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 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 – – 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:

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.


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.

Weekend scene: Denny International Middle School in Fiestas Patrias parade

September 13, 2014 at 1:01 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

What an awesome morning for a parade! South Park’s annual Fiestas Patrias parade just wrapped up a little while ago and it included West Seattle sightings as well as South Park participants, visitors from around the region, and even two from downtown (Mayor Murray and Police Chief O’Toole). We’ll have lots of photos on our partner site The South Park News a bit later, but wanted to share this :15 Instagram clip of the Denny International Middle School delegation first. P.S. As noted in our Saturday preview lineup, the parade was followed by a festival that continues until 6 pm.

ADDED LATE SATURDAY NIGHT: To see dozens of photos, and several more video clips, from the parade, check out our gallery on TSPN.

ADDED MONDAY MORNING: A few words about the parade appearance, from Denny principal Jeff Clark:

The Denny Dolphins did an excellent job representing their school in the Fiestas Patrias parade on Saturday in South Park!

Eighth-grader Carmela Pedraza Sanchez did an outstanding job showing his positive leadership by leading the chants and demonstrating our school pride. Thank you to our terrific Proyecto Saber team, Ms. Olsen, Mr. Garcia, and Ms. Bowie for coordinating the event and to Ms. Rangel and Mr. Rodriguez for their help.

Additionally, it was an honor to march next to the Concord Cougars as they proclaimed that they were college-bound!

It was a great day for our school pathway and community — thank you to all of the scholars who participated!

Go Dolphins!

High-school football, week 2: 1st WSHS home game; Sealth on road

September 13, 2014 at 5:31 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools, WS & Sports | Comments Off

Both local high-school teams that played tonight wound up on the losing side. But of course, there’s always more to the story. We start at Southwest Athletic Complex, where West Seattle High School roared out of the gate against Washington, visiting from Tacoma.

The Wildcats held the lead through the first half and continued with momentum into the third. Senior Fynniecko Glover (#22) had two touchdowns:

But Washington’s QB Kody Martinez broke loose for long runs in the second half; his team also managed a couple of big interceptions and eventually broke away. West Seattle fought to the end, though, wrestling away the last possession of the game, though they didn’t convert. Final score: Washington 32, WSHS 22. Next week, the Wildcats play Garfield at Memorial Stadium downtown, 5 pm Friday (September 19th).

CHIEF SEALTH @ RAINIER BEACH: At Southeast Athletic Complex, the Vikings won, 34-8. The Seahawks’ lone touchdown was scored by Daron Camacho. They’ll be back home at SW Athletic Complex next Friday, 7 pm, hosting Nathan Hale.

Seafair Clowns and friends visit West Seattle Elementary for school-supplies giveaway

September 12, 2014 at 1:49 pm | In High Point, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
For the 10th year, Seafair Clowns stopped at a local school for a big supplies giveaway. Today was the big day, and this time, the recipients were students at West Seattle Elementary in High Point. Seattle firefighters and police were there to help too:

That included Fire Chief Gregory Dean:

And West Seattle’s own “Officer Lumpy” got a big smile from West Seattle Elementary principal Vicki Sacco:

Also part of the event – Stoneway Concrete and Gary Merlino Construction.

Video: ‘Graduating’ before school starts! 13th Year Promise students @ South Seattle College

September 11, 2014 at 10:28 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

Even before fall classes start at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), some of its incoming students gathered today for a graduation – and, as you can see in the video above, something of a pep rally. (That’s Mathew Apelu, leading the “cheers.”) They’re coming to SSC on the 13th Year Promise Scholarship – one year of free tuition for graduates from Chief Sealth International High School and two public high schools from outside West Seattle, Cleveland and Rainier Beach. Today’s event marked the end of the three-day 13th Year Bridge orientation featuring workshops that covered topics “from college success strategies to financial literacy”:

13th Year Promise scholarships are available to graduates from those three schools regardless of grades or financial status, and SSC president Gary Oertli tells us they’re working on adding West Seattle High School to the 13th Year Promise roster soon. He is a Sealth graduate, as he reminded the new students this afternoon:

(Sorry about the camera instability – that clip works better as audio than video)
The event also included a panel discussion featuring past 13th Year Promise students. This year’s group, by the way, is more than 100 strong – the biggest one yet, says SSC. It started with the Cleveland class of 2008, added Sealth in 2011, and has now expanded to add Rainier Beach. You can get more information on the SSC website.

Co-op preschool moves to Tibbetts UMC, with rummage-sale ramifications

September 10, 2014 at 2:52 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle religion, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

Two-part announcement from Tibbetts United Methodist Church (longtime WSB sponsor):

Tibbetts is well known for its Autumn and Spring rummage sales, but instead this year we are welcoming a second pre-school cooperative, Arbor Heights Co-op Preschool, as a new group who will use the church facility.

For all those in the West Seattle community who look forward to the twice-yearly sale, we announce that the rummage sale will not be held this Fall (2014) and next Spring (2015). While the co-op is not intending to make Tibbetts its permanent home, unfortunately, the space to be occupied in the church building is the same space ordinarily used for the staging and display of all the articles that wind up in our popular rummage sales. It is our sincere intention to reprise our rummage sale in the near future, bigger and better than ever before! For information regarding the Arbor Heights Co-op Preschool, contact Judy Hall, SSCC Parent Educator, Registration Co-Chair, 206-938-2278. Thank you to the West Seattle Community for your continued support!

AH Co-op previously was based at Hillcrest Presbyterian Church, currently being renovated as the permanent home of Westside School (WSB sponsor). Tibbetts also is home of the Admiral Co-op Preschool, which, like Arbor Heights, is part of the South Seattle College Parent Cooperative Preschool group.

West Seattle demolition watch: Genesee Hill school; 4535 44th SW apartment site

September 9, 2014 at 2:37 pm | In Development, Genesee Hill, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

Two updates on West Seattle demolition sites:

GENESEE HILL SCHOOL: After a tip last Friday, we noted that some deconstruction was under way at the former Genesee Hill Elementary campus, where the current Schmitz Park Elementary program will move in 2016. Today, building teardown is under way in a big way, starting with the classrooms north/northeast of the main structure. That’s about one day behind the start of a similar phase at Arbor Heights Elementary, where Seattle Public Schools is also tearing down an old school to build a new one.

4535 44TH SW: While in The Junction a short time ago, we noticed the backhoe has arrived at 4535 44th SW, future home of a four-story, 36+-unit, no-offstreet-parking apartment building; we’d noted last week that its demolition permit was granted.

While it was described as “microapartments” when we first reported on the plan early last year, this is NOT microhousing – the units will be full-fledged studios with kitchens. (We’ll check back in a bit to see if the backhoe has started work yet.)

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