“I wish we could have had a simpler transition,” Seattle School Board President Michael DeBell said, just before the board’s vote about half an hour ago on the transition plan assembled for the new Student Assignment Plan. (And as of this writing, the meeting – almost six hours long – isn’t over yet!) Read on for some of the major West Seattle (and elsewhere) effects – including program changes for several schools:
Among those disappointed, advocates for “sibling grandfathering” – the approved plan does not include a provision to guarantee younger siblings space at out-of-attendance-area schools their older sibs attend now. (As explained earlier, including at this meeting held last weekend by West Seattle’s school board rep Steve Sundquist, the younger siblings can apply to their older sibs’ schools, but if there isn’t room, they will both be guaranteed room at the attendance-area school.) A district analysis suggested there would just be too many overcrowded elementaries if grandfathering were granted the way advocates like Keep Our Kids Together wanted to see it done.
Among those who are pleased – advocates of expanding the Spectrum advanced-learning program to Arbor Heights Elementary and Madison Middle School; the plan approved tonight will start the program at both schools this fall. The small Spectrum program at West Seattle Elementary will be converted to an ALO (Advanced Learning Opportunity) program.
Other program placements (all detailed here) include self-contained autism program at Roxhill Elementary, ELL (bilingual) being phased out at Alki and Arbor Heights, with the existing AH program “linked” to Roxhill, and the existing Alki program to Gatewood.
Sundquist stressed before voting that he hopes to revisit the transition plan next year in terms of some of the amendments he wanted to introduce (but couldn’t, mostly because, he said, the district’s computer system couldn’t handle the changes), such as making the “central” West Seattle elementaries dual feeders on either a WSHS/Madison or Sealth/Denny track.
Also tonight: The board finalized the latest piece of the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse deal with Fauntleroy Community Services Agency – more of the site, including playground area, is being sold to FCSA for $1.1 million.