200 number discussed in the first hour). The admin seemed not to consider that a huge stumbling point. They were concerned that codifying lines around Cleveland, since it is already a desirable school, would accelerate the gentrification already happening in that neighborhood compared to some parts of RBHS.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

The Hale Roosevelt boundary was already at the sidewalk, no sidewalk line. So there is no change there.


Frustrated in Greenlake said...

This is ridiculous. We live 1.3 miles from Roosevelt, 3.0 miles from Lincoln and over 4 miles from Ingraham yet Lincoln or Ingraham becomes our neighborhood school?

Anonymous said...

I noticed that the ALE/Service High Schools are on the map (i.e. Nova, South Lake, Interagency, World School). However, I'm not seeing Middle College (as far as I know, Middle College Northgate still exists?). Cascade Parent Partnership Partnership (formerly, Homeschool Resource Center) is on this map of high schools, but I thought they have been serving only a K through 8th grade population for several years? Are there plans to expand CPPP to serve grades 9-12?

I hope the omission of Middle College from the map was just an oversight, as it would mean there would be no service school/ALE serving high school kids north of the ship canal. Was this mentioned at all during the Lincoln meeting?

-North-end Mom

Anonymous said...

I hear ya Frustrated in Greenlake ...

I googled mapped it and we live 1.1 miles from Ballard, 2.4 from Lincoln, 2.8 from Roosevelt but my student will be assigned to Ingraham which is 4.3 miles away.

I guess the task force forgot "maximize walkability" was listed as one of the guiding principles for the task force.

N by NW

Anonymous said...

I thought Option H2 made a lot of sense. The H2 map accomplished 2 things.

First, the students who opened Robert Eagle Staff are not put in the position of opening another new school. The H2 boundary for Ingraham comes down to the south boundary for Robert Eagle Staff.

Second, the commutes required for H2 map assignments seem to be more consistent with the easier north/south travel patterns in Seattle, and so seem more conducive to taking the metro. High School students need to develop life skills, including being able to take the bus. Students in QA/Magnolia neighborhoods will have a longish commute no matter what because they don't have a nearby high school.

There is a lot of angst about opening a new school, and about moving 11th graders. The 11th grade move seems problematic because this year matters so much for college applications. But for 9th and 10th graders there are big potential upsides to opening a new school. Everything is new, the teachers have opted in and are excited to be in the school, and the principal has a unique opportunity to build a cohesive faculty. Students who stay at established high schools will also be affected by Lincoln's opening, because some teachers will move (some of these teachers may anchor programs) and movement of students may mean other changes in course offerings (e.g., fewer AP or different language classes).

I would like to see boundaries created sooner rather than later, to better engage students and families of students who will be attending. And yes, there is a pretty good chance we'll be directly affected.


kellie said...

@ southpaw,

You are not the only one that probably missed the potential change about Cleveland and the subsequent dramatic changes in boundaries for the south end.

Here is a map that shows the old boundaries from the 70's.

The limited choice system creates a fair bit of administrative complexity. I suspect that the driver of this change is an attempt to simplify things. However the real issue is that Cleveland's enrollment has been artificially capped and that artificial enrollment cap has caused strains to Cleveland budget.

Anonymous said...

@sixwrens- "First, the students who opened Robert Eagle Staff are not put in the position of opening another new school. "

Hundreds may be put in that position again. HCC (Whitman service area) who moved to Eaglestaff from HIMS, may also get placed at Lincoln if an HCC pathway school. I would feel especially sorry for the 8th graders who moved in their last year, who will be 10th graders at Lincoln. Lincoln may open as a 9-10.

The drawing of new boundaries should have been considered alongside program placement decisions in the task force meetings.


kellie said...

@ bhk,

You raise an interesting point about cohesive decisions.

The Student Assignment Plan is at the Operations Committee TODAY. This will then be voted on by the whole board on November 1st. This has gotten very little attention by the public.

That said, they are planning to decide the HCC pathways in the SAP vote. The CONSEQUENCES of this decision are ENORMOUS. Because the pathways will determine the scope of boundary changes and geo-splits. Simply put if Lincoln is the HCC school, the boundaries are smaller. If HCC is dispersed, then Lincoln is larger and we will have substantial boundary changes all across the north end.

As for who get geo-split ....

If Lincoln is the HCC pathway, then HCC students (at Garfield) would be re-assigned to Lincoln at 10th graders (and potentially 11th)

If Lincoln is NOT the HCC pathway, then the Lincoln boundaries will need to be significantly larger, and there will be a cascade of domino geo-splits. This would be very similar to the 850 elementary students who were slated to be geo-split all across the north end in order to open Cedar Park.

The consequence here are huge. Many people are under the impression that ONLY HCC students or students in new Lincoln attendance area will be geo-split TO Lincoln. The SAP vote will decide if there will also be splits between Ballard/Ingraham, Roosevelt/Ballard, Roosevelt/Hale and Hale/Ingraham.

Simply put, the largest component of the boundary decisions could be decided in the SAP vote.

Benjamin Leis said...

FWIW, I agree with Kellie. The consequences are much more extensive across the north end for everyone if the pathway goes away. HCC is effectively functioning as a capacity management tool in this region keeping the overcrowded schools from needing to shift their boundaries further.

Anonymous said...

@ kellie, that's why there need to be maps under consideration that address both potential options re: HCC. As it stands, however, most people (on the HCC blog anyway) seem to be interpreting the current proposed boundaries to PRESUME that HCC pathways will be eliminated and HC-identified students will be routed to neighborhood schools. People have been asking them to make the assumptions clear and develop maps that reflect the various scenarios, but maybe that doesn't matter at this point since the outcome of the SAP may determine whether or not significant boundary revisions are necessary. Then again, if the board is simultaneously looking at that those maps that presume elimination of the pathways while thinking about program placement, that seems likely to influence their votes on the SAP. Thoughts?


Anonymous said...

I missed the broader ramifications of the SAP, with a ripple effect resulting in the possibility of students being shuffled across various high schools in 10th and possibly 11th grades. This provides an even stronger argument for keeping 11th graders in place, and some forethought regarding the ability to maintain 10th graders in their 9th grade assignment schools. With the opening of Lincoln, schools will need to adjust to staffing changes. Additional changes to the student body will result in further disruption if incoming students have different academic needs and goals than the students who are reassigned.

The HCC plan is a huge wild card. Is there a large enough cohort to distribute HCC students to two north end high schools? Maybe Ingraham (IBX) and Lincoln (focus on APP and music, which has been the draw for attending Garfield). This could mirror offerings in south end schools, with Garfield having a focus on a wide range of APP offerings and Sealth offering and IB program.


Anonymous said...

The HCC plan is a huge wild card. Is there a large enough cohort to distribute HCC students to two north end high schools?

If they are talking about a new service model for high school HC, are pathway schools part of it? It seems the wild card is not about where they would place cohorts, but if they would make any effort to maintain the cohort model.

not hopeful

kellie said...

IMHO, Lincoln is a great location to be an HCC cohort school.

1) Lincoln is physically very close to both Ballard and Roosevelt. This makes Lincoln an ideal location for a magnet program. Without a magnet program at Lincoln, you are forced to draw some very bizarre boundaries.

2) The demographics of the Queen Anne, Magnolia, Fremont neighborhoods have an exceptionally high number of HCC qualified students. This makes a very natural cohort who will already be at Lincoln regardless.

3) Since 500 seats are being added to Ingraham at the same time, this is more like opening 1.5 high schools. IB is a very popular option and it makes a lot more sense to keep Ingraham boundaries smaller, and rely on the attractiveness of the program to fill the school. As Ingraham has had long wait lists at every grade for many years now, that is a pretty safe bet.

Anonymous said...

@ kellie,

Yes. Geographically, Lincoln is a great location for an HCC school. Programmatically, however, maybe NOT, as the planning principal is considered by many to be opposed to advanced learning and is taking it in an "innovation school"/project-based learning direction. HCC families who end up at Lincoln--regardless of whether because it's the pathway or because pathways are disbanded and it's their neighborhood school--may find it challenging to access the desired level of rigor.

You clearly see the interplay between high school boundaries, the SAP, and HCC. I'm not sure if you've also been paying attention to the district's apparent desire to eliminate high school HCC pathways, as evidenced in some of their recent meeting materials. That the proposed boundaries seem to reflect this seems to add further credence to these fears.

But perhaps people are reading the maps wrong? When you look at the proposed boundaries, do you see them as including Lincoln as an HCC pathway? Or do you agree they seem to be assuming that HCC students return to neighborhood schools?


Anonymous said...

@boundless - principals come and go, programs evolve. You have to do things one step at a time. 1st establish a pathway and boundaries and then work on programming. If you try to mix things up and object because of an preliminary impression of the principal then you're more likely than not to end up with nothing and a bigger mess.


kellie said...

@ boundless,

I am not addressing programatic issues, just capacity and boundaries. However, if the "plan" is that the cohort is dispersed and all HCC students are returned to their attendance area schools, then there is certainly more than one principal with mixed support for advanced learning. At least when there is a cohort, then there is enough critical mass to generate advanced classes on the master schedule. There are multiple schools with less than 50 HCC qualified students. If the students are dispersed, the students without a cohort are going to find it nearly impossible to get classes even with a supportive principal.

The Lincoln area has one of the highest percentage of HCC qualified students. This makes sense being so close to Hamilton. Geographic proximity gives families a good reason to apply to the program. There has always been "hot spots" of qualification that corresponded to the location of the school. Back in the day, when there was only one location, the highest density of HCC students was right on the top of Capitol Hill, very close to Lowell and Garfield.

People are reading the maps correctly. None of the boundary scenarios are representative of Lincoln as an HCC pathway. If Lincoln was designated as the HCC pathway school, there would need to be space set aside for the program.

If there were space set aside for the program, then the boundaries for Ingraham and Hale could be left intact. But choosing to end the cohort model, this is going to push boundary disruption to ALL the north end high schools.

kellie said...

I checked the Ops Agenda to see what was being presented to the Board today. Their is only an agenda and not attachments.


Anonymous said...

The Lincoln planning meeting was about as anti-HC as you could get without overtly stating as much. It was as if those students or any others wanting AP coursework somehow didn't exist, and the school was going to open in some utopian otherworld. We left thinking we should seriously look at private school options.

-not hopeful

H.M.? said...

I have an HCC 7th grader and we live in the Hale zone and this is freaking me out. It's pretty easy to think about my own child and what she needs academically and see that neither Hale's nor Lincoln's current principals have any desire to offer her what she needs. I can't afford to send her to private school and I can't leave Seattle because of my job. My child is a student in this district and it needs to find a way to educate her. With dignity. And respect.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I will be attending the Ops meeting today.

Not hopeful, I will put up a Lincoln thread but yes, I got the impression that some parents did not want HCC students there. Unfortunately, program or not, they may be there anyway. What will they do then?

Anonymous said...

"Some parents?" My comments were based on the presentation. Parents at my table had similar concerns. When the meeting opened they asked for a show of hands for parents of elementary students, middle school students, alumni, and then somehow left out parents of current high school students. Weird oversight. There were many current high school parents in attendance.

not hopeful

Anonymous said...

@kellie makes a lot of sense regarding the logic of designating Lincoln as an HCC pathway school and keeping Ingraham as an optional HCC pathway for IB.


Anonymous said...

If it's logical, I can't decide if they will throw this card down at the end with a "ta-da! Hoo-yah" or if they will do the opposite.

Whip Lash