Tuesday closure-fight meeting planned at Arbor Heights Elementary

After a long weekend of strategy planning, PTSA leaders at Arbor Heights Elementary have announced a special meeting for 7 pm Tuesday at the school. That’ll be exactly a week after Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson proposed ending the AH Elementary “program” so that its building can become the new home of Pathfinder K-8, long headquartered in the badly deteriorated Genesee Hill Elementary building. PTSA leaders are hoping for a big turnout Tuesday night from the entire community, not just those with direct ties to the school — one of the major arguments of the “Save Arbor Heights” campaign is that it is truly a community school, with more than half its students coming from the immediate neighborhood, a much-higher percentage than many other area schools. (Another note for everyone in West Seattle affected by the new school closure/change proposal – tomorrow morning is when the district starts taking signups for speaking slots at the Wednesday night School Board meeting – the closure/change proposal isn’t officially on the agenda outside of the “superintendent’s report,” but the public comment period is open for any subject. Starting at 8 am tomorrow, people interested in speaking that night need to either e-mail boardagenda@seattleschools.org, or call (206) 252-0040.)

3 Replies to "Tuesday closure-fight meeting planned at Arbor Heights Elementary"

  • westello December 1, 2008 (2:44 pm)

    What the district staff recommended in April of 2005 for this area:
    -close Genesee Hill building and move Pathfinder to Cooper. “Cooper is one of only two schools in the region that could potentially accommodate a K-8 programs (High Point is the other).

    So, what changed on this front that Arbor Heights is the best choice now, just 3 years later besides High Point now being West Seattle?

    What is also interesting is staff say classrooms at Cooper are being used for Head Start and I checked – there’s no Head Start at Cooper.

    -close Alki because it had the third lowest capacity and 4th worst condition.

    Interesting because they use the argument in the new closure plan that they CAN’T close Alki because it’s connected to the community center. That’s interesting because they are completely rebuilding South Shore building (New School) even though it’s attached to its community center. There’s a lot you can do even with co-joined buildings.

    Now is Arbor Heights a better building than Genesee Hill? Sure, but the district, in their own closure report, say that they are looking to put programs in buildings that are at least a 79 (which Arbor Heights isn’t and in fact the district had to do mold mitigation on that building). The district was willing to build a new K-8 for New School in the South Shore building which had a much higher building condition rating than Genesee Hill AND there was another alternative K-8 in that area and yet they picked New School over Pathfinder for a new building.

    The point is that staff mold data to make their case whether it contradicts what they said just years ago. The Board needs to ask hard questions before taking anything they say about any school at face value.

  • westello December 1, 2008 (2:55 pm)

    My apologies; I erred about the site for Head Start; the staff was speaking of West Seattle and not Cooper.

  • Cryptical December 1, 2008 (5:04 pm)

    Arbor Heights Elementary is the model school the district claims to aspire to build. Evicting them from their neighborhood makes no sense. The numbers speak for themselves.

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