West Seattle Blog... » West Seattle schools http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:44:12 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 West Seattle back-to-school: Why you’ll see yellow buses on the roads and in the lots the next two days http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-why-youll-see-yellow-buses-on-the-roads-and-in-the-lots-the-next-two-days/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-why-youll-see-yellow-buses-on-the-roads-and-in-the-lots-the-next-two-days/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 19:28:17 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=283713 Though Seattle Public Schools‘ first day of classes is still eight days away, you’ll see yellow school buses on the roads the next two days. Here’s the heads-up from driver Al:

Tomorrow and Thursday school bus drivers will be doing ‘dry runs’ of their routes, which means as early as 6 am, hundreds of school buses will be out-and-about following the directions given to us by the District to find and check out our pick-up and drop-off locations, as well as looking for any route-problems we may encounter on the streets.

Also happening during these two days are meetings at various schools between staff and the drivers, so some schools will see a number of buses parked in their load zones for a while.

This will likely happen for most of the day both days, and we thank you ahead of time for the public’s patience and understanding.

And thanks again to everybody sharing back-to-school news – editor@westseattleblog.com – same address for announcements and info once schools are open again, too!

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-why-youll-see-yellow-buses-on-the-roads-and-in-the-lots-the-next-two-days/feed/ 1
West Seattle back-to-school: WSHS Freshman Family Night tomorrow http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-wshs-freshman-family-night-tomorrow/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-wshs-freshman-family-night-tomorrow/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:39:42 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=283700 Another announcement just in for a back-to-school event – this one’s tomorrow!

West Seattle High School is having its Freshman Family Night from 5:30-7:30 Wednesday, August 27: Student panel, curriculum information, building tours, meet key WSHS staff members, and purchase WSHS Spirit Gear.

Back-to-school event we haven’t mentioned yet for YOUR school? Please send info – thanks!

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-wshs-freshman-family-night-tomorrow/feed/ 1
West Seattle back-to-school: Pathfinder barbecue Thursday http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-pathfinder-barbecue-thursday/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-pathfinder-barbecue-thursday/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 01:32:10 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=283632 Another back-to-school event announcement to share:

The Pathfinder Back-to-School BBQ is August 28 from 5-7 pm. The PTSA invites the Pathfinder K-8 school community and Pigeon Point neighbors to celebrate the new playground paint and kick-off our 2014-2015 school year. Food and drink provided. Details about this and other events can be found at our new PTSA website. pathfinderk8ptsa.org

P.S. Thanks to ALL the parents, PTA leaders, volunteers, staffers (and sometimes students) who share announcements/news here so we can help get the word out too – here’s how

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-pathfinder-barbecue-thursday/feed/ 2
West Seattle back-to-school: Lafayette Elementary barbecue http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-lafayette-elementary-barbecue/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-lafayette-elementary-barbecue/#comments Sun, 24 Aug 2014 22:58:04 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=283512 We’re continuing to publish local back-to-school events as we get word of them. Today, from the Lafayette Elementary PTA:

On Tuesday, September 2nd from 5-7 pm, the Lafayette PTA is sponsoring a “Back to School BBQ” on the Lafayette playground. There will be free food and drinks with some great music. Come and meet new friends and reconnect with Lafayette families you have missed over the summer!

P.S. Thanks yet again in advance to the parents, PTA leaders, volunteers, staffers (and sometimes students!) who share big news here so we can help get the word out too – here’s how

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-lafayette-elementary-barbecue/feed/ 0
West Seattle back-to-school: 2 events ahead for K-5 STEM http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-2-events-ahead-for-k-5-stem/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-2-events-ahead-for-k-5-stem/#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:47:51 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=283260 More pre-back-to-school events – this time, for K-5 STEM families, two invites:

K-5 STEM PTA would like to invite all students, parents and guardians of K-5 STEM to our 3rd Annual Back to School Bash taking place on Saturday, August 23rd from 4 pm – 7 pm at Lincoln Park’s NORTH END. We will be in Shelter 5 & picnic tables 60-84. Please bring a potluck food to share, drinks, plates, and utensils for just your family. STEM PTA will be providing hot dogs, veggie dogs, buns & condiments.

During the BBQ there will also be a Uniform Swap: Please bring gently used, clean uniform / spirit wear clothing- all extra clothing will go to the Uniform Closet.

New Student OPEN HOUSE

Please join STEM staff, teachers and PTA for a staggered OPEN HOUSE on Thursday, August 28th to welcome incoming Kindergarten and new STEM students. Come meet your teachers, tour the school and see your classrooms. Class lists will also be posted in the hallway for viewing at 4pm.

Open House Times:
1st-5th Grades: 4-5 pm
K Students: 5-6:30 pm

K-5 STEM will be sharing the Boren campus at 5950 Delridge Way SW with Arbor Heights Elementary these next two years, while the new AHES is built.

P.S. Thanks yet again in advance to the parents, PTA leaders, volunteers, staffers (and sometimes students!) who share big news here so we can help get the word out too – here’s how.

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-back-to-school-2-events-ahead-for-k-5-stem/feed/ 5
Happening now: ‘Paint party’ as Pathfinder preps for playground http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/happening-now-paint-party-as-pathfinder-preps-for-playground/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/happening-now-paint-party-as-pathfinder-preps-for-playground/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:13:32 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=283142

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
As the new playground for Pathfinder K-8 and its Pigeon Point neighbors gets closer to reality, today’s the “paint party” announced in the most recent project update. Until mid-afternoon, more than 100 visiting volunteers are at the school to help the PF community, courtesy of a grant from Capital One. Their projects include, above, the “braided river” that’s part of the new-playground plan; below, a map:

Even curbs are getting TLC:

More photos later! P.S. Here’s the full-size design rendering for the new playground.

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/happening-now-paint-party-as-pathfinder-preps-for-playground/feed/ 7
West Seattle schools: Gatewood Elementary combined event next week http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-schools-gatewood-elementary-combined-event-next-week/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-schools-gatewood-elementary-combined-event-next-week/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:13:21 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=283122 Not to rush the end of your summer, but Seattle Public Schools‘ first day is now less than two weeks away, and some schools have get-ready-for-the-new-year events even sooner. Like this announcement we just received:

Gatewood Elementary would like to get the word out that this year the K-5 Meet & Greet, Volunteer Fair and Ice Cream Social will be combined on Thursday, August 28th, with a staggered start.

We hope you can join us! This will give your child an opportunity to find out your child’s class assignment, meet their new teacher, interact with new friends and take a small tour of the school and classroom.

K-1 @ 5:30 to 6:15 pm
2-3 @ 6:00 to 6:45 pm
4-5 @ 6:30 to 7:15 pm

Thanks again in advance to the parents, PTA leaders, volunteers, staffers (and sometimes even students!) who share big news here so we can help get the word out too – here’s how.

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/west-seattle-schools-gatewood-elementary-combined-event-next-week/feed/ 0
Decision’s in: Hearing examiner rejects second Arbor Heights Elementary project appeal http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/decisions-in-hearing-examiner-rejects-second-arbor-heights-elementary-project-appeal/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/decisions-in-hearing-examiner-rejects-second-arbor-heights-elementary-project-appeal/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:13:22 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=283077

(WSB July photo of awaiting-demolition Arbor Heights Elementary)
The decision is now published for the second appeal related to the Arbor Heights Elementary rebuild, which has had key elements on hold pending the hearing and ruling. City Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner has rejected the appeal by affirming the city decision to allow demolition of the old AHES. Here’s her ruling (PDF), or read it embedded below:

We’re checking with Seattle Public Schools regarding how the project timetable will be affected, now that the decision is in. A separate appeal related to the project was argued and rejected in May.

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/decisions-in-hearing-examiner-rejects-second-arbor-heights-elementary-project-appeal/feed/ 3
See expanded Fairmount Park Elementary, getting ready to (re)open http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/see-expanded-fairmount-park-elementary-getting-ready-to-reopen/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/see-expanded-fairmount-park-elementary-getting-ready-to-reopen/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 23:31:49 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=283011

(WSB photo, taken this morning)
Even if you haven’t turned off Fauntleroy Way to see the newly expanded Fairmount Park Elementary School on Findlay, new flashing beacons on Fauntleroy like the one in our top photo are a reminder that the area is about to have a school again. Fairmount Park will officially open two weeks from tomorrow, seven years after its closure. For a sneak peek at the expanded and remodeled school, Joe Wolf shares this Flickr album, including the main entrance along SW Findlay:

The central courtyard:

The auditorium entrance:

A classroom in the new addition:

Also in the addition, a second-floor corridor:

Again, you can see many more photos in Joe’s full album, here. According to the back-to-school letter from principal Julie Breidenbach, the school is starting with at least 340 students.

In addition to the addition of classrooms to bring Fairmount Park Elementary’s capacity up to 500, there also is a new pathway from the school’s north side, along the south side of Fairmount Playfield, to reach the sidewalks on Fauntleroy Way, where there will be a school-bus-loading zone – part of the reason the trees west of the playfield were removed in the past few weeks (as reported here August 1st).

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/see-expanded-fairmount-park-elementary-getting-ready-to-reopen/feed/ 11
Highland Park Elementary’s neighbors learn of its challenges, offer help with solutions: ‘Tell us what we can do’ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/highland-park-elementarys-neighbors-learn-of-its-challenges-offer-help-with-solutions-tell-us-what-we-can-do/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/highland-park-elementarys-neighbors-learn-of-its-challenges-offer-help-with-solutions-tell-us-what-we-can-do/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 04:10:09 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=282348

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Just before the end of last school year, a member of the Highland Park Elementary School PTA made a pitch to the nearest community council, the Highland Park Action Committee.

Peter Weiss told HPAC’s May meeting that he wanted to organize a 5K to bring the PTA and the school not just money but awareness. HPES, he explained, is the lowest-performing elementary school in the entire district.

That was jaw-dropping news to many, if not most, in the room. Just supporting an event would not be enough. A community conversation was called for.

The conversation began in earnest this past Tuesday night.

Though most community groups skip midsummer meetings, HPAC and the HPE PTA set a date, issued an invite – and the room was full.

We counted more than 50 people.

At the front of the room, along with Sol Mendez from the HPE PTA and HPAC co-chairs Carolyn and Billy Stauffer, were school and city leaders – among the former, new HPE principal Chris Cronas and the district’s regional executive director of schools Israel Vela; among the latter, Deputy Mayor Hyeok Kim and City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

More questions than answers emerged. But it was one of those events where the event itself was the triumph, for starters, rather than any single declaration or promise made.

“One of the bigger ideas we’re trying to push here is community involvement in the schools,” in addition to and beyond the PTA and others with direct links, Billy Stauffer explained toward the start. “We’re curious to see the ways the broader community can come together … to help a failing school.”

“We want a lot of people who care from different corners of our neighborhood to come together and have a voice,” added Carolyn Stauffer. The school and its students and staff have multiple challenges to conquer. Academically, for example, only 33 percent of third graders are proficient test-wise, compared to 79 percent district-wide, and there is high teacher turnover because of a contract they were required to sign. She also mentioned high bullying rates. “They need more help.”

New HPES PTA president Mendez asked participants to avoid using polarizing language – not us vs. them, “what happens to one kid happens to all kids … we should all be cohesive and collaborative in taking care of all our children.”

“It’s going to take a community to be able to partner together to go where we want to go,” echoed Israel Vela, who is executive director of schools in this area for the district, which means, among other things, that West Seattle/South Park schools’ principals report to him. Vela recapped how Highland Park (see its official “report” here) got to be “an intervention school” and what kind of plan exists for elevating it out of that designation. Explaining what “intervention school” means, Vela mentioned that the state applied for a No Child Left Behind waiver to get to implement its own way of evaluating schools’ status – replacing the “AYP (Step 1-5)” status, there is a Segmentation 1-5 designation, with 1 meaning lowest performing. In 2009, 18 schools were in that category; by 2013, only four qualified, “which tells us that as a district … we are moving in the right direction in terms of improvement,” Vela said. HPE is not alone in Segment 1, he added. For the coming school year, it’s one of two district-wide (along with Emerson) designated as an “intervention school.”

Vela described the “re-commitment letter” that was circulated among staffers, and said that it wasn’t meant to come off as a “commitment letter.” It allowed teachers to be “displaced,” and 12 teachers at HPES “decided to displace,” he said, so hiring has been under way since June to fill the positions they vacated. A few teachers were in the room, Vela noted at that point. He added that substitutes are a role that they have trouble filling, for the southwest and southeast regions, not just this school.

Then new principal Chris Cronas introduced himself, coming from Wedgwood Elementary, “an incredibly successful school” but not always that way, he said, because of an “unhealthy climate” that he worked on, with changes that “weren’t popular with all families,” he said. 98 percent of its fourth-graders according to preliminary data he said, have met standards in writing, which he called “unprecedented.” Cronas also mentioned that he has been dealing with family challenges – not just the challenges of raising two kids under 3, but also his wife being seriously ill.

Back to his new school: He said Highland Park has a few positions left to hire. Safety/security changes, he said, will be made right away, as a result of what he described as “what’s working/not working” conversations he’s had with key people. “We have a plan for that, and it starts day one,” he said. Those changes will include how kids line up, how they move throughout the building, avoiding shoving 400 kids through two doors, language regarding behavior, teaching kids about boundaries. “This is not going to happen overnight – this is going to take time,” Cronas stressed. “The first month is going to be a little bumpy,” but once routines and procedures are set, that “bumpiness” will ease,” he said.

He went through some of the assignments, who will handle “support outside the classroom.” That includes the return of CityYear, he said, whose members will be “painting the numbers” on the classroom to help movement, among other tasks.

At that point, Carmela Dellino stood up toward the back of the room – you might recall, she preceded Vela as this area’s executive director of schools, after serving as Roxhill Elementary principal, and now works with the city’s Families and Education Levy, as “think partners” with schools like HPES that receive levy money. Last year was the first year of that funding, Vela pointed out.

One attendee, identifying herself as a teacher who has taught at HPES, wanted to know what specifics are planned to meet the social/emotional needs of students.

Cronas said some staffers underwent training known as RULER this summer. A teacher explained, at another attendee’s request, that it’s a “social/emotional curriculum to create a conversation … about feelings, and being able to express themselves openly, and de-escalate.” It creates a space “in a council environment” to discuss those feelings, the teacher said. It includes languaging that will be universal throughout the school, and ways for families to understand the language so they know what their kid(s) are talking about.

Vela said 10 schools in the district are “embarking on RULER.” It takes trust, communication, and time, said the teacher, “and you guys should be aware of that.” An attendee said they were concerned that it would just be “we sent the teachers to this training” and not an integrated part of the full school day.

The HPE PTA leader Mendez said she wanted to be sure there weren’t just “popcorn” conversations. After that, a question bounced back to history rather than future. An attendee said, “My concern with our neighborhood school … though my child doesn’t go there …” she pointed out that only 56 percent of the population in the boundaries go to that school. I want to know, why are our families not choosing to go to the neighborhood school?”

Shortly thereafter, someone else pointed out that while HPES has an ethnically diverse population – as shown on the school report – she looked around the room at the meeting and saw mostly white faces, so, how would the school engage families of color too?

Vela suggested ELL (English-language learner) parents weren’t there because of lack of district outreach: “We need to bring them to the table.” Cronas vowed that, “My intent is to reach out to specific families and subgroups.”

That outreach also needs to include referrals for services at the school when needed, said another person identifying herself as a therapist at HPE and a community resident who has seen primarily English- or Spanish-speaking families, though that’s just part of the school’s population.

Yet another attendee said RULER isn’t known for excellence in the race/equity area, so, she suggested, complicated race and cultural-compentency training would be needed.

One person said RULER is not great with race and equity, so there’s going to have to be race and cultural competency training. It’s complicated work, she pointed out.

Another touchy topic erupted at that point – the school’s EBD (emotional/behavior disorder) population. One former HPE teacher now at another school suggested that it doesn’t belong at the school, “because a lot of the kids already come from very fragile homes.” She also recalled that the school had tried a variety of outreach and programs, from home visits to positive discipline to Love and Logic, cultural competency and “courageous conversations,” but leadership challenges, she suggested, kept them from succeeding.

Another attendee shortly thereafter suggested that chlidren be taught that diversity – not just ethnic diversity – is a blessing, in all its forms.

David, saying he had a kindergartener there last year spoke next. “I’m clearly a middle-aged white guy… but we live 2 blocks from the school … friends, community ..so we’re there. … Maybe it’s leadership, maybe it’s test scores, maybe it’s state not funding schools … there’s something going on … continuity matters.” While he expressed optimism for the new HPE leadership, he stressed, “to really move forward, we need to know WHAT HAPPENED? and who could have done something about it?”

Principal Cronas then said that it won’t be just a matter, for example, of his leadership, or any small group of people in charge. At his former school, for example, things went well even while he was out last year on leave because of his wife’s illness. “Heroes don’t exist … it takes a community, it takes strong leadership, and I hope I am the right guy for this, because I choose to do this, I was asked to do it, and I said yes … can I [alone] sustain it? Nope, but I can do everything I can to make sure the pieces are in place so that it becomes sustainable.”

Conversation turned back to the EBD program, with a question about how HPE became a regional program host for it – why doesn’t the school have other major programs too, such as STEM or Spectrum?

Vela said he was too new to the district to have been present for such decisions “but I can find out.”

The program is just somewhat draining for school leadership to deal with and still meet other students’ needs, suggested Jim, a 20-year resident with four kids who says his family “chose Highland Park when it wasn’t popular to,” since they live a block away and saw value in attending the nearest school. Over the span of 2002-2012, he said, someone in his family was an HPE student. He also offered advice for school and community leaders: “What brings families together is events, not meetings.”

Standing up from the audience next was Jonathan Knapp, president of the citywide teachers’ union, the Seattle Education Association, saying he was there because he lives in Highland Park too. He spoke of the value of collaborating with staff and community, and the importance of funding. HPE got funding, “but the collaboration around that wasn’t there … money alone doesn’t make that happen,” he warned, even though, he added, our state’s School Improvement Grant recipients make more gains than recipients elsewhere in the country. And Knapp added a pitch for state Initiative 1351 (still in signature-gathering mode), aiming at lowering class sizes.

“What as a community can we do to be more involved?” asked an HPAC leader, Nicole Mazza. The group has visited the school for volunteer reading, but, she said, she could envision more, since, for example, she does STEM-education volunteering through Boeing but has never seen an opportunity to do that in her own neighborhood.

“That’s because there’s no system to make it happen,” Cronas said. He’s been talking to other principals, to figure out how to set one up, he said. Before the meeting ended, he also warned that test scores will look worse before they look better, because of the nationwide shift to new types of tests related to the Common Core. He said the first states to roll it out, including Kentucky and New York, “saw 30- to 40-point drops in test scores the first year, across demographics … (So) when we see improvement, it’s going to look different, the numbers are going to look different …”

Throughout the meeting, the city leaders on hand had been mostly quiet, listening. Deputy mayor Kim spoke, finally, saying, “We’re not silent because we’re shy, but because this is a conversation your community needs to have with your school leadership.” She said Mayor Murray has recognized income inequality as an issue, “the gap between the haves and have-nots,” and that he “fundamentally believes in a holistic approach.”

Though time constraints were bringing the meeting to a close, one attendee declared, “I don’t want to be here in another year, fighting again … I don’t want to leave without something tangible, I want to make a different in this community. Tell us what we can do.”

The meeting ended, before attendees broke into informal small conversations, with a vow of collaboration, a request for community members to get into the schools, a recognition of its dedication to help find solutions, and a promise that school-community leaders will come back for more conversation.

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/highland-park-elementarys-neighbors-learn-of-its-challenges-offer-help-with-solutions-tell-us-what-we-can-do/feed/ 35
Another ruling: Appeal rejected, Genesee Hill school plan affirmed http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/another-ruling-in-appeal-rejected-genesee-hill-school-plan-affirmed/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/another-ruling-in-appeal-rejected-genesee-hill-school-plan-affirmed/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 22:46:22 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=282440 One month after we reported on an appeal hearing set for aspects of the Genesee Hill Elementary School project, the decision has just been made public: The appeal has been rejected. Appellants included a half-dozen area residents and school-district watchdog Chris Jackins, challenging/questioning project components including the zoning exception for the school’s height, where the bulk of its building will be placed on the site, plans for on-street school-bus loading, and the amount of on-site off-street parking. We were not able to cover the appeal hearing held downtown eight days ago, but its points and the Hearing Examiner’s findings are recapped in the decision document – see it here. Next, we’ll be checking with Seattle Public Schools regarding their timetable for starting work on the new school.

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/another-ruling-in-appeal-rejected-genesee-hill-school-plan-affirmed/feed/ 10
Milestone reunion! Chief Sealth Class of 1984 this weekend http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/milestone-reunion-chief-sealth-class-of-1984-this-weekend/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/milestone-reunion-chief-sealth-class-of-1984-this-weekend/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 04:38:08 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=282351 Out of the WSB inbox, one last net-casting for Chief Sealth Class of 1984 alums – this weekend is 30-year reunion time, and three events are planned:

*Alumni Mixer – Friday; August 15th at 7:00 pm*
Maxi’s Lounge at the DoubleTree Hotel
18740 International Blvd; Seattle

*Alumni Spouse/Partner Dinner – Saturday; August 16th at 6:00 pm*
Talarico’s Pizza – West Seattle Junction
4718 California Ave SW

*Family Picnic – Sunday; August 17th at 12:00 noon*
Lincoln Park – Picnic Area near the south parking lot

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/milestone-reunion-chief-sealth-class-of-1984-this-weekend/feed/ 3
You can help! Community support meeting Tuesday for Highland Park Elementary http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/you-can-help-community-support-meeting-tomorrow-for-highland-park-elementary/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/you-can-help-community-support-meeting-tomorrow-for-highland-park-elementary/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 18:51:14 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=282174 The new school year is less than four weeks away, and there’s a push to muster support for one local school that needs it more than ever, Highland Park Elementary. If you can help – or want to at least find out how to – you can do that tomorrow night. For the basic story, here’s the invitation that Highland Park Action Committee co-chairs Carolyn and Billy Stauffer wrote to district, city, and other leaders:

(HPAC’s) role is to affect positive change in our neighborhood, and we have historically been active in bringing together a voice for our neighborhood, which has faced many challenges.

We hosted parent Peter Weiss at our May community meeting, who came to speak with us as a member of the Highland Park Elementary PTA. In discussing his ideas with us to organize a 5K as a fundraiser for the school, the community learned about the state of affairs for our local school – Highland Park Elementary is ranked last in the Seattle Public School System.

Some of our members were brought to tears with this news, exhausted by what feels like yet another blind eye turned towards our community from our leaders. We write to you in response to a request that night from the community to get some answers as to why our school is doing so badly and what the plan is for improvement. We have since discussed this idea with the PTA and have formed a partnership in our efforts. We, along with incoming PTA president Sol Mendez, would like to invite you to a meeting to discuss the school, and answer some questions from our community.

And that invitation is for you too. Come to the Highland Park Improvement Club (12th/Holden) tomorrow night (Tuesday, August 12th), at 7 pm. HPAC says the RSVPs so far include HPES’s new principal Chris Cronas, school-board member Marty McLaren, and City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

ADDED TUESDAY: HPAC co-chair Carolyn Stauffer says the school district’s executive director of schools for this area, Israel Vela, also has RSVP’d.

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/you-can-help-community-support-meeting-tomorrow-for-highland-park-elementary/feed/ 4
New playground for Pigeon Point! Pathfinder project gets grant, announces ‘paint party’ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/new-playground-for-pigeon-point-pathfinder-project-gets-grant-announces-paint-party/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/new-playground-for-pigeon-point-pathfinder-project-gets-grant-announces-paint-party/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 19:13:54 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=281848


(Click image to see full-size site plan/design by Johnson Southerland as PDF)
The new playground for Pigeon Point is getting ever closer to reality. Pathfinder K-8 Playground outreach co-chairs Holli Margell and Toni Wells are sharing the following update that includes a chance for you to help out at an upcoming “paint party”:

The Pathfinder Playground Revamp was awarded the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Matching Fund large grant! Thanks to the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods for helping us really get the ball rolling with our new design. Our playground is now 40% funded, and our fundraising team has kicked into gear to help us get the rest of the way there.

August Paint Party:

August 21st, the playground is getting a little facelift in preparation for our new design. With a Capital One $4,000 grant for the school, we are having a work party to do projects all over the school–and the playground is one of them. That means we can get started painting the braided stream and adding new features like a labyrinth and accurate US map. The foursquares, hopscotch, and old marking will be refreshed too.

Are you ready to help us on August 21st? We need 6-8 folks ready to help lead the volunteers for the day, help organize supplies the day before, and a few creatives to help us make stencils to add some critter prints to the playground. Interested? E-mail pathfinderplayground2014@gmail.com – thank you!

New design (above):

The school district is still working on the feasibility of the fence changes, but we expect that to be part of phase one. If fundraising needs are met, and the bids come in as expected, the equipment and surfacing of the blue areas will also be included in Phase 1, which could start Summer 2015.

The playground is on the north side of the Pathfinder campus at 1901 SW Genesee (map).

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/new-playground-for-pigeon-point-pathfinder-project-gets-grant-announces-paint-party/feed/ 1
Congratulations! Two awards for Sealth teacher DeAira Handugan http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/congratulations-two-awards-for-sealth-teacher-deaira-handugan/ http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/congratulations-two-awards-for-sealth-teacher-deaira-handugan/#comments Tue, 05 Aug 2014 16:51:03 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=281567

Thanks to Chief Sealth International High School assistant principal Cheryl Sullivan for the photo and news: This morning in Yakima at the conference of the Washington Association for Career and Technical Education, Sealth teacher DeAira Handugan (left) “received the WA-ACTE New Teacher of the Year Award. She will represent Washington (and Sealth!) at the regional awards in April, 2015, in Kansas City.” That’s an honor for a teacher in specialties including woodshop, agriculture, auto body, video production, computer, business, and her specialty, Family and Consumer Sciences, for which Handugan also is being honored by the organization today, with the “outstanding service to Family and Consumer Sciences” awards. Congratulations!

SIDE NOTE: While teachers and staff start back sooner, this year’s first day of classes for Seattle Public Schools is four weeks from tomorrow – Wednesday, September 3.

]]>
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/08/congratulations-two-awards-for-sealth-teacher-deaira-handugan/feed/ 3