Though we couldn’t make it to Wednesday’s Seattle Public Schools Board meeting in person, two issues of concern we’ve covered recently were on the agenda, so we’ve reviewed the archived video to see how the discussion went.
Those items and our most-recent coverage:
*“Bell-time” (school start/end) changes, revised
*Boundary changes (with an eleventh-hour change in West Seattle)
First: Both were “introduction items,” so neither was voted on – the votes are planned at the next School Board meeting, Wednesday, November 4th. But the board members’ comments during this meeting might give some hint of how the votes will go; they didn’t voice major concerns or opposition, though both were topics of public comment during that portion of the meeting (58 minutes into this clip).
BELL TIMES: Discussion began at 52 minutes into the video clip above. It was acknowledged that the “tier” times for next year will be 10 minutes later, so that’s why “Tier 3” (latest-start) schools – including Lafayette and STEM K-8 in West Seattle – will be starting at 9:40. (The new times, in addition to being featured in our previous coverage, are on the last page of the documents for this agenda item.) Board member Sue Peters said she’s a Tier 3 parent and she wondered if there might be someway to roll the times back even “five minutes or so.” It was also noted that in two years, the district is scheduled to go to a longer school day – so, might a two-tier system be possible then? Assistant superintendent for operations Pegi McEvoy said they’ll “be looking at it.”
BOUNDARIES: The discussion began just after 2 hours, 3 minutes into the video above; the agenda documents are here. Enrollment planning director Ashley Davies reminded board members that the boundary changes were originally approved in 2013 – with one exception, what’s known as “Area 53” in West Seattle is now going to move from the West Seattle Elementary zone to the Roxhill Elementary zone starting next year, instead of going to the Arbor Heights zone. She noted that fewer than 10 students currently live in that area. West Seattle/South Park’s board member Marty McLaren summarized concerns voiced at last Monday’s meeting at EC Hughes – to which Roxhill is expected to be moved once Hughes is renovated/expanded – describing it as “a strong amount of resistance,” bringing “angst” to WS Elementary in particular. Board member Peters asked about the plan for Roxhill once Hughes is reopened. That hasn’t been finalized, Davies said, but she characterized Hughes as “much larger” than Roxhill, saying that after the upgrades, it’s “going to be a much better environment for teaching and learning.” She also reiterated that Hughes isn’t expected to reopen before 2018. McLaren conveyed that some in the Roxhill community would rather see their school renovated so, she said, “just be aware it’s a continuing point of interest.”
SOMETHING TO SAY? The school board’s feedback address is firstname.lastname@example.org.