West Seattle, Washington
Thanks to Seattle Schools Community Forum for spotlighting this: One of four meetings around the city to talk about changes in high-school-science education is happening this Thursday in West Seattle. It’s of particular interest to parents/guardians of this year’s freshmen and middle schoolers – among the changes, more science credits are required, starting with the Class of 2021, and a new science exam is planned for future juniors. The local meeting is Thursday (January 25th) at the Chief Sealth International High School library (2600 SW Thistle), 7-8:30 pm.
That’s one of the videos produced by the Class of 2017 eighth-graders from Our Lady of Guadalupe School (3401 SW Myrtle; WSB sponsor) as part of the Juan Diego Project. You can see what this year’s students are doing by visiting OLG’s Open House one week from today. Here’s the announcement:
Immigrants, homeless youth, the elderly, the environment – these topics and more encompass the culminating projects of this year’s eighth-grade class at Our Lady of Guadalupe School in West Seattle.
Dubbed “The Juan Diego Project” for the school’s namesake, this academic venture allows students to choose a social-justice topic or service organization they are passionate about and then design an enterprise where they make a difference in that field.
The students will exhibit their research and experience during OLG’s open house from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on January 28, 2018.
For almost 20 years, eighth graders at OLG have performed service to an audience that is marginalized, vulnerable, or underprivileged. They aim to improve these conditions by doing more than holding drives. These students go outside the classroom and into the community interviewing immigrants and telling their stories, teaching people with disabilities how to ski, playing soccer with kids who have cancer, and yes, hosting drives to assist homeless youth.
“It’s a good chance to grow as a steward in our community and help yourself become aware of what’s going on around you,” said student Estella Turla, who is working with YouthCare and learning about homeless families and teenagers. “It helps you see how other people, like the homeless or immigrants, view the world – people who are put in situations where you don’t necessarily know what it’s like.”
In addition to service opportunities, the eighth graders learn to navigate databases accessed through the Seattle Public Library. They conduct extensive research, draw conclusions and lead a seminar, essentially teaching the class and any guests about their topic.
Ben Woodhouse’s project involves caring for our school garden that his class created last year, and he’s currently researching the benefit of urban gardens around the world.
“The project is a way to express what you care about in life within a class setting,” he said. “I like being outdoors a lot, so taking care of the garden was something I wanted to do. It was fun last summer harvesting vegetables and sharing them with the foodbank. I knew I was helping others, not just myself.”
Last year’s eighth grade class created videos highlighting their Juan Diego Projects and overall experiences at OLG. They can be found here.
Along with the animal-related-project video we embedded above, the others you’ll find on that page – all published to YouTube, each just a few minutes long – range from “Fighting Local and Global Poverty” to “Living Healthy Lives” to “Erasing Insecurities” to “Preserving Forest.”
As we’ve been noting, it’s open-house and tour season for local schools, both independent and public, and we have many listed in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar already. One open house that’s now a week away will also be a celebration. Here’s the announcement from West Seattle Montessori School and Academy (WSB sponsor) of what’s happening next Saturday afternoon:
West Seattle Montessori School & Academy will be hosting their annual winter open house on January 27, 1 pm-3 pm.
WSMS&A will also be celebrating Academic Secretary Dolores Atwood’s 75th birthday and 33 years of service. Dolores has touched many lives within the West Seattle community and we invite you to join us on this special day. This celebration will be held in the Enrichment Building at 11220 16th Avenue SW during the open house.
West Seattle Montessori School & Academy provides a global program for pre-primary through grade 8 that is engaging and responsive for every age. Teachers are coaches, mentors, and guides who are not only content specialists, they’re also student specialists! With an engaging Montessori curriculum and classrooms that provide individualized student opportunities, teachers are able to support students by making learning fun and helping them exceed their goals.
WSMS&A is at 11215 15th SW.
11:39 PM: At home tonight, Seattle Lutheran High School‘s varsity basketball teams hosted Rainier Christian. The Lutheran girls lost, 39-26; the boys won, 63-43.
ADDED EARLY AM: Photos ahead from both games: Read More
A sweet scene in the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Pastry & Baking Arts Department this afternoon. The photo is from SSC’s Ty Swenson, who explained that Chef Instructor Christopher Harris and students were “working on a Chihuly-inspired sugar sculpture for a Chihuly Garden & Glass employee party at the Museum of Flight.” They were scheduled to finish by 5 pm and take it over in time for the party. The department is part of SSC’s renowned Culinary Arts program.
Schools are places where not only can students learn, but also parents and guardians. A potentially life-saving lesson is coming up in a few weeks at West Seattle High School, and it’s so important that we are mentioning it here as well as adding it to the WSB calendar:
On February 7th from 6 to 8 pm, please join us for our first annual LEARN™ Suicide Prevention Training for parents and guardians. The LEARN™ steps are designed to help empower individuals to play a role in recognizing peers, friends, and family who might be having thoughts of suicide, and to know how and where we can refer those individuals to keep them safe. Come learn about how to talk about suicide with your children and their friends! All parents/guardians welcome. This training is offered free of cost. Food and refreshments will be provided.
Questions? Contact Kari Lombard (School Nurse) at KRLombard@seattleschools.org or Mallory Neuman (Counselor) at MLNeuman@seattleschools.org.
The “Scenario F” proposal to move part of the Genesee Hill Elementary attendance area into the Lafayette Elementary attendance area got final approval from the School Board last night. After a reader question, we just checked and just confirmed that via the recording of last night’s meeting (you can see the unanimous vote here). Current GH students in the affected area will be “grandfathered” if their families want them to stay at that school. The plan is meant to provide some relief for GH, the district’s most populous elementary and now 50+ students over “seat capacity,” per the district, while Lafayette is 100+ students under capacity. More background is in our report from two weeks ago; before the final scenario was settled on, we covered a briefing at GH last October.
P.S. Incoming kindergarteners’ families are asked to enroll them as soon as possible because schools already are making staffing and other decisions – you can do that now. GHES has two tours scheduled – 9 am January 25th and 9 am February 7th. Principal Gerrit Kischner noted in his enrollment-period announcement, “If you do have an older child currently attending Genesee Hill and you live in the zone that is shifting to Lafayette, you must apply for Genesee Hill during Open Enrollment, which runs for a short period between February 5 and February 16th.” Lafayette’s next kindergarten tour, meantime, is on the school calendar for 2:30 pm February 8th.
Tonight, award-winning writer Jesmyn Ward, visiting Seattle from Mississippi, is speaking at Benaroya Hall downtown. Local students and teachers got the chance to hear from her this morning at Chief Sealth International High School. The report is courtesy of Sealth faculty member Katie Hubert, who also shared the student-made photograph above:
Jesmyn Ward, two-time National Book Award winner, fielded questions from an assembled group of about 150 students and their teachers.
Ward, a first-generation college graduate, spoke of her youthful self’s academic drive and the encouragement she received from her parents. They wanted her to study “practical subjects” as an undergrad, but, “I didn’t feel the love, you know, when I was studying other subjects. And so, even though I thought I was disappointing my parents, I decided I would study what I love. That’s why I majored in English.”
She said her intention following graduation was to take a couple of years off, then, “take the LSAT, and do something smart with my life.” But life had other plans. “Six months after I graduated from college, my brother died. He was 19 years old, and he was coming home from work, and he was hit from behind by a drunk driver.”
“It was at that moment that everything changed for me. All these concerns I had about what people expected of me because I’d gone to college, all of a sudden those things didn’t matter any more.” She realized she didn’t have “infinite time.”
“Anyhow, I asked myself, if you die tomorrow, or next week, what did you do with your life that would give it meaning, and the immediate response was, writing. I want to write stories.”
She answered questions from students ranging from her favorite authors (James Baldwin and William Faulkner), books she found influential (As I Lay Dying and Their Eyes Were Watching God), and whether her life or formal education were more influential. (Her formal education.) She described her writing process (she doesn’t use an outline), how to combat writer’s block (do an exercise such as having two characters meet at a coffee shop), and how to end a chapter (make sure there’s tension).
Ward won her first National Book Award in 2011 for her second novel “Salvage the Bones,” and her second one in 2017 for “Sing, Unburied, Sing”; she is the first woman to win two NBAs for fiction. She also received a MacArthur “Genius Grant” last year.
Home games tonight vs. Lakeside for both West Seattle High School varsity teams. First, the girls continued their Metro-leading ways, beating the Lions 57-35:
#32, sophomore Meghan Fiso, was top scorer with 17 points.
Her total included the final basket of the game, which we caught on video:
Final: West Seattle girls 57, Lakeside 35 at WSHS. (Video: Fiso basket at 1:30 to go in game) pic.twitter.com/xIxadnT5Pa
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 13, 2018
#11, junior Jasmine Gayles, was strong on the assists – opening the second half, in less than a minute, she threw to two teammates who subsequently netted three-pointers, Fiso and then #4, junior Kelsey Lenzie.
Lenzie and #20, junior Grace Sarver, tied for second-most points, with 11 apiece.
The boys’ game got off to a low-scoring start – Lakeside 12, West Seattle 10 at the end of the first quarter. First basket was by #23 Anthony Giomi:
WSHS boys' first basket, #23 Anthony Giomi. 2-2 WSHS-Lakeside with 6:10 left in first quarter pic.twitter.com/fDA3CP5VhT
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 13, 2018
He led Wildcat scoring with 14 points, on the way to a 50-42 win over the Lions. #2 Elijah Nnanabu was right behind with 13 points.
Next home games for West Seattle are against Seattle Prep, 7:30 Tuesday for the boys, 7:30 Wednesday for the girls.
Chief Sealth International High School‘s varsity basketball teams hosted the Franklin HS Quakers Friday night.
The girls’ game was especially hard-fought – ending in a one-point overtime loss, Franklin 54, Chief Sealth 53.
(No box score available as of publication time.) With the overtime, and two JV games before it – for the first “quad” game night of the season at Sealth – the boys’ game didn’t tip off until close to 10 pm.
Halftime at CSIHS – Franklin boys 44, Sealth 34. (Video: Last Sealth basket of the half.) pic.twitter.com/QIjikfDljk
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 13, 2018
Our short video clip shows #14, senior Sadique Calloway, with the final basket of the first half, which ended with the Seahawks behind the Quakers 44-34. The box score shows Calloway with 12 points on the night; top scorer for Sealth was #22, senior Elijah Jackson, with 21.
#0, senior Javaun Jones, was number-two scorer for Sealth, with 16. Franklin pulled away in the fourth quarter and went home with the win, 88-62. Next home games for the Seahawks are against Lakeside, 7:30 pm Tuesday for the boys, 7:30 pm Wednesday for the girls.
Tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday nights (January 10, 11, 12), you have an extra entertainment option: This year’s West Seattle High School Drama Club student-directed production, the romantic-comedy thriller “Killjoy” by Jerry Mayer, directed by Kimberly Le. Just show up at the WSHS Theater (3000 California SW) in time for the 7:30 pm curtain – $10 at the door.
Though winter has barely begun, fall is on the minds of many West Seattle families, if they have to choose a school – or are considering changing schools – for next school year. We’ve already been featuring independent schools’ open houses and tours in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, and now that Seattle Public Schools‘ enrollment period is open, we are starting to get the lists of tour dates for local public schools. Arbor Heights Elementary, for example, has its first tour of the year tomorrow morning – prospective families are invited to tour with AH principal Christy Collins 8:30 am-9:30 am Wednesday (January 10th); RSVPs are appreciated, and you’ll see how to do that on this page, which has the full schedule of AH’s tours. We’ve also heard from Alki Elementary, which starts tours on January 17th – full list and RSVP info here – and from Louisa Boren STEM K-8, where elementary tours start January 23rd and middle-school tours start January 26th – RSVP how-to and other dates here. We’ll be getting all this into our calendar and welcome other schools to send us their lists, too – firstname.lastname@example.org.
The union representing First Student school-bus drivers who transport Seattle Public Schools students warns that “a protracted strike by the group of over 400 drivers is all but imminent” after they rejected the bus company’s latest offer. That’s from the Teamsters Local 174 website report on the Saturday meeting in which First Student’s offer was turned down by drivers. While the drivers accepted the company’s pay offer sometime back, they have continued to be in dispute over health care and retirement; the union website says, “The group was extremely dissatisfied that the Company’s proposal did not include any affordable healthcare coverage for spouses or families, and that there was no pension included in the offer.” The drivers went on strike for one day back in late November. The school district – which does not employ the drivers directly, but contracts with First Student to provide services – posted an update tonight saying:
… After the vote, the drivers’ union indicated First Student drivers could strike again. The district does not know when or if a strike will happen. However, we will continue to closely monitor. …
The district’s update also includes its FAQ reminding parents that if there is another bus-driver strike, schools will remain open, as they did for the one-day walkout in November.
Historic day at Louisa Boren STEM K-8 in Delridge – the school hosted its first robotics competition today!
17 schools were there for the VEX IQ Challenge. Working in pairs, students had to get their robots to haul more plastic rings than their opponents’ robots. Here’s a bit of video:
If you drove, rode, or walked past the school during the competition, you might have noticed the Seattle Police bomb squad’s vehicle – a texter asked us about it. They were there for a demonstration toward the start of the event:
According to the awards list (scroll down this page and you’ll find the tab to click), the STEM K-8 Bots won the Design Award, which qualifies them to move on in state/regional competition – congratulations! This is the third year of robotics at STEM K-8; last year, you might recall, a team went to worlds.
Thanks to Lisa, Kristin, and Mark for letting us know about this! If something cool is coming up at your school (or business, or community center, or …), we would love to hear about it – email@example.com – thank you!
Road games for everyone on Friday night. Here’s the scoreboard:
-Sealth plays at Garfield, 7:30 Tuesday for the boys, 7:30 Wednesday for the girls.
-WSHS plays at Bainbridge, 7:30 Tuesday for the boys, 7:30 Wednesday for the girls.
At Seattle Lutheran High School north of The Junction, it’s a much-anticipated time of year – “J-Term.” This year, the students in our photo above will be participating in the first “J-Term Abroad,” including senior Alex Okabayashi, who wrote this to explain:
After Christmas Break at Seattle Lutheran High School, we swap our regular classes for elective-based block periods for the entire month of January. We call this “J-Term.” This gives the students opportunities to explore their passions and find something new about themselves. My junior year, I took 3 classes in total: fiber clay, creative writing, and team sports. J-Term let me decompress from finals and start the new year off fresh while also letting me pursue some of my hobbies in a classroom environment.
However, when I heard about the first J-Term Abroad trip, I was instantly hooked. A 2-week marine-science course in the Caribbean with 10 other students on a catamaran sounded spectacular. Scuba-diving and marine biology right on the water sounded amazing, but I was a bit reluctant. I’ve never done anything like this before, but once some of my friends started signing up, the window for this opportunity was shrinking super quickly (all of the spots for guys were taken by the first day)! We’ll be sailing along crystal clear waters surrounded by forested islands in less than a few days, and it feels like everything is coming full circle. Have fun in the rain, by the way…
SLHS, by the way, has an open house coming up January 25th.
An exciting day for 16 West Seattle schools – delivery of 2,400 eyed coho eggs for the Salmon in Schools program. We were at Highland Park Elementary, one of the newest participants, as longtime volunteers Judy Pickens (above center) and Phil Sweetland (below right) made the delivery and explained how things work.
At HPES, 4th grade teacher Danielle Meier (above left) is overseeing the program this year. Participants at other schools range from preschool to high school (Chief Sealth International is another new participant). But this isn’t just a West Seattle program – Judy and Phil are on the steering committee for all of Seattle, with 73 public and private schools having obtained state Department of Fish and Wildlife permits to raise and release fish. Today, volunteer Shannon Ninburg helped them make the rounds of local deliveries.
The students and teachers will observe the salmon growing until May, when the fry will be released there – 1,800 fry by 744 visiting students last year. The eggs are from Soos Creek Hatchery in Auburn and are not to be taken for granted, as we were reminded in 2016.
#10 junior Jenna McPhee and #32 sophomore Meghan Fiso each brought in 16 points as the Wildcats defeated Franklin HS, 77-30.
Friday night, head coach Darnell Taylor‘s team is on the road at Garfield HS. They remain unbeaten in conference games.
Victory tonight for the Chief Sealth International High School girls’ basketball team, 58-45
in overtime over visiting Eastside Catholic.
#3 sophomore Celia LaGuardia was top scorer with 31 points; #11 senior Aundra Tuchscherer was next with 12.
#22 junior Camryn Thomas led in rebounds, with 14, and blocked three shots, too. Head coach Cartiea French-Toney‘s Seahawks will be on the road Friday night at Bishop Blanchet. Here’s how they’re doing overall so far this season.
Two months after a briefing about potential changes to Genesee Hill and Lafayette Elementary Schools’ attendance boundaries (WSB coverage here), the official proposal goes to the School Board on Wednesday.
The changes starting this fall are meant to keep Genesee Hill – identified in the agenda document as the most populous elementary in the entire district – from going even further over capacity, while taking advantage of available space at Lafayette. The agenda document says GHES currently has 718 students and a “seat capacity” of 660, while Lafayette has 394 students and a capacity of 550. Multiple scenarios were presented at the October meeting we covered, and the final recommendation is described this way:
This district looked at the impact of each scenario with full grandfathering, no grandfathering, and limited grandfathering. Based on this analysis and feedback from the community, the recommended boundary change is Scenario F. Scenario F is a combination of Scenario C and E. There are 122 students living in the change area in grades K-4, all of whom would be grandfathered. Many of the students in Scenario F are in the walk zone for Lafayette but currently attend Genesee Hill, so this would be a benefit for future families in the area. Although Scenario F with grandfathering still has Genesee Hill over the capacity of the building, it does not bring the building further overcapacity as anticipated from the projections if no boundary change or a smaller boundary change were to take place. It also minimizes disruption and provides stability for current families, which has been a guiding principle of the School Board and request of families
So if the board finalizes this proposal, scheduled for introduction Wednesday and a final vote two weeks later (January 17th), current GHES students in the boundary-change zone would get to stay there, but as of this fall, elementary students moving into the area or just reaching school age would be going to Lafayette. While the meeting’s public-comment period has already been filled, you can contact board members by e-mail or phone via info you’ll find on the right side of this page.
The photo and report are from West Seattle High School boys-basketball head coach Keffrey Fazio, whose team is celebrating a tournament championship:
The West Seattle HS boys basketball team won the 2017 Sterling Holiday Basketball Tournament yesterday with a 56-40 win over the Squalicum Storm. The tournament was a three-day event, and all games were played at Kennedy HS [Burien].
Tuesday, December 26th, in the first round of the tourney, the Wildcats beat Lindbergh (Renton) 76-24. Junior forward Abdullahi Mohamed powered the Cats with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Wednesday, the second round game, the opponent was the Woodinville Falcons. WSHS came away with another win, 64-40. Senior guard Elijah Nnanabu and sophomore point guard Marcus Collins both scored double figures.
Thursday, the tournament final, as mentioned above, WSHS over Squalicum. Senior guard Simon Harris scored 13 points, and tournament MVP Elijah Nnanabu scored 15 points.
The Wildcats record now sits at 7-3 overall, and 3-2 in league play. Next game for WSHS is a home contest vs. Franklin (8-0) on Tuesday, January 2 at 7:30 pm.
Thanks to Denny International Middle School principal Jeff Clark for the photos and report:
Denny Scholars Continue Learning over Winter Break!
Thanks to our terrific and dedicated staff, our scholars had the opportunity to continue to learn and have fun over Winter Break. Congratulations to all of our scholars who completed the four-day Winter Break Academy at Denny International Middle School!
After four days of learning, we celebrated with a trip to the roller rink.
A huge thank you to the staff who made it possible! Thank you, Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Moor, Mr. Lai, Ms. Fondale, Ms. Ostroff, Mr. D. Evans, Mr. Fernandez, Ms. Jackson-Williams, Mr. King, Ms. Mosley-Freeman, Ms. Wilson, Mr. Higuchi, Ms. Farah, Mr. Hoskins, Mr. Baker, Mr. Jordan, and Mr. Webb! Go Dolphins!