FOLLOWUP: Concord Elementary PTA seeking support for solutions to dual-language program, kindergarten-crowding concerns

“We ARE the opportunity gap,” Robin Schwartz from the Concord International Elementary School PTA told the Seattle School Board at its meeting this past week. (When you click “play” on the video clip below, it should advance to her remarks.)

We first reported three weeks ago on the concerns of Schwartz and other parents at Concord, which is in South Park but also draws some West Seattle families, especially because of its dual-language program, the subject of some of the changes they’re worried about.

They organized a forum to bring some of those concerns to school and district officials (WSB coverage here), and have another one planned.

And now they’re gathering signatures of support after circulating this letter:

In her remarks to the school board last Wednesday, a comment period that has strict time limits, Schwartz focused on the kindergarten class size, adding that besides being a non-optimal experience for students, “Our teachers are overwhelmed and overburdened.”

At the forum earlier this month, the district promised a committee would look at the parents’ concerns. A November 9th followup meeting is planned to see what progress has been made. But the PTA doesn’t want to just wait for that, so is seeking signatures of support – if you would like to add yours, here’s where to sign on (scroll to the end of the document after the summary of concerns and requests).

3 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Concord Elementary PTA seeking support for solutions to dual-language program, kindergarten-crowding concerns"

  • West Coast Nomad October 23, 2017 (9:48 am)

    I don’t even have a child in school but I just signed this petition. I’m more than happy to pay taxes towards programs that provide positive and equitable support to children in our community. I’m hopeful these programs are restored. Thank you for covering this story and I wish these types of articles garnered as many comments and as much interest as crime reports. 

    • Robin Schwartz October 23, 2017 (1:58 pm)

      The Concord community thanks you for your support!

  • Concord Community Member October 28, 2017 (2:31 pm)
    This is to counter the comment in the PTA letter. The dual language program is already an “enrichment” program for English-speaking students. It has been for the past few years when the program gained momentum. This is why Concord is its current predicament. Majority of the West Seattle families flock their kids to Concord to learn Spanish without regarding it as a serious academic program. Teachers have reported backlash from the English-speaking families when those children are not passing Spanish. This is cultural appropriation at its worst. 
    Furthermore, dual language is not a right. If that’s the case, then why don’t we have this program for ALL the languages spoken in the district? At the end of the day, all students need to be proficient in English literacy because this will give them equal  opportunities  when they leave Concord. Last, if the English-speaking families  really  cared about closing the achievement gap, you would not have opt out of the SBA in large numbers. This is another reason why Concord  is suffering. You can’t have it both ways!
    This is a quote I found from another parent blogger. I find it to be relevant here. “Whether you get on board and support ALL kids, or take your kids back to West Seattle, hire a Spanish tutor, and let Concord get back to serving the neighborhood kids!”

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