Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Meeting Items of Note

Update: link to district update on the Student Assignment Transition Plan and High School Boundaries.

Documents for today's Task Force meeting.  I note that they will be making a decision for a recommendation on Cleveland today which is likely to be returning it as a comprehensive instead of a STEM school.  What a mistake.

Decision Timeline

 end of update

If you have questions about next steps for high school boundaries, please send them to growthboundaries@seattleschools.org . If you have questions about highly capable pathways, please send them to advlearn@seattleschools.org .
You may also contact School Board Directors at SchoolBoard@seattleschools.org (all board directors and cabinet level staff) or SPSDirectors@seattleschools.org (only school board directors).

First, there is a High School Boundaries Task Force meeting tomorrow, Thursday, the 14th, from 12:30 -2:30 pm at JSCEE, Room 2750.  Thanks to Director Mack for the heads up.

Next, the agenda for the Board Work Session today from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm has switched the order of the items.  BEX V was to be first, at 4:30 pm, but is now the last item, starting at 6:30 pm.  Some kind of Spidey sense told me to check this (as I had planned to attend to hear the BEX discussion) and sure enough, it's now at the end (and I cannot attend then).   The agenda does include the presentation.

I find some of the wording in the presentation odd.  They use quote marks for several terms like "prioritization."  They also do not definitely say they will seek parent/public input on the list (and where they possibly may, it looks like only at the final stages).  I believe parents and staff should have direct input on the list.

They include the facilities report in the presentation. The priority schools, based on the assessment, appears on page 14.  BUT, there's yet another list for capacity.

Facilities Assessment Priority Schools

Elementary & K-8 Schools:

Alki, Rogers, North Beach, Montlake, Salmon Bay K-8 @ Monroe, Northgate, McGilvra, Roxhill, Lafeyette, Schmitz Park, Kimball, Sacajaweja, Louisa Boren STEM K-8

Middle Schools:

Whitman, Washington, Mercer International, Aki Kurose, McClure

High Schools:

Ingraham, Rainier Beach, Franklin

Service Schools:

North Queen Anne (Cascade Parent Partnership), 
I can't argue with this list except for a couple of things:
- it's quite the Sophie's choice in some places like Montlake or McGilvra which are small schools in very old buildings on small plots of land.  That means almost no expansion of their school in terms of enrollment and yet the cost to renovate will still be large. 

- as well, Northgate versus Rogers.  Both are old tired buildings.  Northgate has majority minority with many at-risk kids but Rogers' is a larger population; both would be on my list.

- Salmon Bay K-8 versus Louisa Boren K-8.  Well, Salmon Bay is in a decidedly older building and have been waiting patiently for their turn.  However, Boren had been a long-time interim building and so was never on any BEX list.

- Hard call on middle schools.

- On high schools, it's Rainier Beach High School #1 for both priority and where they should be on the timeline.  Ingraham continues its run as being on every single BEX and BTA since they started.  (Not to damn them but the district has been very piecemeal in how they have treated Ingraham.)  Franklin's building is not that old so I'm a little surprised to see them there.

The high school enrollment numbers (page 20) are quite interesting. 

High school growth is anticipated to continue through 2025

– The largest enrollment growth over the next ten years is projected to be in grades 9-12 
Not sure I believe that opening Lincoln and beefing up RBHS aren't enough.  I absolutely will fight a downtown high school with this kind of facilities condition need.  Better to do more with existing buildings than put on a new showcase school downtown.
Here's the second "priority" list:

Capacity Assessment – Priority Schools - Elementary, K-8 & K-12 Schools:

Fairmount Park (1), Alki (2), Lafayette(2), Coe(3), John Hay(3), Olympic View, John Muir, Adams, North Beach, Viewlands, West Seattle Elementary, Downtown Elementary School(4)

Middle Schools:

Denny International (1), Jane Addams, Madison, Mercer International,

McClure (4)

High Schools:

Ballard, Chief Sealth(1), Garfield, Nathan Hale, West Seattle, Downtown

High School (4)  
There follows charting showing those schools with both condition and capacity issues. 

Didn't have time to go thru the Budget portion of the agenda thoroughly but there was this:

SMART Goal 3 Update
  • BAR will come to the next A&F meeting to change language from “Program Review” to “Program Summary”
  • Reformatted list 
  • Added Decatur, Fairmont Park and Thurgood Marshall, but will include them as part of Advanced Learning 
  • Eliminated Athletic Directors 
  • Combined Athletic Programs and Athletic Transportation into Athletics 
  • Retitled Nurses/Health Services to Health Services 
  • Selection of final 10 Program Summaries  
Recommended for final 10
  • Athletics
  • Career Ladder Teachers 
  • Mentor Teachers 
  • Master Teachers 
  • STAR Mentors 
  • MTSS 
  • International Baccalaureate 
  • Resource Conservation 
  • Open Doors 
  • Advanced Learning/AP
I find the list baffling for a couple of reasons.  One, there's a lot of reassessing programs for teachers.  Two, I don't know what "resource conservation" or "Open Doors" means.  And three, how come IB is separated out but AP is in with AL?  AP has nothing to do with AL in any real program way especially given there is no AL program - save enrollment patterns - in high school. 


Anonymous said...

Is IB on the chopping block? Will it remain as an option, but with no IBX? They need to figure it out before the Lincoln opening, boundary redraws, and IHS addition. AP is tied to AL because the primary service model has been cohorting HC students at a pathway school and providing more AP options than would be available at most neighborhood schools. It's about the only guarantee SPS offers of some advanced level coursework, whether in the cohort or not. If IHS were to become an HC pathway, IB as the only option would be problematic. If AP options were also available, however, it could be the death of IB. They may not be able to support that many unique course options, schedule wise or teacher wise.

who knows

Seattle Citizen said...

Franklin High School is 105 years old.

Michael Rice said...

Franklin has been a high school for 105 years, the building was rebuilt around 1990, so the building itself is less than 30 years old. It was the first high school to be rebuilt.

NNE Mom said...

Weird that the district keeps wanting to pour money into these tiny elementary schools. Some of them should really be tear-downs. Sacajawea only holds about 250 students and the district is constantly pouring remediation money into it to make up for its small size. It costs an incredible amount of money per student for the child to educate a student at a tiny school like Sacajawea as compared to one of the newer 500+ student schools.

That list for SMART goals is pretty weird. I mean, nice to see some teaching-related things on there. Odd that there's nothing about curriculum. Also seems like they might want to look that list over using their equity tool.

Seattle Citizen said...

Michael - Thank you. I didn't know that it had had an extensive rebuild in 1990. Is it still in pretty good shape?

Tanja said...

Sacajawea is an odd school: architecturally, it's composed of an upper level and a lower level, and families attending each level almost never see each other (there are also two different playgrounds, one for each level). The actual structure of the building prevents community building to some extent.

Also oddly, the lower level classroom doors all open directly to the outdoors (there is no hallway), so kids' coats and bags are hung outside all day in any weather (unless a teacher has cubbies in the small rooms). Kids also have to walk outdoors to reach the bathroom or the doors up to the cafeteria. They have portables there to accommodate its wonderful program for kids on the autism spectrum.

Personally, I think that site would be much better used if they tore down the existing structure, which is not only old (although fairly well maintained) but also architecturally bizarre and completely inadequate, and replaced it with a modern and much larger facility that could serve more kids in NE Seattle. It's so close to both Olympic View and Wedgwood I wonder if it wouldn't be a good spot for an option school or a proper K-8 even.

Melissa Westbrook said...

So Franklin seems to have had some issues around historical items but you’d have to check the Meng report.

As for Sacajawea, like Montlake and McGilvra, I suspect their land area is small.

Leslie said...


Sorry that the flip on the topics for tonight's work session are problematic for you. I approved it because that way we can let some staff leave earlier than the way it was previously set. Also, the BEX portion may go long and we have an Executive Session following.

Leslie Harris
President, SPS Dir. 6

Anonymous said...

Sacajawea is a well loved school in the area. People choose it on purpose because it is smaller. I know several families that chose it over Wedgwood. It might be better as an option school though.


Anonymous said...

What is a capacity assessment? I see Hale is on that list. Is it to add more portables?


NNE Mom said...

Sacajawea is not that well loved, HP. Hardly anyone chooses it on purpose for any reason. In 2015, only one kindergarten student from outside the assignment zone chose Sacajawea as their first choice school during open enrollment. In 2016, it was only two students. See Table 2-B in the School Choice Trends Report:

Oh, and remember Alec Cooper recommended that the school climate reports include "opt out" information about how many students opted OUT of each attendance area school? Well, that information is now all summed up here although it's presented as the percentage of students living in the attendance area who opt IN:

And looking there, we can see that only 51% of the students in Sacajawea's attendance area attend Sacajawea, which is MUCH lower than the surrounding schools (these are the opt-in percentages):
Olympic View 67%
Olympic Hills 63%
John Rogers 55%
Wedgwood 69%

In fact, there are only nine other elementary schools that fewer attendance area students choose to attend than Sacajawea (these are the opt-in percentages):
Greenlake 36%
Emerson 40%
Madrona K-8 (the elementary part) 43%
B.F. Day 47%
Roxhill 48%
Dunlap 49%
Rainier View 49%
Hawthorne 49%
Lowell 50%

The reports go on to say that 12% of Sacajawea students choose to attend another attendance area school and 31% attend an option school. OUCH. They might needs to do more than throw BEX money at some of these schools...

Jet City mom said...

Sacajawea used to be much more popular. We did not live in the neighborhood, but knew several that did, and my daughters girl scout troop met there.
They had a long time principal who seemed well loved.

It wasnt that long ago that the district contemplated closing the school.


Anonymous said...

NNE Mom,

That list refers to the board’s request for an inventory of programs and program reviews with information on which schools offer a particular program, which students are served, what are the costs, are there measurable academic outcomes, etc. I’ve seen reports on language immersion and advanced learning in one of the work sessions. (The LI report had lots of data while the AL report included lots of subjective opinions.) The board has been given a long list of programs and asked to choose 10 for this year.

You can see some info on this in the October 25th agenda and materials.

Fairmount Parent

GLP said...

Just FYI - Green Lake’s data above is not comparable, as the attendance area for Green Lake includes John Stanford and McDonald’s geo zones. As presented here it suggests that it’s an unpopular school, when in reality it has an attendance area that is extremely large by design due to the two language immersion option schools. For the last several years Green Lake has been packed to the gills — pushing the limits of it’s capacity. It could never hold more than 40% of so of the students who live in it’s attendance area.

(I know this discussion isn’t about Green Lake. But, just wanted to clarify, since the data presented gives a different impression.)


SouthCrownHill said...

North Beach was originally where they were going to expand capacity in BEX IV, but then they changed it to Loyal Heights instead. I wasn't involved then, so I wasn't following the changes. When I asked about why it got changed (during the rezone), there weren't clear answers, something about site suitability? It was really murky. I think it would have made a lot more sense geographically to have done it, and it's interesting they are saying there are still capacity issues as they open up the Loyal Heights expansion. Our neighborhood, currently zoned for Whittier, is closer geographically to North Beach, Greenwood, Viewlands, and (of course) Whittier, yet they decided I guess because we were already being bussed to Whittier, it was easiest to move us to Loyal Heights to reduce capacity at Whittier and fill up the new capacity at Loyal Heights. Thus, we are far from attending a "neighborhood" school.

Anonymous said...

Franklin is absolutely a historic building. It was renovated in the 90s but not “rebuilt.” It is a landmark and in my estimation the most beautiful school in the city, but of course it’s dated and can use some work.

-south paw

Tylenol- anyone? said...

Franklin is a beautiful building that sits upon a hill. A beautiful sight.

Capacity, enrollment and pathways is enough to give anyone a roaring headache!

Stu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stu said...

Jet City Mom said: Sacajawea used to be much more popular. We did not live in the neighborhood, but knew several that did, and my daughters girl scout troop met there.
They had a long time principal who seemed well loved.

It wasnt that long ago that the district contemplated closing the school.

Back in 2006, when Manhas "saved" the school, it WAS beloved. Deb Nelson was the principal, there was a wonderful arts/music/theater/movement program, run by Lassie Webster of Roaring Mouse, and there was incredible community/family financial support with auctions/events that raised surprising amounts of money to help cover costs. Unfortunately, Deb Nelson moved on, the district completely ignored the principal search results and, instead of assigning one of the three choices, installed a "fourth choice" that wasn't qualified or beloved. In the true and typical "let's stick this principal here" fashion, the school lost much of its charm, the arts/music program, Lassie, a number of wonderful teachers, and, eventually, its reputation.

Our son had a wonderful couple of years there, before moving on to APP at Lowell. We were sad to leave our neighborhood school but, it turned out, we got out at a good time.


Anonymous said...

When does Eckstein and Washington get a remodel? The middle schools in this district have been patiently waiting for all of the high schools and elementary schools to be rebuilt. Not that long ago, Eckstein had a $23.5 million dollar backlog of maintenance according to the MENG. According to that independent analysis, it was the "most needy" in the district. Somehow it didn't make it onto BEX IV. It was switched to JAMS two weeks before the vote.

It sure would be nice if this district had a transparent list of buildings to be remodeled. That is the norm in surrounding districts. There is variety in feeder patterns, elementary/middle/high schools, and so that a student doesn't experience a remodel throughout their educational career. For some reason, SPS is shrouded in mystery and refuses to have a transparent list. It's time for the middle schools. There hasn't been a renovation to Eckstein since it was built in the 50's. There have been repairs, but walk the halls and you'll see a building that is in distress and tells the children in that building that they are not a priority.

Anonymous said...

Oops. I meant to sign my name.

Middleschools Matter

Eric B said...

SouthCrownHill, there were several reasons why Loyal Heights was expanded and not North Beach:

* The original plan was to build a new elementary on the North Beach site while keeping the old school open, saving money. That was later determined not to be feasible (not sure why).
* NB is close enough to Loyal Heights that the boundary would have had to be really close to LH.
* Whittier and Adams are both overcrowded and LH was closer to both of those schools.
* The LH boundary was already really small, with kids living 3-4 blocks from the school assigned to Adams.
* Re: transportation, SPS has to pay for busing for all of the students in the 85th/Greenwood/Holman triangle because those students have to cross a major arterial to get to any elementary. That means that there's no change in transportation cost to the district no matter where they go.

Those are the historical reasons. Obviously, reasonable people can disagree about whether they are more important than the reasons to make other boundary decisions.

kellie said...

The High School Boundary Task Force meeting has some interesting documents.

1). The agenda states they are making a recommendation on Cleveland’s option school status. Changing Cleveland would disrupt the entire south end.

2). Lots of new maps. Many of the maps go practically to the doors of Ballard and Roosevelt. A lot of people will be shocked to learn that they are in change zones.

Anonymous said...

Kellie ....

Where are you seeing new maps?


N by NW

LMM said...

It is very important that Cleaveland's STEM program does not change. I am looking for advice and info to get more information.

Thank you,
Mid Beacon SPS parent

Another NW said...

New Maps:

Very disappointed to see that they are thinking of sending kids so close to Ballard to Ingraham & Lincoln. How is this listening to families who wanted walkability? Also, I've been following this closely and now on 12/15 first time I'm seeing a change in our assignment (area N. of 80th now Ingraham). Also, someone needs to lay out how this will be implemented for this year's 8th graders. Will all kids be geo-split? Couldn't 10th graders at other schools other than Lincoln stay? Can we please try to move the fewest kids possible - my child just moved for 8th grade, under all the new "F" scenarios looks like she'll be moved again for 10th even though there would be plenty of room for her to stay at Ballard...

Anonymous said...

@another NW- Probably because it enables Magnolia to remain at Ballard & pushing kids north because Ingraham will have more room to fill in 2019. We also have to think about traffic and bus rides. There is no perfect plan because QA & Magnolia have no high school.
NW also

Anonymous said...

@ Kellie ... I found them. Would love to hear your opinions!


N by NW

Melissa Westbrook said...

The district does have the Meng report for facilities that does grade schools on their condition. Eckstein isn't as bad off as Mercer, McClure and Washington. But really, this should be the BEX for middle schools (save RBHS which has long been waiting its turn) and some elementaries.

This is yet ANOTHER reason why we don't need a downtown high school now. It's a luxury that the district cannot afford while the middle schools don't have adequate science labs (and yet the kids will be tested for science). Tell your Board member - no downtown high school until more of the middle schools get fixed.

Confused said...

We live in Maple Leaf / Olympic View in an area that was once Eckstein and is now Eagle Staff. Our neighborhood now looks like it will be assigned to Ingram, the furthest of 3 high schools from our house (Hale and Roosevelt are both closer).

Does anyone know where Olympic View->Eagle Staff HCC kids would be assigned for HS if:
1) Four regional pathways with Ballard, Roosevelt, Garfield and West Seattle as pathways;

Would we be assigned to Ballard or Roosevelt?


Another NW said...

NW Also - Understand its complicated, but Magnolia students aren't walking to Ballard either way. Taking the bus from our area to Ingraham takes awhile as well. Requires 2 buses, with transfer about 40-50 minutes. If that amount of travel time is unacceptable for QA/Magnolia students, it should also be for kids who could otherwise walk. Not trying to pit families/students against one another but walkability should be definitely be considered.

Seattle Citizen said...

Kellie or some other chart reader, can you explain the legends on the maps of the various HS geozones?
For instance, the map for Scenario F Version 2 shows the following for Ballard, including a total of one 1358 for 2017, when Ballard currently has over 1800 students, and certainly 400 of them aren’t from outside the current geozone. What do these numbers mean?
Ballard: Attendance Area Right Size Capacity: 1607
2017 9th-12th Grade SPS Residents: 9-361; 10 – 371; 11-341; 12-285 Total 1358

Anonymous said...

There are 1,358 students enrolled in an SPS high school this year who live within the Ballard attendance area as drawn on that map.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

Do Montlake and Eastlake realize many of the new scenarios send them to Lincoln not Garfield? Ditto lower Queen Anne.


Anonymous said...

Metro transportation to Ingraham is very limited. They currently have yellow bus shuttles northbound in the AM, with PM shuttles to the NG transit center. Expanding the boundaries of Ingraham (and Lincoln) in a way that forces students into long commutes makes one wonder what happened to the minimize disruption and maximize walkability goals. There is a reason IB (and IBX) was placed at Ingraham. They really need to draw in out of boundary students to keep other school boundaries reasonable. The plan to balance capacity with boundaries only is going to increase disruption and decrease walkability.

(And a note to the school board - What is up with getting involved in city zoning decisions? Is that really your place? If Green Dot is seeking a zoning variance, that's up to the city to decide. Please focus your energies on improving SPS schools. Perhaps you wouldn't feel threatened by charter schools if you were spending your energies making sound decisions for SPS students.)


Anonymous said...

It's hard to believe that the district is considering moving even more students who can WALK to Ballard HS into Ingraham. I understand the issue that Magnolia has bus rides to get students to Lincoln but the issue is worse for the students north of 80th St in the new Map F proposal. When north of 85th street was initially being proposed to be moved from Ballard HS to Ingraham, families explained the very long and unsafe Metro route it would take to get to IHS (transfer at Jack in the Box on Aurora Ave). So students have been given a yellow bus to and from IHS for the last few years. Many of these students could walk or bike to Ballard HS safely, but instead they have to sit on a long bus ride to IHS. Now MORE students are proposed to be put on that bus to IHS. In MAP F, students from north of 80th St will be forced on a yellow bus (the district will have to run an additional bus(es)since the current buses to IHS are full) and students from Magnolia will still have to bus/drive to BHS. So instead of increasing walkability for one single student, MORE students are going to be bused. The district has the opportunity save money by eliminating buses and increasing walkability by changing the boundaries to Map H.

I totally get that Magnolia students have to deal with city traffic to get to Lincoln, but north of 85th students who could WALK/BIKE to BHS have been forced out of our neighborhood to be bused to far away IHS for years. Map H would allow more students to walk/bike to school and the yellow buses currently used for IHS could be used to bus Magnolia students to Lincoln. Has anyone suggested using the current IHS buses be used to transport Magnolia students to Lincoln instead??? Let's get SOME of our SPS students off of buses and back into their actual neighborhood by voting for Map H.

Side note...There has been no outreach to families north of 80th St that they're potentially being drawn into IHS. I'd wager that those families wouldn't think that even though they live so close to BHS that they'd be drawn to IHS (one of my friends lives .8 miles away from BHS and plans on her child walking there). This is hugely impactful and it's a true shame that this is being quietly introduced with zero community input right before winter break. I know that those families will be blown away by this if Map F passes.

North of 85th

Seattle Citizen said...

Thanks, Fairmont. I was confused because BHS has 400 more than that. It's still kind of odd, because basically we should believe, then, that MORE than 400 students are at BHS who live OUTSIDE the attendance area. If there are 1358 within the attendance area, and there are...1904? students at the school, then 450 live elsewhere?!
I find that hard to believe, as the lottery set aside (which was supposed to be ten percent) is largely gone.

I just don't believe that more than 450 BHS students live outside the attendance area.

Anonymous said...

Thank you North of 85th. We're one of those families who live just north of 80th, and would be greatly impacted by this sudden turn of events. Kid is in 8th Grade, and I doubt there will be any grandfathering for 10th Grade. I'm disgusted that this map came out of the blue without any input from parents (but probably shouldn't be surprised).
Future Ballard Graduate Possibly

kellie said...

There was a request for my opinions on the new maps.

I think that sometimes, people forget that schools are in the education business, not the assignment business. Running a limited choice system is challenging but the limited choice model does create more opportunities for more students. High School student need some flexibility. These are young adults who are getting ready to launch into the world and there is not one-size-fits-all solution.

Ingraham has a wait list at every grade level. The IB program is very popular. There is no “demand:” reason to expand Ingraham’s boundaires, the boundaries are already quite large and it would be very easy to fill the additional 500 seats from their expansion with choice students. Expanding Ingraham’s boundaries means that hundreds of students who walk to Ballard and Roosevelt will now on be on a long bus ride AND displacing students who would consider that bus ride to be their first choice.

That said, there is an administrative burden to managing choice seats. Expanding the boundaries minimizes that burden. The cost of that minimization is the loss of genuine choice for high school students.

kellie said...

The bottom line is the LIncoln is physically close to both Ballard and Roosevelt, which makes for some tight boundary choices. I suspect that most people have presumed that if they are on the closer to Lincoln side, they would be assigned to Lincoln and that if there were on the closer to Ballard or Roosevelt side, they would remain at their current assignment.

I don’t think anyone expected that there would be such a hard push to export all the Language Immersion students and HC students to other schools, such that there would be need to draw the largest possible boundary for Lincoln.

There was never going to be a scenerio in which every student gets their closest school. Schools are students just are not located that way. However, these maps will most likely mean that 1-2,000 students will now be assigned away from a walkable school to a bus, without a transportation analysis or feasibility study.

Anonymous said...

Kellie, thank you so much for your insightful analysis.

To reiterate on this thread what you have said before elsewhere and alluded to above: if HCC and Language Immersion were placed at Lincoln, thousands more high school students (mostly general ed) would be able to go to a closer high school.

The fact that the principal for Lincoln refuses to host HCC and Language Immersion causes thousands more kids to travel farther to their assigned school against their wishes. The district claims that not putting HCC at Lincoln is an equity issue. Also, Lincoln High School has no fields of its own.

Parents need to let the district know what they think of that decision.


SouthCrownHill said...

Eric B. - That still doesn't answer my question as to why they are still saying there are capacity issues at North Beach even with the Loyal Heights addition (you're right these schools are very close to each other, but differ in distance from our neighborhood), or what has changed in the intervening years to make it so that they can consider doing building renovation/work they couldn't do for whatever reason in BEX IV. I guess I was under the impression that the Loyal Heights expansion was to solve capacity issues in our area for years to come. Mostly now I'm worried that they do North Beach work, change the boundaries around here again, and I have a second kid going to a different school.

Anonymous said...

I agree that these maps are better, but they are still not looking at walkablity (with Phinney Ridge going to Lincoln). They should draw a line from each school and measure out 2 miles form there. -TeacherMom

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your good insights. However, I don't understand what you mean about the hard push to export LI students to other schools? IHS has been the north end DLI pathway HS for many years. While some kids on the LI pathway have gone to Ingraham, others have chosen RHS. I don't think that the DLI kids are actually taking up that many seats at Ingraham. I am frustrated that SPS is backtracking on what families of DLI students were told in October and is now considering making LHS the DLI pathway when it opens in 2019. I hope that if they reverse their decision and move the DLI pathway to Lincoln in 2019, they will let the rising 9th graders stay at Ingraham for all 4 years versus yanking them to Lincoln.

Anonymous said...

@Kellie- I know there are issues with all 4 plans being discussed today, but I just wanted to point out one I think may not have been raised.

Regarding the new HC options they are considering & the Lincoln/Garfield 2 pathway option, there are some issues to consider for current HC 8th graders who will be 10th grade HC in 2019.

In this scenario, Lincoln opens as a 9/10 with 9th grade HC. Garfield & Ingraham HC are grandfathered .

However current HC 8th graders who are not at Garfield or Ingraham in 2019 (10th graders) and have boundaries change get sent to schools in 10th that may not be able to serve them.

Example, you start your HC child in 2018 at Roosevelt or Ballard (your current neighborhood school) assuming they can have their needs met. In 2019, your reference area changes to a school that cannot/will not etc. serve them, ex Lincoln or Hale etc. This is an issue.

The 4 pathway plan is the only plan as far as I can tell that allows for HC students from other areas outside where HC are concentrated to enter a pathway. It allows for more entry points to have access both HC and respective AP courses.

Anonymous said...

@ Kellie, you said Ingraham has high demand and could fill the extra 500 spots without growing its boundaries, but I assume that's only true if there aren't additional HCC pathways added. If they add a bunch of new pathways, it seems that would decrease demand somewhat, no?

All types

Anonymous said...

I have an 8th grader who was reluctantly moved to REMS this year, and living between 80th & 85th, version F has us moving (AGAIN) from Ballard to Ingraham in 10th grade. No student should EVER have to go through this kind of trauma, let alone TWICE! I am not kidding, but we're going to have to move if this version goes through.

I strongly feel that the district needs to pick the maps that move the fewest students. Period.

-Looking For a Rental

Ballard Resident said...

"It's hard to believe that the district is considering moving even more students who can WALK to Ballard HS into Ingraham. "

Why is this hard to believe? Several years ago, the district tried to push Ballard residents OUT of Ballard high. Any student one block north of Ballard was slated to go to Ingraham. East lines were eventually tightened which allowed Ballard families (s. of 85th) to attend their neighborhood school.

I've not seen the maps, but it seems reasonable to look at east boundaries, again.

Presently, there are some HC Ballard students that want to attend Ingraham, but are slated to go to Garfield.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I'll just note that I think the writing is on the wall for HCC pathways (in terms of a few rather than being served at your attendance school). I think those will end and I think that staff is proceeding on from that premise.

Ballard Resident said...

Clarification: Students that lived one block north of Ballard high school was slated to go to Ingraham.

I can't imagine families know that there are discussions to push families out of Ballard- again. Historically, 85th has always been the boundary.

Old Timer said...

Ballard has closer to 1900 students. I don't believe that 400 students live outside the attendance area, either. At one point, there were discussions that Ballard could not accommodate the 10% set aside number.

juicygoofy said...

Also, to anonymous at 1:29.

There is a bit of a loophole, but I understand that if an HC student enrolls at their neighborhood school, they are leaving their pathway and going to their neighborhood school via a "choice" enrollment. I also understand that choice enrollments, much like option schools, will likely be grandfathered. This would indicate that if an HC student is enrolled at Ballard or Roosevelt, and the boundaries change in 10th grade, they might be able to stay where they are currently enrolled to graduation.

This could all change at any time, so please don't quote me!

Melissa Westbrook said...

Ranter said this:
"(And a note to the school board - What is up with getting involved in city zoning decisions? Is that really your place? If Green Dot is seeking a zoning variance, that's up to the city to decide.)"

Well, there are several things to say to this.

While it may seem like a purely technical issue (and one Councilperson's office tried to sell it to me that way), the City has said they want to be good partners with the district.

However, does a good partner:
- undermine a school that is struggling (and making progress)like RBHS by putting in a school that would directly compete with it?
- In a city where charters were voted down

Sure, they could but then what's next? Giving charters access to Families and Education levy dollars? Is that a good partner?

And a good partner doesn't wheedle and twist arms to get free rent for THEIR program (pre-K in multiple schools) and yet, year after year, charge the district for space at Seattle Center (for the Center School)?

So if the City wants to be "partners" and have good cooperation on Memorial Stadium, they might want to look beyond "technical" issues.

The interesting news, though, is that this issue is rolled into an omnibus bill that probably won't get heard until early March 2018. I suspect there might be some arm-twisting from the moneyed charter community to change that.

kellie said...

There is no reason to suspect that demand for IB at Ingraham would decrease. A pathway might decrease space available but not demand.

Regardless, there is no reason to create so much disruption by changing Ingraham’s boundary. Ingraham could easily be filled by program placement or choice students.

As for language immersion, this is a huge last minute change. The language immersion task force recommended Lincoln. Superintendent Nyland concurred well over a year ago, it was “practically done”. By not having the LI at Lincoln, the Lincoln boundaries need to be larger to accommodate the students who are guaranteed Ingraham.

Eric B said...

SouthCrownHill, I haven't looked at what has happened at NB between then and now. North Beach is a pretty small school so that may have an impact.

Seattle Citizen, the difference is that the boundaries change on the new map. So there are 1300-odd current residents in that proposed new Ballard zone. It doesn't really address how many students are resident in the current/old Ballard zone.

Ballard Resident, in the first round of the NSAP, there were rumors that the Ballard-Ingraham boundary would be as far south as 67th NW, but I don't think there was ever an actual map or proposal showing that boundary. That said, this time map H3 has people across the street from Ballard going to Lincoln. I have trouble believing that this is an actually serious proposal and not a "well, you asked for something we think is ridiculous, so we're giving you a ridiculous map" issue. It may also make the other boundaries look not so bad.

kellie said...

Essentially, this plan is to geo-split, Ballard and Roosevelt general education students, who live in any area that is within two miles of Lincoln, so that Wallingford can go to Ingraham and HCC can go to Ballard and Roosevelt.

Some of these maps, move over 50% of north end students. It should be call the maximum disruption program.

Melissa Westbrook said...

Anyone go to the meeting?

kellie said...

There was a map for Ballard with the boundary at 67th in the very first round of boundary redraws back in 2008. That is when I first learned how differently high school parents viewed this process. My kids were still in elementary and I found all of the “high school is different” comments a bit intense. Now I understand.

Drawing the boundary at 85th was a long negotiated neighborhood compromise that sent most of Phinney to Roosevelt and then wedgewood to Hale.

The process took two years for a reason. The entire notion this would happen in weeks is fatally flawed.

Anonymous said...

It might feel like a huge last minute change (that Ingraham was slated to be DLI pathway instead of LHS) to you and others who are more closely following the ins and outs of SPS. However, as a parent of an 8th grader LI student at HIMS (elementary at JSIS), Ingraham has always been the DL pathway since my son started K. So it feels like a huge change to me that now in the 11th hour they are trying to switch it to Lincoln with no word on whether rising 9th graders will get to stay at Ingraham after 9th grade. AND, in October Michelle Aoki shared critical information that DLI would be at Ingraham NOT at LHS and Ruth Medsker also shared this information. So, my family has been assuming (with good reason) that our child would be able to go to Ingraham via the DLI pathway and stay there all 4 years. Now, we are being jerked around like so many other families in the district. So frustrating. My hope at this point is that they will allow kids at Ingraham (9th graders in 2018) on the LI pathway to stay there even if Lincoln opens as a DLI pathway in 2019.

Anonymous said...

@Kellie-- Ballard and Roosevelt are near full with or without HCC in all cases, there is a boom of all kids.

Anonymous said...

@Juicygoofy- Thanks, but I don't think that is the case, as enrollment planning did not point that out when I raised the concern.

@Kellie can you confirm and do you see this potential issue? If the Lincoln plan was to pass I suspect there would need to be an amendment. See below.

"I know there are issues with all 4 plans being discussed today, but I just wanted to point out one I think may not have been raised.

Regarding the new HC options they are considering & the Lincoln/Garfield 2 pathway option, there are some issues to consider for current HC 8th graders who will be 10th grade HC in 2019.

In this scenario, Lincoln opens as a 9/10 with 9th grade HC. Garfield & Ingraham HC are grandfathered .

However current HC 8th graders who are not at Garfield or Ingraham in 2019 (10th graders) and have boundaries change get sent to schools in 10th that may not be able to serve them.

Example, you start your HC child in 2018 at Roosevelt or Ballard (your current neighborhood school) assuming they can have their needs met. In 2019, your reference area changes to a school that cannot/will not etc. serve them, ex Lincoln or Hale etc. This is an issue.

The 4 pathway plan is the only plan as far as I can tell that allows for HC students from other areas outside where HC are concentrated to enter a pathway. It allows for more entry points to have access both HC and respective AP courses.

kellie said...


Juicygoofy is correctly reading the SAP. However, anything can happen. I would not bank on that provision.

We really are playing 52 card pick up at this point.

Confused said...

Can someone explain the advantage of having two (or 3) north end HCC pathways vs just one at Lincoln?

Couldn't Lincoln solve the same problem that Cascadia has solved, which is to provide a capacity overflow mechanism to minimize disruption from growth? No one is currently at Lincoln, so putting HCC there doesn't disrupt anyone. What is the reason for not just doing this instead of moving HCC from Garfield to Ballard and Roosevelt and disrupting thousand(s) of students?

Does anyone really object to Cascadia in the north end? What if they had decided Cascadia was to be a neighborhood school and redone all of the attendance area boundaries to squeeze kids back in? Why is there such an objection to a north end HCC HS pathway?

Why does anyone care what the principal at Lincoln wants when there's a good chance they won't be there in 3 years anyway? Isn't the placement of HCC a board decision?

Is it really credible to believe that in 2 or 3 years the district can get rid of the HCC pathway in the south end and provide needed services at all the neighborhood high schools? What is that going to cost?

Why is the board getting involved so late? Wasn't this always going to be a highly charged political decision?

Anonymous said...

Have those deciding on boundaries walked near the soon to be Roosevelt light rail station recently? There are hundreds upon hundreds of new housing units being added. Many are designed for working professionals, but there is also a 265 unit project in the works that is supposed to have 2-3 bdrm units.

building explosion

Anonymous said...

@LM, some of that doesn't make sense to me:

"Example, you start your HC child in 2018 at Roosevelt or Ballard (your current neighborhood school) assuming they can have their needs met. In 2019, your reference area changes to a school that cannot/will not etc. serve them, ex Lincoln or Hale etc. This is an issue."
"The 4 pathway plan is the only plan as far as I can tell that allows for HC students from other areas outside where HC are concentrated to enter a pathway."

What? How do? If they have already gotten off the pathway and are geosplit to a school that can't/won't serve them, the number of pathways is irrelevant, isn't it?

"It allows for more entry points to have access both HC and respective AP courses."

It doesn't allow for more entry points, and you're assuming it means more access to AP classes but that won't always be the case. Garfield is likely to see reduced access. The more pathways, the fewer the AP options for HC students.

All types

Anonymous said...

I want my HC kid to go to our neighborhood school and have excellent class offerings. I’m sick and tired of my student being used as a capacity management tool. So, some kids north of 85th go to Hale or Ingraham...sorry! Why should my student bus to Lincoln to have an unpredictable and possibly unsupportive Principal at a school with no fields or upper class men? Why should we push for 2 pathways so HC students faced with a school that doesn’t have enough peers will be okay? The District needs to figure this out PRONTO, but to be honest...not feeling like traveling to another high school with a bunch of kids from all over North Seattle just to make room at our neighborhood school for a few more blocks of students.

Selfish 4once

Anonymous said...

@selfish 4once. You can send you child to your neighborhood school. HC students don't have to go to a HC pathway school. You are lucky. You have options.

Anonymous said...

Sorry...typo..your child not you child.

Anonymous said...

@ Selfish 4once, are you really asking WHY you should support options that work out best for the most, as opposed to what's best for your own student, or was that a rhetorical question?

me cubed

Confused said...

If Lincoln is the HCC pathway school, there is nothing stopping parents that live in Roosevelt or Ballard from sending their kids to Roosevelt or Ballard. But the issue is not just a few kids getting moved. The issue is potentially thousands of kids getting moved. Take a look at the maps. They are proposing many many changes. Bringing HEC kids back from Garfield, and jamming them into Roosevelt, and pushing existing student out, to make room for them, it seems like a really bad idea.

Anonymous said...

Is there anything in the new materials that spells out the assumptions behind their projections? What percent of students at each school would opt for an HCC pathway under different scenarios, what percent of those who currently prefer Ingraham for HCC pathway might opt for an AP-based HCC pathway instead if additional pathways were added, what percentage of HCC/immersion students might opt out of LI for an AP-based pathway other than Garfield, what percentage of non-HC LI student are likely to not choose Ingraham (they have to opt in) and instead choose their neighborhood schools, etc. How are they coming up with these numbers? It can't just be based on who lives where...

can it?

Anonymous said...

@All types- "What? How do? If they have already gotten off the pathway and are geosplit to a school that can't/won't serve them, the number of pathways is irrelevant, isn't it?"

The pathway plan proposes linked schools. So if using the same example, a BHS or RHS 10th grade HC student in 2019 has a boundary change to Lincoln or Hale, they would not get sent to school that cannot or will not serve them.

Also, It's clear from the HC Pathways Projected Enrollment table that NONE of the scenarios alleviate capacity for the North long-term (2021-22 vs. capacity). This includes the Lincoln HC north option. HC is not a big driver in pushing kids out from anywhere. There is a big boom of kids period.

I feel like some are trying to pit groups against one another to drive an agenda.


Anonymous said...

@ can it?

Oh yes it can! SPS Staff hasn't run any scenarios except where students live. I asked Rick Burke if SPS had complete a transportation analysis for Magnolia students going to Lincoln ... nope!

At Rick Burke's community meeting, he basically admitted that the board meeting was a total sh^* show! He also said that the board knows that this process is going badly and uniformed decisions are being made that could have unintended consequences which will then have to be fixed in the years to follow.

Nevertheless, Rick said the process is moving forward and decisions will be made in January because they promised to let families know the final maps before open enrollment. Parents pushed back and said they would rather the board extend the deadline and take the time to develop a plan that was well thought out.

What a mess!

N by NW

Anonymous said...

So linked schools are different than pathways? You can essentially opt into the pathway at any time under the new plan?

all types

Melissa Westbrook said...

Building Explosion, to your point about the Roosevelt light rail.

1) Yes, I have stated that people who can afford to rent an apartment near Roosevelt can try to game the system.

2) FINALLY, all those ratty, falling-down buildings in front of Roosevelt are gone. But enjoy the view while you can Roosevelt; the new buildings will block the view to the south. Hilariously, SDOT decided that the station itself would be short and squatty. So much for density.

Neighborhoodplease said...

Pushing out the deadline sounds fine for families with kids who won't start HS until 2019, but as a family with a current 8th grader - we *need* information sooner rather than later as we are choosing our high school in early Feb. It's mid-Dec & I have no idea where my kid would be reassigned the following year. This is *very* stressful for incoming Freshman - these are actual students adjusting to High School! How are they supposed to do this and be excited knowing they aren't staying. #1 recommendation for high school success is "get involved" - why bother if you'll only be there 1 year? This was the same situation this same cohort was in when enrolling for Middle School with no certainty where they'd be for 8th grade. This group of families deserves some certainty, especially having just endured a move for 8th grade - why can't they phase in the boundary changes for all the schools except Lincoln? They are grandfathering all the 11/12th graders, why not the 10th graders too? This seems like it would be less disruptive to whole school communities as well.

One of the board members told these current 8th graders at the board meeting where it was decided to not grandfather them, that they would need to shoulder this burden for the good of everyone else - and they have, don't think they should have to yet again 2 years later. I believe it was Director Burke who also said during those same meetings that their job was to "do the least amount of harm"

Yes, do that.

Anonymous said...

Seattle Citizen and Old Timer,

The numbers on the map reflect the number of high school age SPS students living within the proposed (smaller) boundaries for Ballard. They are not reporting the students living in the current Ballard attendance area or the students currently attending Ballard.

Fairmount Parent

Eric B said...

For those looking for projections, there is a data file on the HSBTF materials website linked above that has projections out to the 2021-22 school year. I have not seen the assumptions behind the projections.

It's also worth noting that there are very few combinations of maps and HC pathway options that don't result in something totally unworkable at at least one high school. For that threshold, I'm using any school being more than 200 students over nominal capacity. None of the maps work for either the status quo or the Garfield/Lincoln HC options.

For the distributed model, only F3, F4, and F5 could possibly work. For the Garfield/Ingraham with Lincoln in the north model, only E, F, and H3 could work (H3 is politically untenable since students across the street from Ballard would be sent to Lincoln). For the 4 pathways option, only F2, F3, or F5 could possibly work. Staff's preferred option as stated in the meeting today was for F4, which can only work for the distributed model. It is entirely possible that the maps listed above may also not work for one reason or another. The 200 over capacity threshold was only intended to filter out the ridiculous.

Interestingly, what staff provided here is not what the Board requested at the last meeting. They asked for maps that would work with each of the HC models. Since neither status quo nor Garfield/Lincoln have workable maps, staff didn't do what the Board asked. We may yet see pushback on that issue.

Thanks for the history on 67th and Ballard, Kellie. I had forgotten that.

Anonymous said...

SPS will grandfather 11th and 12 graders because those kids have other options - i.e. Running Start - and if asked to change schools, I think many would likely choose RS over another high school. 10th graders do not have that option. Also, academics and continuity become increasingly important in 11th and 12th grade as kids are applying to college.

No Options said...

There are no options for HC students. The principal at Lincoln does not want HC. Ballard is switching to Honors for All for 9th grade students.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I find it interesting that so many of these "plans" seem to have little data put out to back them up.

I would fight hard against decisions without data.

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing a list of building conditions a while back and NB was one of the worst elementary school buildings in the district. So generally I think it's just past due for a rebuild.

Also, the land there is very boggy with poor drainage so I think that was the reason for not expanding on that site.

NB neighbor

Anonymous said...

What assumptions are being made with IHS enrollment projections? Is the "status quo" a continuation of the 90 student cap on IB option enrollment? What is assumed under other scenarios? Clear as


Anonymous said...

From someone who has been around awhile...
First, Tracy Libros is forever irreplaceable. Bless her soul.
Second, yes, this is a mess. Redrawing boundaries always is. It isn't just peculiar to Seattle. But here, we have all the usual moving parts, plus a lack of institutional knowledge, plus a lack of adequate resources to do the in depth data analysis posters including moi wish were available. Plus at least a decade, maybe more, of ill-thought-out (or not addressed at all) program pathways that are now coming to a head as our students overburden physical plants.
We do have a thoughtful and responsive Board.
We do have a downtown staff trying to incorporate community and Board feedback. All the iterations of the scenarios are maddening, but it does seem that they are trying. It isn't as in-depth as I and others wish. It is far too rushed as always.
I lived through the horror show that was Goodloe-Johnson's term. There was NO attempt at listening to let alone incorporating community feedback. There was VERY LITTLE Board responsiveness to community concerns.
This redraw of boundaries and movement of programs could be going better.
It could be going a heck of a lot worse. Much, much worse.
I say this because I know staff and Board read this blog. (Atta girl Melissa.) I don't want comments here to discourage the people downtown from continuing to plow forward toward best solutions, especially with the holidays upon us. Yes, we are harsh critics, and for good reason. But.
I'd like to at least say thank you for trying to do professional work, incorporating community feedback. It's a big step forward from the bad old days of not long ago.


N by NW said...

@ Eric B ... what was staff's reasoning for preferring F4?

Even after Lincoln opens, it looks like the north-end will be short 300-500 seats.

Although I guess the proposals don't include students that will opt for Running Start.

I don't think they take Center School into account either???

N by NW

Anonymous said...

Why not send most of Magnolia, QA, and Wallingford to Lincoln? I don't see that scenario on the maps.
- NP

Anonymous said...

Magnolia advocated for remaining at BHS based on long bus rides. SPS staff admitted that they didn't do a transportation analysis. Rick Burke said he didn't think SPS staff would have time to complete an analysis. Therefore - Magnolia remains at BHS by default. Never mind all of the students that will now be bussed to Ingraham and face just as long bus rides.

N by NW

Anonymous said...

Magnolia advocated for remaining at BHS based on long bus rides. SPS staff admitted that they didn't do a transportation analysis. Rick Burke said he didn't think SPS staff would have time to complete an analysis. Therefore - Magnolia remains at BHS by default. Never mind all of the students that will now be bussed to Ingraham and face just as long bus rides.

N by NW

Anonymous said...

I am repeating what Eric B & Geo stated as there are some on this thread who are attempting to pit groups against one another (against HC kids) to drive an option ex. Lincoln. Don't go for it. It should be made clear that there is a large explosion of kids period in the north end with or without HC. They are not the single driving force behind boundary changes. Boundary changes will occur regardless,

"It's also worth noting that there are very few combinations of maps and HC pathway options that don't result in something totally unworkable at at least one high school. For that threshold, I'm using any school being more than 200 students over nominal capacity. None of the maps work for either the status quo or the Garfield/Lincoln HC options."

" Also, It's clear from the HC Pathways Projected Enrollment table that NONE of the scenarios alleviate capacity for the North long-term (2021-22 vs. capacity). This includes the Lincoln HC north option. HC is not a big driver in pushing kids out from anywhere. There is a big boom of kids period.

I feel like some are trying to pit groups against one another to drive an agenda.


Anonymous said...

We cannot blame one group of another and there are multiple concerns from various constitutents to which we need to be sensitive, QA/Magnolia not having a high school is also problematic and why boundaries are not being drawn more reasonable. Also, we cannot deny the population explosion in our schools. Therefore, if they get a high school boundaries would be redrawn or altered in some areas to be more reasonable.

Anonymous said...

Making Lincoln an HCC pathway school with AP options would:

- allow for smaller Lincoln boundaries, resulting in fewer students being geo-split from neighbor schools
- allow more students to "opt" in, increasing buy-in and better setting the school up for success
- allow for more advanced class options, likely of interest to the surrounding neighborhood that also has high numbers of AL/Spectrum qualified kids
- increase walkability for north-end students, and likely improve commute times for many HC students who had to travel to Ingraham or Garfield
- decrease mitigation costs, because advanced classes would be able to be filled--and whether SPS likes it or not, by pulling some students from RHS and BHS they are going to need to offer advanced options upon launch
- increase equity by creating a north-end AP-focused HC site
- minimize disruption across the entire north end

Why is this so complicated? What are the arguments against it? Not the "reasons" against it (like the principal's personal interests)... I mean the logical arguments against it. It it just optics, as in, we can't give "them" (and the neighboring community that would SHARE the school) a newly redone school? Fine, make it uglier, or leave it partly unfinished if that makes people feel better. Academics, not optics, should come first.

Are there valid reasons to not make LHS an HCC pathway?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eric B said...

If staff gave a reason for preferring F4, I didn't catch it. It was noted earlier in the meeting that a majority of the Board voted for a decentralized HCC option, so that may have influenced staff. That's my guess, though and may be wrong.

The Garfield/Lincoln option had Ingraham at 120/grade. The other options did not say how many per grade.

Frustrated Parent said...

There is an informal survey on the HCC blog about the preferred HCC pathway option, and over half the respondents have expressed a Garfield + Lincoln as the first preference.

Is the accurate? Who knows? But it begs the question of why isn’t the district asking the same specific question.

When Cascadia and Decatur were up for a split last year, there was a detailed survey asking about specific preference given concrete alternatives for the split. When it came to math textbook selection, parents were asked to rank specific concrete alternatives.

The problem with the way the district has asked the question about HS is that instead of asking to rank concrete alternatives, it’s asked about nebulous priorities. Perhaps that was fine early on, but now the district needs to ask parents for a concrete ranking given very specific options with detailed maps so parents know exactly what it means for their family.

Only when Board members have data from a detailed survey that ranks concrete alternatives can they make an informed decision. They wouldn’t have to follow parent’s wishes, but at least they would know what they are.

Anonymous said...

@ Eric B, can you clarify what you meant by "The Garfield/Lincoln option had Ingraham at 120/grade." Is that good/bad? And does it matter, if there are no comparisons?

It occurs to me that the district SHOULD be able to make ANY program delivery/assignment configuration work out numerically, so if they are showing maps that have numbers that don't work, it's because they are not making them work. In other words, for any scenario (e.g., HCC pathways to Garfield and Lincoln only, with IHS option), the should be able to draw maps that make the numbers work. You figure out what you're going to provide where, then you adjust all the boundaries to get the numbers you want. The boundaries will be funky, but they already are. But let's see them. For each requested scenario. We don't want the "oh no, this doesn't work!" maps. We want the maps that say, "under scenario x, these are boundaries that could get us ideal numbers."


Owler said...

Confused wrote: Does anyone really object to Cascadia in the north end? What if they had decided Cascadia was to be a neighborhood school and redone all of the attendance area boundaries to squeeze kids back in?

Forgive my assumptions, but you must be new to the district or to the HCC politics. Cascadia as a stand alone program has always been a hard pill for the district to swallow. There was a big push for the Wilson Pacific site to be a neighborhood school, or at least partially so. There's always talk of wanting to return the kids to neighborhood schools and allow differentiation and MTSS to meet their needs. There's a feeling that these kids are getting something extra, when no...there's no gifted education program, certification, or extra training provided by the district. No money goes to anything beyond identification, as far as I can tell. From Lowell, to the split to Thurgood Marshall/Lincoln, to the most recent split to Cascadia/Decatur, there in always animosity toward a grouping of HCC kids in a building,

Anonymous said...

"The problem with the way the district has asked the question about HS is that instead of asking to rank concrete alternatives, it’s asked about nebulous priorities."

Yes, and another problem with the way the district has asked the question is that they essentially asked those not eligible for HC services how they think HC services should be provided. Majority rules, apparently. Then, in the response analysis, they are conflating advanced learning with HC services, making it seem like they are one in the same and you can't do one without the other. Which is incorrect. If people want more AL options, great--have all schools provide more! That has nothing to do with how many HCC pathways you have, though. Add some honors and AP classes at the schools that don't have as many and call it good. If the classes fill, and demand builds for more, expand further. If not, don't. It's not that complicated. Then separately, through a couple HCC pathways, you can ensure that HC students, who have different needs when it comes to legislatively defined basic education, have sufficient options as well. It's a


Frustrated Parent said...


I should have said, “Do any parents really object to Cascadia in the north end?” I am well aware that many district staff didn’t want it, but I’ve rarely heard any parents complain. The only complaints from parents that I’ve heard of are those that live near to Cascadia and are frustrated their children can’t attend, but Licton Springs is an alternative. That is compared to the south end where I read complaints all of the time.

My point is that I generally do not believe parents at Roosevelt or Ballard or Ingram are going to complain if HCC north is placed at Lincoln. On the other hand, if HCC is placed at Roosevelt and Ballard, and as a result families in those attendance areas are forced out and there is a major disruption, I think lots of parents will complain.

But this is just my opinion. For the board to make a decision, I believe they need a set of detailed concrete alternatives that parents can rank via a survey. I believe only then can they make an informed data-based decision.

kellie said...

The art of project management is “what is the problem, you are trying to solve?”

Parents clearly think the problem Lincoln is supposed to solve is severe overcrowding at Ballard, Roosevelt and Garfield, with more growth coming and no where to put more portables and the heavy reliance on Running Start.

This begs the question. What problem is the district plan trying to solve? Because this is not a capacity solution.

Frustrated Parent said...


It seems to the district is trying to solve the following: (1) the district has equity issues related to HCC that are exacerbated by placement at Garfield; (2) the district wants middle schools to be linked to high schools; and (3) the district has capacity issues.

So along comes Lincoln, and instead of using Lincoln to focus on fixing problem 3, the district is using Lincoln as an excuse to address problems 1, 2 and 3 which has the potential to cause large-scale disruption and in the case of HCC not necessarily address the underlying issue.

Perhaps the district's priorities are the same as family priorities. But it seems to me the only way to really know is to create a set of concrete proposals that include detailed maps as well as an analysis of the impact on classes etc and to then ask for parent feedback.

Kellie, perhaps you are aware of a different set of problems?

What Indeed? said...

The district is trying to end all choice, right? There's a sense that if absolutely no one has the option to go to a school based on anything other than their residential address and if all students are required to take X-for-All courses, all inequities will be wiped out. This is not based on data or pedagogical research or really anything. But a secret cabal within the staff is clearly working toward this goal along with one or more board member. And the cabal believed it had accomplished this for a moment at the last board meeting, but—whoops!—apparently they forgot to fill the rest of the world in.

But this isn't what the people of Seattle want. This isn't what most of the board wants. This isn't want students and parents want. Probably no one even thought to ask teachers what they want. We all want real opportunities for all students. We want to work toward erasing the social and economic and racial injustices of the past. We want students educated for the competitive world they will (hopefully) graduate into. We want them to be able to pursue a course of study that will work for them, that engages them, that values their personhood, whether that be a high school diploma alone, CTE, community college, university, whatever. Students have dreams and we need an educational system that will foster their abilities and make it possible for them to do the work that it takes to get to the goals they choose for themselves.

What problem is the district trying to solve indeed?

Anonymous said...

This is getting ridiculous.

There is no perfect solution and time is growing short.

Draw the enrollment patterns to include all kids including special education and HCC in each comprehensive high school.

Put money into supplying the courses desired by the student body then enrolled in the school.

Put floors into place promising access to base level advanced courses, and no they don't have to be AP, in every school. If some schools end up with half-filled classrooms, that's the breaks. Money has to be spent on every one of these solutions. That's the price of the most obvious solution.

Leave a few lottery seats for IB in north, south, west seattle. Leave a few lottery seats for language pathways. Guarantee the lottery seat numbers.

And that's it. Move on people. Yes, some of our kids will get the short end of the decision. That's life. More than 50+ thousand students need to enroll in short order for next year. Let's move. Sheesh.

Over it

LI Curious said...

Are dual pathways for north-end language immersion still on the docket? Meaning, the LI kids have two guaranteed pathways - Ingraham and Lincoln?

Eagle Watcher said...

LI Curious, nothing has been decided yet. They could change it all. They say it will be decided by open enrollment. We'll see.

Melissa Westbrook said...

"Only when Board members have data from a detailed survey that ranks concrete alternatives can they make an informed decision. They wouldn’t have to follow parent’s wishes, but at least they would know what they are."


Over It, yes, students do need to enroll soon. BUT this is decision that will have huge impacts for years to come.

The district is not good at providing services district-wide. So I'm not believing this idea that they can provide enough acceleration and rigor at all the high schools especially for HCC student.

And that "if it costs more money, so be it" - well, tell that to staff and watch them laugh.

The district promised a lottery for high school seats before - never happened.

Lastly, of course, there will be unhappy people with the boundaries but it needs to be based on data and clearly explained.

Anonymous said...

It seems like there are only two options that make any real sense given how close Lincoln is to Roosevelt and Ballard.

1) Make Lincoln the north end HCC school (maybe language/spectrum too?)
2) Make Lincoln a meaningfully exciting option school to attract enough kids to balance out the other schools.

Oddly (to me), neither option is one the district is considering so they’re drawing map after map considering how to move kids around in ways that add large logistical burdens to kids who would like to be in school, so activities, have jobs, and will spend a ton of time bussing around (or adding more cars in very cramped neighborhoods).

As a parent who’s kid misses the HCC cut-off, but is performing well above grade level and I would expect to be able to handle AP science, BC Calc, etc as was the norm for the more advanced kids where I grew up (maybe top 10-15%, not just top 2%), I’d rather HCC in the neighborhood high schools and an option Lincoln, but either of those seems better than the myriad options the district has thrown out there.

NE Parent

RPM said...

I read the post, the attachments, etc. I apologize if my reading comprehension is low. What option is in the lead right now? There are 5 versions each of options F and H. I don't know which one to comment on. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

SPS staff seem to favor F4 because it will enable them at assign all HC students to their assignment area high school by 2021. What happens in the meantime is all up in the air. I wish someone could figure out which scenario does the least amount of harm between now and 2021.

N by NW

Anonymous said...

Does it seem like opening Lincoln as a 9-10, despite suggestions otherwise, leave the other schools overcrowded? Is opening Lincoln as a 9-10 a given, or will the numbers force them to do otherwise? Think about it - a newly renovated building, ready to serve 9-12, but only operating at half capacity...

no guarantees

Anonymous said...

@anonymous 8:56 "decrease mitigation costs, because advanced classes would be able to be filled--and whether SPS likes it or not, by pulling some students from RHS and BHS they are going to need to offer advanced options upon launch.

They will pull some 10th graders. Just an FYI though the plan has Lincoln opening as a 9/10 with only 9th grade HC.

Anonymous said...

I agree with "over it". Also, if the Lincoln option fails, the neighborhood school option is no different and worse in my opinion. In addition, much of north end HC is ALREADY enrolled in IGH, BHS & RHS. A MAJOR reason boundaries are being drawn the way they are is because Magnolia & QA have no high school...yet.

Question said...

Why would the district open Lincoln for grades 9-10, but add portables to other high schools. Portables are expensive!

Anonymous said...

They’re adding the portables for fall of 2018. Lincoln will be opening a year later.

Fairmount Parent

Anonymous said...

+1 for Over It. Redraw the boundaries to fit ALL populations in each north end school. Added technicality: "rightsize" the schools at 15% less of the target population size. That allows room for GROWTH + LOTTERY seats. PUT THOSE NUMBERS IN WRITING. NO MORE BACKSLIDING LIKE THE LAST TIME AROUND ON LOTTERY SEATS.

The rest of these contortions are simply maddening. We're about to end up with a hell of a mess of boundaries and programs. Seattle does NOT have to reinvent the wheel every time. North end neighborhood schools offer programs to serve their populations. Duh. Double duh. It doesn't have to be the deluxe Cadillac version. It does have to have a core of advanced classes and competent resources to get students into Running Start for additional advanced courses.

This solution also means less impact on Central schools. Leave Garfield alone minus rightsizing the draw area. Ditto Cleveland. Leave it as a tech option school. Expand the number of kids it takes? OK. But leave a program that is working alone.

+1 also for forcing district in writing to serve central and south kids with the same menu of in-school advanced classes as the North End. Equity costs money. But the promise in writing means no more hand-wringing as to whether or when these classes will be offered. They will be offered. Period. Maybe it's one section, not 7, but they will be offered.

Again, enough with the ridiculous HCC paths and shoving all students this way and that to accommodate what should just be happening in their comprehensive high school as a matter of BASELINE DISTRICT COMPETENCY.


Anonymous said...

And people you need to get over the fact that our high school kids are going to have to get on a bus, carpool, bike or private vehicle to get to a school that isn't conveniently located. Our city's geography isn't convenient. Our city's layout isn't convenient. Our city's school locations aren't ideal. Our traffic is a nightmare. We do not live in Perfectland. It may take our kids the better part of an hour to get to school. It isn't convenient. It is survivable.


kellie said...

@Frustrated Parent,

I honestly don’t know what question the district is trying to answer. But I do know that when things get this convoluted, some clarity around the question certainly helps.

It took me a long time to really understand that the madness of the closures dragged on for as long as it did because of bad questions, Everyone thought the question was “Which schools need to be closed?” When in actuality a better question would have been about how do we measure capacity?

The 2004 closure report starts with this little paragraph that states Enrollment will be declining to 45,000 students and SPS has capacity for at least 55,000 students. People focused on how the projections were incorrect but that didn’t help because the other number was the real problem. SPS never had capacity for 55,000 students. We have almost that many students now and to accommodate that number, we needed to reopen every closed school, reopen additional schools and add over 200 portables in the process.

So that is why I’m asking ... because the board keeps asking for some better data and enrollment keeps producing more and more convoluted scenarios. So I’m now at the point, where I think we need some better questions.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad Cleveland came up. I agree it should stay an option school. Its success is not universally viewed as a positive thing however--it is pulling students away from the struggling Rainier Bch HS. So, instead of figuring out a way to help RBHS attract students, they are thinking about solving the problem through boundary redraws--making Cleveland an attendance area school. Cleveland is the only option school that is also a comprehensive high school. That is also seem by some as a problem. They want everything the same--even if it means killing a popular choice that students want. Yes, it is so very frustrating and I too hope they let more students in Cleveland, but otherwise they should leave it alone.


kellie said...

@ Over it and So Frustrated,

I agree with a lot of your underlying comments. Decisions need to me made and there are no perfect choices. Not everyone is going to get everything at a local convenient school.

But that said, this is far more complex and there are substantial domino effects to these decisions that have received precious little daylight.

Because of the way that high school is funded, there are multiple unique programs that will only ever be provided at 1-3 high schools. AP Classes are a powerful distraction at the moment, because these are not unique, they are offered at all schools and it only takes a wee bit of flexible funding to expand this options. I repeat the focus on AP is a powerful distraction.

The truly unique offerings are IB and CTE and a handful of specialty programs at each high school, like the Hale Radio program. The way the boundaries are set, will either provide a long term commitment to IB and Career and Technical Education or it will be the deal of these programs.

kellie said...

@ SAB,

Thank you for bringing up Cleveland again. I think it was beyond overreaching that Cleveland’s status as an option was ever on the task force agenda. The implication for changing that status would change every boundary in the south end, and not improve education outcomes for one student.

I also believe it is an urban legend that Cleveland hurts Rainier Beach. Frankly, I think that Cleveland’s option status helps Rainier Beach.

There is this mythology that somehow, we can treat students as if they were widgets and just cause them to enroll where it is convenient for administration. That mythology loses sight of the fact that Schools are in the education business, not the assignment business. The biggest impact on enrollment is not option school enrollment but out of district enrollment. Families have the choice to enroll their students in public school in adjacent districts. When these families pick Cleveland, we have families staying in the Seattle Public system.

There has been zero analysis to show that the artificial enrollment caps at both Franklin and Cleveland benefit Rainier Beach. This analysis is shockingly easy to do. You simply pull the enrollment ID numbers for any student who was waitlisted at Franklin and Cleveland and then report on where these students are actually enrolled in October. I would love to be proven wrong but historically any time an analysis like this was done, it was reported that a very high percentage of these students just left the district rather than take a mandatory assignment.

Anonymous said...

@ kellie,

Thank you for taking the time to explain the Cleveland situation. I fell for the myth. It's frightening to think that staff put the school's option status up for discussion based on a faulty understanding of what is going on, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. From what I heard, the task force didn't believe it had the info to come to a consensus, so staff didn't get the endorsement they might have been looking for. Given all the other changes taking place throughout the district, maybe they will let Cleveland be. It's a shame they are not supporting the school with the number of student it needs and doubly so if those students are indeed leaving the district.


kellie said...

@ so frustrated,

A promise “in writing” may or may not mean anything. Hence the tremendous amount of localized upset. Please remember that the promise to grandfather students at Whitman was “in writing,” posted on the district website, was cost neutral, AND was completely ignored.

Without a written policy that mandates a minimum AP slate of specific course and the budget for this written directly into the WSS, there is no reason to believe this promise. After all, Michael Tolley directly stated the district will NOT offer classes without sufficient enrollment.

Once again, this focus on AP offerings is a distraction.

kellie said...


I’m glad I was able to help. There are two items that are tied for first place in the category of over-reaching and out-of-scope, from my point of view.

1). Downtown school. Talk about an existential problem. Significant time was spent contemplating modifying boundaries for a potential-future-possible downtown school with the earliest opening date of 2025. This project has not even been put in front of voters for a budget or timeline, but yet it got task force time.

2) Cleveland - Any change to Cleveland’s status needs to be brought to the SE community at large.

Significant time was spent on these topics and now there are looming deadlines.

Melissa Westbrook said...

“From what I heard, the task force didn't believe it had the info to come to a consensus, so staff didn't get the endorsement they might have been looking for. “

As a veteran of several task forces/committees, I can tell you that placing of info from staff can doom many a group who may struggle to be making the best decision.

Anonymous said...

The enrollment projections show that even with the opening of Lincoln and additional seats at Ingraham, the North end will still be over capacity by 2021-22.

So why are enrollment projections capped at 5 years when North end high-density housing construction, light rail development and enrollment patterns in elementary and middle school indicate even greater capacity demand within 10 years?

Why is a downtown high school being planned for opening 8 years from now with 5 year projections?

I'm concerned that data is not being used to guide sound long-term decisions.


RP1 said...

Equity means sharing in the sacrifices as well as the benefits.

It means busing to one school when you could walk to another so a kid in another neighborhood doesn't have to ride a bus for over two hours a day.

Melissa Westbrook said...

RP1, you are right; there's what the Board must consider.

The overall picture - how many kids will be on buses with one plan versus another versus what that picture is today?

The smaller picture - are there more kids on buses but with about the same number of minutes?

Of course, this does beg the question of the district stated goal of having more kids walk or bike to school. I'd like to see the current data on that and how that might change with different boundary scenarios.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why Magnolia families are saying that their students can't be assigned to Lincoln because of long commute times. This was the same argument that families north of 85th St NW had about being assigned to Ingraham a few years ago. The district agreed that Metro would take too long and decided to run a yellow bus through the area to take those students to Ingraham. If Metro service from Magnolia to Lincoln takes that long, why doesn't the district just add yellow bus service for those students to get them to Wallingford? There are a smattering of neighborhoods around the city that get yellow bus service for high schoolers when Metro is too long of a ride. If the main reason Magnolia wants to stay at BHS is because of Metro bus service/commute times, SPS just needs to run yellow buses for them, problem solved. Magnolia shouldn't get to just stay at BHS by default and force other students who could otherwise walk to school continue to sit on a bus. Students who live on 80th St being assigned to Ingraham??? That's just insane. I hope the district slows the train down and takes the time to look at transportation feasibility as they're deciding on high school boundaries.

North of 85th

kellie said...

The geographic maps are completely missing from this process.

During all the last high school boundary redraw, there were maps that showed the number of students and their closest school. This made it very clear where the challenging areas were and which schools could simply not handle every student for whom that was the closest school.

Those maps brought some civility to the conversation. Without the maps we once again have neighborhoods pitted against each other.

Eric B said...

Like a lot of people, I looked at the projections for 2021-22 without putting a lot of thought into the 18-19 school year. That turned out to be a mistake. There is a serious train wreck coming at Ballard, Garfield, and Roosevelt. All three are predicted to be at 125-150 more than they are this year. Ballard is predicted to be at 2035, 400 over capacity. Garfield is predicted to be at 1901, 300 over capacity. Roosevelt is predicted to be at 1986, 270 over capacity.

Garfield can't handle much more than they have now. Ballard is pretty strained and I'm pretty sure can't put any more portables down. I don't know how Roosevelt is doing.

Ingraham needs portables and there should be nobody assigned to the three schools above on a waitlist come April. Otherwise staff simply aren't doing their jobs.