Concord Elementary in South Park is part of the West Seattle region for Seattle Public Schools, and one of its fourth-grade classes is asking for your help in getting a $1,000 grant for technology: Marina Pita‘s class made a video to enter in the online vote at changemyschool.com – a quick, no-strings-attached, no-registration-required type of vote: Just go here (and take a minute to watch the video too)!
(Superintendent José Banda listens as Concord Elementary principal Norma Zavala speaks)
Story and photos by Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One month into his first school year as Seattle Public Schools superintendent, José Banda came to the city’s southwest sector last night for a “regional meeting.”
It happened at Concord International School in South Park, but it was intended for the West Seattle community too. And they turned out in force, including – as promised in this letter published here last week – Sanislo Elementary, which got some reassurance relating to its kindergarten-class-size concerns during the Q/A period, which also brought questions from Arbor Heights Elementary, K-5 STEM at Boren, and Schmitz Park Elementary parents.
After Superintendent Banda was introduced with a biographical outline, including his 30 years of work in education, he turned the floor over to Concord Principal Norma Zavala, who spoke to the crowd about the school and its programs. she described its highlight as being “a school that is truly truly diverse – linguistically, ethnic, geographical, gender orientation, everything … and that’s the beauty of being an international school – we’re working every single day to apply a global perspective to our problems, to our successes, as adults and as children.”
The superintendent acknowledged parents were wondering “what IS IT we’re focused on?” and “where are we going?”
After Seattle Public Schools staff presented a revamped proposal for “capacity management” next year – basically, how to relieve overcrowding – we asked West Seattle’s newly elected school-board representative Marty McLaren for her reaction. She in turn asked if we would publish her call for YOUR thoughts. So here goes. (If you didn’t see our story earlier this week, it’s here, including a link to the presentation made to board members last Wednesday.) You can comment here or contact her directly; the board is scheduled to get a more-or-less-finalized proposal for introduction at its January 4th meeting, and a final vote two weeks later. Her message to you:
I’m very interested in hearing views from West Seattle people about the short term options that the community/school district committee (“FACMAC”) has recommended to alleviate overcrowding at elementary schools in the Denny and Madison Middle School areas.
Background: The short-term solutions offered are intended for the year 2012-13 only. By identifying these options as soon as possible, we pave the way for open enrollment to commence on time in March, 2012. Open enrollment will allow families wanting their children to attend programs outside of their normal assignment area to request those assignments.
These short-term solutions for the coming year are intended to allow time for the district (with community participation) to design mid- and long term plans for program placement and for opening more classroom space to meet our projected rise in number of students.
So far, after extensive brainstorming and soliciting opinions from many members of the community, the district is recommending:
Organizers of next week’s School Board candidates’ forum in West Seattle – presented and sponsored by local PTAs and PTSAs – just locked in a topnotch moderator, KUOW education reporter Phyllis Fletcher. So says organizer Carla Rogers, who shares more information about the 6:30 pm Tuesday forum at Madison Middle School (day before ballots go out): Click to read the rest of Election 2011: 5 days till School Board candidates face off here…
Lots of buzz today about the one-day online-fundraising drive for hundreds of nonprofits around the region, through the Seattle Foundation. Their online list of who’s eligible is overwhelmingly long, but we reviewed it to cull the West Seattle/White Center-based names we recognized, in case you haven’t already found your favorite nonprofit to donate to. And yes, we know many, many, many more groups operate IN this area as part of regional operations – wherever you choose to donate, just donate, regional or local or wherever! Once you see a name, find it on this Seattle Foundation page to get the direct link for their page. List ahead: Click to read the rest of Peninsula participants in today’s one-day online-donation GiveBIG…
Those are youth musicians from West Seattle Community Orchestras, rehearsing last night at Chief Sealth International High School for the holiday concert they’ll be part of tonight – same place – 6:30 pm. Adults $5, children $1, but as the poster says, extra donations are always appreciated! … Tonight’s lineup also includes your chance to find out why the Duwamish River cleanup “feasibility study” matters to everyone in our area – find out about it, and have your say, 5:30-8:30 pm at Concord Elementary in South Park. … The Senior Center of West Seattle presents “Spirit of Salsa,” 10-10:45 am, for fun and exercise, no partner necessary, $10 drop-in … Enjoy your West Seattle Community Centers (WSB sponsor) to the fullest – sign up for winter classes (Southwest Pool, too) starting at noon today – find the info online by going here. … And remember our special holiday links: Events list here, shopping guide here.
(WSB photo from October 2009)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The timing was perfect.
On the day that a key document went public, a first draft of the next phase of trying to heal the polluted Duwamish River, Sustainable West Seattle convened a Community Forum with experts who explained why it matters and why your opinion matters.
The forum, with more than 40 people on hand inside Camp Long Lodge last night, wasn’t only about the Feasibility Study that went public hours earlier (links are atop the right sidebar of this site). But since the topic – the Duwamish River’s past, present and future – is intertwined with the issue of how to handle its pollution, that’s where the discussion tended to focus.
Participating: Genevieve Aguilar of Puget Sound Sage, Kathy Bahnick of the Port of Seattle, Lori Cohen from the Environmental Protection Agency, B.J. Cummings from the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, Heather Trim from People for Puget Sound, and Bob Warren from the Washington State Department of Ecology.
With Sustainable West Seattle vice president Gary Lichtenstein as moderator, they spoke for two hours, including Q/A. Before we jump into the highlights – we recorded the entirety of the forum on video – with a fixed camera, so it may be more useful as audio than video – it’s in three chunks, left to right (you can watch any clip fullscreen by clicking once to bring up its title, then clicking on the title itself to go to its page at blip.tv):
(Ribboncutting video added over originally posted photo, as CSIHS PTSA president Amy Daly-Donovan and Friends of Sealth president Debbie Taylor call up participants)
ORIGINAL 10:21 AM REPORT: “It’s a great day!” enthused Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson moments ago, right after a ribboncutting celebration outside the renovated Chief Sealth International High School. Mayor Mike McGinn is here as are dozens of other dignitaries, plus students including the band (McGinn told them “You guys rocked it!”) and cheer squad (video of both added below).
11:12 AM UPDATE: Adding video, and more photos. Four Chief Sealth student leaders welcoming the crowd in four languages:
That’s student-body president Ressie Brown with the English version, junior class president Cecilia Silva in Chinese, student-body vice president Abubakar Dhubow in Somali, and student-body secretary Yesenia Barajas in Spanish. Sealth Principal John Boyd was joined by his soon-to-be-campus-sharing counterpart, Denny International Middle School Principal Jeff Clark (who didn’t wear his famous Denny Dolphins bright-blue suit, but was sporting blue shoes):
Clark confirms that his school will make their move right after this school year ends, so that summer classes and programs can be held in the new facility. More to come; speeches and performances wrapped up inside the Galleria just after 10:30.
Tours followed, though the visitors were reminded that it’s a working day for teachers and staff, with classes starting tomorrow. Read on for the official district announcement: Click to read the rest of Celebration time at Chief Sealth International High School…
(King County rendering of South Park Bridge, post-closure, leaves permanently up)
Story and photos by Jonathan Stumpf
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
If you can’t have a bridge – how about a gondola?
That was one of the ideas in circulation last night as more than 100 people gathered at the South Park Community Center to ask Mayor Mike McGinn what kind of assistance the City of Seattle will provide as they prepare for the June 30 closure of the South Park Bridge.
The two-hour meeting began with a short speech from Mayor McGinn, introducing his team assigned to assist with the neighborhood transition, and discussing key points in the finalized bridge-closure plan. The majority of the evening was an open forum for questions from residents and business owners about how to help the neighborhood cope with the closure.
“South Park is a great neighborhood and our neighborhood,” said McGinn to attendees. “We’re prepared to do our fair share.”
The questions posed to Mayor McGinn, and later councilmember Sally Clark — the lone representative from the City Council — were from a frustrated community disappointed with how their government had failed them, but seeming accepting of their fate, and willing to move forward to work toward a solution to save the neighborhood.
We can say with confidence there are HUNDREDS of events this weekend – starting with the ~200 sales signed up for West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day, all over the peninsula on Saturday, 9 am-3 pm. Many more great events too – Chief Sealth‘s Carne Asada Bowl game/barbecue this afternoon, a Seattle Animal Shelter cat adopt-a-thon at Alki Community Center tomorrow, Family Game Night at Youngstown Arts Center tonight, Mother’s Day photos at Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor)… All that and tons more on the list, sponsored by Skylark Cafe and Club, where you’ll find FREE live music, bodacious brunches, plus lunch ‘n’ dinner, and 2 special events this Mother’s Day: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Weekend Lineup: Community Garage Sale Day edition…
Just in from Seattle Public Schools – Chief Sealth is now an International High School, the first one in the district. That matches it with Denny International Middle School, with whom it will share a campus starting in 2011. Coincidentally, we were just over at the construction site (shown above – renovating Sealth/building a new Denny) for a hardhat tour this morning; that story’s still in the works but this news can’t wait. Read on for the official district announcement: Click to read the rest of You can start calling it “Chief Sealth International High School”…
Three West Seattle schools have teams at the citywide Global Reading Challenge finals tomorrow night – and everyone’s invited to go cheer them on – Arbor Heights, Highland Park and Lafayette Elementary Schools are all in the running (as is Concord International School from nearby South Park). Read on for the announcement we just received from the Seattle Public Library: Click to read the rest of 3 West Seattle schools in the city’s Global Reading Challenge finals…
(WSB photo by Christopher Boffoli: Link site with new crane many’ll see today for the 1st time )
From the WSB West Seattle Events calendar:
CONCORD ELEMENTARY OPEN HOUSE: It’s in South Park but aligned with middle and high schools: Concord International Elementary is having an open house tonight including information on its dual-language immersion program and the new Student Assignment Plan. 6:30-8:30 pm, 723 South Concord (map).
SENIOR CENTER OF WEST SEATTLE: Two series start today – “Painting Poetry,” helping people reveal and express a personal story over the course of four weeks, with its essence becoming a poem and painting. 1-2:30 pm. Same time period today, the Senior Center also will start an 8-week Great Decisions 2010 discussion group. Call (206) 932-4044 for registration information on either one.
KENYON HALL: Tonight and tomorrow, Nigerian-born British actor Tayo Aluko presents “From Africa to the White House: A Journey of Resistance, Triumph and Spirituals…a musically illustrated talk,” with Kenyon Hall’s Lou Magor at the keyboard, 8 pm. More info at kenyonhall.org.
MISSION’S 5TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY: We took a closer look at the Admiral District restaurant/bar in this story published Monday; tonight, help its owners celebrate their milestone 5th anniversary, 7 pm.
OTHER NIGHTLIFE: Open turntables at Skylark Cafe and Club at 6 pm (which is offering special Valentine’s Day deals if you haven’t heard), rock trivia at Feedback Lounge at 8 pm (both are WSB sponsors).
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“You’re taking something that’s actually working and breaking it.”
That critique of the latest proposed Seattle Public Schools attendance-area maps came from one of the two dozen-plus people who attended School Board rep Steve Sundquist‘s community meeting Saturday afternoon at High Point Library.
Sundquist has this type of meeting monthly, as do other members, with no agenda except Q/A with whomever shows up, but he’s made them more frequent as the board approaches a scheduled vote on the attendance maps (and in fact his next one is just hours before that vote).
Several in the room Saturday afternoon wanted to discuss the concern reported here Friday night – the observation that the newest revision to the West Seattle attendance-areas map seems to draw a sharp line largely following West Seattle’s north-south economic divide, with the feeder-school list for Denny International Middle School and Chief Sealth High School dominated by those with more students from lower-income families, while the feeder-school list for Madison Middle School and West Seattle High School is dominated by those with more students from higher-income families.
And another major concern emerged:
Holy Rosary School‘s big fall festival Westfest (WSB sponsor) starts at 6 tonight … the 2nd annual West Seattle Junction Car Show (co-sponsored by WSB) takes over Junction streets all day Sunday … WSHS Grad Night has a fundraising car wash tomorrow, which is also when you’ll find the first in a series of monthly Family Fun events at High Point Community Center … Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association invites you to the LINKS Community Barbecue tomorrow afternoon … the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) has announced fun events for America on the Move week – just part of the SEVENTY events/activities in the West Seattle Weekend Lineup, brought to you by Skylark Cafe and Club – read on! Click to read the rest of West Seattle Weekend Lineup: Westfest & Car Show edition…
Leading his school’s first assembly as Denny International Middle School – that second word is brand-new this year – principal Jeff Clark offered a well-received explanation for his bright outfit. He spoke within the past hour to a cafeteria filled with the 700-strong student body that speaks more than 22 languages, according to a fact sheet Seattle Public Schools media liaisons handed out. Clark also pointed out the visual representation of that – these flags hanging overhead:
Part of the new “international school” program includes Spanish/English immersion – Denny teacher Leticia Clausen is teaching a humanities block in Spanish, and is shown in our next video introducing costumed students who performed a dance from the Mexican state of Oaxaca:
(A sign of Denny’s new focus – as Clausen left the stage, the teacher next to whom we were standing thanked her in Spanish; she replied, “De nada.” The language focus at Denny also includes Mandarin Chinese.) Other performers this morning: Denny’s marching band and steel drummers; toward the middle of this clip, you’ll see Marcus Pimpleton, who is leading music programs at Chief Sealth High School this year as well as his duties at Denny:
The students (and teachers, who lined both sides of the cafeteria) also heard from SPS Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, who will appear a few miles east at Concord Elementary School tomorrow morning as part of a similar celebration – Concord, which is in South Park but considered part of SPS’s West Seattle region, is also an international school as of this year (here’s the original announcement), which the district says sets up a pathway from Concord to Denny. They are two of five international schools in the SPS system, along with Stanford, Hamilton and Beacon Hill. ADDED 1:08 PM: One more clip – the actual Oaxacan dance:
Another update today on Coreena Wolford, the 16-year-old Chief Sealth High School student who suffered major injuries in a crash by Highway 509 three weeks ago, as she drove from West Seattle to South Park to help tutor students in the READ program at Concord Elementary. Coreena’s aunt Danica e-mailed to say that her niece is now in a Burien rehabilitation facility: “She is recovering, but has a long, hard road ahead of her.” She adds that the family is looking for witnesses to the May 6th crash: “We are looking for any witnesses who may have seen the accident take place, not the aftermath. We need to get information for insurance purposes. Please e-mail me at email@example.com with any information.” Family and friends also are continuing to update this website with news on Coreena’s recovery.
Another update this morning as 16-year-old Chief Sealth High School student Coreena Wolford continues her fight to recover from major injuries suffered in a crash 9 days ago. As reported previously (last week’s story here, Monday update here), Coreena collided with another driver the afternoon of May 6th, while she was driving to South Park’s Concord Elementary for her volunteer work with the Team READ tutoring program. She has been in the hospital ever since, and her family is now approving updates to a Caring Bridge website set up to provide information on her recovery (that’s where the photo at left is from). This morning, there’s a new post – a fund is finally set up for those who want to donate to help with Coreena’s expenses:
Bank: BECU (Boeing Employees Credit Union)
Account Name: Benevolent Account for Coreena Wolford
Account Number: 3583245599 (checking)
BECU Routing Number: 325081403
You can donate at any BECU branch, or use that information for a transfer from your own account at any bank. Meantime, a short update on Coreena’s condition accompanies that information, saying she is “doing much better.” You can sign her online guestbook here.
Since our first short report on a major crash just east of West Seattle last Wednesday, friends and schoolmates of the driver who was seriously hurt, 16-year-old Chief Sealth High School student Coreena Wolford, have been posting updates and tributes in the comment section (read them starting here). Among other things, friends posted that she was on her way to Concord Elementary in South Park that day, for the final session of a program in which she was volunteering to read to younger students. Her name and condition haven’t been made public until now, but friends have just forwarded the link to a Caring Bridge website that has been set up as the official source of information about how she’s doing, with all postings approved by Coreena’s family: You can see the site here. We’ve been asking for any information we can share about a fund to help with her recovery, and her friends tell us that information should be available soon. Meantime, the new website says she was scheduled for more surgery this afternoon.
Concord Elementary is in South Park but it’s part of the West Seattle “region” of Seattle Public Schools, so some local families’ kids are there, and we’re sharing this: KIRO is reporting on a suspected “home invasion” nearby (800 block of South Henderson, kitty corner from the rear of the school; here’s a map), and because of the police investigation, the students at Concord are reported to be “sheltering in place.” Here’s the latest from KIRO, online.
12:19 PM UPDATE: Police are still searching the neighborhood, with K-9, according to live coverage that’s on right now. (Side note, South Park is part of the coverage area for police from West Seattle’s Southwest Precinct.)
2:16 PM: Seattle Public Schools spokesperson David Tucker confirms the “shelter in place” is over. We will work to find out the status of the investigation.
From two big West Seattle Junction shopping events to the Snooty Walk and Pet Rodeo to the grand opening of Feedback Lounge, plus a summer-activities-info fair, cleanups from Delridge to Cove Park and beyond, an open house (with giveaways!) at Snap Fitness (WSB sponsor) and a big food drive, more than 50 events are happening in the next 54 (or so) hours ’round here — here’s the full West Seattle Weekend Lineup, brought to you by Skylark Cafe and Club: Click to read the rest of West Seattle Weekend Lineup: Shopping, Snooty, Feedback edition…
We’re at Concord Elementary School — which is in South Park but is part of Seattle Public Schools‘ “West Seattle South” grouping — where a celebration is just wrapping up in honor of the recent designation of Concord and Denny Middle School as “international schools.” Above, you see members of the Denny steel-drum band and masked Concord second-grade dancers, who performed for dignitaries including Denny principal Jeff Clark, Concord principal Sandra Scott, and Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson. More highlights in a bit, along with details on specifics of exactly what this designation means to these two schools. (Clark, by the way, has ties to both schools – he mentioned he’s best known at Concord as “Gabe’s dad,” because his first-grader is in the immersion program, which now serves kindergarteners and first graders and will add second grade in the fall.) ADDED 11:46 AM: More from this morning’s event, including video: Click to read the rest of Happening now: Denny, Concord “international school” celebration…
Just got a call from David Tucker with the Seattle Public Schools communications team: The “groundbreaking ceremony” for the next stage of the Chief Sealth High School/Denny Middle School co-located campus project has been postponed. It originally was planned for March 12th, but the “master use permit” has not yet been granted by the city (here’s the city DPD page for the site), and Tucker says they want to be sure that permit’s in hand before they have a celebration. They won’t set a new date till the permit is officially granted. Other work has been under way at the site for months, but this phase will include some major construction, including the Commons to be shared by the two schools, according to the project team. Meantime, another school ceremony is coming up in our area: An event celebrating the international school designations for Denny MS and Concord Elementary (first reported here Feb. 11), 10 am next Tuesday at Concord (which is in South Park but is considered part of the West Seattle South elementary cluster).
Just got Seattle Public Schools‘ news release about open enrollment starting March 2. It mentions district reps will be at the Delridge Library to take applications March 11, if you’d rather apply in person instead of by mail (or at an out-of-West Seattle location). Read on: Click to read the rest of Seattle Public Schools enrollment “tour” sets Delridge date…
On Tuesday, we brought you Denny Middle School principal Jeff Clark‘s report that his school would be announced as an “international school” during tonight’s Seattle School Board meeting. He mentioned a “K-12 pathway” in West Seattle. Tonight, another piece of that pathway has become clear – a South Park school that is included in the West Seattle South cluster, Concord Elementary, has also won that designation. From the news release about tonight’s announcement:
Concord Elementary School and Denny Middle School will be designated as International Schools, beginning in September 2009. Forming the first phase of a K-12 international program pathway in West Seattle, the schools will offer major components of an international education such as language immersion, academic excellence in all content areas, world language proficiency and global perspectives incorporated into each class.
As reported here last Friday, Sanislo Elementary principal Debbie Nelsen is leaving after this school year, with Ernie Seevers from AS #1 Pinehurst coming in. The district has now sent the official announcement of principal changes districtwide (including Concord Elementary, the South Park school that’s part of the West Seattle South cluster) – read on: Click to read the rest of Seattle Public Schools principal changes officially announced…
Two local school notes, starting with an invitation from Concord Elementary, which is in South Park but is included in Seattle Public Schools‘ “West Seattle South” cluster: It’s trying to get the word out about its unique Two-Way Bilingual Program, and there’s a parent-information meeting one week from tonight. Concord PTA president Susie Clark (who is also a teacher, at Madison Middle School) explains, “The dual language program is unique in that is gives our native Spanish speakers a chance to learn reading and writing in Spanish and our native English speakers have the opportunity to learn Spanish starting in kindergarten with 30% of their day in Spanish and increasing to 70% by the time they are in 5th grade.” Susie sent along the informational brochure – it’s in two parts, here and here. Interested families are welcome to attend next week’s meeting, 6:30 pm January 21, 723 Concord Street (map). Susie is also happy to answer questions (e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org).
LAFAYETTE FOOD DRIVE: Lafayette Elementary is now collecting food for the White Center Food Bank – which serves part of West Seattle too – year-round, after an incredibly successful drive kicking off the new year:
More than 2,100 items were donated in what was just supposed to be the school’s annual drive – parent Amy French tells the story:
The Lafayette Elementary student council had a new idea this year while planning their annual food drive for the White Center Food Bank. They held a competition to see which class could collect the most items and kept track of the donations by teacher on a bulletin board in the front lobby. The donations quickly filled the collection barrel and started to fill the school’s front lobby. All of the classes participated, but two classes led the competition: Ms. Rollins’ class collected the most items (251) and Mr. Beal’s class (203) came in second place. Last week, the White Center Food Bank team had to make two van trips to transport all of the collected food down to their facility in White Center.
Lafayette’s student council sponsors two community service projects a year–one in winter and one in spring. James Morrison, Macy Crooks and Shelby Walker (shown in the photo above) were the student council officers in charge of promoting the drive, keeping track of how many items were brought in, and updating a bulletin board daily to monitor our success. A huge thank you to these student leaders, Mimi Armistead (staff lead for Lafayette’s student council), and to all the generous Lafayette families who donated food.
Since this effort was so successful, Lafayette is going to continue collecting food for the White Center Food Bank (with a goal of a barrel a month) for the rest of the school year.
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