2011 in review, installment three: West Seattle schools

December 29, 2011 at 4:25 pm | In 2011 in review, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

Our series of topic-by-topic 2011 reviews started with one that was easy to quantify, since it was by-the-numbers – most-commented WSB stories of the year. Then came the review roundup for one of our favorite topics, wildlife. Now, we start getting into some of the more classic topics, starting with West Seattle schools. Going back through the archives, we discovered more than 200 stories over the course of the year. You can review them all, in reverse chronological order, here. From those stories, some of the MANY highlights:

SCHOOL CROWDING, AKA ‘CAPACITY MANAGEMENT’
Some public schools in West Seattle are already over capacity, and the quest for a solution will continue into the New Year, with the district scheduled to announce its official proposal for next school year at a media briefing next Wednesday. Early in the year, some local schools already were getting portables; this month, newly elected West Seattle school-board member (more on that in the 2011-politics-in-review report) Marty McLaren asked for your thoughts about short-term solutions.

FINAL PHASE OF 3-PHASE DENNY/SEALTH PROJECT
After more than three years of work, the Denny/Sealth project is almost done. A September dedication event opened the new Denny International Middle School (phase two) next door to the renovated Chief Sealth International High School (phase one); by the time that happened, demolition of the old Denny was complete, and construction of park/sports facilities on the site (phase three) is nearly done.

PRINCIPAL CHANGES
The most populous school in West Seattle, Chief Sealth International High School, is now led by interim principal Chris Kinsey, after longtime principal John Boyd took a new job in the Highline Public Schools district … This past spring, Ruth Medsker became permanent principal of West Seattle High School … Arbor Heights and Lafayette Elementary Schools began this fall with new principals – Christy Collins and Jo Lute-Evans, respectively – while a principal change was announced about a month into the new year at Alki Elementary, as award-winning Chanda Oatis took over.

COMMUNITY COLLABORATION – GETTING, AND GIVING
Lafayette Elementary
‘s students have someplace new to play … The Roxhill Elementary “R” got a facelift thanks to community help … A West Seattle Montessori School (WSB sponsor) student’s blanket drive gets regional coverageHoly Rosary reached out with a big gift for Holy FamilyWest Seattle Elementary‘s library gets an overhaul … Awareness-raising and money-raising were part of what happened during World Water Week at Sealth … Freshmen got a boost from upperclassmen as West Seattle HS debuted “Link Crew.”Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) students won arts honors.

ONE BIG PROMISE
Thousands of students in West Seattle will get the chance for college classes they might not have been able to afford, thanks to the South Seattle Community College 13th Year Promise expanding to Chief Sealth.

BIG ACHIEVEMENTS
So many of them! These are just a few … Chief Sealth’s Honor Choir sang at Carnegie HallFCCLA students from WSHS went to state, nationals

(Sanislo GRC participants, photo courtesy of Craig Seasholes)
Sanislo Elementary and Concord International went to the Global Reading Challenge finalsMadison Middle School‘s “Project Citizen” crew went to state competition … Madison and Alki were chosen “Schools of Distinction” … Denny principal Jeff Clark got not only a new school but also, this year, the Foster Award … And Denny music director/Sealth band director Marcus Pimpleton got the Golden Apple Award.

VIDEO OF THE YEAR?
You’ll see several of the previously mentioned newsmakers in “Teach Me How to Study,” which went viral for Denny:

… and even brought a TV spotlight.

WEST SEATTLE’S NEWEST MIDDLE SCHOOL
Westside School
(WSB sponsor) started adding middle-school classes this fall, introducing the school community to new faculty members before last school year ended.

PRESCHOOLS
The West Seattle Preschool Association was launched this year … After many years at Seaview Methodist Church, Lincoln Park Cooperative Preschool moved to a new home in the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse.

EVERY West Seattle school did amazing things this year … this is just part of the story. In the New Year, please let us know what’s going on with YOUR school, big and small – here’s how to share info, photos, or advance notice so we can come cover an event. More year-in-review reports still to come!

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