Congratulations to the Seattle Lutheran High School Class of 2014, first West Seattle students to receive their diplomas as this school year comes to an end – their commencement ceremony was last night. Three more local high schools have ceremonies in West Seattle in the next week and a half:
*Tuesday, June 17th at The Hall at Fauntleroy (9131 California SW)
*Middle College (High Point) High School, 7 pm
While in Arbor Heights, we stopped by the future site of Westside School (WSB sponsor) for a look at the dramatic renovation scene at the former Hillcrest Presbyterian Church. The former sanctuary is basically hollowed out, as you can see, looking over the fence from 34th SW. Westside will spend one more year at its current campus, the former EC Hughes Elementary, leased from Seattle Public Schools, before moving to the new site. Westside’s 2013-2014 school year ended yesterday, and this past week, the school had its first middle-school graduation, having added 6th-8th grades over the past three years. Construction at the new site began just over a month ago.
P.S. We recently asked SPS to reconfirm what happens to Hughes once Westside moves; district spokesperson Teresa Wippel replied, “There are no plans at this point for EC Hughes other than to have it available for emergency use/to hold students when other schools are being remodeled, etc. No plans to lease it to anyone else, either.”
Until 6 pm, the community’s welcome to join Arbor Heights Elementary students, staff, families at the school carnival – autograph the soon-to-be-demolished building, especially if you’re an alum! Games, food, prizes too.
ADDED 5:30 PM: Thanks to our anonymous parent source for the top photo; we stopped by for these:
The “Angry Birds” toss is on the paved playground that’s seen better days – the new school will include an open field:
A tropical touch:
And a hand-lettered poster with a reminder about the next big event:
That’s Tuesday, 6-8 pm, a community gathering for an official farewell to the old school (though the last day of classes isn’t until June 19th).
Thanks to Rob for sharing the photo and report on those two Denny International Middle School scholars’ achievement (congratulations!):
Thursday night, Seattle Public Schools held its annual Middle School Science Fair at the Museum of Flight. Two students from Denny Middle School, Emma Bruce (left) and Rachel Potratz, were awarded the “Best Overall” prize for the 8th grade level. Congrats also to their science teacher at Denny, Mr. William Nelson, who works hard to show his students the beauty of science.
ADDED 3:46 PM: We asked Rob the followup question a couple commenters also asked – what did Emma and Rachel’s project examine? Reply: “Their project tests the current theory that eye color (in humans) affects vision in low-light situations.”
You never know what you’ll get to bid on at a school auction – and what you’ll win. Steve W. shares the story (and photo/video) of how his bid led to a marching-band surprise for a family member:
Last fall at the WSHS Auction, we were the winning bidders of a “Personal Marching Band Performance” at a date to be named. We chose to use this for my father-in-law’s birthday. He was quite surprised to see a marching band coming up the street with a banner that read “Happy Birthday Bud” on it. The band, directed by Ethan Thomas, played 10 or so songs, much to the delight of my neighbors.
If any of the WSB readers would like their own “Personal Marching Band Performance” they can bid on it at this fall’s WSHS Benefit Auction, which will be held on Friday, November 21st. They might have to bring deep pockets, however – as “Bud” may be wanting a repeat performance.
This happened last Sunday – so if you heard mysterious marching-band music echoing around Gatewood/south Morgan Junction/Fauntleroy, this probably explains it!
With days/weeks to go in the school year, most families have summer plans all settled. But in case you still have room/need for camp, three local school programs were still taking applications last we heard:
WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL WILDCAT SUMMER BASKETBALL CAMP: WSHS boys-basketball head coach Keffrey Fazio shares news of this camp, 9 am-2:30 pm Monday-Thursday, July 7th-10th, for boys and girls in 3rd-9th grades, all skill levels:
Our camp is a four day journey focusing on basketball fundamentals, teamwork, player confidence, and FUN! Bring your sack lunch and hoop game, and we will see you in the gym!
WESTSIDE SCHOOL CAMPS: Long list of weeklong camps at Westside School (WSB sponsor) in Sunrise Heights – here are the themes:
K‐6th Grade “Adventure Camps” Out in the World!
K‐8th Grade “Specialty Camps” @ Westside
Ages 6‐12 “Sing Out Seattle!” @ Westside
The first camp starts next week (since tomorrow is the final day of the year at Westside). Read about the camps, including registration info, at this page on the school website. Questions? email@example.com
SUMMER MUSIC CAMP: All local students entering 5th-8th grades who are “actively participating in their school’s music program” are welcome to the two weeks of music camps led by Denny/Sealth music director Marcus Pimpleton, starting July 14th.
Daily activities will include:
• Full Group Music Rehearsal in their primary ensemble
• Sectionals and or individual coaching sessions with a mentor musician
• Games/Icebreakers—time to get to know one another; and an extended recess time in the gym
While this is an educational program, the mood will be quite fun and laid back. Our aim is to have a good time making music together and to help elementary students feel comfortable in the middle school environment.
The program is broken into “marching band,” “cadet band,” and “strings” sections; tuition is $120 if you sign up before July 1st. Here’s the brochure, which includes the schedule and how to register/pay.
P.S. If you have a summer camp with space, you are welcome to post a comment below – but please include a link for families to find out more information/register. (Just include the link in your text – our system automatically hotlinks it if it begins with http or https.)
Update: School Board math vote tonight; local schools lobbying for ‘Singapore Math’ – board approves it for allJune 4, 2014 at 9:31 am | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 46 Comments
(UPDATED Wednesday night with board vote)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 9:31 AM: Tonight the Seattle Public Schools board is scheduled to vote on which math curriculum it will use for the next seven years. The recommendation before the board is to go with a curriculum called enVision, instead of the current Everyday Math. At least two West Seattle elementaries that have obtained a waiver to adopt an alternative for recent years – Math In Focus, also known as “Singapore Math” – are calling for last-minute shows of support to be able to keep it. Schmitz Park Elementary, in particular, has been hailed for its success following its fight to adopt Singapore Math; on its website, there is a call for families to contact the board before tonight’s meeting – read it here. K-5 STEM has a similar call on its website. As pointed out there, West Seattle’s school board member Marty McLaren is one of two board members proposing an amendment for the district to offer two alternatives, with one of them being the Math In Focus (Singapore Math) curriculum, so that they could make the choice. The agenda for tonight’s meeting is here; if you are interested in voicing an opinion to the board, e-mail and phone information is on the right side of its official webpage.
10:08 PM: As reported in the comments, board members didn’t vote for a dual adoption – they voted to adopt Singapore Math for the entire district:
K-5th graders have a new math program starting next fall: Math in Focus, approved by the School Board with a 4-3 vote.
— Seattle Schools (@seapubschools) June 5, 2014
Opera is for kids too! On Tuesday, it was in the spotlight at Lafayette Elementary, reports Luckie (who also shared the photo):
Lafayette’s final PTA arts assembly for this school year was a short opera, Heron and the Salmon Girl, performed by four soloists from Seattle Opera‘s “Opera Goes to School” program. This program offers an opportunity for elementary students to perform alongside the professional singers. For the past three weeks, Opera teaching artist John Coons (who also sang in the opera Tuesday) taught and rehearsed a group of Lafayette 3rd through 5th grade students once a week to sing in the chorus. Through song and movement, the 23 students accompanied the singers with their portrayal of the waters of a river and Puget Sound. Afterward, each student singer was awarded a certificate of achievement from Seattle Opera recognizing their performance in Heron and the Salmon Girl. (Pictured: the Lafayette chorus performing with Thomas Thompson as Turtle and John Coons as Orca.)
“Heron and the Salmon Girl” is the first of the three operas comprising Our Earth, aimed at young operagoers.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The new Arbor Heights Elementary School will be built in two phases, project managers told community members last night, and remains on track for welcoming students on the first day of school in September 2016.
Not that long ago, principal Christy Collins reminded the ~40 attendees as the meeting began, the new school wasn’t slated to open until 2019. She’s been principal for three years, and that’s how long the discussion about a replacement school has been under way.
Congratulations to the nearly 100 musicians of the Madison Middle School Band who are just back from the annual “Music in the Parks” competition in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Parent Loni Syltebo shares the photos and reports on the results:
Jazz Band, 1st Place (Excellent rating)
String Orchestra, 3rd Place (Excellent rating)
Concert Band, 5th Place (Excellent rating)
Jackson Delaney (8th grader) was awarded Outstanding Jazz Soloist of the competition (photo below):
(Thanks also to parent Karen Pfeiffer Bush for sharing early word of the first-place win.)
You’ve heard of the Winter Olympics … the Summer Olympics … now, meet the Spring Olympics. This past week, West Seattle’s K-5 STEM elementary combined gym versions of popular sports to make them happen – starting with an Opening Ceremony and Parade of Nations during which music teacher Cathy Chutich “led each grade level in sharing songs from their chosen countries or regions,” as explained by parent Kathleen Voss, who let us know about the first-ever STEM Olympics. Then, for three days, PE teacher Gretchen Gray (who shared the photo) led students through events including, from the Winter Games, bobsled, skeleton, speed skating, long jump (skiing), and curling, and from the Summer Games, the 100m dash, 400m relay, basketball, soccer, and a long-jump (track) event. You can see photos and video from the Opening Ceremony/Parade of Nations on the K-5 STEM PTA website.
Four West Seattle High School notes – first, a scene from Prom Night:
SENIOR PROM: Thanks to Greg Slader (who shared WSHS Baseball photos and summaries this year) for the pre-Senior Prom group photo at Anchor (Luna) Park Saturday night. Afterward, it was off to the prom at the Seattle Art Museum downtown.
ALL-SCHOOL REUNION: Next Friday is the much-awaited annual All-School Reunion at WSHS. As noted on the WSHS Alumni website, doors open at 5 pm on June 6th; classic cars will be shown off as usual along Stevens street on the north side of the school. Whatever year(s) you were at WSHS, you’re welcome at the gathering.
POST-REUNION DANCE: Afterward, you’re invited to dance with “West Seattle’s own Nitemates” starting at 8 pm Friday at the recently rebranded Admiral Benbow (4210 SW Admiral Way).
BOOSTER CLUB FUNDRAISER: Also this week, the West Seattle Booster Club is raising money for WSHS athletics with a Thursday night (June 5) pub crawl, Spirits for Sports, 6-9 pm in The Junction. $25/person – go here for more information and registration.
By this point in the school year – three weeks or less to go – it feels like a race to the finish. But that’s not why they were on the run at Alki Elementary this afternoon. It was the annual Alki-A-Thon – which, if you look closely at the next photo, you’ll notice coincided with Crazy Hair Day. The Alki PTA organized the annual event as a fundraiser, with kids collecting pledges for the laps they ran.
Parents joining the runners out in the bright sunshine got into the spirit too, some sporting “crazy hair” as well as the special Alki-A-Thon T-shirts – here are Christina, Amy, and Alexis:
We caught up later with Susan Gates, this year’s Alki-A-Thon chair, who told us she was especially grateful for so much volunteer help!
ADDED SATURDAY: Thanks to Lori for sharing a photo of her first-grader son Sammy, joyfully running with his schoolmates:
She reports Sammy accomplished 18 laps!
Congratulations to West Seattle High School athletic director Trevor Leopold for a big honor in his role as the school’s fastpitch (softball) coach – he has been chosen Metro League Coach of the Year. The Wildcats finished the season high atop the conference (here are the standings as published at SeattleTimes.com). WSHS players receiving all-league honors were pitcher Gabby Wenn and shortstop Annalisa Ursino; all-division honors, catcher Sam Hummert and infielder Emma Atkinson, with honorable mention to infielder Tina Lozeau. Congratulations to all!
(WSB photos by Christopher Boffoli)
Roxhill Elementary has had some high-profile visitors. But this afternoon’s surprise visitor might have topped them all – the most famous Seattleite on the music scene right now – Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Macklemore. He came to Roxhill a little while ago for the presentation of a “buddy bench” (explained here).
ADDED: More photos, and we have video in the works. Here’s Macklemore on the bench with (left) fiancee Tricia Davis and (right) Roxhill principal Sahnica Washington:
He signed the bench, of course:
Though his appearance was a surprise in the classic sense of the word, but it’s not surprising, given his involvement in pro-acceptance and anti-bullying advocacy.
“Helping other people – that’s what life is all about,” you’ll hear him say in our video of the assembly; he first appears about 10 minutes in, after principal Washington explains the buddy bench. He then joined in a skit demonstrating it:
Roxhill’s Youth Ambassadors were the official assembly hosts. Macklemore (better known as Ben Haggerty in his own school days) said he and the YA program “go way back.”
You have to start thinking about college even before you get to high school. Denny International Middle School scholars learned that lesson during a special week of activities, as principal Jeff Clark reports:
Last week, at Denny International Middle School, our scholars enjoyed a week-long focus on preparing for future success in college. As a part of this theme and celebration, college-focused lessons were taught daily; special activities, including a college fair, were held during lunchtime; and, on Friday, all three grade-levels went off to college on an exciting field trip!
Plans for the week included:
· Monday, 5/19: Intro to College lesson taught in Language Arts
· Tuesday, 5/20: What’s important in High School lesson taught in Social Studies
· Wednesday, 5/21: Major and Career Awareness lesson, including presentations from City Year, taught in Science
· Thursday, 5/22: Financing College lesson taught in Math
· Friday, 5/23: Whole-school Field Trip Day!
o 6th grade: All scholars went to Seattle Central Community College
o 7th Grade: ½ went to South Seattle Community College and ½ went to Highline Community College
o 8th Grade: All scholars went to the University of Washington (top photo)
On our field trips, our scholars enjoyed College tours, attended classes, and experienced an afternoon on campus!
Thank you so much to our College Week Planning Team: Roxana Amaral, Meva Beganovic, Lisie Monahan, Francis Sutton, Becca Gross, and Patricia Rangel! Go Dolphins!
60,000 by 2020? Seattle Public Schools out with enrollment projections; we break out West Seattle, school-by-schoolMay 27, 2014 at 12:48 pm | In West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 16 Comments
Seattle Public Schools is out with enrollment projections for next school year, and the district continues to grow, one reason they’re adding facilities including the expanded Fairmount Park Elementary (above), closed in 2007, reopening this fall. The district expects 52,400 students this fall, 1,300 more than the current school year, and says:
This continues the five-year trend of enrollment growth that began in 2009, after a decade of declining enrollment. During the last five years, enrollment grew by more than 5,000 students – from 46,000 in 2009 to 51,000 this year. Next year’s expected enrollment growth of 1,300 students means the district will be serving 6,400 more students next year than in 2009.
Here’s a chart of district-wide enrollment over the past decade:
The district says a continuation of this trend could mean enrollment past 60,000 by the year 2020.
Meantime, here are West Seattle’s school-by-school enrollment projections for next year, taken from this district-wide list:
Alki Elementary – 390
Arbor Heights Elementary – 341
Chief Sealth International HS – 1,235
Concord International Elementary – 420
Denny International MS – 948
Fairmount Park Elementary – 290
Gatewood Elementary – 429
Highland Park Elementary – 396
K-5 STEM – 361
Lafayette Elementary – 546
Madison MS - 799
Pathfinder K-8 – 486
Roxhill Elementary – 372
Sanislo Elementary – 275
Schmitz Park Elementary – 608
West Seattle Elementary – 443
West Seattle HS – 1,008
(We’ll add a comparison to this year, once we’ve verified with the district that we’re looking at the most recent set of 2013-2014 numbers. So far the most notable change appears to be a drop of ~70 students for Gatewood, but keep in mind, Fairmount Park will be brand new and many of those students are coming from somewhere else.)
Pre-order a lovely flower lei that is created and shipped directly from Hawaii for your graduate and help support West Seattle High School Music Department. We are also offering candy leis made in Westside and Madison colors! Both will be available to pick up right before the ceremony at the SW Athletic Complex before the seniors line up for commencement on June 14th, and for the Madison promotion at WSHS on June 18th. Below are the options available:
*Single Purple Orchid Lei -$22*
*Single White Orchid Lei – $22*
*Single fragrant Tuberose and Purple Orchid Lei -$25*
*Candy Lei made in WSHS Wildcat colors – $8*
You can view pictures of each, and place your order (here).
All leis must be *pre ordered and paid* for by Wednesday, May 28th. There may be a limited number of extras at the event. If you have any questions, please email Cathy at firstname.lastname@example.org
In two weeks – 6-8 pm Tuesday, June 10th – alumni, staff and students past and present, neighbors, everyone’s invited to celebrate Arbor Heights Elementary before the demolition and reconstruction. Scroll through the official invitation:
(If you can’t read it in the window, see it as a PDF here.)
P.S. Before then, if you’re interested in an update on the plan for the new school, here’s our previously published announcement for the district’s June 2nd meeting.
(Photos by Doug Branch)
Congratulations to the musicians from Denny International Middle School who are wrapping up a successful and busy visit north of the border. Music director Marcus Pimpleton reports:
It has been a wonderful two days in Vancouver, B.C., with the Denny Senior Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, and String Orchestra. The students have been doing a wonderful job and are all set to return to Seattle (this) afternoon.
Friday featured adjudicated student performances by the jazz ensemble, concert band, and string orchestras and some down time at the hotel. Saturday morning the marching band participated in the Hyack International Parade in New Westminster, B.C. All of the performances were in conjunction with the Worldstrides Heritage Festival which provided the adjudications and clinics for all of the performing groups. The event concluded with an afternoon at Grouse Mountain, and an awards ceremony at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver.
Denny ensembles and students earned multiple recognitions including:
Emmett Medaris – Maestro Award for Outstanding Individual Student Performance
Denny Jazz Ensemble – Gold Rating
Denny Marching Band – Silver Rating
Denny Senior Concert Band – Silver Rating (2nd Place)
Denny Senior String Orchestra – Silver Rating (2nd Place)
The marching band was led in the parade by Chief Sealth International High School drum majors Zach Baisch and Alvin Calhoun II, who were recognized with the Best Drum Major Award. (It was funny to see the expressions on the faces of the other student participants when they saw these very tall high school seniors accepting an award for leading a middle school band.)
West Seattle High School’s orchestra also participated and earned a bronze rating for their string orchestra.
According to the Denny/Sealth music calendar, you’ll be able to enjoy the student musicians’ work in concerts on June 4th (orchestra) and June 5th (band), along with their Sealth counterparts, in the Sealth auditorium, 6:30 pm both nights.
Another West Seattle school celebrated science in hands-on style this past week – “Diver Laura” James shares photos from Madison Middle School, where she participated in Super Science Night.
Laura explains that she was invited by Mr. Thomas, who works with students building mini ROV’s – underwater robots.
According to info from an online fundraising project earlier this year, the ROV work is part of a “unit of undersea exploration, looking at Cousteau, the local aquarium, and recent work by our local university that has a deep-sea-vent research program.”
(Pitcher Ben Wexler gave up only 2 runs, throwing all 11 innings)
At Mount Vernon this morning, the West Seattle High School Wildcats played what became their last game of the season, losing 2-1 to Shelton HS in 11 innings. The photos and summary are by Greg Slader (thank you!):
(Jimmy Mai‘s 7th-inning single brought in the Wildcats’ lone run)
The Wildcats fell behind early 0-1 in round one of Regionals against Shelton. Their pitching and defense kept the game at 0-1 until the seventh inning, when returning WSHS player Jimmy Mai produced a pinch-hit single and came around to score on a sac fly. Game tied 1-1 and would stay that way thru 10 innings before Shelton won with a sac fly of their own in the bottom of the 11th inning.
Congratulations to head coach Velko Vitalich, assistant coaches Scott Meaker, Bryan Tupper, and Kerry Tupper, and all the players, families, and other supporters on another season of making it to state.
The first annual Science Celebration Night at Schmitz Park Elementary was not your average science fair. In fact, last night’s event wasn’t a science fair at all.
Christine Morrell, who shared photos today, explained that it was “organized in partnership with teacher representatives from each grade and the PTA … a combination of grade level exhibits and interactive experiences hosted by local organizations (including Museum of Flight, Issaquah Fish Hatchery, the Woodland Park Zoo Raptor Program, Chief Sealth International High School World Water Week, Islandwood/Homewaters, the Mountaineers, and more.)”
She added, “The goal is to show students how fun science can be, both in school and out in the real world … through interactive, hands-on experiences, kids can experience many applications for scientific discovery.” She says volunteers from the West Seattle High School science program helped too.
A busy morning got in the way of our usual calendar-highlights roundup, so we invite you to just visit the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar directly to see what’s up. One spotlight event – what we believe to be the first “end-of-school-year party” in West Seattle, though school has a few weeks to go. From Sunshine, the announcement of the Sanislo Elementary PTA‘s End of the Year Party tonight:
Please join us as we get together to celebrate another successful year at Sanislo.
Where: Highland Park Improvement Club, 1116 SW Holden St
When: TONIGHT (Friday, May 23rd) 6 pm-9 pm
Adults only; beer and wine will be sold. 50/50 Raffle and a wine cellar raffle. Feel free to bring finger food to share, a bottle of wine ($10 or more) for the wine cellar raffle. Open to the public, cash only!
(The last day of the Seattle Public Schools year, by the way, is June 19th.)
No formal environmental review for the new Arbor Heights Elementary School project that’s replacing the crumbling original 65-year-old school. That’s what the district originally had decided, issuing a Determination of Non-Significance; more than two dozen neighbors appealed the decision, arguing their case at a May 8th hearing (WSB coverage here), and now the appeal ruling is in, starting with an introductory letter by Superintendent José Banda:
(If you can’t see the Scribd embed above, here’s the document as a PDF.) If you want to skip ahead, the conclusions of Margaret Klockars, the hearing examiner who handled the case, start on page 7, after a recap of what the district originally decided and the points that were argued. Bottom line: While Klockars agreed that the checklist leading to the original Determination of Non-Significance had a few errors and omissions, she believed the supplemental information provided later by the district showed no major impact in areas of concern from traffic to trees, so the DNS conclusion “was not erroneous.”
SIDE NOTE: As reported here last night, the district has set a community meeting June 2nd for questions/answers/updates on the project, which will start after the school year ends and everything is moved out of the to-be-demolished buildings. AHES will hold classes at the Boren Building for the next two years, with the new school expected to be ready for fall 2016.
(Rendering of new Arbor Heights Elementary)
If you’re interested in the new Arbor Heights Elementary School, your next chance to get project updates, and to get questions answered in person, is less than two weeks away. Seattle Public Schools has announced a community meeting for Monday, June 2nd, 6:30-8 pm at the current AHES.
The meeting will be presented by representatives of Seattle Public Schools BEX IV capital projects team and Bassetti Architects, and will include information about the project’s building and site design. You will be able to learn more about the project’s scope of work and construction schedule. You will be able to share comments and ask questions.
Meantime, we’re still awaiting word of a ruling on the appeal of the project’s no-formal-environmental-review-needed decision (here’s our coverage of the May 8th hearing).
A ceremony last night at Alki Masonic Hall in The Junction honored the local students chosen for this year’s School Awards from Lodge #152, the 36th year the lodge has presented awards “in support of our public-school system.” Eight juniors from each of two schools were honored, four girls and four boys:
Above, the West Seattle High School honorees. Accompanied in our photo by principal Ruth Medsker, they are, in alphabetical order:
And from Chief Sealth International High School, photographed with counselor Jol Raymond, the honorees are:
Mabel Hernandez Collazo
The lodge also honored four selected students from the previous year’s honoree roster. From those four, Matthew Wo from CSIHS received a $1,000 scholarship:
The “2013 Top Boys and Girls” also included Sealth’s Eileen Lee and WSHS’s Megan Antalan and Michael Lee. Last night’s ceremony was emceed by Martin Monk of Lodge 152; he also is a member of the Education Council that coordinates the awards program, along with Gary Langenbach, John Bozeat, and Elmer Lindseth.
All contents copyright 2014, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^