School closure aftermath: Big turnout for Sundquist gathering

November 26, 2008 at 9:25 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle school closure, West Seattle schools | 6 Comments

We are at Coffee to a Tea with dozens of parents who have come to talk with School Board rep Steve Sundquist, many here to hear why Arbor Heights Elementary is being basically dismantled so Pathfinder K-8 can move there (coverage of the announcement and followup here and here). More later. 10 AM UPDATE: Sundquist offers this advice to concerned parents: Bring the board ideas and research, not emotion. First chance – sign up Monday to speak at next Wednesday’s board meeting. Sundquist says he has not made up his mind on the first recommendations and added that he doesn’t feel “bound” by them either – he is open to hearing alternative proposals. WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON P.S. We will write more about the meeting later (including the key points Arbor Heights parents made about why their school is a success and shouldn’t be dismantled – West Seattle parents of Lowell APP students had a significant presence too), but one other important piece of info to share now – Sundquist says he thinks the one public hearing that will be held in West Seattle, as required by state law when a building is proposed for closure, will probably be Tuesday 12/16 at Genesee Hill (Pathfinder), and he expects it will follow the format of up to 40 speakers, up to 3 minutes each. “Why no hearing at Arbor Heights?” asked an AH parent; “this is what’s required by law,” Sundquist explained, to which the parent wondered aloud if the district couldn’t go above and beyond what’s “required.” Meantime, we are checking with the district to see if they have a timetable for when the official announcement of the hearing will come (and we of course will publish the dates for all the hearings as they’re set, knowing local APP parents will want to attend the Lowell hearing).

6 Comments

  1. The Seattle School district proposes closing schools. That’s the topic today on The Conversation on KUOW (NPR) Seattle.

    Is your school on the chopping block? Why shouldn’t it be closed? Call The Conversation feedback line right now at 206 221 3663 or email us at conversation@kuow.org.

    Or you can listen and call in during the show at 1 pm.

    Comment by david — 10:21 am November 26, 2008 #

  2. The district is going above and beyond what is required by law. They are having Community Meetings on Saturdays in addition to the required hearings at buildings propose to be closed.

    Comment by JMM — 3:32 pm November 26, 2008 #

  3. It would be nice if the district would go above & beyond and offer hearings to any PROGRAMS that are affected, not just buildings. Sheesh.

    Comment by add — 3:40 pm November 26, 2008 #

  4. I think the current enrollment in the Arbor Heights building is only about 450, which is not much over half the number of students it held when I attended. That’s a lot of unused capacity.

    I suggest the school board could maintain the Arbor Heights program and even fold the Roxhill program into it. As for Pathfinder, downsize it from a K-8 to a K-5. Granted, Pathfinder 6-7-8 graders would need to be dispersed elsewhere, but that’s a far lesser
    evil than forcing all of the Arbor Heights K-5 students out of their neighborhood.

    With its enrollment reduced by 25%, the Pathfinder options for relocation would be much better and might even include the Roxhill or Hughes buildings.

    Comment by Alvis — 10:14 pm November 27, 2008 #

  5. Alvis, there is no capacity for 6th, 7th or 8th graders in West Seattle. Both Madison and Denny are full. Where would you like 120 or so kids to go?

    Comment by Eric B — 10:59 pm November 27, 2008 #

  6. I don’t have the answer, Eric. I think that would be a good question for the school board. Maybe now is an ideal time to lobby the board for working Pathfinder’s middle school program into the pre-construction design of Denny’s brand new building and campus.

    Comment by Alvis — 6:38 am November 28, 2008 #

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