West Seattle schools: Next draft of proposed boundaries goes public

(UPDATED MONDAY with link to district survey about the new draft)

Tonight, the next draft of proposed Seattle Public Schools “growth boundaries” is out, as part of the agenda for next Wednesday’s School Board meeting, at which they are to be officially introduced.

See the maps here; changes from the first draft are described in this document.

One big change: The district says it’s addressed concerns that the High Point area was being split between the reopening Fairmount Park Elementary (which feeds Madison Middle School) and West Seattle Elementary (which feeds Denny) by keeping most of the High Point community feeding into WSES and Denny.

What hasn’t changed: K-5 STEM at Boren is still proposed for evolution into K-8 STEM at Boren, to be permanently sited at the mid-Delridge building that once was Louisa May Boren Junior High School. … Once the new Genesee Hill elementary school is built, the current Schmitz Park site is still proposed for evolution into an “early learning center … to serve students in special education development preschools along with typical peers.”

The department also has compiled comments received on the first draft of the proposals, including those voiced during the round of public meetings that included the one September 25th at West Seattle High School (WSB coverage here) – see them here, organized by the schools (in alphabetical order) to which they refer – 96 pages of comments!

Timeline: From the accompanying materials attached to the agenda:

New boundaries, as well as location of services and programs, will be implemented in phases in alignment with the BEX IV construction schedule and enrollment changes. Some changes will be implemented beginning in 2014-15; others cannot be implemented for several years because they are dependent on completion of BEX IV projects. As BEX IV projects come online and additional capacity becomes available, implementation of Growth Boundaries will be phased in.

We’re still reviewing the supporting materials. The board meeting is at 4:15 pm Wednesday (October 16th) at district HQ in SODO, but this item isn’t scheduled to come up until after 6 pm – the agenda is here.

ADDED MONDAY: As a commenter has noted, the district has just gone public with a survey to ask what you think about the second draft – take the survey here.

58 Replies to "West Seattle schools: Next draft of proposed boundaries goes public"

  • kr October 11, 2013 (9:00 pm)

    Seems like an improvement to me. There is more logic in the walkability of the elementary zones in the north-south direction with this plan. However, now they are overlapping valleys and going east-west in odd places. It does seem like they listened to some of the feedback from the meeting though.

  • parent/teacher October 11, 2013 (9:10 pm)

    As usual, these boundary ‘fixes’ are ridiculous. My home is 4 blocks from Denny/Sealth where I teach and was once in the WS elem draw. Our neighbor directly across the street is in the Roxhill draw. It looks now as if we are in the Gatewood draw (where we fought to get both of my children in), but would then be assigned to Madison MS and WSHS. What a joke! How are schools supposed to thrive if families are unable to put down roots? It is as if the school board looks at property values and once they go up beyond a certain point they pull them out of their neighborhood HS. If their intent is to go back to the racial and social segregation of the 80’s and 90’s at Sealth it looks like they will succeed. WS Elementary students will have to walk through Madison’s bus zone to get to Denny once they move up! What realator draws these lines for them? They sure as hell don’t listen to constructive feedback. As usual these plans were probably in place long before they had community ‘input’ meetings. West Seattle School District needs to happen.

  • parent/teacher October 11, 2013 (9:21 pm)

    For proof of my rant, look at the wedge North of Holden (1 block from Denny) all the way to the High point playground (1 mile away) that will no longer be in the Denny/Sealth boundary while the Highpoint housing development (further North of the playground) will still be attending Denny/Sealth. What the hell? How does that save the district money or space?

  • West Seattle Mom October 11, 2013 (9:25 pm)

    Why are kids who live blocks from Denny/Sealth being bussed four miles away to Madison/West Seattle? I agree with the previous poster about the racial and social segregation. Ridiculous!

  • ttt October 11, 2013 (9:47 pm)

    I liked it the way it was before. We are 5 blocks away from genesee hill, now we will have to travel more than a mile to go to fairmont. Not happy… I was looking forward to not having to drive to bring my kids to school…

  • Azimuth October 11, 2013 (10:27 pm)

    Whoa. Last time I was safely inside the Gennessee boundary, so I didn’t bother with a public comment, and now I’m literally on the border. I hope they don’t make anymore changes. Crazy that the people across the street would send their kids to a different school but I guess it has to happen to a certain portion of us. Sorry Ttt, are you in the seaview area? The people in the Blocks of 46th and 49th between Dawson and Alaska got the shaft as far as I’m concerned.

  • trickycoolj October 11, 2013 (10:30 pm)

    Rats. There goes that Zestimate increase I got yesterday.

  • Mike October 11, 2013 (10:42 pm)

    If I’m looking at the revised boundary map correctly, its better for my kids. Hopefully it’s better for everyone else’s kids too. We had actually started to look at moving out of this district, now maybe we can stay.

  • evergreen October 12, 2013 (7:41 am)

    It’s always going to be better for some and worse for others. No way around that one.

  • no faith. October 12, 2013 (8:25 am)

    My post on Save Seattle Schools:
    It’s pretty clear that there was very little consideration to the geographic area west of California that is now supposed to go to Fairmont Park. Seriously? Most of us can SEE the new Genesee Hill site from our homes. Beach Drive kids are going to WALK UP and cross 2 main arterials to go to school? Most of this area was already switched once to go to Alki (also completely un-walkable.) The new boundaries finally made sense… walk the big kids to school, take the little ones to Ercolini Park on the way home. Because there has been no one to represent themselves from the Fairmont Park boundaries at the meetings, because we had no idea what they were going to be, and WOULD HAVE NEVER GUESSED that our neighborhood would be placed there. They can make this change with no challenge. Try to walk THIS area on the “walking tour”. I was actually starting to think things were making sense from the district. Not so much!!

  • no faith. October 12, 2013 (8:27 am)

    azimuth- yes. we did get the shaft. and we got it 2 years ago when they switched us to alki. so much for attempting to have little impact on families who were already effected by the last round of changes…

  • SadieGirl October 12, 2013 (9:48 am)

    I can’t believe they want to move that “wedge” east of 35th and change to Gatewood/Madison/WS! I don’t see how this benefits anyone. Does Gatewood need more kids? The article in the Seattle Times today (10/12) said there are too many kids in the Fairmount park zone… send them to Gatewood (I know Schmitz is over crowded)! It’s crazy to take kids that are just blocks from Denny/Sealth (where they can walk) and send them 4 miles away! 35th isn’t fun to cross either. I’ve got kids at Denny and Sealth – my Denny student is going to be very disappointed if she can’t go to Sealth!

    So why can’t Gatewood be a “choice type school”? It’s right in the middle (closer to Denny/Sealth) – let the families chose. And why do all kids that go to one elementary have to go to the same middle school and high school? It makes sense that the dividing line should be an east/west line so that may mean that some Gatewood kids go north, some go south.

  • Julie October 12, 2013 (11:05 am)

    Agreed, evergreen. Better for some, worse for others. I’m in that Sunrise Heights wedge east of 35th, and consider these boundary changes great news. Fingers crossed, Gatewood here we come!

  • Jen October 12, 2013 (11:05 am)

    Great. I just signed a new lease based on the old map. Our house is 4 houses off the grid for the school of my choice and now I am placed into the boundary I didn’t want. Another commenter posted above that they didn’t want to have to drive their kids to school next year. THat won’t be a problem. THeir kids won’t be allowed to attend the school of their choice. This isn’t just for transportation purposes, it is an assignment that few have ever challenged successfuly. I choose my home based almost exclusively by school designation. This is unnacceptable. They will be hearing from me.

    • WSB October 12, 2013 (11:13 am)

      Also please note there is a smaller chance they could change again before the final vote at a board meeting next month. And even once that vote is in – things could change in a few years. The last boundary changes were in 2009, and I remember vividly not just because we covered the process extensively, but because our house was redistricted in the middle of the process – between the first and second draft – just as our kid was headed for high school the ensuing fall. Everyone with school-age kids or future school-age kids, check the maps carefully, even if you looked after the first draft was out. – TR

  • Rachel October 12, 2013 (11:29 am)

    I am completely for making kids go to their neighborhood schools but I don’t see why from elementary they HAVE to go to a designated middle/high school. Also in many peoples cases they are in the middle of several schools, why should they not be given at least a say in which of the schools their children attend? I don’t agree with this district mandated map, its pretty ridiculous in my opinion. I attended Seattle schools myself, graduating in 2006. I went to Highland Park, 1/2 a block from my house and then went to Washington Middle School (for the advanced programs, which i missed getting into by 3 points but was already assigned there and wasnt able to change) switched to Madison for 7th& 8th, which i strongly disliked and didn’t do well at and opted to go to Sealth, which i loved, instead of following most of my classmates to WSHS. I am kind of baffled that parents don’t have a say as to what type of education their child gets nowadays unless they pay to send them to school. I have a 3 & 1 year old and I can assure you this is something I will most definitely be following in the next 2-3 years as we work towards homeownership before our oldest starts school.

  • Lynn October 12, 2013 (11:43 am)

    Sadie Girl,

    High school attendance areas aren’t addressed in this plan at all. If you’re in Sealth’s zone now, your child will not be sent to WSHS.

  • Lynn October 12, 2013 (11:55 am)

    Gatewood is giving up students to Fairmount Park because High Point families don’t want to be split up. That leaves too much empty space at Gatewood, so West Seattle Elementary students who don’t live in High Point are backfilling those seats.

    If no one wants to go to Fairmount, they should put K-5 STEM there. Choosing to turn 450 seats at Boren into permanent elementary seats makes no sense. We’re going to end up with 800 extra elementary seats in West Seattle and 72 extra middle school seats. Hope their ms projections are exactly right.

    Rachel – we can’t afford to bus students all over the city. The district doesn’t get enough money from the state to cover costs as it is.

  • Ttt October 12, 2013 (12:53 pm)

    Azimuth: we are in the area that got shafted…

  • Jeff October 12, 2013 (1:23 pm)

    I was previously well in the Genessee Hill zone with the first draft which is 5 blocks from my house. After the current draft I am shifted to Fairmont over a mile away.

    If you look at the placement of the new Genessee school and catchment area the school is no where near the middle of that catchment area. That tells me there was too much influence to readjust the area to accommodate a few people without logic.

  • Parent October 12, 2013 (1:28 pm)

    Where are the maps for the elementary schools? Am I missing them?


  • commenter October 12, 2013 (2:58 pm)

    Lynn- Where did you get your information? The lines show regions for each MS, which currently only feed to one HS. Have you heard that there will be other lines for HS?

  • Dawson October 12, 2013 (3:08 pm)

    From their walkibility map it looks like somone got the walk zones confused between Schmitz and Fairmount. From Dawson street we can see the new school site. No way my little guys are going to make the trek on their feet or bike to Fairmount.

  • Jeff October 12, 2013 (4:57 pm)

    Here is what I sent to the school board:

    I recently reviewed the proposed school boundary changes that will be reviewed on the October 16, 2013 School Board meeting. The proposed change of the Fairmont Park elementary school boundary is so radically different than the proposed change dated September 17, 2013 that I feel the families in this area have not had an adequate venue to voice this concern.

    Some high level issues with the proposal:

    1). Capacity of Fairmont is stated to be 500 children yet the population projections on page 16 of the “20131016growthboundaries_attachmentb.pdf” states that estimated population could exceed 700 (that would be 140% over capacity). Referring to the same document Alki and Schmidts Park are both under capacity considering the 600 student facility at Schmidts Park.

    2). The walkability index for the Fairmont park catchment is laughable. It expects kids located in the Errcoloni park area to walk over the high traffic areas of West Seattle junction, the “triangle area” of Fauntleroy (which has considerable construction and traffic) and the street of Fauntleroy which is West Seattle’s major arterial.

    3). The location of the New Genesee Hill school in relation to the catchment area it pulls from is askew. I am 5-6 blocks from the new location yet get routed to Fairmont which over a mile away yet more than half of the catchment for Genesee Hill is is more 10 – 12 blocks away.

    4). Currently my child goes to Alki with the old boundary and now there is proposal for Fairmont. I would bet this raw mileage change is the biggest in your school district which begs the question if the needs of my area were really addressed. The boundary changes dated September 17th seemed to match my place of residence and school much better and our family wrote to the school board stating as such.

  • Heidi A October 12, 2013 (6:01 pm)

    I am very happy for the High Point community. There was a Somali woman who gave a very passionate and persuasive speech at the WS High meeting. She noted that her community feels voiceless and unable to attend meetings to lobby for their children, many have multiple jobs and children, including her. Yet she came to speak on their behalf and has continued to speak up and ask that her community not be split. Her case was solid: Denny and Sealth have existing programs to address their unique needs. Madison/WS do not. ELL children in high point are beating the odds and doing well at Denny and Sealth. Don’t stop something that’s actually working in the district.

  • Jeff October 12, 2013 (6:21 pm)

    Aw man, we get screwed in this revision. I’m in that same Ercolini area and was really pleased to be added to the local school instead of Alki. Hopefully it is not final.

    I’m a different Jeff, not the same as earlier in this post.

  • A October 12, 2013 (7:08 pm)

    Why is everyone so against FP? I heard it was bad in the past but now it’s a new beginning. Also, when does this new boundary deal go into effect? Lastly, if your neighborhood school changes bc of the boundary change and you already have a child in a school in the old boundary do they have to move to other school? What about younger siblings? Do they go to the new neighborhood school or same one older sibling is at with old boundaries?

    • WSB October 12, 2013 (7:11 pm)

      A – see the paragraph above. There is no one implementation date for all the changes city/districtwide, district officials say – some are contingent on the construction of new schools. In Fairmount Park’s case, though, it’ll be the first to (re)open – fall of next school year – and certainly would have some domino effects. I doubt that domino-effect timetable will be out until the maps are finalized with a November vote (meantime, they’re still taking comments from anyone with something to say – growthboundaries@seattleschools.org) … TR

  • WestsideMom October 12, 2013 (8:11 pm)

    A – my understanding is that there are no guarantees for kids that are placed at a school (I was told that K and 1st grade students were reassigned in the past. And that sibs did not get grandfathered into a school in the past, either. It’s awful.

    I have to say that I’m SHOCKED to see so much of the feedback incorporated from the community meeting. The widening of the Fairmount Park area, the High Point kids going to Denny and the more reasonable Schmitz, Lafayette and Alki boundaries — all issues that were brought up. I get that the changes are now affecting other people negatively, but I have to admit that the district listened.

  • Interesting October 12, 2013 (9:08 pm)

    West side mom –

    Who are you fooling? The alki, Lafayette and Schmidts park boundaries made a lot more sense the first time. My guess there was a strong faction of parents advocating for the old boundary of Schmitz park even though the new school is located 5 blocks south. Do you really care about high point?

  • ttt October 12, 2013 (9:24 pm)

    I am glad they listened, but now anyone that was happy with the boundary change and didn’t say that they are happy are screwed. I’m mad because I’m 5 blocks away (.6 mile) from the new genesee hill/Schmitz and I was Alki (1.9 miles away) and now with the second draft I’m 1.2 miles away AND across two very busy streets (Cali. and Fauntleroy). For my neighborhood, the revision from draft one to draft two is a major shift. Obviously no one spoke up from our neighborhood because we were all happy with the way it was.
    The Alki, and Schmitz boundaries do not make sense now.

  • wsparent October 12, 2013 (9:30 pm)

    If the Highpoint middle school students are ELL they will automatically be bussed to Denny, where the ELL program is, right?

  • Knoll October 12, 2013 (10:08 pm)

    Can’t please all the people all the time. There’s never going to be a way to draw the lines in such a manner that is the best fit (terrain, arterials, distance, etc.). For those complaining about distance (mainly the Genessee / Fairmont walkability), does it seem realistic that the district just use a compass and draw a circle around a school where the school falls in the mid-diameter? No! Schools have different capacities and neighborhoods have different densities of school aged kiddos.

  • ttt October 13, 2013 (12:35 am)

    I totally understand what you are saying Knoll, but the 1st draft actually did have each school close to the center of the boundary lines and the neighborhood around it was to that school, except for Lafayette which does have a very large zone.

  • Seaview October 13, 2013 (2:35 am)

    Well our family has had to look at a major revision and its unsettling to be given such a reversal. Sure FP is closer but our kids have been going to school north and have made friends and we feel part of a community at another school. The north schools may be silently clapping that they get their area we in the middle have been brushed north and south for all the years we’ve been in-5.

    Now we have our own attendance area, with a yet-to-be-established PTA. If FP would offer a program (STEM for ex) that we could all rally behind, we might prefer that. FP will be a new facility and possibly very exciting- but it’s hard to get excited about the unknown when we’ve been happy north (with FB have Singapore math for the kids that have been doing that?)

    It’s not cool to talk about house values plummeting because you got shafted. We are all west Seattle and we benefit from everyone being happy and served equally.

  • Laura October 13, 2013 (7:23 am)

    How FRUSTATING! West Seattle Elementary will loose valuable resources that serve ALL children if we reduce our size. We cannot afford a cut in boundaries, and frankly, when a school is moving in the right direction, and not over capacity, why mess with it? These decisions are NOT equitable. I’m grateful that they’ve reconfigured to keep Highpoint students coming to their neighborhood school, but cutting away at our southern boundary on the east side off 35th up to Denny, makes NO sense for families and NO sense for our learning community. I’ve heard that Arbor Heights is over capacity, perhaps Gatewood’s draw can relieve the pressure from that end, while Fairmount park grows from the north end of Gatewood. But for equity sake, do NOT disrupt what is working for our population at WSE. We are closing the gap – and that should be a PRIORITY! We are building community with families who were previously unengaged, and that should be a PRIORITY! West Seattle Elementary’s boundaries need to be protected. The Highpoint community will send representatives to the next board meeting. If you’re interested in attending and could use a lift, let the Principal at WSE know, or talk with your children’s teacher/s.

  • kayo October 13, 2013 (7:48 am)

    Seaview, I could not agree with you more in your last sentence. All of us with kids in SPS are dealing with the long term ramifications of the change from choice to neighborhood schools, repeated boundary changes, a population boom that SPS did not anticipate and school closures. It is our reality. I do feel really bad for families who have suffered through repeated boundary changes and school closures. Unfortunately, it is virtually impossible to make everyone happy in the process of fixing this mess. I also want to point out that some neighborhoods (like mine), completely lack a walkable neighborhood school so some of us don’t even even have that as an available option (or those who can walk do not have a recently remodeled and updated building as FP will have.). There are pluses and minuses to every scenario. I would not assume your house value will suddenly plummet because your house isn’t in SP anymore either. Believe it or not, there are other public schools that are doing a good job educating kids in West Seattle and they aren’t all in the north end. Test scores do not tell the whole story.

  • Mike October 13, 2013 (7:50 am)

    I can agree with Seaview’s comments. I live in the north area and this latest revision works to our kids benefits, which did not before at all. I think the middle and south have some weird adjustments now that I look at the Denny/Sealth borders. Seems odd that the border is within a block or two of them. I don’t know the population numbers in those areas, would need to look at the school capacity of those areas. It would be great to have a heat map of population density by age groups with an overlay of school capacity to see if these adjustments make sense. I don’t know if the district or anyone even has those population numbers for age groups. I’d hope they do if parents are putting in student applications with the district.
    It seems the district needs more schools (or ones that have a higher capacity) in West Seattle, not playing roulette with shifting students around. There also seems to be a high request for at least another STEM school. I feel it would benefit more students to have Singapore math taught across the board as the statistics of Schmitz students math knowledge shows it works better than any other format of math taught in the district for the majority of students.
    I’d be interested in how many Amazon/Gaming/Biotech people live in West Seattle, how many have kids. The push for a higher quality education should be at the top of their minds. That is why Bellevue has one of the top districts in the nation, Microsofties pushed hard for it. They have over 100% PTSA participation, it’s nuts, but they have incredible output because of it. I despise the eastside, but when push comes to shove, if the Seattle School District fails to do what’s right… I will move to Bellevue, my kids are worth it.

  • Dawson October 13, 2013 (8:27 am)

    I don’t think people are against FP because of academics. It’s more about being able to attend the closer school-our case being 5 blocks versus >1 mile. Personally I’m excited about FP from the standpoint of it being a new school with an opportunity to get involved and shape the programs.

  • A October 13, 2013 (8:31 am)

    I’m more concerned about my house value plummeting when the tunnel happens. We plan to get out before then.

  • Mike October 13, 2013 (9:04 am)

    A, you do know they’ve already started drilling, right?

  • The Dad October 13, 2013 (10:31 am)

    Wow Lafayette’s boundaries got bigger again. It’s already overcrowded. A student got trampled in the hallways the other day. Just saying.

  • ttt October 13, 2013 (10:55 am)

    My main concern is that Genesee hill is very close to my neighborhood. My neighborhood has not had a neighborhood school yet– we are currently Alki, and now FP. Neither are walkable. With draft #1, my kids could have walked 5 blocks.
    There are density maps in the SPS info. The densest area is highpoint. That area is closest to FP. It just makes sense to have them go to that school, and from California to the East can join them. Gatewood could pick up up some of my neighborhood to the South of Erskine, Alki can keep the waterfront/Beach Drive area, from Erskine to the North should be Genesee Hill. It just makes sense for proximity.
    The first rule of a neighborhood school is proximity.

  • fiverson October 13, 2013 (11:32 am)


    I understand your personal disappointment, but your claim that every school (except Lafayette) was close to the center of its boundary in the 1st draft is not true for FP and others. FP was right on the edge of its 1rst draft boundary which went much farther south and east to include areas not really walkable for most. Now it is more central and walkable for more families in its new boundary, unfortunately not for yours or the new “wedge” which is so close to Denny. I heard many say the GH boundary was too large in the first draft and the FP was too small, and I agree. Our West Seattle schools are unequally sized and unequally distributed. West Seattle neighborhoods vary a lot in density and many border city limits and/or water. These factors make it impossible to put each school “mid-diameter” of its boundary. If the new plan evens the capacity out a little, it will be easier for siblings and closer distance kids to get into their schools of choice by applying for a transfer. If current students are grandfathered in and their siblings get tiebreakers as has been done in the past the pain will be minimized. STEM being able to stay at Boren instead of old SP will allow them to take more K-5 students and ease some crowding everywhere. If APP is put into FP that may ease some crowding at Layfayette from Spectrum transfers. Is that still the plan? Proximity, certainty, and transportation savings were pitched as the reasons for the neighborhood schools model but capacity issues are taking priority over that in the current environment. Have you seen that the geozones for some of the option schools that are very off-center for capacity reasons even though the original proposal was for those to be walk zones. If I’m reading it correctly, the geozone for Queen Anne Elementary doesn’t include any of the houses directly around the school.

  • jeff October 13, 2013 (11:36 am)

    Yeah truthfully I know nothing about any of the schools I’m just bitter about losing a four block walk and getting told a mile is my neighborhood school.

  • A October 13, 2013 (11:36 am)

    Starting to drill and completion are quite far apart. Good luck to those that stay. We’ll be elsewhere in a bigger house and much better schools.

  • ttt October 13, 2013 (2:36 pm)

    ttt. just seems like California should be the border for FP and FP take some of Gatewood’s kids that are North of Morgan, Gatewood could then take kids from Erskine and south to Gatewood, from Erskine north could be SP, beach drive could stay Alki, and the north side of SP could go back to the alki assignment that was on the first draft. Those boundaries would promote neighborhood schools… I realize it is not that easy to figure out, but the change in draft 1 to draft 2 was pretty dramatic. area nearest to FP is the highest density, I think that is why the FP map was small at first. And I don’t understand why the north end of SP didn’t stay at alki. Alki does not have the crowding problems like the other north end schools… Just want to have a school that is actually in my neighborhood.

  • Seaview October 13, 2013 (9:58 pm)

    I feel psychologically drained to have the district constantly mess with the borders. Our lives are filled with many responsibilities and daily exhaustions -It’s always a crapshoot and Im tired tired of it. There is a loss of stability to have the lines redrawn.

  • J October 14, 2013 (4:58 am)

    So long, A. I won’t miss your negative comments. I hope your relocation brings you some happiness.

  • Jeff October 14, 2013 (7:55 am)

    Here is the link for for public commentary on the latest revision. I recommend everybody caught off guard in the Ercolini area (ie. Fairmont Park) to voice concerns and pass the link to neighbors.

    To have people on Deach Drive area assigned to Genessee Hill and people 4-6 blocks away assigned to Fairmont Park is laughable and egregious. It shows disregard to proximity and walkability.


  • juju October 14, 2013 (8:43 am)

    What? We are in that weird wedge between High Point and Holden street. My son currently goes to school at Denny and walks home….five blocks….not to mention he is taking classes that are designed in conjunction with the Sealth International program. This does not make sense.

  • no faith. October 14, 2013 (10:38 am)

    Yes, Jeff great link. There is a new survey which closes on October 21st. It does seem as though there are attempts being made to have continued feedback from neighborhoods and that’s great! If you take the survey and you live in the area that some people are now surprised to find drawn into Fairmont Park, (1st maps showed SP at Genesee Hill, currently families go to Alki), note that the reference number they ask for from the map is 68.
    The survey might be the best way to get your ideas heard.
    Also a board meeting Wendesday, October 15 at 4:15.

  • Oh My October 14, 2013 (7:40 pm)

    Are you kidding me? These changes for West Seattle are HUGE from the first draft with no time left to introduce a formal new draft before the Board vote. For example, Lafayette’s boundaries get even bigger and go even further away to the south/south east…all part of the “neighborhood” school plan, I guess. While all other schools will get the opportunity to be smaller due to Fairmount Park’s opening, it seems Lafayette will continue to add portables with these boundaries. Shouldn’t Fairmount Park’s boundaries reduce Lafayette’s overcrowding a tiny bit? Why doesn’t Fairmount Park draw more from the east of the school instead of just the west of it? I cannot imagine anyone honestly being able to say that Lafayette’s boundaries make sense. And what’s up with that ridiculous wedge above Sealth/Denny switching to Gatewood when they are so close to other schools. Gads…I fear for West Seattle. Our region needs more time to get this right, especially given the mistakes from the first boundary redraw.

  • Public School Advocate October 15, 2013 (12:09 pm)

    My feedback to SPS via https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/7BKFRS3
    When I reviewed the most recent middle school attendance area zones for West Seattle I grew VERY CONCERNED for the sustainability and overall health of our public schools. I’d like the district to revisit middle school feeder patterns and reconsider a dual-feeder pattern. It does not benefit our community to have students living a few blocks away from Denny NOT be able to attend Denny. Likewise, it does not benefit our community to create such lopsided socio-economic differences between Madison and Denny service areas. I would like to see a natural east/west boundary be used to determine middle school service areas. SW Morgan would be the most natural boundary, yet this could be shifted slightly south to SW Myrtle, SW Webster (or possibly SW Holden yet that gets a little too close to Denny). Attempting to line up entire elementary zones into middle school zones doesn’t work well in West Seattle and needs to be addressed. If 1/4 or 1/2 the students at lets say Gatewood, Sanislo or West Seattle feed to both Madison and Denny is that really a bad thing? Could the perceived downside actually have an upside? I think this option needs to be explored in greater depth.
    Also, why isn’t the model for Special Education also being considered for Advanced Learning? If Special Education services are going to be primarily offered to students at their attendance area school, why isn’t the same model being designed for Advanced Learning too? Advanced Learning is another form of Special Ed. and it’s a shame so much of the growth boundary work is tied up in accommodating space for special programs.

  • A October 15, 2013 (12:40 pm)

    Haha J. Won’t miss ya or crappy WS. Been here for 11 yrs and can’t wait to move on. Will sell my house before the market here tanks with the new tunnel.

  • Steve October 15, 2013 (4:03 pm)

    We live in the same “finger” as you that suddenly is headed for Madison/W Sea High. Our oldest walks 5 blocks to Denny and hopefully will be grandfathered in, but kid #2 will be sent over to Madison which we have zero relationship with. Denny and Sealth ARE our neighborhood schools NOT Madison/W Sea High. Totally bummed and am feeling pretty whiny about the while thing. I want my kids to be together.

  • jbf October 18, 2013 (1:21 pm)

    This is what I just submitted in the SPS survey:

    I recommend that the boundaries for the elementary schools not be tied to the middle school and high schools in the West Seattle area (and perhaps city-wide). If you must, then have the service areas for Gatewood, West Seattle and Sanislo (in the middle of West Seattle) be “option areas” for both Madison MS/West Seattle HS and Denny MS/Sealth HS.

    This will allow for more kids to walk to their neighborhood middle school and high school. The current proposal has kids in Area 60 (which is within blocks of Denny MS & Sealth HS) go to Madison MS and West Seattle HS. That is NOT logical and a waste of kids’ time to take a bus.

    I am also concerned that a larger percentage of the higher income families will be attending Madison MS & West Seattle HS as compared to Denny MS & Sealth HS. I don’t have hard evidence, but it is my perception that these families are more involved with the schools (PTA, booster club, auctions, etc.). Let’s shoot for equity and balance with families (socio-economic, racial, etc.).

    Setting school boundaries is a challenging task. Let’s use valid guidelines and not paint ourselves into a corner.

  • juju October 21, 2013 (8:13 am)

    Steve….We are in the exact same situation. Our youngest is in 2nd grade and will more than likely have to go to Madison/WSHS…..4 miles away. Her brother currently goes to Denny and plans and moving onto Sealth. I feel for the highpoint neighborhood, but after the 2nd draft came out, also feel like Sunrise Heights became the sacrificial lamb….There has got to be a better solution. The current map makes no sense. I want my kids to go to the same school and be able to walk to and from. I too, am also bummed and feeling super whiny….but have written emails and posted on the survey. I guess we will see……

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