Update: K-8 STEM at Boren, ‘early learning center’ at Schmitz, APP in West Seattle, new maps & more proposed in draft ‘Growth Boundaries’ plan for Seattle Public SchoolsSeptember 17, 2013 at 4:30 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 94 Comments
4:30 PM: Seattle Public Schools is out with its “Growth Boundaries” proposal, and there’s one big headline for West Seattle (along with multiple others): The plan includes the community-driven suggestion that West Seattle’s STEM school, in its second year, stay at Boren and become K-8 STEM at Boren “in the future.”
STEM parent representatives are here (in scarves, in our photo) – they just heard, and they’re smiling. Boren was intended to be the school’s temporary home, and you might recall that the district had proposed in May that the current Schmitz Park Elementary campus become STEM’s permanent home when it’s vacated after the completion of the new school at Genesee Hill. The STEM PTA counterproposed last month that either they move into Fairmount Park Elementary when it’s reopened, or that they stay at Boren and expand to a K-8. They got key community support too, from groups including the North Delridge Neighborhood Council. And now – that’s the draft proposal.
Fairmount Park, meantime, is still proposed as a neighborhood school once it reopens next fall – its expansion and upgrade work is under way right now:
And here are the newly proposed West Seattle attendance maps – first, for the Madison service area, which would include Fairmount Park:
FP is also proposed as part of an “optional” West Seattle pathway for students in the top-level-gifted APP program:
And here’s the other attendance-area map, showing what feeds into Denny:
(ADDED: Even more detailed maps are posted now on the district website – one for each individual school – see those here)
(back to original report) The plan also proposes:
*The current Schmitz Park Elementary campus would become an “early learning center”
*The former EC Hughes – which Westside School (WSB sponsor) will vacate after finishing their new campus – will become the “emergency/interim” campus that Boren had been
Meantime, we are at the School Board work session that is about to start, with lots more information about what is being proposed here, and we will be reporting here “live” as it happens – stand by!
4:37 PM: The board briefing is under way. They’ve been told that the citywide changes proposed today would unfold between now and 2020-2021 – “not all at once.” We’ll add more document links as soon as we can. First group of topics is special services, including “academically gifted” (APP), and the new proposal for an “optional pathway” at Fairmount Park and Madison is explained as taking some pressure, potentially, off the existing south pathway (Thurgood Marshall to Washington); the north region is proposed for two full pathways but the south APP numbers are described as too big for one, not big enough for two.
4:47 PM: The full West Seattle-area International School pathway is now proposed too: Concord or Highland Park (both remaining primarily “attendance area” schools as well) to Denny to Sealth. Next: Elaboration on STEM, and the proposal for K-5 STEM at Boren to become permanent as eventually K-8 STEM at Boren – the timeline for expansion, district managers explain, would be tied to the need for Arbor Heights to co-locate at Boren over the next two school years while its school is rebuilt. Asked to specify a year, district managers say 6th grade would (under this plan – which isn’t final yet) start in (updated, per document) 2015-16, with 7th added 2016-17, 8th added 2017-18. They point out, a few minutes later – as had been noted in the proposal from the STEM PTA – that this plan means there will be an option school in each of West Seattle’s two service areas, Madison (Pathfinder K-8) and Denny (now, K-8 STEM).
5:17 PM: No updates re: West Seattle because the board had just spent a lot of time extensively discussing one proposal for another part of town (re: Pinehurst K-8). But now it’s time for some general discussion on the program proposals districtwide – and board member Michael DeBell said he’s particularly pleased about the K-8 STEM recommendation. Meantime, we should note that West Seattle’s board member Marty McLaren is not here because she is ill.
5:34 PM: Now they’re on to the boundaries – see the maps higher up in this story. One line on the overview: “Strong emphasis on continuity of current elementary attendance area boundaries” – of course, in West Seattle, there will be some change with Fairmount Park becoming an attendance-area elementary when it reopens next fall.
6:07 PM: The boundaries were not discussed in detail – so we don’t have any extra enlightenment to share beyond the maps shown above (click here to see larger sizes – it’s the “map packet” sent out to media earlier). One West Seattle datapoint here – district managers are suggesting “implement(ing the) optional APP pathway in West Seattle to mitigate Washington MS APP enrollment growth until Meany BEX IV project is completed.” One more reminder – these are all proposals, and not final until the board’s votes following a round of public meetings that’s about to start.
Now a few more Southwest-area details – district managers correct their earlier verbal mention of the start date for middle school at Boren; as the documentation says, they’re proposing fall 2015 for 6th grade to start there. The Arbor Heights co-location over the next two school years (fall 2014 to summer 2016) would be the last “interim” usage of Boren, and EC Hughes (once Westside leaves) would become the interim/emergency space in this area. (It was used that way before Westside leased and renovated it.)
6:28 PM: Tracy Libros from district staff warns “this isn’t going to fix everything – it’s going to get worse before it gets better” regarding handling growth. Meantime, as meeting wraps up, a reminder that the LONE community meeting planned in West Seattle to go over all this is one week from tomorrow, Wednesday 9/25, 6:30 pm, in the commons at West Seattle High School (3000 California SW). If you have questions or comments, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The meeting’s a wrap.
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