Video wrap-up of Denny-Sealth vote: “It’s not over”

So said one Option 2 (shared campus) opponent, right after the school board vote. You’ll see that clip at the end of this post. First, let’s backtrack:

(video unavailable due to shutdown)

There, you see the opponents of the Denny-Sealth shared campus who stood silently throughout much of tonight’s Seattle School Board meeting (WSB liveblog archived here), until and during board members’ 5-2 vote in favor of the project — here’s the roll call:

(video unavailable due to shutdown)

Ahead: More clips including West Seattle’s board rep Steve Sundquist explaining his support for Option 2 and board member Harium Martin-Morris explaining why he opposed it, plus public comments before the vote (including one FOR the shared campus), and that “it’s not over” vow:

First, here’s how Sundquist explained his pro-2 vote, after reiterating he believes it’s a matter of fiscal responsibility and agreeing the public outreach/engagement was insufficient, while recapping some other points of the controversy leading up to the vote:

(video unavailable due to shutdown)

Mary Bass and Harium Martin-Morris were the two board members voting against Option 2; Martin-Morris said it didn’t meet “the bar” he set for his decisionmaking, while campaigning last year — that anything he supports must help students learn and help teachers teach:

(video unavailable due to shutdown)

Of the dozen-plus members of the public who spoke about the Denny-Sealth controversy at the start of the meeting, only one was in favor of Option 2, Denny parent Gavin Layton, who — after sharing his reasoning — also criticized the district’s level of communication/outreach:

(video unavailable due to shutdown)

Among the anti-Option 2 speakers were Chief Sealth students Alyson Hitch and Duron Jones (you’ll see his short, to-the-point speech in this clip right after hers concludes; the WSB post he refers to is here):

(video unavailable due to shutdown)

Also among the Option 2 opponents speaking to the board were Sealth staffers such as Delfino Munoz, who urged the board — pre-vote — to consider what would be read into their action, as well as the direct effects of the action itself:

(video unavailable due to shutdown)

We also talked with Munoz after the vote, to ask him, “Now what?”

(video unavailable due to shutdown)

As for what’s next from the district’s standpoint — administrators had said that if the shared campus wasn’t scrapped, the project would go out to bid this spring; how the “extra $10 million” approved tonight for Sealth will be spent, has yet to be decided (we talked about it with Sealth principal John Boyd in our interview yesterday; read it here). The district presentation shown tonight (see it here) says work would begin this fall, with Sealth students spending two years at Boren on Delridge; Denny students would move into their new school on the Sealth campus in three years.

Regarding community discussion — there’s bound to be some at the next meeting of the Westwood Neighborhood Council, which stepped in last summer to take the lead in organizing community discussion of the Denny-Sealth proposal, after the district’s acknowledged ball-dropping. (Our archived coverage dates back to that first WNC meeting on Denny-Sealth, and a bit earlier.) The WNC meets at Southwest Library on March 11; read more on its website.

9 Replies to "Video wrap-up of Denny-Sealth vote: "It's not over""

  • chas redmond February 27, 2008 (11:23 pm)

    I must wonder aloud what Maria Ramirez would have done. I voted for her and continue to believe she would have been a strong and supportive board member. I’ll need to hear Sundquist’s reasons for voting for Option 2. But, anything but Option 3 is a complete slap-in-the-face to the residents, students and staff of Denny-Sealth and the surrounding neighborhood. Not to mention incredible issues of equity. I’m frankly stunned that the school board still refuses to include the community. They are losing a trust battle about as fast as any group I’ve seen.

    I’m not the only one who sees major fault here – the recently-published school system audit exposes the Seattle School system and the board for basically failing to provide educational opportunity to the students of Seattle.

  • Dan Dempsey February 28, 2008 (4:48 am)

    Delfino is correct. This is a long way from over. Let us remember the Mono-Rail vote. Then Remember buying the properties. Then we saw the properties sold.
    Delfino is right on the mark with his comments about the board’s view of the teaching professionals in the district: to be brief Teachers do not know from Shine-ola.
    If anyone is wondering why many teachers leave the SPS annually, I believe it has to do with lack of enthusiasm for being treated as chattel property rather than professionals.
    Teachers need greater respect in America. In Asia education is revered and teachers get more respect. I once thought this had to do largely with the public at large. Then I came to Seattle and it all became very clear. Some of those persons who have among the least respect for teachers are school directors, central office administrators, and a few building level administrators.
    Currently, thoughtful logical argument have no place in SPS politics because deception and vindicative reprisals are the norm.
    By coincidence the SPS have dumped about two million into this Denny/Sealth co-location fiasco thus far; the same amount as the cost of Everyday math.
    More available on Harium’s Blog.
    Now we know why many other directors do not have blogs because they want no input.

  • westello February 28, 2008 (8:58 am)

    The co-location is a done deal but I give Mary Bass and Harium Martin-Morris kudos for their courage. I know it must have been especially hard for Director Martin-Morris because there must have been pressure for this to be a unanimous vote. And, as Director de Bell even admitted in his remarks before the vote last night, “There is a lot of risk in doing this.”

    However, I wouldn’t say it’s over. The district will now have to find a way to make this work. (It better work because Denny and Sealth are now kissing cousins for the next 50 years.)

    But oddly, the district has thrown it to Denny and Sealth to work it out. Sealth already probably doesn’t trust its own principal and likely doesn’t trust Denny’s. It seems like the district could help mediate instead of telling them to do it themselves. The curriculum-audit presented last night even said that too much site-based management hasn’t worked. Why did we just pay $125,000 for this audit if the district isn’t going to listen?

    One big issue is to figure how and when all this collaborating – before and after the renovating – is going to happen. Sealth is going to be gone the next two years off to Boren. (FYI the Board approved taking $2.5M from the BEX III Reserve Fund to improve Boren, Columbia, Lincoln and Hale so Boren will get something – science labs for the IB? – to make it better for Sealth.)

    I have to think that after two years at Boren and two years at Sealth as a worksite that the Sealth community is going to be pretty tired. It’s not exactly a great atmosphere for collaboration.

    And then, where is the time going to be in the school day? If you do it before or after school, then you will run into the teachers union.

    The other issue is security. There is no magic wand to wave to get a police officer assigned at Denny/Sealth. (And I’m sorry but if the district is creating the largest school community there, middle and high school kids at two schools that have their share of regular problems, you’re going to need more security.) I was speaking to a prosecutor in the juvenile crimes division and she was pretty shocked that this was happening. It really is not to be taken lightly.

    This is not to say it can’t be made to work or that there isn’t room for compromise. But it’s a huge undertaking with hard feelings on one side and no plan – or even an outline of a plan at all – about how the academics or day-to-day operations will work. That’s pretty disturbing. Usually the plan comes first and then the decision to go forward.

  • Debbie February 28, 2008 (11:50 am)

    The audit presentation at the board meeting last night didn’t reveal any big surprises to staff and parents. We didn’t need to spend a penny to tell the School Board where the deficiencies are. Perhaps, if we charged a fee for our public testimony, then we could be considered “experts” and they might listen?

    Lucky for those on the Board that voted for Option 2 last night, their terms will be just about finished (or already complete) by the time the nightmare begins. Maybe they too will fade into the sunset like Irene Stewart…

  • Charlie Mas February 28, 2008 (4:58 pm)

    It is never fiscally responsible to buy something you don’t want no matter how low the price.

  • Michael March 1, 2008 (1:47 am)

    LOL at calling Option 2 “the nightmare” – have opponents truly worked themselves up into that much of a frenzy?
    Seriously, this is what makes local politics so ridiculous.

  • Debbie March 1, 2008 (11:42 am)


    Ever been to Sealth in the rain when the most recent addition they were given leaks? I can only imagine what will happen in the “galleria”. Similar to getting rid of the Kingdome (nice dry place to watch sports) and sitting in the cheap seats at Safeco field.

    Just a minor example of one situation.

  • Doug March 2, 2008 (5:24 am)

    Maybe it is time to start taxing our selves appropriately so the school system can afford to give us all the things we seem to want. It would be nice to have a maintenance budget that covered more than mowing the lawn twice a year.

  • Steve Taylor March 6, 2008 (6:01 am)

    Most everyone is familiar with the saying “to many Chief’s, not enough Indians”. The majority of our Seattle School District current “Chiefs” are unqualified, seem to surround themselves with layers of unqualified staff (safety in numbers). They are financially irresponsible, all proven one again by the recent audit. Give more money to an irresponsibly managed School District that robs money from one responsibility to give to another – not me. I see no good reason to provide the Seattle School District any money whatsoever that is not legally unconditionally mandated to select causes (Teacher’s Salaries, Books, Etc.). Administrators are over paid, under worked (at least in many cases), seem to accomplish little to justify there reason for being. Call me stupid, I voted for Steve Sundquist, and will NEVER make that mistake again! Unfortunately, in West Seattle, the majority of financially affluent / politically active parents who live in the Denny / Chief Sealth greater community do not send their Children to Denny / Chief Sealth. If they did, BEX III, option 2 would not succeed, and still may not if a successful legal challenge to BEX III is brought forth in time. Who is up for another round? Delfino Munoz of Chief Sealth High School knows me well enough. I believe Delfino Munoz would be a good point of contact person to bring together financial supporters of a legal challenge to BEX III. I have already stated I would begin by putting $1,000.00 toward an agreed legal challenge to BEX III. Who is willing to put their money where their mouth is? Thank you.

    Steve Taylor

Sorry, comment time is over.