(scroll down for updates from ongoing School Board “work session”)
(map added 4:43 pm – click here for full list of full-size map links)
We’re at district HQ in SODO, where Seattle Public Schools‘ new school-by-school attendance boundaries are to be presented to the School Board momentarily. We’ll add a link as soon as they are published online, and will also add noteworthy details from the meeting as it happens; the district has two meetings in West Seattle next week to answer questions and take feedback, and a final board vote is planned next month. We have a printout with a citywide look at the maps – for starters, the high-school attendance areas for West Seattle are fairly easy to read on the map – the border between WSHS and CSHS attendance areas starts in the west on the north border of Lincoln Park, then jogs up a bit to SW Myrtle running east to 35th SW, and then it jogs north to be SW Graham (straight line to the Duwamish from there).
4:28 PM UPDATE: Dr. Tracy Libros says that new enrollment counts show SPS enrollment is up and they might have to tweak what they are presenting now, since these boundaries are based on data from a year ago, with “moderate growth projections.” She says they will need to “open buildings to meet the needs of current and projected students” – reversing past school closures. Meantime, we’re continuing to review the printout of the attendance-area map: For West Seattle’s two middle schools, Madison’s area includes the areas for Alki, Lafayette, Schmitz Park, Sanislo, and part of Gatewood – looks like everything else is in Denny’s area.
4:34 PM UPDATE: The maps have just been posted online. Meantime, Dr. Libros is listing the closed schools that are proposed to reopen – none in West Seattle (so far) – Sand Point, Old Hay, McDonald, Rainier View, Viewlands. And now – which schools feed into which middle school – she lists the feeders for Denny International Middle School as Arbor Heights, Concord, Gatewood, Highland Park, Roxhill, West Seattle. Feeder schools for Madison Middle School – which will be adding the Spectrum gifted program, it was noted – are Alki, Lafayette, Sanislo, Schmitz Park.
4:50 PM UPDATE: Now the “implementation issues,” as Libros puts it – grandfathering of current students means they “may stay through the school’s last grade and need not reapply, as long as the services that student needs are available at that school” – they will keep assignment if they move within the district, but will lose grandfathered status if they leave the school. 2010-2011 assignments “will apply to entry-grade students – K, 6, 9 – students in other grades may apply to their new attendance area school; assignment on a space-available basis using tiebreakers.” They are working on a “transition plan” – addressing issues including kindergarten siblings, “open choice” seats at high schools (10% but what does that mean?), transportation grandfathering, geographic zones for “option schools,” equal access to advanced-learning programs.
5:04 PM UPDATE: There’s also, it’s noted, a “lookup tool” on the same page from which the maps are linked – click the big yellow badge and you’ll be able to look up the schools in the proposed attendance areas for your address. (We’re trying it right now and it seems to be hourglassing, FWIW.) Board Q/A is about to begin – president Michael DeBell says “it’s been 39 years since we’ve had a reliable assignment plan for (the district).” (5:11 pm – we got into the lookup tool. Here’s a direct link. 5:20 pm – There’s a survey online for plan feedback too – go here.)
5:27 PM UPDATE: West Seattle school-board rep Steve Sundquist’s first question was a followup on the mention that Madison is going to offer the Spectrum advanced-learning program – he wondered if there also will be a “West Seattle South” elementary school offering Spectrum (which currently is available only at Lafayette, in WS) – the answer from Libros was a little convoluted but it sounded like it boiled down to “yes” and that information indicating where, will be on the district website by tomorrow.
5:37 PM: School board member Harium Martin-Morris is asking about an issue that parents have brought up in West Seattle as well: Can Metro handle all the student transportation it’s being asked to handle? Libros says the district is working closely with them – but Martin-Morris is concerned, for example, about students having to spend a lot of time on Aurora because of Ingraham’s new area: “I have some concerns about the reliability of the service and the safety of the service,” he says. Sundquist is following up on that by noting the difficulties that Rainier Valley and Beacon Hill families have had in getting to Sealth, and saying “this is a transition issue for us.”
6:03 PM: Reminder that two meetings are coming up next week where you can ask about the plans and offer feedback – Thursday 10/15, 6:30 pm, West Seattle HS; Friday 10/16, 6:30 pm, Denny IMS. Full list of meetings citywide, here.
6:19 PM: The meeting’s in a break and we’re leaving. For continuing coverage, we recommend saveseattleschools.blogspot.com, where writer/district watchdog Melissa Westbrook is here, and where you’ll find discussion threads on each separate component of the plan. Also, our partners at the Seattle Times have published an overview story here.
10:37 PM UPDATE: One point of discussion in the comments has been the fact the attendance boundaries for Denny and Sealth are not aligned – considering that the two schools will be co-located in less than two years. Here are screen grabs: