Denny-Sealth: 1st part of the suspense apparently ends Monday

According to the agenda outline for next Wednesday’s school board meeting — viewable here on the school district website — details of the Denny-Sealth Project Recommendation item will be “posted Monday.” Whatever the recommendation turns out to be, it will be formally introduced to the board Wednesday night, with a final vote at their next meeting two weeks later (Feb. 27). Between the posting and the introducing, remember, the Westwood Neighborhood Council hopes you’ll attend its moderated-panel-discussion community meeting Tuesday night (Chief Sealth High School Commons, 7 pm; flyer here, news release here). Also remember, as reported Wednesday, the district materials (Power Point slides, drawings, etc.) presented at last Monday’s meeting at CSHS are now available online here.

14 Replies to "Denny-Sealth: 1st part of the suspense apparently ends Monday"

  • Delfino February 9, 2008 (11:11 am)

    Interesting this will come before the WNC community meeting.

    I wonder if the comments, questions and concerns have been distributed to staff and Board, or if they will have any affect on the proposal?

  • westello February 9, 2008 (12:23 pm)

    I can’t find on the district’s website the questions that all the groups at the meeting on the 4th raised. Those questions were supposed to be answered on the website. Did the entire Board see these questions and answers yet? Has the Facilities staff even looked at them in forming their opinion as to their recommendation?

    I have no doubt it will be Option 1 or Option 2 and, that the Board will vote it in later this month. I have made my points previously about why this project has been handled so badly that I believe it’s not a good idea to go forward with a co-joined campus. It’s bigger than this community and if Facilities can get this project through with all its mistakes, then every community should be aware that it could happen to them.

    But the one thing that we all deserve to know, as taxpayers, is the following:
    – if it’s Option 2, where is the $10M extra for Sealth coming from? The district isn’t exactly flush with money. Will it come from another BEX III project liked Hale or Hamilton or New School? Will it come from the $20M reserve fund for BEX III (which Facilities has already started to dip into)? It has to come from the Capital funds so what project isn’t going to get funded to buy off Sealth? (And c’mon, the $10M is an appeasement.)
    -how much money will be lost from the altering or destruction of projects done at Sealth in the last 5 years under BEX II and BTA (tennis courts/softball field and probably part of the library)?

    Facilities would love to sweep these issues under the rug but its public money that has to be accounted for to taxpayers.

  • Indaknow February 9, 2008 (1:21 pm)

    I know this is a bit off-topic, but here goes. I realize in my previous posts I have mentioned my frustration with the lack of general information about this project. I thought I’d elaborate about it. Here are the missed opportunities where I feel that my family/household should have heard about this co-joined plan, but didn’t…

    1. The February 2007 official voters guide
    2. The February 2007 ballot
    3. The IB/Sealth information night we attended in early 2007 at Chief Sealth
    4. The Chief Sealth High School tour for 8th grade families we attended in early 2007
    5. The “Flight Schools” meeting with my incoming freshman’s teacher just before the school year began (late August 2007)
    6. The freshman orientation (September 4, 2007) that families were required to attend.
    7. The Chief Sealth High School open house September 27, 2007
    8. The Chief Sealth website during any of our research 1/2007-9/2007, or even now for that matter

    So I think you can image the shock I felt finding out about this plan in a November 06, 2007 West Seattle Herald Article. It is difficult to believe that this was not intentional on the part of the Chief Sealth administration and the District. Several times during this there were conversations regarding the “extensive remodel” and relocating to Boren but never a mention of the “co-shared campus”. I feel duped. I know that this won’t change a thing in the long run, but I wanted to say it anyway. Thanks for your time and have a great day.

  • Michael February 9, 2008 (6:28 pm)

    Same people, same arguments, same reaction:
    None of this tells me, using facts, that the shared campus is a bad idea.

  • Delfino February 9, 2008 (6:36 pm)


    You remind of the class clown. You want to be heard, but have nothing to say. In the elementary school you would be hugged, in my class, I would ruffle your hair and ask you to think of how your behavior affects the class. If the problem continued, you would get a time out and we would have a staffing with your teachers and parents. Do you mind giving us your parents cell number, so we can set up a staffing?

  • Indaknow February 9, 2008 (7:28 pm)

    When the administration of a school is trying to get me to enroll my child is EXACTLY the time they should show their cards about the plan for the school. I guess I wanted the other “I make educated decisions about my child’s education people (like me)” to know that it could happen to them too. And my nickname on this blog is my dark humor, get it? Because I didn’t know….the joke is on me now.

  • Radley February 9, 2008 (7:29 pm)

    Westello, I would suspect that Fred Stephens dealing with the murder of his son might be playing a role in the delay of Facilities posting the answers to the questions, but as I recall, the goal was to post them by Monday, which is still two days away.

  • westello February 10, 2008 (4:19 pm)

    I totally appreciate the gravity of the situation of Mr. Stephens situation (and, of course, my heart goes out to his family) and I also know the department recently lost their liaison, Eleanor Trainer, who was very good at getting things done.

  • WS family February 10, 2008 (9:52 pm)

    re: Timeline
    I greatly symphasize with what the Sealth community and Westello writes are the issues of non-fuctioning district processes, especially under the “extreme lack of communication & 2-way dialogue” headings.

    But I can’t help but wonder- if the information was out there (from the Aug. ’06 staff meeting where the plan of a co=location was first directly announced to the Sealth community, to the 45,000 flyers sent out to WS families before the Feb. 07 vote), why weren’t people reacting, researching & getting involved when word first came out???

    More timeline information is surfacing. At Franklin HS in the spring of 2006, Ammon McWashington (then HS director) & others from the district spoke at a PTSA meeting and laid out their plans in great detail for a co-location for Sealth & Denny. Why did this not raise any concerns?

    In the fall of ’06 at the 1st Seattle council PTSA meeting of the year, Peter Mayer (in charge of supporting the levy) specifically mentioned that Denny & Sealth would be built again as “one school” with funds from the levy. Check it out- Certainly, you would think that all of the PTSA representatives would report back to their schools and if families or teachers has concerns, that they would start to bring up these concerns almost 1-1/2 years ago?

    Unfortunately, it seems that many people wait and think “someone else” will take care of their problem or concerns, but unless you step up and invest your own personal time, the wheels will continue to slowly roll without you having a say. You must invest yout time in what is important to you, your family and your community. Otherwise, wait…and it’s too late!

  • Indaknow February 11, 2008 (7:35 am)

    I am sure that all you are saying is correct WS family. I can only speak for my experience and those other families I know that share it. The point I am trying to make is that unless I read the Denny webpage (why would I, my kids were at Madison), had a child attended Denny or Sealth, asked the Sealth administration point blank “Is there anything you aren’t telling me that’s going to happen to this school in the next 4 years, like another school being built behind it?” any of the multiple times I met with them, or apparently went to the Distrist PTA meeting in 2006 I wouldn’t know. This is why I am frustrated. Instead of Schools First sending a campaign brochure to 45,000 households why didn’t the district sent a letter to EVERY household with children registered in West Seattle? Our household gets letters about “snow routes”, lead in water pipes, meetings, why not this? I live a stones throw away from both schools, how come NONE of the neighbors I have asked heard about it from the district? Because none of us had teenaged children attending Denny or Sealth. If the goal of the administration of Sealth (or Denny for that matter) is to get more neighborhood kids attending the school, and the cojoined campus is such a benefit, than why wasn’t it being “talked up” with all of us? Perhaps because they were hoping to avoid the questions/controversy/backlash. We sure got PLENTY of mailings about the IB program though…..

  • Indaknow February 11, 2008 (10:57 am)

    The first sentence in my last post was a bit too generous. I do not doubt that this plan was discussed at Franklin or at the District PTA meeting-those facts I can accept. I do not agree with WS Family’s last paragraph. I think that ALL of the parents that are posting on here ARE involved and have been invested in their children, even if we do not agree. Not all of us go to district PTA meetings, but I certainly read my PTAs notes and newsletters when I don’t attend and there was nothing about this project. I apologize if I misread your intent, but it feels like the people who don’t like this plan are being labeled as either ignorant, lazy or uncaring and that is not how I would describe them (or how I would describe any of the proponents either!).

  • Steve Taylor February 11, 2008 (3:56 pm)

    WS Family, to the best of my knowledge (and that is questionable) only a select few were aware of the BEX 3, “option 1” plan long ago. One of the select few informed me about it, knowing my outspoken personality. I inquired to the individual about how they thought best to address / challenge the BEX 3, “option 1” plan? The person suggested I wait a while, and they would get back to me with more detailed information. As you say, the wheels kept rolling on. When the looming cloud of BEX 3, “option 1” had drawn much closer, I inquired to the particular individual what was going on? The person said for “political reasons” they could not offer me any more information, for fear of repercussion… At that time I sent out an E-mail to about one thousand people in my E-mail Address Book regarding the subject, so they would know how some of their Tax Dollars were planned on being spent. Only over time has public awareness brought about questions regarding BEX 3, “options 1”, which subsequently fostered BEX 3, “options 2 & 3”. Without such public expression we would no have the “great” BEX 3, “option 2” (bribe). If I had known of the West Seattle Blog long ago, I would have brought the subject to light on the West Seattle Blog, however I did not. How apropos is it of Ammon McWashington (oh there is a stellar individual) to bring up a subject regarding Chief Sealth and Denny while at Franklin? How many parents of school children, or community members as a whole attend PTA and School Board Meetings? Very few, and we all know it. I rely on my over worked, under paid wife to keep track of most of the issues regarding my children’s schools (I know, such makes me a bum!). I also know there are a lot of bums out there by such a definition. I may be a bum by that definition, however I am a bum who has years of experience regarding Chief Sealth, Denny, Arbor Heights, and the West Seattle Community as a whole. WE should be very careful what we ask for, as we might just get it, in more ways than one. Thank you.

    Steve Taylor

  • WSB February 11, 2008 (4:50 pm)

    Just to make sure anyone checking back on this thread saw it, we reported just after 3 pm that district staff has chosen to recommend Option 2. Will be updating that particular item shortly.

  • Steve Taylor February 11, 2008 (4:53 pm)

    I just received the below information which would confirm the WSB information.

    I will be there. However, it seems the superintendent has already made her recommendation for Option 2, so it all seems pretty pointless right this minute. I’m headed home after writing a letter to the board members. There must be something else that they are not sharing with us. I cannot fathom how they could not see the wrongness of this plan.”

    Just so we all know… At least the few of us who read the West Seattle Blog on this issue / thread. Thank you.

    Steve Taylor

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