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LAST CALL: Seattle Public Schools’ open-enrollment deadline is today

Quick reminder while we’re working on the rest of today’s news: If you’re interested in enrolling your child(ren) in a Seattle public school other than the neighborhood school to which they’ve been automatically assigned, today is the deadline. You can apply by e-mail or in person to be sure the form’s received in time; find forms here.

YOU CAN HELP! Seattle Audubon seeking outdoor-education volunteers to work with Sanislo, Lafayette students

(Photo courtesy Seattle Audubon)

Love the outdoors? Love to work with kids? Seattle Audubon is looking right now for volunteers to combine those interests by working with its FUN program at two local elementaries:

Help Sanislo and Lafayette students have FUN!

Finding Urban Nature (FUN) is Seattle Audubon’s free environmental education program in Seattle Public Elementary Schools.

FUN introduces 3rd- and 4th-grade students to the nature in their own schoolyard habitat, and examines how each organism depends on others to survive. Volunteers lead small groups of four to six students through a series of outdoor investigations, which teach kids to use their senses and scientific practices to discover the importance of urban biodiversity firsthand.

Volunteers devote about two hours a week for four weeks to lead 4-6 students through each lesson, with the support of the school’s FUN Team Leader and classroom teachers. No previous teaching or science background is necessary; volunteers will attend a training session before going into a school.

The program needs volunteers at Sanislo and Lafayette Elementary Schools for lessons in April and May. Please respond as soon as possible to be a part of FUN training in April. Contact us at FUNvolunteer@seattleaudubon.org or call 206-523-8243 ext. 12 if interested.

BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS: Here’s who, when, where WSHS & SLHS teams play Saturday

Three local high-school teams are heading into the regional/state playoffs, and this morning we finally have the slate for the next games for all three.

The final opponent to be filled in was for the West Seattle High School girls. Now we know they’ll play Edmonds-Woodway HS in regionals at noon Saturday (February 25th) at Bellevue College (3000 Landenholm Circle SE). It’s a must-win game for them to advance to state (here’s the bracket).

Right after the girls’ game, the West Seattle HS boys play a regionals game against Timberline HS, 2 pm at Bellevue College. They are guaranteed at least one game at the state tournament, however this one turns out (here’s the bracket).

Also at 2 pm Saturday, the Seattle Lutheran High School boys play Napavine HS in a regionals game at WF West HS (in Chehalis). They too are guaranteed at least one state-tournament game beyond this (here’s the bracket).

FOLLOWUP: South Seattle College’s 13th Year Promise scholarships expanding to West Seattle High School, and more

(WSB photo from September 2016, as the biggest-ever 13th Year Promise class started school at SSC)

You sip, they study.

Hours after Mayor Murray’s State of the City speech included news of the 13th Year Promise program expanding, in part with help from a new beverage tax, we have word from South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) that the expansion will include the long-anticipated addition of West Seattle High School students, and more. From SSC’s communications director Ty Swenson:

South Seattle College’s 13th Year Promise Scholarship, currently offering one year of tuition-free college to graduating seniors from three high schools, is set to expand to additional colleges and high schools thanks to support from Mayor Ed Murray and Seattle’s City Council.

The City of Seattle will invest $750,000 for 2017 and again in 2018 from the city’s general fund to help with operational costs to expand the existing program at South Seattle College, and replicate the program at Seattle Central College and North Seattle College.

On Feb. 21, Murray announced a plan to provide a separate, one-time $5 million investment to be placed in an endowment to help cover tuition costs for future 13th Year Scholars as the program expands to additional Seattle high schools. Murray said that funding would come from a two-cents per ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, starting in 2018, which he will propose to City Council.

“The 13th Year Promise Scholarship started at SSC in 2008 with the generous support of our donors, and has made higher education a reality for hundreds of students, many of whom never thought they would attend college,” said South Seattle College President Gary Oertli. “With this amazing support from Mayor Murray, Seattle’s City Council and the donor community, a historic step is underway to eventually make higher education available to all of Seattle’s high school graduates.”

South Seattle College will expand their 13th Year program to include West Seattle High School, starting with WSHS’s 2018 graduating class (it is currently offered at Cleveland, Chief Sealth International and Rainier Beach high schools). Seattle Central and North Seattle colleges are currently evaluating which high schools they will expand to once the program infrastructure is in place. 13th Year staff from South will help the other colleges implement their own program.

“We are thrilled to be able offer the 13th Year Promise Scholarship to West Seattle High School’s Class of 2018 graduates,” said Oertli. “This expansion means we will finally able to provide one year of tuition-free college to every student from comprehensive high schools in South’s service area. It creates the opportunity for all to envision themselves as college students who will pursue careers grounded in passion.”

The 13th Year Promise Scholarship currently guarantees every graduate from participating high schools the opportunity to attend South Seattle College tuition-free for one year along with special support services to help them succeed. The program’s purpose is to increase access to higher education and improve success rates for our community’s students, particularly those from underrepresented groups (e.g. students of color, low-income students and first-generation college students).

‘This is going to be our school’: Roxhill families tour EC Hughes

(EC Hughes entryway, WSB photo from 2016)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

There hasn’t been much of a public process around the plan to move the Roxhill Elementary School program to EC Hughes Elementary, a mile and a half north.

We first reported on what was described as a possible move almost a year and a half ago, after following up on a commenter’s question about why the district was pursuing plans to renovate the school but hadn’t given it distinct attendance boundaries on the longterm maps.

Since then, there’s been no pivotal hearing, no major discussion. An internal School Design Advisory Team, including Roxhill’s former principal, met a few times (four dates in March and April 2016, according to this document we found half a year later). That was a contrast to high-profile discussions about school changes and closures last decade. But the decision to make the move in fall 2018 has been made, and renovation work will start this spring.

And members of the Roxhill community seem ready to make the best of it.

Following up on a briefing last fall, this month’s PTSA meeting was moved to EC Hughes, pre-renovations, one week ago tonight, for a briefing and tour with reps from Seattle Public Schools and architects DLR Group.

“This is going to be our school,” declared PTSA president Amanda Kay Helmick. Read More

VIDEO: See 11 ‘Page to Stage’ performances by Chief Sealth International High School students

So much is happening at our local schools, both during classes, and before/after … Earlier this month, we were invited to cover the culmination of a month of work by 9th-grade classes at Chief Sealth International High School, with teaching artists from Book-It Repertory Theatre. As explained here, the program is a “synthesis of literature and theater.” And indeed, that’s what we saw inside the Sealth auditorium – poetry, not presented by a reader standing static in front of a microphone, but performed, in small ensembles, with movement, sometimes matched to the words, sometimes just adding emphasis or flair.

The students were from the freshman classes of Luke Azinger and Heather Griffin. The teaching artists from Book-It, who introduced themselves to the audience before the program, were Kelly Kitchens and Samara Lerman. As explained in the program for the performance:

This semester, Ms. Griffin worked with students to write original poetry. After the writing process, Book-It worked with Mr. Azinger’s classes to analyze and adapt student and professional poems into scripts for the stage in the Book-It Style. Then, the students collaborated to create live plays out of the poems – taking them from page to stage.

With small ensembles trading places while two students drummed interstitially, 23 poems were performed. We recorded them on video from mid-auditorium; all were excellent, but our audio had its shortcomings, so we are featuring the 11 that are clearest in our recordings. We were asked not to publish the authors and performers’ names, but we do have the poems’ titles.



“Wake Up”:

“Once a Friend, Now an Acquaintance”:


“Constellation Nights”:

“The Hole”:


“Border Justice”:



Speaking of the passage of time – as did that last poem – this is the 17th year of collaboration between CSIHS and Book-It. Congratulations to the writers, performers, teachers, and teaching artists – and to the students’ families, many of whom were there that night to cheer them on. (The program also was performed earlier in the day during school hours, so other students could see it.)

BASKETBALL: Seattle Lutheran boys finish 2nd in district tournament

Thanks to Mike Jensen for first word from Sedro-Woolley, where the Seattle Lutheran High School boys have finished the district playoffs with second place, after tonight’s win over Friday Harbor HS, 64-42. Next, it’s off to regional/state playoffs in Spokane, starting next Friday; we’ll find out later this weekend who, and when, the Saints play next.

BASKETBALL: West Seattle High School girls will play for district title after beating Bellevue

(UPDATED 9:07 PM with details, photos)

(Video: 4th-quarter basket by WSHS’s Jasmine Gayles)

FIRST REPORT, 4:19 PM: “Championship game, here we come!” yelled a West Seattle High School fan, as the Wildcat girls beat defending state 3A champs Bellevue HS 47-37 moments ago at Bellevue College. They play for the district championship at 8:15 pm Saturday, again at Bellevue College, vs. the winner of tonight’s game between Bishop Blanchet and Cleveland at Chief Sealth. Photos and details from today’s game, coming up.

ADDED 9:07 PM: Photos and game summary ahead: Read More

BASKETBALL: West Seattle HS boys beat Ballard in district playoffs

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 7:01 PM: We’re at the Chief Sealth IHS gym, where the West Seattle High School boys just won their district-tournament game against Ballard HS, 62-44. The Wildcats led after each quarter; here’s how the first half ended, before they went into halftime ahead 25-18:

The WSHS boys’ next game in districts is Thursday at Bellevue College, 8:15 pm, vs. the winner of tonight’s game between Nathan Hale and Eastside Catholic.

10:57 PM: Photos added:

#22 Yusuf Mohamed ended the night with 19 points; next was #1 Nate Pryor, with 17:

#3 Tyler Lenzie had 9, and #13 Cass Elliott netted 6.

If you’re going to the 8:15 pm Thursday game, you’ll be cheering for the Wildcats vs. Nathan Hale, in a rematch of their recent Metro tournament faceoff. And however that turns out, WSHS is guaranteed a berth in the state tournament as a result of tonight’s win.

BASKETBALL: West Seattle HS girls pull out nailbiter district-playoffs win over Garfield

(Video added: Jenna McPhee three-pointer during second quarter)

FIRST REPORT, 4:36 PM: We’re at Bellevue College, where the West Seattle High School girls-basketball team has just pulled out a thriller of a district-playoffs win, 64-63 over Garfield HS. The Wildcats were behind for the entire first half, took the lead for the first time midway through the third quarter, but never pulled away, and the fourth quarter was a nailbiter, but when the buzzer sounded, WSHS took the win. Photos, video, and more details later.

ADDED 6:48 PM: The first quarter was not a good one for West Seattle – Garfield led the entire way, pulling out to a double-digit lead within a few minutes, and ending the first quarter on top, 22-13. They kept the lead for the second quarter too, but the real turning point of this game was probably the West Seattle three-pointers that bookended halftime: Izzy Turk sank one at the buzzer that ended the half, so what had been a 10-point deficit for the Wildcats was cut to 7, 34-27. Then the first scoring of the second half was a three by Jenna McPhee that trimmed the Bulldogs’ lead to 34-30.

Two minutes into the third quarter, WSHS tied Garfield 34-34. The two teams fought especially hard in the second half, and foul shots abounded. WSHS took the lead 38-36 with three and a half minutes to go in the third quarter on a basket by #20 Grace Sarver. Just a few minutes later, Turk was knocked down and had to leave the game. But her teammates fought on. The lead was traded multiple times; Garfield had it, 42-40, at the end of the third quarter.

A WSHS foul early in the fourth quarter gave Garfield more opportunities at the free-throw line, and shortly thereafter, same went for WSHS. Then a Garfield bucket took the Bulldogs’ lead to 45-41; WSHS’s Jasmine Gayles answered quickly to cut the lead to 45-43, with six and a half minutes left. After a couple more intense minutes, WSHS tied Garfield 45-45, and more lead-trading ensued. Back-to-backs by Sarver and Fiso opened a four-point lead for the Wildcats – three-fourths erased by a Garfield three-pointer – and the scoring was fast and furious from there. They were tied again, 59-59, with just a minute and a half left; within the final minute, they had a three-point lead, cut to one by Garfield with seconds to go, and WSHS held on for the 64-63 win.

Next up in districts, head coach Darnell Taylor‘s Wildcat girls will play another 3 pm game at Bellevue College (3000 Landerholm Circle SE) on Thursday (February 16th), vs. the winner of tonight’s game vs. Bellevue and Seattle Prep.

YOU CAN HELP: Ticket time for West Seattle High School Big Band Dinner Dance 2017

That’s the musical invitation for you to help local students while enjoying a fab night of music and food – full details in this announcement:

Funding for public education may be stuck in Olympia, but here in West Seattle the music still swings, and our talented high school students want to share a few tunes with you at the annual Big Band Dinner Dance!

Tickets are on sale, and the community is invited. This evening of entertainment will feature West Seattle High School’s two jazz bands and the West Seattle Big Band. Delicious appetizers, dinner and desserts will be prepared and served by our students with the school’s cutting-edge Culinary Arts Program.

The night showcases of our students’ talents, and raises money to support the West Seattle High School Music Program — whose public funding does not even cover the annual cost of sheet music.

So dine, dance, applaud and enter to win restaurant certificates and other exciting raffle prizes at this annual celebration of West Seattle’s next generation of gifted musicians.


West Seattle High School Commons (3000 California SW)

March 3, 6:00 pm

Tickets: $20 in advance, $22 at the door

Purchase online (no ticketing fee) at www.WSHSMusic.org

All tickets purchased online by February 15 will receive reserved seating and priority dinner service!

BASKETBALL: West Seattle High School’s opponents set for first district-playoff games

Both the West Seattle High School girls (who took 2nd in the Metro League playoffs) and boys (who finished 3rd) have district-tournament games tomorrow, and we know today who they’ll be playing. The girls will play Garfield at 3 pm Tuesday at Bellevue College (3000 Landerholm Circle SE); the boys will play Ballard at 5:30 pm Tuesday at the Chief Sealth IHS gym (2600 SW Thistle).

PHOTOS: Lunar New Year celebration at West Seattle High School

Thanks to West Seattle High School Mandarin teacher Su-Chun King for sharing her students’ report and photos from the school’s Lunar New Year celebration earlier this month. The report is by Greta Guess, the photos by Brielle Martin:

On February 2nd, West Seattle High School students celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year, the year of the rooster. The Chinese language program hosted the activity. They did this by setting up different booths in the cafeteria based on how people in the Chinese language world celebrate the traditional New Year. Many booths were open for the students to participate in! For example, there were games, such as the chopstick contest. Students could see how many M&Ms they could take out of a bag and put into a bowl in a certain amount of time.

There were also plenty of other activities, like doing spring festival couplets, Lunar New Year painting, making bookmarks, paper sky lanterns, Chinese chess, Chinese spinning tops game, traditional Chinese wedding costume show, Chinese god of wealth visiting, and even tea tasting in traditional Chinese tea ceremonies. On top of that, there was a variety of traditional Chinese foods to be served. These included egg rolls, chow mein, edamame, dumplings, sticky rice cakes, Chinese New Year candies/fortune cookies, and more.

There was even a lion dance performed, entirely by the students, which is a big part of a traditional Chinese New Year’s celebration.

Big thanks to the CIWA (Confucius Institute of the state of Washington) for sponsoring the food cost.

BASKETBALL: Seattle Lutheran boys win 18th in a row, face Orcas Island next

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

Close call for the Seattle Lutheran High School boys on Saturday night, but the Saints pulled out a 42-38 postseason win against La Conner, and ran their winning streak to 18.

The SeaLu boys, coached by Brett Kapels, had double-digit leads at halftime and through the end of the third quarter, but La Conner worked up a comeback in the rough-and-tumble, low-scoring game, and even took the lead. But with less than a minute to go, Seattle Lutheran #20, senior guard Roberto Duenaz was fouled, and put SeaLu ahead by converting a one-and-one into two points. Then with less than 30 seconds to go, Saints’ #1, senior Grant Ball, was fouled and also picked up the one-and-one to get back ahead of La Conner for the win.

Ball led scoring with 14 points on the night:

Duenaz was next with 12.

And #34, senior forward Josh Meyer, was the third leading scorer, with 7.

The Saints’ next game is Thursday (February 16th) in Sedro-Woolley, vs. Orcas Island, 6 pm.

CONGRATULATIONS! Metro League honors Keffrey Fazio as Coach of the Year; players announced for all-league teams

(WSB photo: Coach of the Year Keffrey Fazio, Metro League 1st Team’s Nate Pryor)

Between the Friday night Metro League championship games in the Chief Sealth IHS gym, all-league honors were presented. Above, from West Seattle High School boys’ basketball, Keffrey Fazio is the league’s Coach of the Year, and Nate Pryor was chosen for the all-league first team again.

Also announced, the all-league girls’ teams, with Sealth’s Labrea Denson and WSHS’s Jasmine Gayles on the 2nd team, and WSHS’s Grace Sarver and Sealth’s Sydney Thomas on the 3rd team.

(We haven’t found the full list online yet but will add when we do.)

BASKETBALL: West Seattle High School girls finish second in Metro League tournament

6:56 PM: We’re at the Chief Sealth gym, where the Metro League basketball championship games are being played tonight. The girls’ title game has just ended, with the West Seattle High School girls losing to still-undefeated Bishop Blanchet. They were tied 27-27 at halftime, but Blanchet pulled away in the second half, and the final score was 62-46.

10:12 PM: Photos and details added, and what’s next for the WSHS girls: Read More

West Seattle schools: 1 snow day pushes end of school year back 3 days

(It was a day for sledding, not studying, at Madison MS on Monday. Texted reader photo from the WSB snow-day gallery)

It’s the flip side of Monday’s snow day – Seattle Public Schools has announced that the makeup day has now been officially scheduled, so the last day of classes for this school year is now Monday, June 26th, instead of Friday, June 23rd. Here’s the updated SPS 2016-2017 calendar, which is also a reminder that this year includes a full week of mid-winter break, week after next.

BASKETBALL: West Seattle HS boys beat Rainier Beach in OT

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

9:54 PM: An overtime thriller tonight – the West Seattle High School boys-varsity basketball team beat Rainier Beach, 61-56, in their postseason game at Chief Sealth IHS. That brought the Wildcats a third-place finish in the Metro League tournament. Next stop for head coach Keffrey Fazio‘s team, the district tournament, and a 5:30 pm game Tuesday (February 14th), again in the gym at Sealth. Their opponent won’t be determined until this Saturday.

10:55 PM: Adding photos and details. The first half saw WSHS challenged in keeping control of the ball. But after halftime, the Wildcats started controlling rebounds during the low-scoring third quarter.


Top scorer for WSHS tonight was #1 Nate Pryor (21 points). In the fourth quarter, he and #22 Yusuf Mohamed (11 points) had back-to-back three-pointers.


The night’s second-leading scorer for WSHS was #5 Abdullahi Mohamed with 18:


Regulation play ended at 46-all; in OT, board control and foul shots helped WSHS get the win. According to the bracket, their Tuesday opponent will be whichever team takes Saturday’s game between Mercer Island and the winner of tomorrow’s Chief Sealth-Ballard game.

BASKETBALL: Chief Sealth IHS boys play Friday for district spot

First of two high-school basketball updates tonight: Though the Chief Sealth International High School boys lost to Cleveland, 81-61, in tonight’s postseason game at Garfield HS, they have one more shot at a spot in the district tournament. Head coach Colin Slingsby‘s Seahawks will play Ballard at 5:45 pm tomorrow at Garfield; winner goes to districts, loser’s done for the year. Sealth won its last game against Ballard, 65-62 on January 31st.

VIDEO: Chief Sealth IHS/Denny IMS safety meeting

If you weren’t able to get to last night’s annual PTSA-sponsored Chief Sealth International High School/Denny International Middle School safety meeting – we recorded it on video. The major headline: This year has been much less eventful than last year, which meant no major controversies or crime concerns to talk about last night, unlike the same meeting last March (WSB coverage here).

Most of last night’s presenting participants were the same as last year: Read More

BASKETBALL: Chief Sealth boys advance in postseason; girls’ season ends

Two more basketball updates:

Chief Sealth International High School‘s boys-varsity team will play its next post-season game 7:30 pm tomorrow (Thursday) vs. Cleveland HS, at Garfield HS, after defeating Roosevelt 73-58 at home tonight. The Seahawks are one of four teams vying for three spots in the district tournament.

Meantime, the Sealth girls-varsity team played tonight at Lakeside, where their season came to a close with a 58-47 loss to the Lions. Here’s their season recap on the Metro League website.

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