Denny/Sealth consolidation controversy: Next steps


The main questions left for us after the Denny/Sealth discussion at last night’s Seattle School Board meeting (which we covered with in-progress reports here and here) were, what now, and when? We got some new info today from West Seattle’s school-board rep Steve Sundquist. But first – we wanted to let you know, if you want to watch the meeting, particularly the testimony on this project during the public-comment period near the start, the video is now available online at the Seattle Channel site. (Regardless of where you stand on the project, you have to agree it’s particularly heartening to see students show up and speak to the board.) Back to “what’s next” — Sundquist says the Denny/Sealth “work session” at 4 pm January 9th will be open to the public; he tells WSB its format and participants are not all set yet, but he’s expecting there to be “some element of presentation” as part of it. He thinks it’ll last an hour to an hour and a half, since it’s before the board’s regular meeting at 6 pm that same night. As for any sort of a deadline to decide whether the Denny/Sealth project will proceed, change, or be scrapped altogether, Sundquist acknowledges that West Seattle families’ enrollment decisions make this time-sensitive as well as the oft-cited construction-cost factor, so he hopes it will be settled “within the first couple months of the year.”

4 Replies to "Denny/Sealth consolidation controversy: Next steps"

  • Josh December 20, 2007 (10:01 pm)

    Sundquist is earning his pay!
    Wait – we don’t pay School Board members.
    Regardless – it’s great to have such timely communication from our elected officials.
    I’m still on the fence about the mixed campus, but I appreciate there will be a balance to process vs. pushing it through.

  • Delfino December 22, 2007 (5:26 pm)

    I can really appreciate your position, Josh. As a staff member, I have been on both sides of this issue since I first heard of it. I first began to ask questions and express concerns in August 2006, and this is first time that I feel the Board and District Administration is actually listening.

    Mr Sundquist has responded in a more substantial manner in one month than the previous Director did in 2 years. It gives me hope that our community may actually have the opportunity to help shape the future of our Denny/Sealth community.

    I hope the community continues to believe that our input can and does make a difference and Mr. Sundquist and the rest of the Board demonstrate, by giving the opportunity for authentic participation, that they understand and support the importance of the partnership of all our stake holders in success of all our students. Together we will make a difference, if we are given the chance.

  • Marlene Allbright December 23, 2007 (8:12 am)

    There are many issues here that most of the Seattle community is not aware of. Many taxpayers should be incensed that their money will be wasted if this project goes through. Millios of dollars have been spent in the last few years on new tennis courts, softball fields, a new commons, a renovated library, a new parking lot, and other improvements that will be either completely removed or reduced. The District is losing money to save money.Where is the logic?

    I have seen the argument that the Summit K-12 model is successful. My children attended Summit. The K-8 program is very strong, but most of the students leave by the time they are in High School, and Summit has extremely small graduating classes. Additionally, Summit is an alternative school and there is a high degree of parental involvement. Most of the students there have one or two siblings attending the school. It’s actually more like a private school. None of the schools that were observed were comparable to Sealth and Denny.

    The District has orchestrated this project to spin public opinion in their favor. This project was never about the students. Unfortunately for them, they did not predict that there would be a community of people who do care about the students.

  • Alison December 23, 2007 (10:17 pm)

    I am a parent of a 1st grader at Sanislo and a staff member at Sealth. I have created a survey that was sent out last Thursday to elementary principals and PTSA to give elementary school parents a chance to comment on the Denny/Sealth merger as well as to inform SPS if and when they received notice about any public meetings. It also included how they wish to be contacted by SPS and how they would like to give information back in the future. Any elementary school parent is welcome to take the survey, but I am asking that you email me first to get all the information that was attached. As much as possible, I was trying to give all sides even though I am not supportive of this project. My email is

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