Sunday, June 06, 2021

SPS Work Sessions, June 7-11, 2021

There are a couple of Work Sessions this week. Luckily, with Work Sessions, staff does attach the documentation (which they do not for Board committee meetings).

The first one is Monday, June 6th. Capital Programs Semi-Annual Report; Student Assignment Transition Plan and Boundaries Agenda and documentation here.

I confess I have not yet read the documentation on this one yet - it’s 95 pages. 

SPS HAS opened up in-person meetings but you need to register in advance. Details on the agenda.

The next one is Wednesday, Annual Enrollment Report and Capacity Evaluation; Budget.Of note:

Covid-19 Pandemic Impacts

• Decrease in district wide enrollment for 2020-21 school year

• Uncertainty of what changes are temporary or permanent

• Unable to do annual updated 5-year projection

- Capacity was impacted by distancing requirements

The documentation also reflects that the district created the Capacity, Enrollment and Facilities Master Plan Advisory Committee. However,

Members deliberated and decided that the membership did not reflect the diversity of the district and recommended the charter be revised and the committee re-set.

• Next steps: Charter will be revised with input from current committee members as individuals' interest and availability allows. Committee will reconvene.

I read that as not enough minority members could be found. I can see it would be difficult during these difficult times as a parent of a school-aged child, not to be able to serve. Maybe more outreach to community members?

But for those of you interested in Enrollment, here are some numbers (please keep in mind these are projections for 2021-2022):

- Kindergarten: up 16% from 3,942 to 4,594

- Grades 1-5: down 4.3%

- Grades 6-8: down 2.8%

- Grades 9-12: down, 2.6%

Overall, they project enrollment will be down .04%.

There is a lot of new capacity at some schools coming onboard, however, at the same time, there are several schools way overenrolled with no room left to grow. These include:

- Green Lake Elementary - one suggestion is to make a “nearby Option School” (I’m guessing MacDonald) into an attendance area school but that the option schools are already at capacity so would that help?)

- B.F.Day Elementary - this is a school that has rarely been full but now it’s at capacity with more enrollment expected. And, since it’s Seattle’s oldest elementary school, it is likely to be landmarked by the City so any additions may take longer.

- North Beach Elementary - also at capacity and using 12(!) portables already

- Both Jane Addams and Eckstein Middle Schools are at capacity with Eckstein stretched to its limit.

- Ballard High, Roosevelt High and West Seattle are all overcapacity. Roosevelt will see some new woes when the light rail station comes online as parking will be severely curtailed in the residential area around it. It is likely neighbors will need residential parking stickers. There is at least one portable in the already small RHS parking lot.

On Highly Capable:

The recent changes to Policy 2190 are anticipated to impact building capacity and boundaries at all grade levels.

• There is a working group comprised of district staff and school leaders that is discussing this potential impact and creating guidance on how to move forward.

• Boundary discussions and engagement are anticipated to start in the fall of 2021, and any boundary changes would require Board approval. Recommendations would be anticipated by fall of 2022 with a potential phased implementation plan.

• Given the potential changes, an extensive implementation plan would be developed.


Transparency Needed said...

The board approved 11 items on the Consent Agenda. The board did not discuss any of these 11 items. The public was denied discussion regarding these issues. The board voted unanimously to pass these items before public testimony.

We need a board that supports transparency.

Anonymous said...

In line with district criticism I came across this post recently, from March but I thought it interesting to share. https://www.theurbanist.org/2021/03/05/save-seattle-schools-dissolve-the-district/


Anonymous said...

The district seems optimistic that kindergarteners will return. I know several families watching from the sidelines who pulled their rising K kiddos, going the private school route. We shall see.

Another possible outcome is having double the kindergarten enrollees as last year due to COVID times redshirting. What a scramble that will be.

-HaveFun WithThat

juicygoofy said...

North Beach Elementary is worth a whole investigative story in itself. Due to demographics and the very high property values in the surrounding neighborhood, it has not qualified for BEX funding (and who knows if it ever will.) 12 portables is more classroom space than inside the entire building.

seattle citizen said...

I don't understand how, with grade 1-12 down 2-4%, District can claim overall numbers as being down only 0.04% - does K's 16% increase offset 1-12 that significanty?

Anonymous said...

@seattle citizen those numbers are hopelessly optimistic. Sure, if there's a 16% increase in K, that would help if they are only losing as many as they say they are. But I doubt that's reality. There will probably be deep October cuts.

Blue Dog