West Seattle, Washington
This first day of summer is also the last day of school for Seattle Public Schools kids.
Congrats to all for making it through another school year!
(No holiday for the school-closure hearings, though; the next round is next week, including two stops on our side of the bay, at Fairmount Park and Pathfinder/Genesee; then the final recommendations come out just in time to ignite their own round of pre-4th fireworks.)
We were briefly puzzled on Saturday afternoon when the RFTC shirts on “Walking with Logs” were replaced with dark green shirts and a huge banner, “CONGRATULATIONS VHS PIRATES.”
Chief Sealth … no V … WSHS … no V … aha — Vashon! Seems Saturday was graduation day.
Meantime, if school zones are on your regular route through WS, it’s worth noting that the school year is almost over — Wednesday’s the last day, at least for SPS.
-Looks like the Pathfinder advocates now comprise one of just two groups most loudly protesting the latest version of the school-closure/consolidation plan. This is the only story resembling a thorough article in today’s papers. (Looking in from outside, I’d suggest they focus their arguments on the condition of the Boren building — the complaint about Delridge won’t hold water; for example, what is arguably WS’s most successful elementary school, Lafayette, is right on Cali Ave in the Admiral Junction bizdist, across from a busy supermarket.)
-While the school district dithers over the shutdowns and shifts to save a few $, how much is it going to waste on this fight? (Side note — if you want to spend $ on something related more to body than mind, how about playground improvements? Lafayette has a project going and so does Gatewood, which plans a meeting about its playground-reno project tonight.)
-If this goes through, will our beloved, scenic WS become home to more B-and-B’s? The only one I’ve ever noticed is down by the Fauntleroy ferry dock (and political signs I’ve seen in its windows would keep me, on principle, from ever recommending any visiting relatives stay there, but that’s just me).
-Guess this means I’ll get to see those nice little old precinct workers a few more times.
The Pathfinder K-8 folks are planning rallies before and after school today as the next step in their fight against the proposal to move them to the former Boren JHS on Delridge. Then tonight, it’s the next public hearing on the citywide plan.
By the way, minutes from the last Pathfinder PTSA meeting (click the link at upper right on this page to download the Word doc) include interesting comments from our West Seattle rep on the school board — not just apropos to Pathfinder and its plight.
Looks like the folks at Pathfinder K-8 are not taking their new proposed home lightly. A big banner’s draped over the north side of the Fauntleroy pedestrian overpass, for drivers coming back into WS up off the bridge — SAVE PATHFINDER/NO BOREN/PTSA MEETING TUES. 6:30. Related: Found an interesting blog from a future Pathfinder parent, tackling the entire school-closure mess citywide.
The new school-closure plan is out, and HP Elementary got cut from the list (PDF document; West Seattle’s moment in the sun starts around page 16). Fairmount Park still has the Grim Reaper hanging around, though. Meantime, since High Point’s not closing, Pathfinder’s looking at a NEW new home — Boren (the current temporary home of Cleveland High, the past temporary home of Madison Middle). If the district manages its assets wisely, I see some lovely new view homes coming to Genesee Hill … they could at least honor the to-be-relocated school by calling the mini-subdivision Pathfinder Pointe, perhaps. Or — will Genesee Hill go the way of its current students’ “new” home, which according to this district info-sheet has been “closed” longer than it’s been open (yet lives on with rotating occupants)?
The semi-final list of proposed Seattle Public Schools closures is due to change hands today from the ciitizens’ committee to the superintendent. This morning, the Times spotlights the one West Seattle proposal that seems to make no sense — “closing” High Point Elementary (but not the building, which Pathfinder K-8 would take over) even as hundreds of brand-new housing units pop up all around it. And this morning’s P-I asks the other tough question — will this plan really save much money? I can’t see how it will unless the closed buildings are sold, period. Pathfinder’s Genesee Hill land alone would make dandy townhouse turf, if zoning allowed.
… but Alki Elementary, which was on the last list, is not one of them. That surprises me, as I’d guess the district would make a mint from selling that land to condo developers.
The ones that did make the list just made public tonight are Fairmount Park and High Point. However, that fancy new-ish building at High Point won’t close — the district wants to move Pathfinder over there.
Maybe the district figured that Genesee Hill real estate is worth more than the Alki land? Better views. More later when the official district docs are out …
From the WS Herald: WSHS cancels 9th-grade honors program.
Seattle Public Schools leaders wonder why enrollment keeps dropping. That’s because they offer nothing for the people who have the resources to make a choice. Check out the 12th paragraph here — what in the world could an educator possibly have against spending some time working with bright kids? Practically right across the street from WSHS, the district’s “Spectrum” program manages to hang on, despite outright hostility and neglect from district leaders. You can bet the parents of those kids are trying mightily to save for private school in later years, now that the district has flown the “we’re not even going to try to keep your kids challenged in high school” flag.
In this case, it doesn’t even sound like a case of money trouble for the district. Just flat-out indifference to the very real needs of gifted kids, and other high achievers. Getting off my soapbox now, but my blood’s still a-boil …
All the nice folks at Alki Elementary have to go through it all again — the folks who run Seattle Public Schools insisting the only way to save $ is to close school. We doubt they will escape the ax this time. Bummer.