Congratulations, WSHS softball team! Trevor Leopold is Metro League ‘Coach of the Year’; 9 players honored

May 26, 2015 at 3:16 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

(WSB photo: Coach Leopold and some of his players at SWAC last week)
As the West Seattle High School softball team looks ahead to its first state-tournament game on Friday, it’s celebrating a stack of Metro League honors! Just in from WSHS:

Metro Coach of the Year
Trevor Leopold

1st Team All-Metro
Gabby Wenn – Pitcher
Annalisa Ursino – Outfield

1st Team All-Division (Mountain)
Sam Hemmert – Catcher
Emma Atkinson – 1st Base
Lucy Mead – 2nd Base
Charli Elliott – Shortstop
Spritle Hirano – Outfield

Honorable Mention
Bryn Snodgrass – Outfield
Rachel DeVore – 3rd Base

Congratulations to all!

WEST SEATTLE BOOSTER CLUB FUNDRAISER FOR SOFTBALL TEAM: As was the case when the WSHS girls’ basketball team went to state, the softball team’s trip is expensive as well as exciting. The nonprofit West Seattle Booster Club is collecting donations to help them cover costs. From the letter they’re circulating in the community:

After taking second place in the Metro League Championship and making it through both Districts and Regionals, the team plays their first State Tournament game on Friday, May 29th at 9:00 am in Lacey, at the Regional Sports Complex.

They would love your support and to hear West Seattle fans loud and proud cheering them on. Additionally, since the team will be in Olympia May 28-30th for the tournament, they are seeking donations of any amount to assist with meals and lodging.

Donations are being accepted by us, the West Seattle Booster Club (WSBC). We are a nonprofit organization devoted to supporting ALL athletic programs at WSHS. Our goal is to further athletic programs and activities at the high school that the school budget cannot cover. We would love to have you join us in this particular case to help our girls with their amazing season.

Your tax-deductible donation, no matter the size, would be of great benefit to ease the financial burden on the school ,and on the girls and their families.

Easiest way to donate is online: westseattleboosterclub.org/donate

FOLLOWUP: Plan for West Seattle’s first proposed charter school proceeding on multiple fronts

May 25, 2015 at 1:46 pm | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 33 Comments

Less than five months after we discovered the plan for what would be West Seattle’s first charter school, its prospective operator has officially submitted its application to the state.

California-based Summit Public Schools is asking the Washington State Charter School Commission for authorization to open what would eventually be a 6th-through-12th-grade campus at what’s now the Freedom Church/Jesus Center, a former supermarket site on the southwest corner of 35th SW and SW Roxbury. Summit says it would phase in the seven grade levels, starting in fall 2016 with 6th and 9th grades. (Charter schools are publicly funded but privately operated, as explained here.)

Summit has approval to open its first two schools in our state this fall, both high schools – one in the International District and one in Tacoma. Last week, when Seattle Public Schools were closed on May 19th, Summit brought members of the future first Seattle class over to the Roxbury/35th site to paint murals for the school opening in the ID this fall, which is still being remodeled.

They were advised by Native American artist Andrew Morrison, who also worked with young artists on the signal-box mini-murals along Delridge two summers ago:

But back to the Roxbury/35th plan. It’s making its way through the city system, with a site plan now on file showing more details than the one we first reported on at the start of the year:

In addition to renovating the main building – the former grocery store – two 2-story additions are planned along the Roxbury side of the property (shaded in the “site plan” sketch above), and a one-story addition to connect the one at the Roxbury/35th corner to the main building. The site-plan document says the additions will total more square footage – more than 27,000 – than the existing building (23,000+).

For parking, 65 motor-vehicle spaces and 52 bicycle spaces are proposeed. Though the document says the school could eventually bring 125 cars, the prospective school operators say they only will be required to have spaces for half that many because the site is close to frequent transit – the RapidRide line stops right across the street. The bicycle-space count is 22 more than the city requires.

HOW TO HAVE A SAY: The land-use-permit application is in the system as #3019454, if you’re interested in commenting. No public meeting is required, as this is not going through Design Review. Meantime, the process for approval of the charter school itself is outlined here; the Charter School Commission must set a date for a public forum on Summit’s application to open the school, but as far as we can tell from the commission’s calendar, it has yet to be announced. We don’t yet have the official application document for the proposed school, but hope to procure it later this week, and will publish another followup when we do.

High-school sports updates: WSHS’s state-bound track athletes; 1st state opponent set for softball; Ultimate league championship

May 24, 2015 at 7:09 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

More state-championship news about local high-school athletes. First – from the update earlier this month on West Seattle High School track athletes who were headed for districts, WSHS athletic director Trevor Leopold has news of who qualified for state:

Cass Elliott (300 Meter Hurdles)
Chris Nunez (300 Meter Hurdles)
Chaaka Trahan (110 Meter Hurdles, Long Jump)
Natalie Fuller (Triple Jump)
Lexi Ioane (Shot Put)
Lani Taylor (100m, 200m, 400m)

The State Track championships will be held at Mt. Tahoma High School in Tacoma starting Thursday May 28th – 30th

Leopold coaches the softball team, which as we’ve been reporting, is also state-bound, and he shares an update on the schedule:

Their first game is against North Central High School out of Spokane on Friday, May 29th, at 9:00am. The games take place at the Regional Athletic Complex (in Lacey).

And congratulations to the Westside Ultimate Coed team, which won its first League Championship and sent us the photo and update:

West Seattle High School’s ultimate frisbee team, Westside Ultimate, in its 3rd year of existence, wins its Disc NW divisional League Championship. Westside finished the season undefeated with wins over Garfield, Chief Sealth, Bainbridge Island and others and entered the season-ending tournament as the number 1 seed. With a win over Bainbridge Island 2 weeks ago and wins over Aviation and Mercer Island in the final 4 last Saturday, Westside Ultimate takes its first championship after losing close games in the finals the last 2 years. Westside also graduates 4 seniors; Shadid Baker, Devon Dascher, Greg Rosas, and Daniel Thomas.

Championship game:
Westside 15 – Mercer Island 7

Final 4:
Westside 13 – Aviation 4

(Any updates on other schools’ athletes/teams headed to state? editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!)

Seattle Public Schools says it’s closing Middle College High School’s West Seattle program

May 23, 2015 at 5:48 pm | In High Point, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 25 Comments

(WSB photo from MCHS High Point’s 2014 graduation ceremony at The Hall @ Fauntleroy)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

With just a few weeks to go in the school year, Seattle Public Schools has abruptly announced that one of its high schools in West Seattle won’t reopen next year.

In a letter dated May 18th, the district told families that it’s closing alternative Middle College High School‘s High Point campus, also known as the School for Social Justice and Community Engagement, after almost 20 years, citing declining enrollment. (If you’re not familiar with the overall MCHS program, it’s explained here.)

A statement on MCHS’s staff-maintained website suggests they’re not going without a fight:

The faculty and staff at Middle College High Point are very disappointed with this decision and are working with our community supporters, parents and students to prepare an organized response to this decision and to challenge the justification for closure.

It’s only been three years since MCHS’s West Seattle program went through a major transition:

Click to read the rest of Seattle Public Schools says it’s closing Middle College High School’s West Seattle program…

VIDEO: Biggest turnout yet for annual Denny-Lincoln Bike Classic

May 23, 2015 at 11:23 am | In Transportation, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments

If you saw a big group of bicycle riders this past hour or so in Westwood or Fauntleroy – this is probably who you saw: The Denny-Lincoln Bicycle Classic‘s almost 50 riders. Biggest group yet, the ride leaders announced as they gave everyone a big round of safety reminders before taking off from the path on the north side of Denny International Middle School (2601 SW Kenyon).

After heading out on the western path through the Denny-Sealth campus, they mustered on 26th SW, bound for SW Thistle. This, by the way, is the third annual Denny-Lincoln ride – so named because the destination is Lincoln Park, where the group planned a lunchtime barbecue.

Softball postseason: West Seattle HS takes 4th in district tournament

May 23, 2015 at 7:01 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

(WSB photo: From left, WSHS’s Charli Elliott and Annalisa Ursino, with Ballard’s Savannah Furia sliding into 2nd)
Next up for the West Seattle High School softball team: State tournament play in Lacey on Friday, after their fourth-place finish in the district tournament at Southwest Athletic Complex last night. In a rematch of the Metro League final a week earlier, Ballard HS went home with the win over the Wildcats, 7-1. WSHS put the ball in play against Ballard pitcher Sage Nicholson more than they had last time, but not enough to get on the scoreboard in a big way. Charli Elliott pitched, with WSHS’s Gabby Wenn still out with an injury; Elliott also got the RBI for the Wildcats’ lone run, which was scored by Lucy Mead. The state-tournament brackets aren’t out yet; we’ll update with the WSHS game time and opponent when they are.

Also headed for state: West Seattle HS golfer Zach Gibson

May 22, 2015 at 7:33 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 5 Comments

It’s state-championship season for high-school athletes in several sports, including golf, with a West Seattle High School golfer headed to the Tri-Cities in a few days to compete. From Kristin Gibson:

West Seattle Wildcat Zach Gibson will compete in Boys 3A State Golf Championship May 26-28 at Canyon Lakes Golf Course in Kennewick, WA. Zach qualified last fall by placing 10th in the Metro District Championship. Good Luck, Zach!

Checking our archives, Zach went to the state championships last year, too.

VIDEO: Lafayette Elementary students perform for Seattle School Board

May 22, 2015 at 7:47 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

Encore performance this week for part of the cast of Lafayette Elementary‘s recent musical! From Luckie:

Lafayette Elementary was invited to performed a scene from this year’s school play, “The Barnyard Musical Mystery,” at the May 20 Seattle Public Schools board meeting in the John Stanford Center auditorium. It was broadcast live on Channel 26 (see the archived video above).

“The Barnyard Musical Mystery” is a one-hour play written by Lafayette Elementary parent Laurie Utterback, who also directed it along with fellow parent volunteer Joel Oltyan and Lafayette’s multi-arts teacher Melia Scranton. A cast of 80 students in third through fifth grade rehearsed after school once a week beginning in January, and performed the play on May 7, 8, and 9 at the Chief Sealth International High School auditorium.

The performers at Wednesday’s school board meeting:

Jane, grade 5
Daisy, grade 4
Audrey, grade 4
Millie, grade 4
Zhaiarah, grade 4
Mason, grade 5
Myah, grade 4
Stella, grade 4
Jordan, grade 4

Lafayette Elementary is very proud of the dedication, enthusiasm, and teamwork shown by all of its talented young actors!

District softball playoffs: WSHS loses; plays Ballard again Friday

May 21, 2015 at 8:16 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

(WSB photo: WSHS’s Spritle Hirano in the foreground)
8:16 PM: At the district softball tournament tonight at Southwest Athletic Complex in Westwood, West Seattle High School lost to Lake Washington HS, 3-2. But they’re already guaranteed a spot in the state tournament, and they’ll play again tomorrow at 5 pm, vs. the loser of Ballard vs. Bainbridge Island, who are playing right now. More to come.

EARLY FRIDAY: It’ll be a rematch – WSHS vs. Ballard for the second consecutive Friday night. Last week, it was for the Metro League championship; this time, for third place in the district tournament. More of Thursday’s game details, courtesy of our partners at The Seattle Times:

Pitcher Gabby Wenn, above, drove in both WSHS runs before having to leave the game with a hamstring injury. Below, that’s Annalisa Ursino scoring the second of those runs,

The Wildcats, coached by WSHS athletic director Trevor Leopold, are 21-5.

Classroom to courtroom: Chief Sealth IHS students’ mock trial

May 21, 2015 at 4:49 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

The photo and report are from Chief Sealth International High School teacher Noah Zeichner:

49 Chief Sealth International HS seniors participated in a mock trial (Wednesday) at the UW School of Law as part of the UW Street Law program. Students in my American Government classes have been preparing for several weeks, with the help of three UW law students. Students played various roles, including prosecutors, defense attorneys, witnesses, and bailiffs.

The case involved a high school senior who was charged with murder in the first degree. The defendant was found not guilty of all charges. The two judges were played by practicing public defenders and the jury was played by UW law professors.

Read more about the UW Street Law program here.

Congratulations! Five West Seattle HS student athletes honored

May 21, 2015 at 4:18 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 4 Comments

The photo is from West Seattle High School athletic director Trevor Leopold, who shares this report on a lunchtime event downtown today:

These West Seattle High School students were honored at The Washington Athletic Club by the 101 Club. From left to right are Carter Mensing, Annalisa Ursino, Charli Elliott, Isabella Burzynski, and Joey Kane. All the Metro League schools have students who were there and nominated. Charli Elliott was awarded a scholarship at the luncheon. She has a 4.0 GPA and 11 Varsity Letters. 4 Soccer, 4 Basketball, 3 Softball. She is attending Pacific University in Oregon in the fall and going to play basketball.

Congratulations to all!

(SIDE NOTE: Coach Leopold and athletes Elliott and Ursino take to the field at Southwest Athletic Complex with the rest of the WSHS softball team less than an hour from now – 5 pm – for a district-tournament game against Lake Washington HS.)

West Seattle scene: Immigration workshop @ Denny IMS

May 19, 2015 at 9:19 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

Though classes were canceled for the protest walkout earlier today, some scheduled events did go on at Seattle Public Schools. Among them, an immigration workshop held tonight at Denny International Middle School. Principal Jeff Clark shared the photo and report:

This evening we were pleased to open our doors to our community for a workshop on immigration with information regarding new policies from President Obama’s administration. In addition to our featured guest speakers, we were pleased to have several organizations here as resources. Families enjoyed dinner and were appreciative of all of the information shared.

We would like to thank our guest speakers from Colectiva Legal, as well as all our partners including: 21 Progress; Pacific Northwest Regional Carpenters; the Denny, Roxhill, and Sealth PTSAs; Roxbury Safeway; City Year; and Community in Schools for all of their support! In addition, thank you to the following Denny staff for all of their efforts in making this possible: Ms. Clausen, Ms. Amaral, Ms. Olsen, Ms. Bowie, Mr. Carr, Mr. Blackman, Mr. Smith, Ms. Brown, Ms. Rangel, Mr. Baker, Ms. Nestor, Ms. Lehman, Mr. Mosser, Emma, Riley, Maryross, and Kevin! Go, Dolphins!

Softball postseason: West Seattle beats Bellevue in 1st district-tournament game

May 19, 2015 at 7:16 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

(WSB photos: WSHS’s Charli Elliott scoring the first run of the game)
At Southwest Athletic Complex, the West Seattle High School Wildcats softball team has just opened district tournament play with a victory over Bellevue HS, 7-2. Their next game is Thursday at 5 pm, same place they played today, Southwest Athletic Complex; the game to determine their opponent is just getting under way.

9:22 PM UPDATE: Lake Washington is who the Wildcats will play on Thursday – LWHS just beat Bishop Blanchet, 14-2. Meantime, we have a few more details and photos from the WSHS-Bellevue game.

Gabby Wenn again pitched a complete game for WSHS. It was a pitchers’ duel through four innings; then in #5, West Seattle scored 5 unanswered runs against Bellevue pitcher Dejah Rogers; the full WSHS order came to the plate before Bellevue could get three outs. After that, LWHS picked up two runs in the top of the sixth, but then the Wildcats added two more in the bottom, and that was it.

WSHS coached Trevor Leopold tells us his team is now guaranteed a spot in the state tournament in Lacey, . But first – they face the Kangs.

VIDEO: Local educators start walkout day with roadside demonstrations

May 19, 2015 at 9:12 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 5 Comments

As Seattle educators start their one-day walkout to protest the state of education funding, the promised picketing at local high schools gave way to lively demonstrations at busy intersections nearby. We are just back from two locations: First, two quick video clips we first published to social media: Above, many of those who gathered at Chief Sealth IHS are on the corners at Delridge/Thistle; below, many of those who gathered at West Seattle HS are on the corners at Admiral/California.


By our rough count, at least 150 were at Delridge/Thistle, more than 100 at Admiral/California, and some others are also at 35th/Fauntleroy and 35th/Thistle. Both groups included educators from the respective high schools’ feeder schools as well as the high schools themselves. Andrea, below, teaches at Roxhill Elementary:

Around 10, they’re scheduled to head downtown and join others from around the city for a rally and march.

ADDED 9:31 AM: Adding photos. First one was texted to us:

Tiniest striker. Her name is Dixie Norris and she is supporting all the teachers, especially her mom Nicole Nichols who runs the autism program at Chief Sealth.

In the middle of the Admiral demonstrators, we found County Executive Dow Constantine:

Other messages were interspersed with the exhortations about education funding:

At both sites (as you can hear in our quick video clips above), lots of horn-honking from passing drivers.

Shared by Schmitz Park Elementary supporters – this video:

More…

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Tuesday updates; public schools closed

May 19, 2015 at 7:13 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 5 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
7:13 PM: No outbound challenges reported so far. The major reminder this morning is that Seattle Public Schools are closed for the day (here’s why). Educational pickets at local high schools are planned 8-10 am, and then a rally/march downtown. Route/time details are in the city’s weekly traffic-alert roundup.

7:38 AM: In comments, a report that the crossing arm is stuck down at Lander in SODO, blocking a Route 21 bus and other vehicles trying to cross.

7:46 AM: Moving again, says SeattleTimeBandit, after 45 minutes.

Local teachers want you to know why they’ll be out tomorrow

May 18, 2015 at 1:43 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments

Tomorrow, like today, will start with protesting – but this time it has nothing to do with offshore oil drilling. Tomorrow is the day Seattle Public Schools are closing because of their teachers’ one-day walkout.

We first reported the plan two weeks ago; we also reported the plan by Chief Sealth International High School teachers and other staffers to have an “informational” event outside the school 8 am-10 am tomorrow. Now we know that almost every high school in the city – including Sealth and West Seattle High School – will have informational picketing to start the day, with teachers from other schools joining in. Mandy Cook, a teacher at Schmitz Park Elementary, was first to tell us about this, saying she’ll be at WSHS: “As teachers, we want to inform our parents as to why we are not teaching their children that day.” She shared the flyer we’ve embedded above; as it notes, parents, students, and community members are welcome to join in. The morning events will be followed by a march and rally downtown.

P.S. WSHS special-education teacher Jennifer Hall shared her letter to the school’s PTSA board, explaining the walkout. Read it, ahead:

Click to read the rest of Local teachers want you to know why they’ll be out tomorrow…

Big gigs! West Seattle HS Band & Orchestra perform in SoCal

May 18, 2015 at 2:02 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

Members of the West Seattle High School Band and Orchestra, directed by Ethan Thomas, are wrapping up an extended-weekend trip to California – thanks to Band Booster President Steve White for the report and photos:

Our first stop after arriving at LAX (on Friday) was at the LA Farmers’ Market – where both the orchestra and band (above) performed.

We (then were) on our way to a local college for a clinic and some music instruction, then a group dinner at Medieval Times.

Saturday was spent at Disneyland, with a recording session in the evening, where the students experienced recording a soundtrack for a movie clip.

Sunday there were performances in the park by both groups [orchestra above] and more free time at the park.

Monday morning, both groups will take a tour of Hollywood and the Dolby Theater, then spend the afternoon at the Santa Monica Pier before returning home.

Find out more about the WSHS music program on its website – where we see via the calendar that you’ll get the chance to hear the student musicians at their spring concert June 4th.

Congratulations! West Seattle HS track athletes District-bound

May 17, 2015 at 3:26 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

On a day that began with hundreds of people running to benefit West Seattle High School students … we have news about the students who run *for* WSHS. Thanks to Linda Rackner for the photo and report:

The following West Seattle High School track athletes are moving on to compete at the District level this week at Southwest Athletic Complex. They competed at Metros this last week.

GIRLS
Lani Taylor – 110 meters, 200 meters, 400 meters & 4×400 Relay
Lexi Ioane – Shot Put, Discus
Maggie Cooper – 300 M Hurdles, Pole Vault, 4x 400 Relay
Saoirse Cumming
Annie Means – 4×400 Relay
Gabrielle Rackner – 4×400 Relay
Riely McCullough – (alternate for 4 x 400 Relay)

BOYS
Chris Nunez – (4×100 & 4×400 Relay)
Cass Elliott – (300 m Hurdles, 4×100 & 4×400 Relay)
Noah Evans – (4 x 400 Relay)
Chaaka Trahan – (110 m Hurdles, 300m Hurdles, Long Jump)
John Ursino – (4×100 Relay)
Nuradine Abdi – (alternate 4 x 400 Relay)
Miles Hairston – (alternate for 4×400 Relay)

Linda Rackner
Senior Director, Marketing & Sales

VIDEO: 7th annual West Seattle 5K to start the day on Alki

May 17, 2015 at 10:48 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments


Alki Avenue SW is reopening now that everyone’s finished the 7th annual West Seattle 5K, with more than 800 people of all ages (and a few dogs!) running and walking along the beach to raise money for the WSHS PTSA. Above, our Instagram clip of the start; we’ll add our traditional “everyone leaving the starting line” video once it’s uploaded. (Added – Here it is:)

Now, what happened as the participants started coming in:

FIRST FINISHERS


Males –
Tyler Eidsmoe (above), 26, 16:31
Ben Sauvage, 45, 16:40
Kyle Smits, 36, 17:03


Females –
Kelly McKean (above), 37, 18:56
Megan Newton, 28, 19:54
Kylen Fountain, 26, 20:02

1:57 PM: We’re adding photos now. But first – here are the results, the full list of names and times for all 692 timed finishers.

Though the WS5K isn’t the only race in the region on this particular date, it’s the only one that’s about this community. WSHS principal Ruth Medsker, for example, ran to support her students:

Race announcer Eric Radovich gave extra shoutouts to the local businesses that are longtime WS5K sponsors. That included us, and two that also happen to be WSB sponsors – first, West Seattle Runner, this area’s only store devoted to running, whose proprietors Lori McConnell and Tim McConnell were on the run too – here’s Lori:

WS Runner has marked its 5th anniversary and moved to a new location (2743 California SW) since last WS5K. Second longtime WS5K sponsor that’s on our team too, Metropolitan Market:

On the sidelines, we also caught up with race participants Stefan and Christine from WSB sponsor West Seattle Office Junction, this area’s only co-working center:

(At center in our photo, between Christine and Stefan, is Christine’s husband Marco.) The 5K takes a lot of volunteer power, and that includes WSHS students:

Back on the race course, some of the very youngest participants found it extremely relaxing:

We saw a lot of somewhat older kids, meantime, who gave it their all:

Some runners brought along their furry friends:

Still adding photos …

Softball postseason: West Seattle HS takes 2nd in Metro League

May 15, 2015 at 8:19 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | No Comments

(WSB photos: Above, Wildcats applauding their supporters postgame)
We’re under the lights at Southwest Athletic Complex, where the Metro League softball championship game has just ended with Ballard HS taking the tournament title, 3-1 over the West Seattle HS Wildcats.

Tough pitching on both sides; Ballard’s Sage Nicholson (above) got the win, pitching a complete game as did WSHS’s Gabby Wenn (below).

The postseason is just beginning, with districts up next. First time in tournament history that the top two teams have been from public schools, the tournament director has just said.

Congratulations! Chief Sealth girls 4×100 = Metro League champs

May 15, 2015 at 7:48 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 3 Comments

Thanks to Lisa Brody for the photo and report on a Chief Sealth International High School relay team that won big this afternoon:

Metro-All City Track meet on May 15 at SWAC this afternoon: Lots of excitement and many competitors from Chief Sealth International High School as well as West Seattle High moving on to the District Track Meet next week at SWAC.

I thought I would share this photo of the Chief Sealth Girls 4 X 100m relay team who took first place as Metro League Champions. These same girls also ran in the 4 X 200m relay and took 2nd in that event.

Here they are with the Chief Sealth International High School Track Sprinting Coach, Billy Hairston. From left to right – Chloe Myers, Assa Kaba, Coach Hairston, Imani Carey, and Quinn Wiley.

(Thanks to everyone who’s been sharing high-school sports updates – editor@westseattleblog.com – so we can share the news with the community!)

‘Free’ Seattle Parks programs on school-closure day Tuesday not free for all: Preschool families lose a day, no refund/makeup

May 15, 2015 at 2:16 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, West Seattle schools | 11 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

After the city announced Tuesday that Seattle Parks would offer “free” drop-in programs for school-age kids during Seattle Public Schools‘ teacher-walkout closure day next Tuesday, one group of Parks clients learned it will come with a cost to them:

Families with children in Parks-facilities preschools have been told their programs are canceled for that day, and that there will be no refund and no makeup date.

Click to read the rest of ‘Free’ Seattle Parks programs on school-closure day Tuesday not free for all: Preschool families lose a day, no refund/makeup…

VIDEO: You’ll be voting on them – take a look at them! Forum for Seattle City Council at-large Positions 8 & 9, local School Board

May 15, 2015 at 10:37 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 11 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

If you were at the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Georgetowm campus last night, you saw and heard nine candidates in three races as part of a two-section forum. If not – we have it all on video:

That’s the longer section of the forum, co-presented by three local Democratic organizations – the 34th District Democrats of West Seattle/North Highline/Vashon/Maury, and the 11th and 37th DDs – and moderated by
John Burbank. It was the first in this area to feature the candidates for the two “at-large” positions that will be part of the newly reconfigured Seattle City Council (along with seven geographical-district positions) – you’ll see them on your August 4th primary ballot as well as the District 1 (West Seattle South Park) race. Candidates for both positions, 8 and 9, were questioned at the same time, as you’ll see; from left at the table, Lorena Gonzalez (P-9), Bill Bradburd (P-9), Alon Bassok (P-9), John Roderick (P-8), John Persak (P-8), Jon Grant (P-8), Tim Burgess (P-8), and moderator John Burbank at the podium. The candidates in attendance represented all who had filed for Positions 8 and 9 as of the forum’s start, except for Alex Tsimerman (P-9).

Preceding that hour-plus round of questioning was a shorter round featuring the two candidates for Seattle School Board Position 6, representing West Seattle and South Park.

From left, they are Marty McLaren, seeking a second term, and Leslie Harris.

After the jump (if you’re reading from the main WSB page), some notes (primarily on the school-board forum, since it’s geographically specific) if you don’t have time to listen/watch:

Click to read the rest of VIDEO: You’ll be voting on them – take a look at them! Forum for Seattle City Council at-large Positions 8 & 9, local School Board…

Congratulations! Mentoring award for Denny teacher Will Nelson

May 15, 2015 at 1:46 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, West Seattle schools | 5 Comments


Congratulations to Denny International Middle School teacher Will Nelson – his colleagues are so proud of his mentoring award, we heard about it as a tweet (above) from assistant principal Patricia Rangel and in the note below from principal Jeff Clark:

Please join me in congratulating Mr. Nelson on winning the Lee McNeil Mentoring Award presented by the Marine Technology Society for his years of mentorship with our underwater robotics program. Way to go, Mr. Nelson! Go Dolphins!

Last day to register online for Sunday’s West Seattle 5K run/walk

May 14, 2015 at 9:33 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 4 Comments

(WSB file photo)
Looks like the classic annual forecast for Sunday’s West Seattle 5K on Alki – partly sunny, comfortable temperatures. If you haven’t signed up yet, today is your **last chance** to do it the most convenient way – online. Here’s an update from race director Jeff Mensing:

Online registration for the West Seattle 5K Run/Walk ends tonight at midnight. Don’t delay, register today and take advantage of discounted fees. We will also be at the new West Seattle Runner location (2743 California SW) from noon to 6:00 on Saturday for registration and race packet pickup or at the Alki Bathhouse starting at 8:00 am Sunday the 17th. The race starts at 9:20 am.

The West Seattle 5K is presented by, and benefits, the West Seattle High School PTSA; we’re proud to be among the co-sponsors again this year. It’s the biggest 5K of the year on Alki, running/walking in the temporarily closed-to-vehicles street on Alki Avenue, with runners/walkers of all ages every year. See you there!

Start school days earlier? Later? Same as now? Tell Seattle Public Schools what you think about bell times

May 13, 2015 at 8:10 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 13 Comments

After years of talk about whether it would be healthier to start school later for older students, given their bio-clocks, Seattle Public Schools has been circulating proposed bell-time changes … and you have just a few more days to have a say in this round of discussion.

This has been a fairly quiet public-outreach process, focused more on localized small-group meetings as part of an initiative dubbed “Neighbor To Neighbor.” Last night, though, the district offered a meeting at a major regional location – Chief Sealth International High School.

The background info is on this district website.

They’re focusing right now on whether to follow one of these three paths:

) Keep the bell time schedule the same

2) [aka "Modified Flip"] – Modify the bell schedules so that Elementary Schools start at 8 am or 8:50 am, High schools start at 8:50 am, and Middle/K-8′s start at 9:40 am.

3) [aka "Extended High School Day"] Allow high school students to start their six period day at either 7:50 am or 8:40 am. All other bell times are unchanged.

Full details on the options are here.

The meeting started with the viewing of a district-provided video:

Then – discussion. No one disputed the research that suggests more sleep for older students would be optimal; the discussion on possibly starting school later centered more on what happens after school – with field availability for activities, for example, as is a challenge at West Seattle High School, where adjacent Hiawatha Playfield is shared with Seattle Parks, and other issues such as transportation.

One parent wondered: Where do the middle schools fit in? For all the talk about high schools, the parent wondered, how would kids of that age be affected? Much talk, but no conclusions, ensued.

Though the district is focused on the three options mentioned above, there are others, according to someone who circulated flyers at the meeting and said she had been on the district’s bell-times task force. The flyers mentioned the “Two Tiers” option and said it would start elementaries at 8 am and middle, high, K8s at 8:50 am. Whichever option you prefer, the official district survey is only scheduled to be open a few more days – go take it here, now!

WHAT’S NEXT? Once the results of this round of discussion result in a proposal, it’s scheduled for more outreach this fall, and then a School Board vote for a plan to be implemented starting with the 2016-2017 school year.

Softball playoffs: West Seattle HS in championship game vs. Ballard on Friday; Sealth to play Roosevelt next

May 13, 2015 at 2:11 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 2 Comments

(Tuesday night photo of WSHS-EC game, by West Seattle athletic director/softball coach Trevor Leopold)
Thanks to Cheryl Brown for another update on the high-school softball playoffs:

*West Seattle High School beat Eastside Catholic 15-7 at Southwest Athletic Complex last night and advances to the Metro League championship game vs. Ballard at 7 pm Friday at SWAC

*Chief Sealth International High School lost to Holy Names 12-2 at Southeast Athletic Complex but plays Roosevelt at 5 pm Friday at SEAC for 7th/8th-place determination

*1st- through 9th-place teams advance to district playoffs starting next Monday

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