3 more portables planned for West Seattle elementary schools

Followup on our two latest reports about West Seattle public schools dealing with big enrollment growth because of the district’s New Student Assignment Plan (Wednesday report here; Thursday report here): The district confirms that more portables are on their way to schools including three elementaries in West Seattle: One double portable each to Gatewood and Lafayette, one single portable to Schmitz Park. According to district spokesperson Teresa Wippel, they’re set for delivery sometime before the start of next school year. (We happened onto this news because the Gatewood portable classrooms need approval from the Landmark Preservation Board, since that school is an official city landmark, and the plan turned up on the agenda for the LPB’s Architectural Review Committee next Friday.)

17 Replies to "3 more portables planned for West Seattle elementary schools"

  • Genessee neighbor January 7, 2011 (5:15 pm)

    Can they send a few Port-a-Pottys too? And perhaps another lunchroom? Are fire codes being met during assemblies and lunch hours? Just wondering…
    And are there enough emergency supplies on hand in case of a natural disaster?

  • soon to be home January 7, 2011 (5:15 pm)

    We’ll be moving home this year and my eldest will be starting school. Which elementary schools to people reccomend?


  • marty January 7, 2011 (5:27 pm)

    It’s bad enough that Seattle schools have a lousy success level, now we have to add portables to make them look gheto.

  • Bonnie January 7, 2011 (5:34 pm)

    soon to be home, it now depends on where you live. Do you already have a place to live?

  • miws January 7, 2011 (5:48 pm)

    soon to be home, you’ll likely get some very helpful responses on this thread, but you may also want to start a thread over in the “West Seattle Schools” Forum, in the WSB Forum section:



    You might also want to cruise through the threads that are already there, but after a very quick scan, it looks like any pertaining specifically to Elementary Schools are several months old.



  • Genesee Hill January 7, 2011 (5:58 pm)

    Yo, Marty!

    You mean they didn’t teach you how to spell ghetto in the ghetto?

    Ghetto Dude

  • Oliver January 7, 2011 (7:13 pm)

    Gatewood will lose a big portion of its playground with the arrival of a double portable. But, hey, who needs unstructured play time when the MAP test is the only thing that seems to matter to the district. It’s really frustrating that the district has created the need for portables.

    Soon to be home, despite my negative comments about the district, we do really like Gatewood. My son started there as a kindergartener this year. Gatewood has a multi-age band program, so K and 1st grade classes are paired with a team of team teachers. Each grade has a primary teacher, but (at least with our team), the teachers switch for math. I like the fact that this approach allows my son to know a lot of 1st graders to “show him the ropes” and at least two “safe” adults in the building. Since we’re a team, we also get the homework packet for both grades, so you can pick and choose based on your child’s level. His teachers are really great and I feel fortunate to have them, because a lot of the quality depends on the teachers. It’s a diverse school with a down to earth community, we have fun events like slime night (science night), literacy night, and a multicultural potluck – to name a few things we have already participated in this year. We have a variety of after school programs/clubs like spanish, sign language, science, music and art.

  • Genesee Hill January 7, 2011 (7:29 pm)

    Oh, come on. Portables were a way of life in the 50s. Look how good the boomers turned out. We made this country great. Yeah!

  • Jen January 7, 2011 (8:01 pm)

    Soon to be home: we have a kindergartener at Schmitz Park and are really happy there; we have some good friends at Gatewood and at Lafayette who are also very happy this year (a whole cohort of friends sarting K last fall). If you do have a place already, I think you can check your reference school at the Seattle Public Schools website. This link might work to a city-wide map and the boundaries for each school:


    Welcome to WS!!

  • pb January 7, 2011 (10:45 pm)

    Fabulous idea! I had portable restrooms during the First Gulf war, while I was learning all about democracy in action. Or was the lesson “how to save the world”.

  • Gina January 8, 2011 (9:08 am)

    Lafayette had 2 double portables and at least 5 single portables through the mid-70s. All but one were used as all day classrooms. I don’t suppose the school will think of putting the enrichment and tutoring type classes (art, computer, library, storage) out in the portables, and have the main building be the rooms for the main classrooms. Unless portables come with plumbing these days.

  • Traveler January 8, 2011 (11:03 am)

    Gina, On paper it sounds logical to put many of the classes you mention in portable, but there are huge logistic problems with some. Elementary school libraries are too large for even a double portable. Portables are not secure enough for computer rooms.

  • Brad Fletcher January 8, 2011 (11:18 am)

    I was in portable #2 for second grade at Lafayette in 1961 / 1962. We had Miss O’brien as our teacher. She’d been our student teacher in the 1st grade too. The old oil burning furance sure kept us warm during the winter, most of the time very warm! Also had print class amd one other class at Madison Jr High in a portable. Fond memories! Bet they are alot nicer now. Most of us baby boomers had classes in portables and we turned out just fine!

  • miws January 8, 2011 (2:17 pm)

    The only class I remember for sure being in a portable, was 2nd grade at Lafayette as well, in 1965/66. Miss Trush, my first Teacher crush! ♥


    Brad, remember the blackout (window)shades?



  • Gina January 8, 2011 (2:42 pm)

    I was in Portable 33 for 2nd and 3rd grade. I remember the cold rainy days when the teacher was slow coming back from the teacher’s lounge!

    Remember the stink of wool from the heater because we could drape our wet wraps on the safety bar around it? And no lockers, but a row of hooks under the windows, and everything else tossed on the floor!

    And the blackout blinds–the tall kids would get to pull those down when the teacher showed a movie or slides.

  • Oliver January 8, 2011 (3:53 pm)

    The “we turned out just fine” attitude towards education is why we are at a race for the bottom. Sure, prior generations didn’t wear seat belts and didn’t use car seats for their babies, yet some of them turned out ok. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t wear seatbelts or use car seats today. Today we know that overcrowding is seriously detrimental to academic achievement and increases the achievement gap – the portable issue is about more than whether it’s cold and damp inside.

  • miws January 8, 2011 (5:13 pm)

    Ah yes Gina! Some more faint memories are trying to come back!


    I should have included you, as well, in the shades question. Sorry! I know one thing for sure, I would not have been one of those tall kids pulling them down! :lol:



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