‘We’re being held for ransom’: Anger voiced by Gatewood Elementary parents told to raise $90,000 to keep a teacher

October 8, 2014 at 10:19 am | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 49 Comments

(1:44 PM UPDATE: SPS says in a statement that “Gatewood teaching staff will remain intact” because of the fundraising campaign – full statement is at the end of this story)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

They’re raising the money, but they’re angry about it.

While one group of Gatewood Elementary parents filled the chairs at School Board director Marty McLaren‘s regular community-conversation meeting last night, another led a fundraiser at a private home, toward their goal of raising $90,000 – described by some as “ransom” – to keep Seattle Public Schools from removing a teacher from their school.

Though they learned about the planned cut less than a week ago (here’s our original report), their fundraising campaign – including a hastily organized Saturday bake sale – has brought in $52,000.

That impressed McLaren, who opened last night’s meeting by saying, “I just want to acknowledge the extraordinary show of force that the Gatewood community has made … my sense is that many people from West Seattle proper have really invested in this. It’s really something.”

But also really something the parents can’t believe they have had to do.

“I am outraged,” declared one attendee. “I am just outraged that a major-city school district would try and pull a stunt like this … I cannot believe we are being asked to pay for a teacher salary. This is a major city, I cannot imagine this happening anywhere else in the country.” She drew applause.

“We’re being held for ransom for someone else’s mistake … and it feels precedent setting,” said another. “I don’t want a single dime of that money to go to the district that has a record of poor judgment and misuse … I feel it’s going to happen to another school.”

Click to read the rest of ‘We’re being held for ransom’: Anger voiced by Gatewood Elementary parents told to raise $90,000 to keep a teacher…

Followup: ‘Friends of Gatewood’ continue fundraising to keep a teacher

October 6, 2014 at 9:03 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 4 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Tomorrow night, West Seattle’s representative on the Seattle Public Schools board, Marty McLaren, convenes her second community-conversation meeting since the start of the new school year. And the topics are expected to include Gatewood Elementary parents’ unusual campaign to raise enough money to keep a teacher.

We first reported on the situation Thursday; because of enrollment numbers that differed from projections, the district said it planned to reduce the teaching staff at Gatewood by one, moving a teacher to newly reopened Fairmount Park Elementary. At both schools, parents say, the result would include moving students around in multiple classes.

Gatewood parents say that circumstances at their school, including its programs with full inclusion for Emotional/Behavioral Disorder students, mean they cannot afford the disruption of losing a teacher now:

Click to read the rest of Followup: ‘Friends of Gatewood’ continue fundraising to keep a teacher…

Update: Gatewood Elementary ‘save the teacher’ bake sale

October 4, 2014 at 12:16 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 49 Comments

12:16 PM: The sale is on at California and Myrtle, half a block east of Gatewood Elementary, whose families are trying to raise $90,000 in a matter of days to keep a teacher – if you missed our earlier stories, here are the Thursday (with 100 comments) and Friday reports. All ages are helping out, from facepainting …

… to beverage-pouring …

Laura posed with the apple-shaped tote board as things got going after 10 am:

While we were there, somebody gave them a drive-up donation:

They say they’ll be out as long as possible.

2 PM UPDATE: Organizers say they have raised $35,500 so far, including “an anonymous $10,000 donation.”

3:15 PM UPDATE: Just in from Gatewood parent Kevin Kincade:

Both the Feedback Lounge and The Bridge will have donation boxes to support the Friends of Gatewood tonight. Go and have a drink and kick in a few extra bucks to help save a teacher. It’s a win-win! This is to support their cause of raising $90,000 in order to save a teacher at the school. Any and all donations will be appreciated. Thanks!

Kevin adds, “And one more update — they are in their last hour at the bake sale now (3:15) so come by and get some goodies before we shut down.”

Just as we were adding this update, we received a photo from Sam with donation collectors at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor):

We’ve had a few other community-contributed photos come in, and we’ll be adding to the story.

4:59 PM: We’re told that Beveridge Place Pub has joined the list above of nearby establishments that will have donation boxes tonight.

ADDED LATE SATURDAY: An update and thanks from Nicole Sipila:

We had an amazing day. Many times I was brought to tears and for those folks who know me, that is not an easy feat.

In the bank, as of 4:00 closing time, we have collected $35,300.00 We also have approx. $8,500.ish coming back to the school from a grant that the PTA made last year, so that would put us at $43,000ish to our ultimate goal of $90,000!

Yes, we had one anonymous donor with a check for $10,000. Another for $5000 and yet another for $1000!!!! I was moved to tears at all of these checks! But I was even more emotional about some of the small moments that happened today.

First, we had an amazing parent, teacher turnout. Bringing baked goods and just handing us cash, saying, “Keep it. If you don’t make your goal, do something great with the money for the kids.”

Also, one set of parents who happen to be foster parents, who had heard that many of the GW teachers would be contributing $500 and they wanted to match that amount. Then I learn that these are foster parents of a child at GW that might be going back to birth parents at the end of the month and they didn’t want a refund if we don’t meet our goal! “Keep it, do something good with it!” Yes, I was a teary mess.

We had some ADORABLE little Gators who were standing on the corners collecting drive by donations. They had walked down toward Thriftway and passed by the Real Change vendor that hangs out by McDonald’s. This man, who doesn’t have much himself, gave these children a dollar. I am tearing up just writing this.

Plus all the other small moments, the Schmitz Park 1st grade teacher (young and new to the district) who stopped by with friends who just wanted “to support us and our teachers.” And all the other schools who posted our event on their web sites (STEM and Fairmount Park) and the parents of other schools who stopped by to drop off small donations just to say, “We support you.”

I am truly blessed to be apart of this community and am amazed at the generously of friends and strangers.

High-school football: Chief Sealth homecoming victory vs. Franklin

October 4, 2014 at 6:36 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | Comments Off

(Photos & video by WSB co-publisher Patrick Sand)
Chief Sealth International High School‘s defense was the star of their 47-6 homecoming win over Franklin last night at Southwest Athletic Complex. But the whole team emerged with energy – watch our short Instagram clip to the end:


Since it was homecoming, that was just the start of the festivities, which also featured the band, directed by Marcus Pimpleton:

They marched onto the field before the game right behind the cheer squad:

And showed off new moves at halftime:

The game was already 27-0 by halftime, by the way. But backtracking to the start of play:

Starting with recovering a fumble (photo above) for the first score of the game, it was the defense who managed to hold Franklin to a single touchdown- a run back of the second-half kickoff. Among the Sealth players who scored TDs, #5 Alloney Burris:

And #23 Czai Terrell:

Though a consistent ground game put up most of the points, Sealth’s passing game had some major gains against Franklin. #12 Weston Reed passed to #3 Jalonzo Smallwood for one of the Seahawks’ TDs. Here’s Reed in another play, with #30 Heriberto DeLuna:

In addition to the homecoming revelry, the night also brought birthday wishes for #59 Sam Tino:

This was the season’s second win for the Seahawks and head coach Simon Iniguez.

A road game is next up for Sealth, vs. Ingraham, 7 pm Friday at Northwest Athletic Complex.

High-school football: West Seattle HS vs. Roosevelt

October 4, 2014 at 6:34 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | Comments Off

One local varsity-football team played on the road Friday night – West Seattle High School. At Memorial Stadium downtown, Roosevelt blanked the Wildcats, 39-0. Next Friday, WSHS hosts Cleveland, 7 pm at Southwest Athletic Complex.

Followup: ‘Biggest bake sale imaginable’ Saturday as Gatewood Elementary families raise money to keep a teacher

October 3, 2014 at 8:36 pm | In Gatewood, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 54 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

One day after news began to spread of a district-ordered teacher-reallocation move affecting two local elementary schools, one is launching a short-time, big-sum fundraising drive: $90,000 needed by Wednesday, to keep from losing a teacher.

We first reported Thursday afternoon on the situation that could result in one teacher being moved from Gatewood Elementary to newly reopened Fairmount Park Elementary. Fairmount has more students than planned for, the district says, while Gatewood has fewer first-graders than planned for.

While the district has not publicly identified the teacher that would be moved from Gatewood to Fairmount Park, Gatewood parents say the current version of the plan would move first-grade teacher Ms. Morgan. Parent Tracy Clarkson sent the photo at right, her twin daughter and son with Ms. Morgan, who is their teacher. Says Clarkson, “We are longtime West Seattlers, but new to Gatewood. We cannot lose this teacher!”

Another parent e-mailed more details about what will happen tomorrow, and beyond:

Gatewood is mobilizing. We need to raise $90,000 by Wednesday morning. We have about 10% thus far. Disbelievingly, our beloved teachers have each committed $500.

The parents of Gatewood and their children are planning to hold the biggest bake sale imaginable tomorrow starting at 10 a.m. at California and Myrtle and going on throughout the day.

We ask for any community support from everyone. Even if not a monetary donation, we appreciate moral support, too. The families and teachers could sure use it right now.

A donation account was set up late today at Chase Bank; you can donate at Chase and tell them it’s for “Friends of Gatewood.” Parents say online fundraising is not an option because they have to have the cash in hand by Wednesday morning, and online donations wouldn’t be disbursable that way.

They are hoping at least to get a time extension, and say that the district’s executive director of schools in this area, Israel Vela, indicated support for that in phone calls today to parents who had left him messages about this.

Meanwhile, the district responded to a followup question we had sent yesterday. At the ribbon-cutting for Fairmount Park on September 2nd, the day before the new school year began, it was announced they anticipated opening with 380 students. The current enrollment cited by the district is just below that. So why is an adjustment being made just now? District spokesperson Lesley Rogers replied with this backstory:

In August we decided to fund an additional teacher (the student projection [for Fairmount Park] went from 290 to 329, or 39 additional students). This was part of an overall district assessment that resulted in 26 schools having adds or pulls, with a net 2.0 addition. We also added in 2 schools based on high urgency (Arbor Heights and Alki Elementary).

We decided to wait to address FTE [full-time-student equivalent] adjustments due to the traditional student movement, wait list, data cleanup, and no-shows that happens in the first 2-3 weeks of school. The student enrollment reached 368 at 9/22 (Fairmount Park).

The other component was the budget situation. Our mitigation fund was depleted after the last 2 adds. We decided to wait to find out what schools have significantly lost student enrollment, as Gatewood, to transfer FTEs.

Overall, we are waiting for the official 10/1 counts that will be reported on 10/12 to recommend more staffing adjustments. At the same time we are using the current student count to identify the hot spots adjustments and deploy/execute earlier.

We’ll continue to follow up.

ADDED 5:26 AM SATURDAY: Overnight, we received the letter to the community, drafted by organizers of the fundraising drive. Click (or scroll) ahead to read it:
Click to read the rest of Followup: ‘Biggest bake sale imaginable’ Saturday as Gatewood Elementary families raise money to keep a teacher…

School boundary changes: West Seattle meeting next Wednesday

October 3, 2014 at 3:01 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 7 Comments

(WSB photo, taken this morning: Demolition continues at ex-Genesee Hill Elementary)
Because of changes including new school construction (like the Genesee Hill site, above), the Seattle Public Schools board voted last November to approve boundary changes that are being phased in over the next five-plus years. Some take effect next school year (2015-2016), so the district is having three public meetings next week to talk about those. The meeting for families in West Seattle is at 6:30 pm next Wednesday (October 8th) in the lunchroom at Fairmount Park Elementary (38th/Findlay). Eight elementaries in West Seattle, and both local middle schools (which means both high schools too, because of our area’s feeder pattern), will be affected by the boundary changes, with new maps linked from school names here. In some cases, the changes are relatively small – the Gatewood boundary changes, for example, would affect up to 10 students.

If this wasn’t on your radar, you probably have questions. The district has an FAQ online, including this:

This does not mean that students must change schools. Students currently enrolled at an elementary may stay at that elementary through 5th grade as long as the services they need are available. This is called grandfathering. New students will be assigned based on the updated boundaries.

(Thanks to Mary for pointing us to the saveseattleschools.blogspot.com report mentioning this – the meetings were not previously on our radar.)

West Seattle schools: Fairmount Park, Gatewood teacher swap sparks parent concern

October 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 108 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The start of October – one month into the new school year – is when Seattle Public Schools traditionally has to make adjustments for unexpected circumstances at some of its campuses.

One such circumstance is about to affect two elementary schools in West Seattle, and we’ve been hearing all day from parents who are unhappy about it. At least one of the schools involved called a last-minute after-school meeting today to talk with families about it, and the district says other communications tools are being used.

In short, the newly reopened Fairmount Park Elementary School has more students than planned for – 367 in K-5 – and needs another teacher. Gatewood Elementary (with 405 total students), meantime, has fewer first-graders than expected – they had projected and staffed for four classes, but only need three. So, explains SPS spokesperson Lesley Rogers in response to our request for information, “In order to be fiscally responsible and assure our funding was being used where the greatest student need existed, at this time the district identified the opportunity to reduce Gatewood’s teaching staff by one teacher and increase Fairmount Park’s teaching staff by one teacher. This required no additional funding, and put the teacher where the need was greatest.”

It’s not entirely that simple, according to what parents have been sending us today. One Gatewood parent says the swap would involve sending the no-longer-needed-in-first-grade Gatewood teacher to a fourth-grade team-teaching class, and one teacher from that team, in its third year, would in turn be sent to Fairmount Park. Another letter circulating among parents also points out that 20 Gatewood first-graders will be going to new classrooms after a month.

Some parents are reported to be talking about raising money to keep an extra teacher at Gatewood. They tell us there is urgency to this, because apparently the decisions involving the teacher moves have to be finalized within a few days.

One Gatewood parent’s letter to this region’s Executive Director of Schools Israel Vela and School Board director Marty McLaren was forwarded to us. In part, it lists the concerns as:

This will disrupt teachers and students in harmful ways, including:

* Time and energy that teachers put toward creating a classroom environment and
bonding with students will be totally lost.

* Students will be abandoned by the teacher that they now know and thrown into a
new learning environment, including different classmates more than a month into the
school year.

* The size of 1st grade classes at Gatewood will go up.

* Teacher morale will go down.

* The parent groups that have risen up and come together to support each classroom will be divided.

* The relationship between Gatewood and Fairmount jeopardized.

Students will feel all of this. My child will be hurt by this plan. I ask you to take immediate action to prevent this plan.

This isn’t the only school that’s had to make changes, says district spokesperson Rogers: “The district made a commitment to our school leaders, teachers and families to quickly resolve over-crowding issues as close to our Oct. 1 enrollment count as possible. Earlier in September we were able to respond to overcrowding concerns at Alki and Arbor Heights with additional kindergarten teachers. We had been communicating with principals for the past several weeks regarding changes coming and this was one.”

In case you’re confused by the description of “overcrowding” at Fairmount Park, with fewer than 400 in a school expanded to 500 capacity, we were too; Rogers explains that it has to do with the contractual maximum number of students that can be in a class. Thanks again to everyone who tipped us on this; we’ll be following up.

ADDED 10:30 PM THURSDAY: Two notes – First, JTD looked up contact information for key district personnel; find it here. Second, several parents shared word that the Gatewood PTA has called a meeting related to this for 6:30 pm October 14th (bylaws require 10 days’ notice) in the school library.

ADDED 11:32 AM FRIDAY: A parent has forwarded a message from Gatewood principal Connie Aleman, who says the district has reached this decision and notified her of it:

Unless a teacher volunteers by October 7, the least senior teacher at Gatewood will be transferred to Fairmount Park. She/he is expected to report to duty at Fairmount Park on Friday October 10th. Gatewood’s four first grade classrooms will be consolidated into three and students will begin learning in that configuration on Monday October 13. This decision is based upon the Collective Bargaining Agreement, which is a contract agreed upon by both the district and the teachers’ union. It is also based on the Weighted Staffing Standards, which are established by the Seattle School District.

If we want to keep Gatewood’s staffing and class configurations as they are now, the district will allow us to raise the money to pay for a full time certified teaching position. Unfortunately, we must raise the money to fund that 1.0 FTE by October 8th. If it is not possible to raise the money by then, we can continue efforts to raise the money but the reduction in a teacher will occur October 10th and we will have to hire a different teacher when the money is raised.

If a specific fundraising campaign is under way, we hope to receive details so we can publish a new story about it – editor@westseattleblog.com – thanks!

Chief Sealth student(s) in the family? New ways to get info

October 1, 2014 at 8:56 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

If you have a Chief Sealth International High School student in the family, the school’s staff wants to make sure you’re connected with new ways to get information. Librarian Katie Hubert forwarded this:

Chief Sealth International High School has implemented a new communications plan to better keep our community informed about the many happenings at our school.

1. Weekly newsletters (the Seahawk Weekly News) are attached to

2. a weekly phone call update from Principal Fraser-Hammer, both of which are sent on Sunday evenings.

3. The third element of our new communication plan is the CSI Monthly Reader, a compilation of the many events, programs, services, and achievements that take place each month at Sealth.

Parents/families who have not received the phone calls or news publications should call or email the school to update their contact information.

Phone: 206.252.8550 email: kahubert@seattleschools.org

High-school sports: West Seattle HS soccer hosts Bainbridge

October 1, 2014 at 5:35 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | Comments Off

The division-leading Bainbridge High School girls-soccer team crossed the Sound to play West Seattle High School on Tuesday afternoon.

Tough match for the Wildcats, but their loyal cheering section was on hand at Walt Hundley Playfield in High Point.

The Spartans went back to Bainbridge with a 6-1 win. After they scored the first goal, WSHS answered with one of their own, by Kate Veenhuizen, but they were shut out after that.

Next game for WSHS is tomorrow (Thursday, October 2nd), again at Walt Hundley (34th/Myrtle), 3:30 pm vs. Roosevelt.

New speed cameras on Roxbury: ‘Real’ tickets start Thursday

September 29, 2014 at 11:31 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle police, West Seattle schools | 34 Comments

(WSB file photo – camera near Roxhill Elementary)
The new speed-enforcement cameras on SW Roxbury – in the Roxhill Elementary and Holy Family school zones – will start issuing “real” tickets this Thursday, October 2nd, as planned. We just checked with Seattle Police to verify that, and they confirm that the “warning period,” which started on September 3rd, ends Wednesday. If you received a “warning” ticket this month, we’d be interested to hear from you (please comment or e-mail us); we asked for information on how many “warnings” have been issued and are told we’ll have to request that via the public-disclosure process, so it might take a while. According to an SPD-provided info-sheet, West Seattle’s first speed-cam zone, Fauntleroy Way near Gatewood Elementary, was responsible for 5,500 $189 citations last school year. The city expects to add more cameras next year, but hasn’t announced the locations yet.

West Seattle High School homecoming: Battling Beach

September 27, 2014 at 2:36 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | Comments Off

(#54 Emanuel Santos, #17 Robert Harrelson, #22 Fynniecko Glover, #85 Andrew Burggraff)
As always for homecoming games, the football was just part of it. West Seattle High School celebrated homecoming tonight at Southwest Athletic Complex, and of course there was royalty – seniors Annalisa Ursino and Maxwell Eronimous

Juniors Casey Hart and Ezra Sarmiento

And the band, under the direction of Ethan Thomas, put on a show …

Here’s video:

Now, to the football. Rainier Beach left with the victory, 44-18, but the game was closer for much of the first two thirds. Two of the Wildcats’ three touchdowns were by #44, senior Gavin Garcia-Penor, starting with the first play of the second quarter:

The other West Seattle TD was scored by senior Carter Mensing toward the end of the second quarter; at the half, it was Rainier Beach 15, WSHS 12. West Seattle took the lead, 18-15, with Garcia-Penor’s second touchdown in the third quarter. But that’s where the Wildcats’ scoring ended, and Beach scored 29 unanswered points before the game came to a close.

Coach Tom Burggraff‘s Wildcats play Roosevelt next Friday night (October 3rd), 7:45 pm at Memorial Stadium.

High-school football: Chief Sealth vs. Ballard downtown

September 27, 2014 at 1:20 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

Tonight’s team on the road: Chief Sealth International High School, the opponent for Ballard‘s homecoming game at Memorial Stadium downtown. Final score, BHS 48, CSIHS 20. According to the play-by-play on Ballard’s Twitter feed, the Beavers were up 21-0 before the Seahawks’ first touchdown with 4:59 left in the first half; the halftime score was 28-6. As the second half began, Sealth returned the opening kick for another TD, and got their third and final touchdown on a 48-yard run with less than 6 minutes left in the game. Sealth is home at Southwest Athletic Complex next Friday night (October 3rd), 7 pm, vs. Franklin.

Arbor Heights Elementary School demolition, four weeks in

September 26, 2014 at 11:03 am | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

As our short Instagram clip shows, the last building semi-standing at the old Arbor Heights Elementary School is getting the wrecking-ball-style treatment right now. It’s been exactly four weeks after the heavy-duty equipment first dug into the buildings there, almost ceremonially, on the Friday afternoon before Labor Day. Now the campus is piled high with rubble:

Once the site clearing is done, the project is expected to stop down from November to February. For a look at the new school that will then be built, check our coverage of the community briefing/Q-A meeting in June.

ADDED: Thanks to Mike R. for the view looking eastward over the full site:

We’ll check this weekend on the other old West Seattle school being demolished to make room for a replacement, Genesee Hill.

Seattle Lutheran: First football home game of the year; new athletic director

September 26, 2014 at 3:31 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | Comments Off

(#22 wide receiver Brandon Lulow, #3 quarterback Isaiah Dowding-Albrecht)
Photos and story by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publisher

The first home game of the year is in the books for Seattle Lutheran High School‘s football team.

The Saints had trouble stopping Tulalip Heritage at West Seattle Stadium on Thursday night; the Hawks scored seemingly every time they touched the ball, winning 58-0.

In the second half, quarterback Isaiah Dowding-Albrecht put together a solid passing game, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Tulalip’s speed and ability to find the open field.

It was the first time they had played in West Seattle Stadium as an eight-man team. First-year athletic director Dave Sleighter told WSB in an interview earlier this week that the shift from the traditional 11-man to eight-man came after the WIAA re-evaluated the school divisions, which led to Lutheran moving from the 2B Division to 1B Division. Sleighter said the change wasn’t all that welcome among the players when it was announced, but he said they took to the new format after they practiced a few times. Sleighter said it’s a faster and more offense-oriented kind of play, and that’s why the team has really embraced the new format.

As AD, Sleighter is successor to Bob Dowding, who remains at SLHS as an assistant for football. Sleighter also is serving as theology instructor. He was baseball coach when he arrived last year; he came here from Crean Lutheran HS in Irvine, California, after getting a call from Dowding. But he isn’t new to Seattle – he is originally from here, and had been looking for a way to return, so when Dowding’s call came somewhat out of the blue, he was glad that way had found him.

Next home game for SLHS football is homecoming, October 18th, vs. Rainier Christian.

2 local flu-shot clinics for Seattle Public Schools students, staff, families – and community members

September 25, 2014 at 11:02 am | In Health, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

(UPDATE: We’re told ANYONE is welcome to come to these clinics – adults must have either proof of insurance or else $28 payment, but no student will be turned away for lack of insurance, says Sealth nurse Alison Enochs)

ORIGINAL REPORT: Just out of the WSB inbox:

Seattle Public Schools is partnering with the Seattle Visiting Nurse Association to provide flu shot clinics for all students, staff, and their families at no charge, with proof of current medical insurance.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the single best protection from influenza is to receive a flu shot each year. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months old and over be vaccinated against the flu.

West Seattle clinic locations and dates:

* Chief Sealth High School: Wednesday, October 8, 4-7:30 pm
* West Seattle High School: Monday, October 20, 2:30-7 pm

Clinics will be open to all Seattle Public Schools children (4 years of age and older) and their families. Please note that students under the age of 18 will need a Patient Consent Form signed by a parent or guardian. Patient Consent Forms are available at the clinics, or click here to download.

All participants will be asked to provide their health insurance information (card) to receive an immunization. SVNA will electronically bill the insurance plan for your flu shot. They bill all insurance plans including Apple Health (Washington State Medicaid) plans. Flu shots are considered preventive care and are not subject to deductibles or co-pays. This means no out-of-pocket expense for participants.

This is happening districtwide – here’s the full list.

Update: Why Sealth, Denny, Roxhill were briefly ‘sheltering in place’

September 23, 2014 at 2:18 pm | In Safety, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 8 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 2:18 PM: Several parents messaged us about Chief Sealth International High Schoolsheltering in place” for a while this afternoon. It was related to a report that a teenager had been seen in the Westwood Village area with what looked like a gun. Seattle Public Schools spokesperson Stacy Howard says police found the teen, who turned out to have an Airsoft gun, but was not threatening anyone. She says Sealth, Denny International Middle School, and Roxhill Elementary sheltered in place for less than half an hour, and it’s over now.

ADDED 8:50 PM: Denny assistant principal Patricia Rangel has forwarded the letter that Denny and Sealth parents will get explaining the situation:

What needs fixing at your school? Which schools are in the worst condition? See the new district report

September 23, 2014 at 10:20 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 14 Comments

In February 2016, Seattle Public Schools will ask you to vote for the next BTA (Buildings/Technology/Academics/Athletics) capital levy. To help decide which projects that levy should include, the district has had a consultant evaluate the physical condition of buildings and campuses around the district. The result: A just-released report on what needs fixing and how much it would cost, school by school. That report’s just been made public, and if you want to jump right to one or more schools of interest, you’ll find the three-part report here, with each part linked separately from that page. If you only have time to look at ONE part right now, it’s the third/fourth page of the third document, featuring this graphic:


That’s the ranking of the “educational adequacy” of district schools, NOT in terms of academics, just in terms of building/campus condition – the **lower** the score, the better. Denny International Middle School, only three years old, is ranked most adequate.

(UPDATED 10:48 AM: Thanks for pointing out the omission – we’ve added the second page of the graphic, which shows the Boren Building is in the worst shape of any West Seattle building not scheduled for replacement and currently in use as a public-school building. Schmitz Park, EC Hughes, and Arbor Heights are “less adequate,” but SP’s program will move into the new Genesee Hill school in 2016, Hughes is leased right now and will be mothballed for “emergency” SPS use starting next year, and the old AH is being torn down for a rebuild.)

WHAT’S NEXT? In the announcement of this report’s availability, the district promises to “engage the community over the next 13 months and ask for input and feedback with regard to projects to be included in the BTA IV capital levy.”

West Seattle High School homecoming Friday! Band tunes up at Husky Stadium; Booster Club invites you to postgame party

September 23, 2014 at 1:07 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

7 pm this Friday, it’s the West Seattle High School homecoming game, with Rainier Beach visiting at Southwest Athletic Complex. Two WSHS notes, looking ahead, starting with the band:

BAND TUNEUP: Rich DeVore of the WSHS Music Boosters shared photos from the 62nd High School Band Day at Husky Stadium last weekend, with 35 WSHS Marching Band members among the more than 2,000 high-school-band members participating from across the state. They’re the blue-and-white group at left below:

The event included a performance by all the visiting band members (which Rich says included Chief Sealth International High School) at halftime of the UW-Georgia State football game. You can cheer for them right here in West Seattle during Friday night’s game here in West Seattle, when they’ll perform a halftime show, under the direction of Ethan Thomas.

‘FIFTH QUARTER RALLY’ AFTER THE HOMECOMING GAME: From the West Seattle Booster Club:

The West Seattle Booster Club invites you to celebrate WSHS Homecoming with us. This *Friday, September 26th, 7 pm, is the Homecoming Football game at SWAC – please come and cheer on the Wildcats.

After the game, please join us for a “5th Quarter Rally” at Pecado Bueno in the West Seattle Junction. Mingle with friends and family and celebrate our amazing school and students! (Adult function – over 21 only). We hope to see you. Thank you for your support!

Later start time for teenagers in Seattle Public Schools? You’re invited to be on the task force

September 22, 2014 at 3:28 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 18 Comments

Seattle Public Schools have long been urged to look at later start times for its oldest students. The School Board decided to review the idea, and now, the district is setting up a task force, according to today’s announcement, which invites you to apply:

Recent sleep research indicates that adolescents’ normal sleep patterns and health may be supported by later school start times. Seattle Public Schools is forming a year-long task force to analyze a potential change in bell times throughout the district. The task force members will review the sleep research and study potential implementation impacts including benefits and challenges for starting elementary schools earlier, and middle and high schools later.

Click to read the rest of Later start time for teenagers in Seattle Public Schools? You’re invited to be on the task force…

One more ‘first day of school’: South Seattle College, tomorrow

September 21, 2014 at 8:32 pm | In Puget Ridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 4 Comments

(WSB photo, taken this afternoon)
Fall quarter starts tomorrow at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor). According to the official announcement, changes for fall include a new Bachelor’s Degree program, Sustainable Building Science Technology, a “90-credit degree program (that) offers industry professionals a pathway to becoming a skilled Building Science Professional. The program emphasizes upper-division coursework that focuses on the complexities of building science, energy codes, building codes and facility management.” Also: What were known as the International Programs at SSC are now under the umbrella of the renamed Center for International Education, which moved to a new space on campus over the summer, housing services ranging “from aiding international students … to Study Abroad programs and international staff/faculty exchange opportunities.”

P.S. Registration for SSC classes is still open, even with school starting tomorrow – here’s the info on that.

West Seattle demolition watch: Next ‘microhousing’; school rebuilds

September 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm | In Development, West Seattle housing, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 9 Comments

Three updates from West Seattle’s current demolition/redevelopment/rebuilding boom:

PERMIT APPLICATION FOR NEXT ‘MICROHOUSING’ SITE: On Friday, the demolition-permit application turned up in the city’s online files for 3268 Avalon Way, the microhousing building set to go up between the 35th/Avalon 7-11 and its sibling Footprint Avalon I building. A temporary-power pole has already been up in front of the site for a while. The new microhousing rules, including clarity on number of units, won’t be affecting this project or others already in the pipeline; note the last line of the screengrab from the city webpage:

Each “unit” in current city code stands for up to eight individually rented sleeping rooms.

GENESEE HILL SCHOOL DEMOLITION: Now in even higher gear. Here’s what we were to see from SW Genesee after the end of Friday’s workday:

The current Schmitz Park Elementary program is scheduled to move into a new 650-student campus (not much more capacity than the current SPES enrollment) here in 2016.

ARBOR HEIGHTS SCHOOL DEMOLITION: This is now moving quickly too. Thanks to Mike R. for the end-of-week view:

The new Arbor Heights Elementary‘s capacity won’t be determined by the school board until next year.

More West Seattle volunteering: Tilden 5th graders @ Dakota Place

September 20, 2014 at 7:46 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle parks, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

(Photo courtesy Karin Beck)
Meet some of the youngest volunteers helping keep local parks from being strangled by overgrowth. These are fifth-graders from Tilden School (WSB sponsor), and their teacher Karin Beck shares the update:

In 2010, Tilden School officially adopted Dakota Place Park. Since then, the students and faculty have been removing invasive species, weeds, and trash from the park grounds. This week, the new crop of fifth graders began their role as park stewards, something they’ll continue throughout the school year. Additionally, this community service project will tie in with an ongoing learning partnership with IslandWood and Nature Consortium. The goal is for these kids to be more aware of their impact on nature and to understand their ability to create positive change.

Friday night football: Sealth hosts Hale; WSHS vs. Garfield; Lutheran vs. Lummi

September 20, 2014 at 3:19 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | Comments Off

All three local high-school football teams played Friday night, but only one was at home:

SEALTH VS. HALE: The night’s lone home game left Chief Sealth International High School cheerleaders and fans with reason to cheer – a hard-fought win, first of the season, 28 to 26 over visiting Nathan Hale. Huge night for #11 Daron Camacho, with three touchdowns for the Seahawks, the first one just three plays in.

#12 Weston Reed threw to Czai Terrell for Sealth’s other touchdown.

Camacho also ran a two-point conversion after that TD, and after one of his own. Here are the game stats from our partners at The Seattle Times. Sealth plays Ballard next Friday at Memorial Stadium, 7:45 pm.

WSHS VS. GARFIELD: West Seattle High School is still looking for its first win of the season after falling to Garfield 41-13 at Memorial Stadium.

(added Saturday pm) Thanks to Lawrence Kane for sharing photos from the WSHS-Garfield game. First: “#40 Joey Kane, LB, stripping the ball from #5 in a TD-saving tackle at the end of the half”:

Lawrence adds that #7 Jamie Maples recovered the fumble on that – in the next photo, he is scoring a TD:

(back to original report) The Wildcats host Rainier Beach at Southwest Athletic Complex next Friday, 7 pm.

SEATTLE LUTHERAN VS. LUMMI NATION: In Bellingham on Friday night, Lummi HS defeated the visiting SLHS Saints, 60-12.

Followup: New kindergarten play area in place at Schmitz Park Elementary, following summertime fire

September 17, 2014 at 2:32 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 2 Comments

(WSB photo, taken early this afternoon)
That bright new play equipment at Schmitz Park Elementary was ready for kindergarteners’ morning recess today, two and a half months after the early-morning fire that left the previous playset unusable. Exactly what caused the June 26th fire has never been pinpointed. Nobody was hurt, but the fire destroyed $50,000 worth of equipment that was only a year old. SPES principal Gerrit Kischner tells WSB, “The District moved very quickly to find the funds necessary for purchasing the replacement in time make the order (very impressive in light that a five-week lead time was necessary from the manufacturer to land the material before school started).”

West Seattle scenes: School-demolition crews move to main buildings at Genesee Hill, Arbor Heights

September 16, 2014 at 10:50 pm | In Arbor Heights, Genesee Hill, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 9 Comments

(UPDATED Wednesday morning with two more views of Arbor Heights)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 10:50 PM TUESDAY: If you’ve been meaning to go take a look at what’s left of the former Genesee Hill and/or Arbor Heights elementary schools before they’re completely demolished, you’re running out of time. As of this afternoon, main-building teardown is under way at both sites – above, our photo from GH; below, Tim Eannarino shared the photo from AH this morning:

(Also, a few closeup views caught Robin Adams‘ eye.) The new schools to be built on these sites are both scheduled to open in 2016.

ADDED 9:04 AM WEDNESDAY: Thanks to Mike for sharing these next two Arbor Heights photos:

We checked again with the school district and they still don’t expect to settle on the new AHES’s final size until next spring (they could build it for 500 students or 650; the current school, temporarily housed at the Boren Building, is adding a third kindergarten class, so growth is continuing).

Video: ‘Surprise!’ Crowdfunding-seeking teachers get Google gift, revealed at Highland Park Elementary

September 15, 2014 at 11:42 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 14 Comments

Almost 300 teachers who had nearly 400 crowdfunding projects listed on the website Donors Choose as of this morning got a big surprise that was revealed at West Seattle’s Highland Park Elementary: Google just “flash-funded” all King, Pierce, and Snohomish County teachers’ projects on the site.

One of those teachers, HPES kindergarten teacher Amanda Burke, got a visit from Mayor Murray, reps from DC and Google, and news-media reps, as part of the surprise announcement – here’s our video capturing the moment:

The “flash-funding” totaled $338,000. Part of it fulfilled Ms. Burke’s $1,769 request to buy four ChromeBooks and one Surface Tablet for her students. Every project included in Google’s $338,000 “flash-funding” donation around the region now has a message posted on its page, declaring it’s funded. Google has done this in more than half a dozen other cities too, including San Francisco and L.A.
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