Jason Gruenwald (assisted by son Idaya) was one of the speakers advocating for West Seattle’s Cooper Elementary School during tonight’s final public hearing on proposed Seattle Public Schools closures, to be voted on by board members one week from tonight. (Clip added 11:04 pm) Said Shekuna spoke on behalf of the Somali immigrants whose children attend Cooper, saying the school is providing them some of what they could not get in that country, so why would the district want to take that away?
Note the signs displayed as he spoke, declaring Cooper (for its academic success) should be a “model, not a target.” Also speaking tonight, Cooper teacher Ruth Solnit, describing Cooper as “a school on an upswing”:
(Clip added 12:37 am) Cooper parent Steve Ball said the school would be fuller if its “reference area” were redrawn – especially given the growth in High Point and along Delridge:
And the board heard from Cooper parent Brittany Abbott (who spoke at the board’s regular meeting the night before, too):
Though there was talk of lawsuits and “no” votes at re-election time, overall, tonight, there were no headlines and no announcements, just a last chance for people to have their say about schools all over the city facing closures and changes. If board members want to propose changes to the current plan (linked from the SPS “Capacity Management” page), president Michael DeBell told them last night that those changes should be submitted to Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson by noon next Tuesday; the vote is scheduled for a special board meeting next Thursday night. West Seattle’s board rep Steve Sundquist told concerned parents at his monthly coffee gathering yesterday morning (WSB coverage here) that he won’t make up his mind till next week; if you would like to speak with him about the closure plan (or any other education concern), he is having another informal gathering this Saturday, 1 pm, at the Delridge Library. All seven board members’ e-mail addresses are here.