Another West Seattle school shuffle ahead? Meeting at Louisa Boren STEM K-8 on June 1st

Four years ago, Seattle Public Schools proposed moving what was then K-5 STEM to what was then Schmitz Park Elementary.

Eventually, it was decided instead that what started as STEM’s temporary home, the former Louisa May Boren Junior High School, would be its permanent home.

Or maybe not permanent after all.

This week, a Louisa Boren STEM K-8 parent is calling attention to new talk of a possible move, and a district official coming to the school next week to talk about it.

When we asked district spokesperson Tom Redman what’s under consideration, his reply included the meeting announcement:

Dr. Flip Herndon, Associate Superintendent for Capital Projects and Planning and Enrollment Planning, will meet with the Louisa Boren K-8 STEM School Community on June 1st from 6:30-7:30 at Louisa Boren School to provide information and answer questions.

With growing student enrollment and the McCleary class size student-teacher ratios for grades K-3 issue, we’ll need additional classrooms in our elementary school buildings. With this in mind, we need to identify short and long term capacity solutions for Genesee Hill, Alki and Lafayette elementary schools. At the same time, we need to identify interim locations for future school capital construction projects: we will consider the use of Schmitz Park, Louisa Boren and Roxhill school buildings as options.

Just a few of the factors that might be playing into this: The Roxhill building is already scheduled to be vacated after next school year; as we’ve been reporting for more than a year and a half, its program is scheduled to move to EC Hughes Elementary, which is about to start renovation work to get ready to reopen in fall of 2018. Schmitz Park, meantime, has been home to preschool and after-school-care programs this year, since its former elementary program moved into the new Genesee Hill building last September. It, Lafayette, and Alki are already being studied for the BEX V ballot measure that the district will send to voters in 2019. Stay tuned.

18 Replies to "Another West Seattle school shuffle ahead? Meeting at Louisa Boren STEM K-8 on June 1st"

  • ickity ackity oop May 25, 2017 (6:32 am)

    It would be nice to know more specifics from SPS before going into the meeting.  What are the options?

  • ImmaMom May 25, 2017 (8:17 am)

    We need a long term solution, but we need space for current kids now!   Taking away computer rooms and library space to create more classroom space is unacceptable.  Let’s get creative and flexibile, SPS!

  • STEMMom May 25, 2017 (9:39 am)

    More info has been posted on the STEM K-8 PTA Facebook event page:

  • photon May 25, 2017 (11:26 am)

    That would be a bummer, as the STEM school is developing the neighboring wetland area (one of the old City Light parcels) into an outdoor classroom for study. I hope if they move, the new students will utilize it as well.

  • Joslin Roth May 25, 2017 (12:42 pm)

    SPS let us grow!!! We have a wait list for crying out loud! We have put our blood, sweat, tears, and $$$ into making STEM a vibrant part of the Delridge community. Our children love their school, in spite of all of it’s needs. You couldn’t ask for a more devoted, loving group of parents to support a public school.  SPS please keep my family a public school family. Every time you make us fight for our schools we have to sit down and look at the private school options and weigh out our choices. Why do you insist on making it so hard for us? 

  • STEMomma May 25, 2017 (12:49 pm)

    There isn’t any room for this large of a school at Schmitz Park. And, with the ever growing enrollment at Genesee Hill, doesn’t it make more sense to use that facility for the north end schools?

  • AJP May 25, 2017 (1:26 pm)

    It makes a lot more sense to open Schmitz Park for the north end. 

  • NotAmused May 25, 2017 (1:29 pm)

    Yes, brilliant: Let’s take a rare example of a diverse, thriving school, shrink it and move it out of its mixed-income neighborhood to a more affluent area that’s already over capacity and needs that space. Let’s make sure that the egregious north/south socioeconomic divide is further highlighted by having the HCC track and both WS option schools in the Madison draw area, in the hopes that fewer accessible choices in the Denny service area will repopulate schools with dwindling enrollment, instead of actually making the investments to help those communities thrive. SPS, you’re the worst. 

    • AmandaK(H) May 25, 2017 (1:58 pm)

      Yes, exactly all of this.

  • highpointparent May 25, 2017 (1:35 pm)

    Moving Louisa Boren K-8 STEM School would be a huge loss for the High Point and Delridge neighborhoods, some of the most racially and socioeconomically diverse in West Seattle. The District cannot in good conscience move this educational opportunity away from these diverse populations when at the same time the District says that they have a goal to “eliminate opportunity gaps.” 

  • ThereAreNoWords May 25, 2017 (2:39 pm)

    Genesee Hill is planning for 750 kids next year in a facility designed for 675.    Rather than using the vacant Schmitz Park building to deal with the overcapacity on the north end, SPS wants to move a thriving school from the Denny reference area there.  Not just any school, but a thriving school with a huge wait list that could add capacity in its current location.   Instead, SPS apparently wants to add portables to Schmitz Park because STEM is too big for that facility in any event and leave Boren vacant.

    I demand drug and alcohol testing of the employees at John Stanford because whoever proposed this is seriously impaired.

  • STEMMom May 25, 2017 (4:28 pm)

    More from the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 PTA: Detailed concerns, timeline and history of the school, and a list of programs & services offered at the school:

  • Craig May 25, 2017 (11:03 pm)

    Do what it takes to make Schmitz Park work as the long term district interim site and keep STEM where it is please.   

  • How do it May 26, 2017 (10:00 am)

    It would seem the better idea to make Schmitz Park (with all the portables)  the interim school. However, that school is very isolated, and may be difficult to reach from many neighborhoods. 

  • NotAmused May 26, 2017 (11:19 am)

    Since SP is isolated and the space is needed, I think it makes more sense to figure out how to use the current Roxhill campus after their school moves to EC Hughes. It’s on an arterial, so it’s accessible from more areas and better able to absorb added traffic, and the location is more suitable for an interim site than a permanent. Obviously the building as-is wouldn’t work, but given the fact that the district needs more capacity…they should probably add more capacity instead of trying a whole bunch of disruptive bandaids. 

  • Bonnie May 26, 2017 (11:50 am)

    Having STEM at Boren has really helped the neighborhood.  If an empty school is there again it won’t help things.  Boren should be left where it is.

  • skeeter May 26, 2017 (12:15 pm)


    This has to be the worst idea ever.  It’s horrible for existing students, new
    students, parents, the Highpoint/Delridge community, social equity, economic
    equity, racial equity, teachers, staff, traffic congestion, and bus costs for
    all the reasons listed above.  And this
    comes after SPS decided just three years ago that Boren would be the permanent
    home for STEM? The *only* conclusion I can come to is some SPS administrators
    despise option schools and this proposal is some sort of punishment for the
    families and teachers who work to make STEM at Boren so amazing.  I know that sounds awful but I just cannot
    imagine how an idea this destructive ever made it to the point of public
    discussion.  (Full disclosure – I am the
    parent of a child at STEM.)

  • Stemiscool May 29, 2017 (1:01 pm)

    The way K-8Stem gets jacked around, it’s like it doesn’t have official standing or it’s just an option school. It appears that the board wants to use stem as a chess piece, or to put out fires, and not take heat from the “real” schools …

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