Seattle school-closure vote: Two followup notes

Two notes in the wake of Thursday night’s vote approving a plan for closures and changes including the end of the Cooper Elementary “program,” the shutdown of the Genesee Hill building, and the Pathfinder K-8 move into the Cooper building:

MEETING VIDEO: Thursday night’s meeting in its entirety is archived on the Seattle Channel website. Note that the cameras don’t have full audience views, so most of the heckling, booing, and other tumult is off-camera, but it can be heard, as can the rest of the proceedings (in some cases, more clearly than it was heard during the meeting, since the audio feed for this recording comes through board members’ microphones, meaning the audience interruptions don’t sound as loud as they did for those of us who were in the room; our video clips are incorporated into our coverage from Thursday night).

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: Many questions remain, particularly for the families whose schools are involved in the plan; the district has promised an “updated FAQ” on its “capacity management” (closures/changes) page “within a few days.” Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson said at the Thursday night meeting that the families who would not be able to go to the same schools next fall will get “individual assignment letters” in the coming week. Those letters are supposed to stipulate whether Cooper students (outside those in the autism program, which will stay in the building) will be assigned to Gatewood, Highland Park, or Arbor Heights, per terms of West Seattle school-board rep Steve Sundquist’s board-approved amendment.

If the 60-year-old Genesee Hill campus closes this fall as approved by board members (the only remaining “if” would involve legal challenges, which have been mentioned by various citywide groups), that will be its second shutdown. The first one lasted from 1990 to 1994, according to this district-written article; 1994 is when it was reopened so Pathfinder, then known as Alternative School #4.

2 Replies to "Seattle school-closure vote: Two followup notes"

  • KSJ January 31, 2009 (10:41 pm)

    I haven’t read all the supporting documents, so excuse me if this has been answered somewhere – if/when Genesee closes, what are they going to do with that property?

  • WSB January 31, 2009 (11:06 pm)

    It’ll be held in surplus for a length of time that the district will decide. Same as Fairmount Park Elementary, which closed a year and a half ago … some of the school district properties that are just now being sold, like the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, were closed as schools DECADES ago, so there’s no telling how long it would be held. We also asked whether the grounds will be open to the public for recreational uses, and that had not been determined either – will renew that inquiry … TR

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