FOLLOWUP: School Board delays ‘bell time’ and Student Assignment Plan votes, approves boundary changes, purchase of ex-Westside portables, play equipment

Following up on the School Board agenda items for tonight that were previewed here this morning:

BELL TIMES: The vote’s been postponed until November 18th, because the state Environmental Policy Act requires a 7-day waiting period between the release of the environmental-impact statement – posted on the district website Tuesday – and any final vote. The board still got an earful from parents upset about the Tier 3 times which will have some schools starting after 9:30 am.

STUDENT ASSIGNMENT PLAN: This too has been delayed, no date announced. As one furious parent pointed out in the public-comment period, what had been described earlier this fall as “minor revisions” turned into a giant stack of changes when the agenda was published last Friday – changes that parent declared would “gut” the current assignment plan in myriad ways. She called for more notice and feedback opportunities. The proposed changes will be discussed at an upcoming board committee meeting.

BOUNDARY CHANGES: Changes including the move of some West Seattle Elementary territory to Roxhill Elementary‘s zone next year, instead of Arbor Heights, were approved. Following up on concerns expressed during a hastily added meeting at EC Hughes on October 19th – following the revelation that Roxhill is expected to move to Hughes in 2018 – West Seattle board rep Marty McLaren said she had talked to WSE and Roxhill principals today and both “are comfortable” with the move. Also brought up: What about Roxhill community members’ request to have their school renovated so they could move back eventually? The district indicated that’s not likely to happen – that Roxhill would really only merit demolition and rebuilding, though it was stressed that’s not currently planned, and would cost up to $25 million. Its future after the Hughes move isn’t clear, but the district says it would hold onto the site regardless, as it expects to eventually need all its properties as enrollment grows.

BUYING PORTABLES, PLAY AREA AT HUGHES FOR $525K: As of this writing (9:01 pm), the board is in a break and hasn’t gotten there yet. We’re continuing to monitor the meeting live via cable video and will update when they do. (9:18 pm update – Passed unanimously without discussion.)

11 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: School Board delays 'bell time' and Student Assignment Plan votes, approves boundary changes, purchase of ex-Westside portables, play equipment"

  • Lafayette Dad November 4, 2015 (9:57 pm)

    Maybe the board will actually listen to parents for a change and not give Lafayette ridiculously late bell times compared to every other WS elementary school. Why in the world don’t they move the bell times earlier rather than later for Lafayette if all the other elementary schools start at 8am? I don’t get their logic behind pushing Lafayette bell times even later than they are now.
    That is awesome that so many people spoke out during the meeting tonight! Give them something to think about!

  • AmandaKH November 4, 2015 (10:08 pm)

    So Again. It will cost $22.5m to renovate EC Hughes, but only $25m to build a new school? The EC Hughes building is lovely, but it’s 90 years old. How in the hell will students have good IT connections? Good drinking water? Adequate ADA access? How about enough bathrooms? Large enough cafeteria for the 550 planned students? Not to mention there is absolutely NO GREEN SPACE. Right now Roxhill Elementary has access to and a pilot program has been established for stewardship in the Roxhill Fen. Why are they punishing Roxhill students?

    • WSB November 4, 2015 (10:21 pm)

      I’m going to check back on the EC Hughes $ because my original understanding was that they were building an expansion wing (like Fairmount) to get to 550 students, but instead, the portables are mentioned (with nine classrooms – which would be 200 or so students) as key to that capacity. The documents (which are linked in our morning report, I haven’t gone back to re-link everything here too) say they’re all plumbed, FWIW.

  • Laura November 5, 2015 (6:45 am)

    At the community meeting held at Hughes, Flip said they’d be using the portables year 1. When equity was mentioned, he said decisions aren’t made based on race. Yet, let’s look at the results… New building for Arbor Heights. New building for Schmitz. Amazing addition with renovation to Fairmount Park (w/ no portables). What’s the racial make-up of those school communities in comparison to Roxhill? And, with the ‘March forward’ method of decision-making, now the West Seattle Elementary community is compromised with a projected loss of over 40 students for next school-year (an additional loss of 2 teachers). Let’s think about equity for a moment… How’s Seattle Schools doing? Are they stabilizing their minority populations? We know there’s learning loss when students are moved. Are they supporting schools that are closing the achievement gap? Are they ensuring that the poorest of their students are getting adequate facilities, in comparison to their neighbors whose SES is higher? I’d call it a fail. I’m so disappointed.

  • bsmomma November 5, 2015 (9:18 am)

    Just leave the bell times alone for the love of goodness!

  • Lynn November 5, 2015 (11:48 am)


    For goodness sake, the district has to make decisions based on the academic needs of our students. For middle and high school students, the risks related to early start times are so high that inconveniencing elementary students is worthwhile.

    I think a reasonable start time for all students should be prioritized – but until it is, this change must be made.

  • zark00 November 5, 2015 (12:15 pm)

    @ Laura – hit the nail on the head – SPS fails miserably at ensuring all students regardless of race, geography or socio-economic status receive a comparable education in comparable facilities. They manage reactionary with little planning and even less forethought.

    @ Lynn – You literally just said Middle and High School students are more important than elementary school students – that’s lame and untrue. The SPS (and you) get this all wrong – the science doesn’t dictate a 9am or later start time for High School as ideal, it simply implies that a 7:30 AM start time is too early for ANYONE and especially for teens. In fact, the studies didn’t even evaluate a 9:10 start time vs an 8:30 start time – they evaluated a 7:30am vs 8:30 am start time.
    This is all about SPS ineptitude, money for buses, and reactionary management by a broken, bloated, overpaid, district management group that has little to no clue what they’re doing.

  • EnoughJunkScience November 5, 2015 (12:27 pm)

    That study means nothing. High risks for failure based on an hour of sleep give me a break that study is flawed and it sounds like a vocal minority that doesn’t live in the real world are the ones who are pushing this. You know what’s worse for kids working parents stressed because they can’t afford before school care and not having a flexible employer. how does that effect their learning and success. What about those kids? Get your kid to go to bed earlier instead of screwing over working families that are getting pushed into these tier 3 schools.

  • WestMama3 November 5, 2015 (1:03 pm)

    K-8 STEM and Lafayette have been placed in Tier 3 where they have been for a looong time. How is it that these two schools were selected? Because they have always had a late start time? Doesn’t seem fair to me at all. K-3 students in particular have been up for HOURS by the time the first bell rings and although there are days when I like a little extra time, it is so hard on our youngest students to be getting out of school at 4pm. Just ridiculous and if this continues to be the policy- they really should spread it around a little bit.

  • Lynn November 5, 2015 (5:15 pm)


    I literally just said it is most dangerous for children to be chronically sleep-deprived in their teens and we must do what we can to keep them safe in those years. Your elementary age children are our future middle and high school students and this change is being made to benefit them.


    Your opinion has little weight compared to the AAP and the UW’s sleep science center,

  • Ws resident. November 5, 2015 (10:04 pm)

    Roxhill has had a 9:30 start time for years.

Sorry, comment time is over.