Congratulations! Mentoring award for Denny teacher Will Nelson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The background info is on this district website.

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

) Keep the bell time schedule the same

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

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

Full details on the options are here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also tonight: High-school softball playoffs, with division champion West Seattle HS playing at SWAC

May 12, 2015 at 12:40 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 4 Comments

Thanks to Cheryl Brown for the photo of the division champion West Seattle High School softball team, and this update on how they got there, with their next game just hours away:

Last week (at the end of the regular season), the West Seattle HS, Bainbridge HS and
Ballard HS Girls’ Fastpitch Softball teams were tied for 1st place in the Metro-Mountain Division. Two 4-inning games were played last Thursday at Southeast Athletic Complex to break the tie. WS beat Ballard 2 – 0 in 4 innings. At the end of 4 innings WS was tied 1 – 1 with Bainbridge so it went into extra innings with international tiebreaker rules. WS beat Bainbridge 2 – 1 in 6 innings.

Outcome for Metro-Mountain division:
1 – West Seattle
2 – Bainbridge
3 – Ballard

Last night, WS played Chief Sealth (Metro-Valley #3) at SEAC in the Round 2 of the Metro League Tournament. WS won 13 – 0.

Tonight, in Round 3, WS plays Eastside Catholic at 7 pm at SWAC, and Chief Sealth plays Holy Names at 7pm at SEAC.

Teacher walkout on May 19th: Chief Sealth IHS teachers/staff plan communty event outside school

May 11, 2015 at 9:02 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 16 Comments

One week from tomorrow, Seattle Public Schools will be closed because of teachers’ one-day walkout. Tonight, we’ve received this announcement on behalf of Chief Sealth International High School teachers and staff who say they will start the day with a two-hour event explaining and apologizing:

Seattle Public Schools will be closed on Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 as Seattle Public School teachers voted overwhelmingly to walk out on a one-day strike. Teachers and staff of Chief Sealth International High School have chosen to spend that morning hosting community from 8:00–10:00 a.m. in front of the school. The purpose of the event is two-fold: Chief Sealth staff want to provide a face-to-face opportunity for our students, families, and community to learn about why school employees have voted to strike and to apologize to the families for the real disruption this will cause to their daily routine.

At issue is the ongoing and long-term quality of education that is due to our children and families in the State of Washington. In 2012, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that the State Legislature was not meeting its constitutionally mandated responsibility to fully fund education in our State. In the two years since the Court’s ruling, each time the Legislature has reported on its progress, the Court has reprimanded them for not making any progress. After a hearing before the Court this past September, the Court:

Click to read the rest of Teacher walkout on May 19th: Chief Sealth IHS teachers/staff plan communty event outside school…

High-school baseball: West Seattle wins 15-1 as postseason begins

May 7, 2015 at 9:02 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | Comments Off

Big win for the West Seattle High School varsity baseball team, as postseason play begins. Thanks to Caryn Johnson for the report and photo:

First day of the Metro Playoffs. West Seattle matched up against Franklin at Hiawatha this afternoon. Sophomore Ryan Kimsey (above) started on the mound for the Wildcats and proceeded to throw the entire game. In the bottom of the 1st inning, Junior Morgan McCullough led things off with a solo home run. The Wildcats would tack on 4 more runs to close out the inning. Then in the bottom of the 3rd, the Wildcats opened up the game, scoring 8 runs off of 8 hits. West Seattle would run away with this game, winning 1-15. Their next opponent is Roosevelt, tomorrow (Friday) at 4:00 pm at Steve Cox Field in White Center.

P.S. Tickets are still on sale for the June 22nd Mariners’ game, to benefit the Wildcats and their annual appearance in the High School Baseball Classic at Safeco Field. You can get yours by sending e-mail to

West Seattle schools: YMCA opens new preschool at Boren

May 7, 2015 at 1:47 am | In Delridge, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 5 Comments

(Photo courtesy West Seattle YMCA)
Another new preschool has just opened, this time at the Boren Building. Joleen from the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) shares the news, and the photo:

We just opened a new preschool at Arbor Heights / STEM elementary. The photo attached is of the first day! It’s a half-day, year-round program for children ages 2.5 to 5 years old. Our programs are values-based, with an emphasis on building self-reliance through our core values: Caring, Honesty, Respect, and Responsibility. Children have the opportunity to learn language through stories, songs, math, art and crafts, and theme-based activities in a warm and inviting environment. Our program provides: Experienced and professional teachers, creative curriculum, reading, science, math, technology, & engineering activities and a nutritious lunch We still have some availability – contact Emilia Holbik at

The Boren Building (permanent home to STEM and interim home for one more year to Arbor Heights ES) is at 5950 Delridge Way SW.

‘Barnyard Musical Mystery’: All invited to Lafayette Elementary’s production Thursday-Saturday nights at CSIHS Auditorium

May 6, 2015 at 2:38 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

(Photo courtesy of ‘Barnyard Musical Mystery’ production advisers)
It’s not just a school play – Lafayette Elementary‘s production is an original musical written by a West Seattle resident. Here’s the announcement – and even if you’re not associated with the school, we’re told, you are by all means invited to come cheer the student performers and their grownup helpers:

This year’s Lafayette school play is “The Barnyard Musical Mystery,” presented May 7, 8, and 9 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Chief Sealth International High School.

The award for Best Exhibit at the County Fair is a shiny new tractor, and Miss Lucy hopes to win it by exhibiting her prize carrots. But something’s afoot: a spooky creature is haunting Miss Lucy’s garden, scaring away her farmhands and keeping them from tending the crops! To solve the mystery, Miss Lucy calls in Hamhock Holmes and Dr. Dachshund, the famous pig detective and her canine assistant. Holmes and Dachshund investigate the case, with help from dancing bees, timid rabbits, sassy singing hens, crooning raccoons, and prankster goats.

Meanwhile, at the farm down the road, Farmer Jacky and his minions plot to make sure Farmer Jacky’s beloved giant pumpkin will win the prize instead.

Will Holmes and Dachshund find an explanation for the mystery? Who will win the shiny new tractor?

Written by Laurie Utterback and directed by Melia Scranton, Laurie Utterback, and Joel Oltyan, The Barnyard Musical Mystery features an enthusiastic cast of 81 Lafayette students in grades 3 through 5. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $1 per ticket to help cover production expenses.

Chief Sealth IHS is at 2600 SW Thistle.

UPDATE: Seattle teachers say they’re walking out for one day on May 19th; SPS to close schools and add June 16th make-up date

May 5, 2015 at 9:04 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 44 Comments

ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:04 AM: Thanks to the texters who alerted us to this: The Seattle Education Association teachers union says its members have voted for a one-day walkout on Tuesday, May 19th, two weeks from today. The announcement was published via the SEA Facebook page last night:

With an 85% yes vote, Seattle educators have voted to join the wave of one day strikes over the legislature’s failure to fund education! The strike will be Tuesday, May 19. It’s time for reasonable class sizes and caseloads, and for livable wages!

As our partners at The Seattle Times point out, teachers in more than 20 other districts already have had this type of walkout or are planning one. Meantime, we checked with Seattle Public Schools to ask about their plan for the walkout date; spokesperson Stacy Howard tells WSB that the district has no official notification from SEA, but will comment once they do. So – updates to come.

ADDED 2:17 PM: Just in from SPS – a letter sent out by the superintendent to SPS staff, noting that school will be canceled May 19th and so an extra day is added at the end of the year, June 16th:

The Seattle Education Association (SEA) has voted to join in a statewide action against the legislature to protest the lack of education funding in our state. SEA is the organization of professionals and union that represents teachers in our district. This protest involves a one-day walkout.

SEA has selected May 19 as the day for their one-day walkout. Therefore, there will be no school for students on May 19, as teachers will not be at work on that day. SEA chose the day to provide the district two weeks of notice to work on arrangements in an effort to minimize disruption for students, parents and district staff to the greatest extent possible.

While there is no school for students on May 19, the school day will have to be made up, just as we would make up a snow day or other unforeseen calendar change. The make-up day will be added to the end of the school year. This means Tuesday, June 16, will become our last day of school and a work day for district staff.

The SEA action is not directed at Seattle Public School as a district, but is a statement to the state legislature about the current lack of adequate state funding for basic education and we share that concern. I thank you in advance for your understanding. If you have questions about your work schedule for next week, please work closely with your supervisor.


Dr. Larry Nyland

Highland Park Elementary PTA: Final meeting of the year Monday!

May 3, 2015 at 9:26 pm | In Highland Park, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

Just about six weeks left in the Seattle Public Schools year, and that means some PTAs/PTSAs are meeting soon for the last time until fall. Holly Briscoe tells us that the Highland Park Elementary PTA has its last meeting of the year tomorrow night – Monday (May 4th) – starting with a potluck dinner 5:30-6 pm, then continuing with business including electing next year’s board. All welcome. HPES is at 1012 SW Trenton.

Scenes from Chief Sealth International HS Multicultural Night

May 2, 2015 at 12:18 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment

From the seats to the stage, Chief Sealth International High School‘s Multicultural Night filled the campus Galleria with sights and sounds on Thursday night.

Dance, music, and costumes enthralled all who came to be part of it.

Even the tables were decorated.

Brightest sights of all … the smiles.

Along with student performances, the annual event offered free food and an open invitation to the entire community to attend, not just students and their families. It was part of Spring Spirit Week at Sealth, which concluded tonight with the Spring Fling dance.

Can you help? Chief Sealth IHS seeking volunteer engineers/ programmers for Technology Education And Literacy in Schools

April 30, 2015 at 9:03 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 7 Comments

With less than a month and a half to go in this school year, it’s time to look ahead to 2015-2016 – and as part of that, Chief Sealth International High School is seeking volunteers to help with a new class as part of the Technology Education And Literacy in Schools program. CSIHS principal Aida Fraser-Hammer explains:

Starting in the fall, Chief Sealth International High School will be participating in the Technology Education And Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program as we pilot a semester-long programming class officially titled Introduction to Computer Science. We are in search of volunteer software engineers/programmers willing to team-teach programming in the classroom 2 days per week for the next school year. No teaching experience is necessary; all training and additional supports will be provided by the TEALS program as we begin planning for team-teaching the course in September.

TEALS has already partnered with the other SPS high schools and the program has been
extremely successful in getting students hooked into computer programming and interested in pursuing higher education in the field of computer science. The implementation of this new class at CSIHS will mean that all SPS comprehensive high schools will now have a strong partnership with TEALS, and Sealth’s students will also be exposed to a challenging class to ignite the quest for further educational pursuits in computer science. Below are a few other miscellaneous facts which may help potential software engineers consider volunteering their time to teach introductory programming to students at Sealth:

Click to read the rest of Can you help? Chief Sealth IHS seeking volunteer engineers/ programmers for Technology Education And Literacy in Schools…

You’re invited to Multicultural Night at Chief Sealth IHS

April 29, 2015 at 3:45 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS culture/arts | Comments Off

One more big school event to which you’re invited this week – tomorrow (Thursday, April 30th), Chief Sealth International High School opens the door to the community for Multicultural Night. 6-8 pm at the Sealth Galleria, it’s “our annual celebration of diversity at Sealth and is a fun event with student performances, free food and a great chance to see what our clubs and programs have been working on this year,” according to CSIHS’s Sarah Martin (who also provided the photo above, from a previous Multicultural Night). No RSVP needed – just show up. The Galleria entrance is off the courtyard between the main building and gym, north of the parking lot, at 2600 SW Thistle.

How to stay connected to your teen: Find out at free event Thursday night at West Seattle High School

April 28, 2015 at 3:11 pm | In Health, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

If you are raising … or have raised … a teenager, you know how tough it can be to stay connected. They need some freedom so they can get ready to live their own lives, and yet they also need guidance and support, even in the times they try hardest to shrug it off. To help with navigation of this challenging and important time, West Seattle High School‘s counseling department is hosting an event on Thursday night and inviting the entire community, not just those with WSHS ties:

Dr. Laura Kastner will be our guest speaker, along with Lisa Davidson, Seattle Public Schools Prevention/Intervention Specialist. The evening will first take a look at the latest research and data on drug use in our community (Lisa’s portion) and will be followed by a talk with Dr. Kastner on what we as parents and community partners can do to stay connected to our teens. This will take place on Thursday, April 30th, from 6:30-9:00 pm in the West Seattle High School Theater.

WSHS is at 3000 California SW; the theater entrance is toward the south end of the main building.

Congratulations: Denny, Pathfinder, WSHS win Washington Achievement Awards!

April 28, 2015 at 10:36 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments

Just in from Seattle Public Schools – three West Seattle schools are on the list of 23 district-wide that have just received Washington Achievement Awards:

Twenty-three Seattle Public Schools are being honored with Washington Achievement Awards from The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). The schools earned these awards for improvements in areas including reading, English, math and overall outstanding academic success.

[West Seattle schools on the list]

Denny International Middle School – Math Growth
Pathfinder K-8 – High Progress
West Seattle High School – High Progress

“We are honored to have so many of our schools recognized for their hard work, dedication, and student success, with this prestigious award,” said Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland. “This recognition demonstrates the continuing efforts and achievements our students and staff are making in academic excellence.”

Schools are selected based on their statewide assessment data for the three previous years. This data is analyzed using the Achievement Index and methodology. All schools received their awards at a ceremony earlier today in Spanaway.

High-school baseball: West Seattle vs. Chief Sealth

April 28, 2015 at 6:16 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | Comments Off

(WSB photos by Torin Record-Sand)
The only guaranteed varsity-baseball game this year between West Seattle High School and Chief Sealth International High School ended in a 5-2 win for the Wildcats on Monday afternoon at Southwest Athletic Complex. Thanks as always to Caryn Johnson for the recap:

A beautiful afternoon for baseball between two great schools. With the addition of more schools to the Metro league and the way the divisions within Metro are set up, West Seattle and Sealth only meet each other once during the regular season. The stands were full of West Seattleites. It was fun to see the support for these two great teams.

The game was a battle of the pitchers. West Seattle senior Jordan Sagmoen was up against Sealth sophomore Evan Moe.

First inning saw no runs scored by either team.

It wasn’t until the bottom of the 2nd that Sealth broke the 0-0 tie and scored on a triple by David Johnson and a single by Evan Moe that drove him in.

In the top of the third, West Seattle would score two off a single by senior Sam Cook and a triple from Morgan McCullough. Sealth would get one more back in the bottom of the third to tie things up.

No runs were scored in the 4th.

Then at the top of the 5th, West Seattle would take advantage of a couple of errors to score two more runs. They would bring in one more run in the top of the 6th. Jordan threw the entire game to get the win 5-2 over Sealth. In the end he would strike out 6 and only give up 6 hits.

Evan Moe would also throw the entire game, striking out 4 and giving up only 5 hits.

Both teams’ next games are at 3:30 pm Wednesday – West Seattle will be at home at Hiawatha to face Seattle Prep, while Sealth will be on the road visiting Cleveland.

‘Am I doing enough?’ West Seattle Co-op Preschools presenting free expert talk Wednesday to reassure, enlighten parents

April 27, 2015 at 8:59 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

Young child(ren) in the house? Another big event this week presented by West Seattle Co-op Preschools is for you, and it’s free. “Building the Foundation for Lifelong Learning: Starting in the Early Years, Birth through Preschool” is set for 7 pm Wednesday (April 29th) at Olympic Hall on the campus of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) in West Seattle:

What does soul-engaging, creative, relationship-rich, brain-expanding learning look like? How do schools foster it…or not? How can my family foster it – beginning in infancy and through the preschool years – so that my child is more than “ready” to enter kindergarten, but is ready to thrive? At this special public event, our guest speaker Anoo Padte will help you answer these questions, give practical tips, and calm the common parent fear: “Am I doing enough?”

Anoo Padte is a teacher, education consultant, and mother. At the Art of Education, she coaches parents on choosing the right school and develops personalized education plans that empower parents to identify schools, enrich and be involved in a child’s education. She teaches math and science and is found tinkering, creating art and cooking with her two sons.

Olympic Hall is on the south end of the SSC campus at 6000 16th SW.

High-school baseball: West Seattle-Bainbridge Island rematch

April 25, 2015 at 1:30 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

Baseball rematch at Hiawatha on Friday afternoon for West Seattle High School and Bainbridge Island High School. Thanks to Caryn Johnson for the photos and report:
Friday afternoon was the rematch of the two teams that met on Wednesday, West Seattle vs Bainbridge Island,. Freshman Anthony Coats [top photo] started on the mound for WS. The Bainbridge Island bats came out firing and in the first inning had three hits including a three-run home run, but West Seattle would answer back in the bottom of the 1st with an RBI single by senior Jordan Sagmoen. After the first inning, Anthony would settle down and pitch another two innings, only giving up one more run.

In the bottom of the 5th inning, West Seattle would get two more runs off a deep home run hit by Morgan McCullough [photo above]. This would put the score at the end of the 5th inning at 4-3, Bainbridge up. But that would be as close as it would get. Bainbridge Island (ranked #9 in Washington State) would open it up and end up winning 16-3.

Next game is the matchup of the local schools, West Seattle vs Chief Sealth, Monday at 4:00 at Southwest Athletic Complex.

P.S. Around noon today (Saturday), you’ll find some of the WSHS players at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) selling tickets for the June 22nd Mariners-Royals game – it’s related to their annual appearance in the High School Baseball Classic at Safeco Field, as explained here. If you want tickets but can’t make it to the store, e-mail and they’ll make it happen.

PHOTOS: See inside the new Westside School, as it gets closer to ‘Heading Home’ to new Arbor Heights campus

April 24, 2015 at 11:29 am | In Arbor Heights, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 12 Comments

(Looking southward toward the new Westside School campus)

Story by Tracy Record
Photos by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

Two and a half years in the planning … seven weeks to “substantial completion” … one year after groundbreaking.

Westside School (WSB sponsor) moves into its new home in Arbor Heights this fall and is now showing off how it’s taken shape.

We toured the construction/renovation site this week with Westside’s head of school Kate Mulligan (above) and assistant head of school Don Cunningham, who has been the “owner’s rep” on the project. (They’re getting ready for an open house tomorrow at Westside’s current location – more on that later.)

First, some backstory: We first reported in November 2012 that Westside was planning to buy what was at the time Hillcrest Presbyterian Church, at 34th SW and SW 104th (map).

Westside, founded in 1981, has been leasing the former EC Hughes Elementary in Sunrise Heights from Seattle Public Schools since 2010, moving there from a former Highline Public Schools building just east of Arbor Heights. So in many ways, this is, as Westside has dubbed the journey of building and moving, “Heading Home” (a theme that figured into its groundbreaking celebration almost exactly a year ago).

The process of transforming the former church – via Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects and general contractor Kirtley-Cole Associates LLC – brought unique opportunities. This wasn’t a teardown project – it’s a remodel and expansion, as is particularly notable from the outside of the former sanctuary, with “pop-out” added space like this:

“We’re excited to repurpose an under-utilized old building,” Mulligan enthuses. “Because (of that), we get a lot of elements a pre-K-8 school doesn’t usually get.”

That includes a gym – already part of the site – and a performing-arts center, which is on what was the choir-loft level and is now a full third level.

The transformation begins outside, where the project includes new sidewalks lining 104th and 34th.

Traffic will enter on 104th and route through the site southbound onto 34th. Queueing will happen on campus, not on the street. The campus has parking as well as an agreement with the New Apostolic Church to the south for overflow use when needed.

34th, on the west side of the campus – where dropoff and pickup will happen – is the street onto which Westside’s grand entrance and lobby are fronting.

Mulligan points out that everyone will come through that entrance.

Click to read the rest of PHOTOS: See inside the new Westside School, as it gets closer to ‘Heading Home’ to new Arbor Heights campus…

TOMORROW: West Seattle Co-op Preschools’ kid-stuff sale

April 24, 2015 at 10:32 am | In Triangle, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

It’s the season for sales! Early reminder about a big one on Saturday in The Triangle:

Tomorrow the West Seattle Co-op Preschool system will be hosting a spring/summer kids’ consignment sale on April 25 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the West Seattle VFW Hall, 3601 SW Alaska St., to help fund scholarships for families in need.

This sale will be a great way for families to purchase gently used baby/kids gear, spring/summer clothing, toys and books for terrific prices. Currently, 4,529 items are registered for consignment for a total value of $19,732! It’s going to be a sale you won’t want to miss! All proceeds from the sale benefit the scholarship program, helping local needy families send their children to preschool.

More info on the official sale website, and sneak peeks on its Facebook page.

West Seattle Earth Day: Tilden School’s big cleanup

April 22, 2015 at 9:58 pm | In Environment, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

Another local cleanup this Earth Day – Julie from Tilden School (WSB sponsor) shares the photo and report:

From Hiawatha Park to the Alaska Junction, Tilden School’s students, faculty, and staff showed their respect and appreciation for Mother Earth (and more specifically, West Seattle) by picking up trash. As always, the kids enthusiastically leapt to the task, rapidly filling their bags. (Students noted that the number of cigarette butts, which they have generally found to constitute the larger part of the trash in the past, has increased this year.) Local business people took time to express their thanks, which made the kids feel so proud!

High-school baseball: West Seattle HS-Bainbridge pitching duel

April 22, 2015 at 9:25 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | 1 Comment

Thanks to Caryn Johnson for the photo and report from this afternoon’s WSHS-Bainbridge baseball battle:

This afternoon, West Seattle ventured across the water to battle Bainbridge Island. It was an epic duel of two great pitchers. Senior Kevin Cuddy was on the mound for the Wildcats. He pitched the entire game and it wasn’t until the bottom of the 6th that he wavered just slightly, but it was enough to allow two runs to come across. In the end, he gave up only 4 hits and struck out 6. The defense was solidly behind him, making no errors in the field, but the bats just didn’t have enough power to find the holes to get a run across the plate. They did have a few chances, as Morgan McCullough made it to third base twice and tried to come home on a deep hit to right field, only to be caught trying to score on a close call at the plate. In the end, West Seattle lost 2-0.

Rematch this Friday, with Bainbridge Island visiting this time, 3:30 pm Friday at Hiawatha.

Still school-shopping? Pre-K open house ahead @ Westside School

April 21, 2015 at 9:00 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

Enrollment season isn’t over yet, and if you are looking at Pre-K enrollment for next year, Westside School (WSB sponsor) invites you to an open house next Saturday (April 25th). While Westside is moving into its new campus this fall, the open house is at its current campus, 7740 34th SW (map). The invite says, “You will have the opportunity to talk with members of our administration, pre-kindergarten faculty and learn about our community of engaged, joyful and creative learners!” Drop by any time between 10 am and noon on Saturday.

From high-school dropout to All-USA Academic Team: David Yama makes South Seattle College history

April 20, 2015 at 8:49 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 9 Comments

For the first time, South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) has a student on the All-USA Academic Team. Here’s the announcement:

South Seattle College student David Yama was named as one of the top scholars in the nation by earning a spot on the All-USA Academic team, as announced by the National Honor Society, Phi Theta Kappa, today. Yama is the first student in South’s history to earn this honor.

The All-USA academic team is widely recognized as the most prestigious academic honor for students attending community college. Nominees are hand-selected by college presidents or their designated nominator for demonstrating academic rigor, leadership and civic growth.

Yama attended the national celebration today of the top-20 All-USA Scholars, where he was further honored as the sole recipient of PTK’s Pierce Scholarship. Along with receiving financial support through the award, he was selected to speak on behalf of all 20 students during the celebration. … Earlier this year Yama was named Washington State’s New Century Scholar, which is given to the top-ranked scholar on the All-Washington Academic team. In the last four years, South has produced two of Washington’s top-scholars from this team.

After dropping out of high school at the age of 14, and working a series of what Yama called “dead-end jobs,” his academic career started at South in hopes of earning his GED. With the encouragment of South faculty member Jane Harness, Yama’s confidence and aspirations continued to grow. He will graduate this spring with an associate degree while maintaining a 3.96 GPA.

Much of Yama’s success he credits to South’s faculty and staff. In addition to Harness, he specifically mentioned instructors Rochelle Fontoi, Bob Dela-Cruz, and Jake Ashcraft.

“South has the most helpful faculty and staff anywhere, with so many opportunities!” Yama said.

After graduation, Yama’s academic journey will continue at the University of Washington, where he is currently volunteering up to 30 hours a week conducting lab research, and he ultimately hopes to earn a doctorate.

You might recall that Yama was a speaker at January’s “Gifts From The Earth” fundraiser at SSC.

PHOTOS: Seattle Lutheran’s Ring of Honor tribute for Bob Dowding

April 19, 2015 at 5:40 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle people, West Seattle schools | 2 Comments

Two months after cancer claimed the life of longtime Seattle Lutheran High School teacher and athletic director Bob Dowding, the school gave him its ultimate tribute last night – induction into the SLHS Ring of Honor. That came during a dinner event in which many memories were shared.

That’s head of school Dave Meyer, who talked about arriving in 1995 to be Hope Lutheran‘s PE teacher, and meeting Bob, joking that he wanted the SLHS AD job that Bob held. He came to realize that Bob’s real job was creating and building communities – including at athletic organizations including the Washington Interscholastic Athletics Association. And, Meyer said, he still aspires to Bob’s “real job” – mentoring and encouraging kids, and building community. One of those Bob had mentored also spoke:

Holy Names Academy athletic director Lacey London, a 2000 SLHS graduate, talked about how Bob was such a big influence in her decision to go into teaching and athletics. Her first coaching job was when he asked her to help with Lutheran’s girls-basketball team while she was transitioning between colleges. Among the many others there to pay tribute to Bob – his family, receiving the plaque honoring him:

There was even a cake in his honor:

Bob Dowding was 67 years old.

Letter lists 4 potential names for new school on Genesee Hill – and a potential new plan

April 16, 2015 at 9:40 am | In Genesee Hill, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 16 Comments

(Image captured this morning from construction-site webcam)
Remember the call for suggestions about what to call the new school being built on Genesee Hil, for the program currently housed (and overflowing) at Schmitz Park Elementary? A letter has just gone out listing four finalists, and launching a vote. The finalists are:

*Genesee Hill Elementary School: Genesee Hill is the name of the original building, which opened in 1949.

*Genesee-Schmitz Elementary School: Genesee-Schmitz recognizes the shared identity and history of the neighborhood and the two schools.

*Dietrich Schmitz Elementary School: Dietrich Schmitz was the longest-serving member of the Seattle School Board in history, serving 32 years and multiple times as President.

*Thelma DeWitty Elementary School: Thelma DeWitty was the first African-American teacher in Seattle, working first in West Seattle at the Cooper School.

The four potential names are not the only points of interest in the letter from Schmitz Park principal Gerrit Kischner. It’s been pointed out that the new school, with capacity around 650, might be not be big enough to hold SPE’s continuing-to-swell population, and Kischner’s letter includes this mention of one way that might be addressed:

… Please note that while we would like to move forward to finalize the naming of the new building, we are also continuing to watch enrollment numbers that could affect the long-term plans for both our current and future school sites.

The Building Leadership Team made a point of requesting that we ensure that the Schmitz Family legacy, which has inspired Schmitz Park Elementary School to be a flagship elementary program in the Seattle School District, will continue to be recognized and honored. If enrollment trends continue to the point that our program could be needed to operate at both sites, we will recommend to the Superintendent that the new building be opened as Schmitz Park School at Genesee Hill.

Regardless, we will not change the name of the school building we currently occupy, which is officially named by the School Board as “Schmitz Park School.” This is a promise made by the District to the Schmitz Family, who donated the land for the Schmitz Park Preserve and school site. Important Schmitz Park traditions and our fox mascot and logo will continue at the new building. …

We’re following up with the district regarding the “both sites” possibility; meantime, you can read the entire letter here.

Now, back to the name poll: Make your choice online here; if you’d like to vote another way, the letter mentions you can postal-mail or drop off your choice to/at SPES (5000 SW Spokane, Seattle 98116). Deadline is April 26th – one week from this Sunday.

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