School boundary changes: West Seattle meeting next Wednesday

(WSB photo, taken this morning: Demolition continues at ex-Genesee Hill Elementary)
Because of changes including new school construction (like the Genesee Hill site, above), the Seattle Public Schools board voted last November to approve boundary changes that are being phased in over the next five-plus years. Some take effect next school year (2015-2016), so the district is having three public meetings next week to talk about those. The meeting for families in West Seattle is at 6:30 pm next Wednesday (October 8th) in the lunchroom at Fairmount Park Elementary (38th/Findlay). Eight elementaries in West Seattle, and both local middle schools (which means both high schools too, because of our area’s feeder pattern), will be affected by the boundary changes, with new maps linked from school names here. In some cases, the changes are relatively small – the Gatewood boundary changes, for example, would affect up to 10 students.

If this wasn’t on your radar, you probably have questions. The district has an FAQ online, including this:

This does not mean that students must change schools. Students currently enrolled at an elementary may stay at that elementary through 5th grade as long as the services they need are available. This is called grandfathering. New students will be assigned based on the updated boundaries.

(Thanks to Mary for pointing us to the report mentioning this – the meetings were not previously on our radar.)

7 Replies to "School boundary changes: West Seattle meeting next Wednesday"

  • AmandaKH October 3, 2014 (3:45 pm)

    Why is Layfayette picking up Area 112? Why is Denny loosing Sanislo? Is Denny overcrowded?

    • WSB October 3, 2014 (4:01 pm)

      According to enrollment projections, there are still gaps between Madison/WSHS and Denny/Sealth (the former about 200 students fewer per school than the latter) …

  • AmandaKH October 3, 2014 (4:02 pm)

    Thanks TR :)

  • Eric1 October 3, 2014 (6:29 pm)

    Ahhh, the Seattle Public Schools continues its income segregation program. How’s about putting Gatewood back at Denny/Sealth and placing West Seattle/Sanislo at Madison/West Seattle?
    I can see how it is difficult to manage the boundaries but most of the Gatewood/Sanislo/West Seattle is in the walk zone for Denny so it isn’t like any particular elementary would take the move “better” than others. The Seattle School District should should at least try and pretend that they care about income equity using free by using reduced lunch as a proxy.

  • Kellie October 3, 2014 (11:09 pm)

    Here is the link to the pretty limited public enrollment information

    The Denny attendance area as 2,785 elementary school students and 1118 middle school students and Sealth has 1588. Madison has 2,383 elementary students and 794 middle school students and WSHS has 959.

    That is the number of enrolled students who live in those areas. They have not released the information about where they actually go to school.

  • Laura October 4, 2014 (7:14 am)

    I’m bothered by the districts disregard for students living in poverty, in particular for those students who will be adversely impacted by this that attend West Seattle Elementary. Many of our most highly impacted students have already lost their busing. We have students walking up the hill from delridge to get to school! We have parents scrambling to take metro every day to transport their children safely. Right now, every student enrolled at West Seattle Elementary receives free breakfast and lunch because so many live in poverty. We have a full time family service worker, school counselor, school nurse, a health clinic that offers vaccinations and dental care, a well coordinated ELL staff and sped program, in addition to our amazing teaching staff. There is free extended day learning and after school programs as well. These supports are germane to student success, and ironically dependant upon enrollment. Changing the boundaries for West Seattle Elementary means the students who leave, lose these supports. It also means a reduction in funding for the learning community left behind. These district decisions are very concerning. The Board needs to look closer at the impact their decisions have on our most vulnerable population of learners in order to preserve equity.

  • Lynn October 4, 2014 (8:19 pm)

    Laura – None of the students already enrolled at WSE have to move to Sanislo. Kindergarten students and other students new to the district who live in Area 56 will be assigned to Sanislo.

    Eric – District staff first suggested moving part of the WSE area to Fairmount Park. That would have put those students at Madison and West Seattle High School and increased income diversity at those schools. Parents who would have been affected were outraged – they want their kids going to Denny and Sealth.

    Kellie – Have you seen the enrollment projections in the Downtown School presentation on the Agenda for the October 8th board work session? I think they are using updated numbers.

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