Another proposed amendment to the West Seattle school maps

Since our update this afternoon looking ahead to tomorrow’s scheduled Seattle School Board vote on maps for the new Student Assignment Plan, including a letter with one proposal for amending them, we’ve received another suggested amendment. Janne Endreo and David Broadstone say they’ve sent the proposed “Equitable Enrollment Amendment for West Seattle” to all board members, explaining:

It is a proposal for boundary changes just for the middle and high school assignments (not elementary). As parents who have students at both Madison, Sealth and WSHS, we are well aware that any changes to a Student Assignment plan will affect our whole community. Our goal is that both “sets” of our secondary schools in West Seattle be the best schools possible, and that all kids will want to attend.

This proposal helps to balance some of the school-wide inequities which resulted from the most recent changes in the Student Assignment plan- most notably the 35% projected enrollment cuts at Madison & WSHS, as well as the diversity imbalance in all our secondary schools, and the issue of keeping as many kids as possible in a “walk zone” with their closest neighborhood school.

They say the amendment’s goals are:

1. To balance enrollment more equitably between the Denny/Sealth and Madison/WSHS secondary schools;

2. To keep as many students as possible in their neighborhood “walk zones”; and

3. To keep as much diversity as possible in all of our schools.


Re-assign the “No Walk” areas (as shown on the High School Walk Zone maps in the SPS Data Book) to the middle and high school secondary schools for:

1. Gatewood’s assignment area- The southern portion of Gatewood (which is south of WSHS’s red-lined “Walk Zone” area) to be assigned to the closer secondary schools of Denny and Sealth;

2. West Seattle Elementary’s assignment area- The northern portion of WS Elementary (which is north of Sealth’s red-lined “Walk Zone”) to be assigned to the closer Madison and WSHS schools.

You can see their proposed maps here (Chief Sealth/Denny) and here (WSHS/Madison). Again, tomorrow night’s board meeting is 6 pm at district HQ in SODO; West Seattle board rep Steve Sundquist has a community chat scheduled for 10 am tomorrow at Delridge Library; e-mail feedback on the maps, whether you love them/hate them/want to change them, is being accepted at as well as in individual board members’ boxes (addresses all here).

20 Replies to "Another proposed amendment to the West Seattle school maps"

  • Oliver November 17, 2009 (8:57 pm)

    Now this seems like a much more reasonable and thoughtful proposal. This is very well done, with a lot more substance and finger-pointing. I hope that the board will promptly and seriously consider this as it does fit with the orginal goals of the new assignment plan.

  • Oliver November 17, 2009 (9:08 pm)

    Whoops, I meant that this proposal has a lot more substance and NO finger-pointing. This is much more effective than demanding a do-over or more time.

  • Sw November 17, 2009 (9:13 pm)

    The basic tenants of this plan have been proposed more than once to Sundquist. In short, he is not behind the idea. I feel it would be a great solution and urge everyone to show up at his meeting tomorrow and give him an earful.

    Also, please put your thoughts in writing and email them to the entire school board.

  • mary November 17, 2009 (9:13 pm)

    I disagree. I liked the school boards maps and I told them so. Hopefully they will stick to the original plan because it was better.

  • GenHillOne November 17, 2009 (9:42 pm)

    Curious if these parents have ever had a 6th grader not assigned to the same middle school as their grade school friends. It’s not pretty. Can it be overcome? Of course. But it’s a big transition socially and educationally (self-sufficiency, multi-period day, etc.) and not as easy as some might wish. For the greater good I guess?

  • GenHillOne November 17, 2009 (9:52 pm)

    Are there other schools in the district that would have this kind of student body split by neighborhood?

  • EAO November 17, 2009 (9:57 pm)

    On the proposed amendment map to West Seattle, I’m unclear on where the area directly south of the West Seattle Bridge would be assigned. I appears to be outside the red boundary. Also, the South Park neighborhood appears to be outside the red boundary for Sealth. ???

  • Anna November 17, 2009 (10:02 pm)

    This is a BAD idea. GenHillOne, the answer is no. This would violate the adopted plan, which says elementary to middle school feeder patterns. The current maps are the right ones, they reflect where kids live.

  • western November 17, 2009 (10:17 pm)

    EAO- I think the red lines on these “Walk Zone Maps” are the areas which are inside of that school’s Walk Zone (ie no transportation provided), whereas the yellow areas (including the areas you are wondering about) are actually the whole school’s assigned area, with transportation if outside the red Walk Zone.

    (check out the original high school “Walk Zone” maps and you can see where the differences were made)

  • middle & high school parent November 17, 2009 (10:45 pm)

    to GenHill and Anna’s points– The district has already made an exception to their rules, in lining up middle &and high schools (Denny & Sealth) which is NOT supposed to be part of the SAP plan. Something has to give and allow for balanced enrollment & diversity. Surely you can’t expect your kids the guarantee to stay together all the way from K through 12th grade with this plan? Certainly that is not in the new SAP.
    BTW- I have kids who went to different schools than some of their friends at both at the middle school level and high school (that’s the plan in Seattle right now!). My kids were very ready to spread their wings in 6th grade, to meet new friends. Don’t worry- all my kids still keep their elementary school buddies as best friends.

    But, there must be schools which are all good choices, and not some excellent and some struggling. Otherwise, you’ll be able to keep your kid’s friends together, but in a struggling school with maybe low enrollment, more budget cuts and no choices for classes?

  • Michelle Gaither November 18, 2009 (8:26 am)

    Fundamentally, this makes much more sense. However, it still disincludes my kids from Denny by one block (REALLY planned/hoped to send oldest one from Gatewood to Denny next year). We live just one block due north of Lincoln Park. We are <2 miles from Denny, and 3 miles from Madison. I would hope for a little fuzz at the boundaries you have established.

  • swimcat November 18, 2009 (8:28 am)

    I really like these proposed boundaries- they definitely make more sense.

  • GenHillOne November 18, 2009 (8:38 am)

    “Don’t worry”? Well, thanks for the virtual pat on the head. I’m not worried, but am speaking from experience. It’s great that it worked for your family; was there choice involved? Big difference. It did turn out well for us, but that doesn’t lessen the impact of what we went through when it happened. I have an outgoing and involved student and even with that, it took some time for that kid I know to come out of his shell. It may not be the same for everyone. There are plenty of new friends to be made and wings to be spread regardless, and a little security of the known can provide more confidence to do so.

    Alignment of the Denny/Sealth boundaries makes sense because they nearly have the same address. It doesn’t seem like an outrageous “exception” to me. I’m not sure I agree with your characterization of the two WS middle/high choices as potentially struggling and less than excellent. We have two strong, but different, programs and they (students, parents, and staff) deserve more credit, imho.

  • Parent November 18, 2009 (8:57 am)

    Excellent proposal. It is far better than the current proposal. it is better for walking, better for both school attendance areas.

    I’ve heard Steve Sundquist explain his reasons for not considering this kind of solution. He is relatively new to the Board. Perhaps that is why he is not willing to question the School Administration.

  • Michelle November 18, 2009 (10:45 am)

    I don’t like this plan at all. It is disruptive to the students who will be separated from their elementary school friends and classmates.

  • Been there, done that November 18, 2009 (11:24 am)

    As a product of Seattle Schools (my older brother was the first group of “junior high schoolers” to be bussed to another school for desegregation) I enjoy reading all the comments from people who must really believe in their hearts that the shcool district will take their comments into serious consideration. The district is notorious for doing what they want, when they want. The district is playing the “politcal game” in allowing parents to think that what they say to the district really matters. The school district is a financial institute – money talks – want to really send them a message? Then enroll your kids in private school or Vashon.

  • WS resident November 18, 2009 (11:58 am)

    Wow! Way to go Janne Endreo and David Broadstone!

    Why don’t you save the district some money on staff and volunteer your time and redraw the rest of the areas of the school district. That would be awesome since your amendment makes perfect sense with leaving out two very important areas: Concord and Pigeon Point!!!! Those areas are high in diversity…something WS does not need.

  • western November 18, 2009 (12:58 pm)

    Hi WS Resident- Look at the two “Walk Zone” maps again- The red lines to the west of the Concord & Pigeon Point areas are directly from the district “Walk Zone” maps and indicate just that those two areas are outside the “Walk Zones” (but are still of course included in the related high school assignment areas).

  • Ron November 18, 2009 (11:41 pm)

    Did the admenents pass tonight?

  • WSB November 18, 2009 (11:51 pm)

    The only amendments that were proposed for West Seattle were relatively small tweaks in the northern area. See our story from this morning re: what Steve S. said he would do – as we noted in the short update after the vote, that’s pretty much what he did – TR

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