West Seattle, Washington
Sanislo Elementary has just made it onto the city Department of Transportation “Safe Routes to School” project list, two months after students appeared with council members discussing the Pedestrian Safety Initiative along Delridge (WSB video coverage here). Here’s the full announcement, just out of the WSB inbox, which also mentions the sidewalk work under way for the Arbor Heights Elementary area:Read More
Now that the school district has set its Sealth-Denny community meeting for Monday 2/4 (flyer), the Westwood Neighborhood Council has moved its previously planned forum from 2/5 to 2/12 (the night before the School Board considers whatever becomes the district’s recommended option). Here’s the official news release just sent out by WNC president Steve Fischer:Read More
If you have a child who’s going to start kindergarten next fall — or maybe is still a year out, but you’re already thinking way ahead — there’s an event tonight you won’t want to miss. The 10th annual West Seattle Kindergarten Fair, 6-9 pm in the Brockey Center at South Seattle Community College (which, yes, if you haven’t been there, IS in West Seattle). Organizers gather principals, teachers, and parents from public and private schools around West Seattle, so you can talk with them to find out more. Kay Yano, a WSB’er who’s been in kindergarten-choosing shoes, confirms it’s a don’t-miss:
With the confusion and abundance of information that School Choice often brings, it is worth going to the Kindergarten Fair just in order to have all the options in one place at one time and to clarify which schools you have to go visit in person. I know that you made mention of it in the calendar of events, but it is really such an important event for those parents of 4 and 5 years olds that I thought that I would bring it to your attention. It is also early enough in the year that not everyone who is facing Kindergarten in the fall is quite focused on that decision yet to have even looked for something like the fair. It is put on by the Co-op Preschool Program that is based out of the SCCC Campus, but it is free and open to the public. It is also at a different time than it has been in the past, it has always been on Saturdays, and people may not be looking for it to happen on a weeknight, so it might sneak by them accidentally and a reminder would probably be helpful.
I went when my daughter was a year out from Kindergarten, and it was TOTALLY OVERWHELMING, and I left informed and exhausted, but it gave me info to chew on for a year before I really had to make my decisions, and then went again when it was getting to be choice time when she was 4. I love the school that she attends and that was really where I clarified much of my thinking about what we as a family needed out of a school.
If you haven’t been to SSCC before, here’s a map to its location in east West Seattle. WSB school resources: List of all public and private West Seattle schools, with web links and maps, here; school discussion opportunities in the forums here.
At least one community-group mailing list that we are on has just received a letter from the principal of Chief Sealth High School, John Boyd, in which he writes, “I feel like I cannot remain silent regarding my feelings about this issue any longer,” adding that he is “weighing the merits of options two and three” — two is the current project plus at least $5 million additional improvements to CSHS, three is a Denny rebuild on its existing site, with Sealth still getting some improvements. Here’s the letter as it was distributed; or if you have trouble with PDFs, here’s the text:Read More
–West Seattle Farmers’ Market continues on its winter schedule (11 am-2 pm)
-A concert to benefit the Chief Sealth High School Library will feature 15-year-old violinist Daniel Perrine tonight at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church
As we reported last night, the school district has decided to hold an official public meeting on the Denny-Sealth proposals Feb. 4, the night before a meeting that the Westwood Neighborhood Council had already scheduled for Feb. 5. We e-mailed community liaison Eleanor Trainor from Seattle Public Schools today, asking for a few more details on the Feb. 4 meeting, and here’s what she just sent:
The meeting is scheduled for February 4, in the Sealth library. There will be a “gallery walk” at 630p during which folks can get a look at the latest drawings and ideas, in addition to chatting with district staff and leadership who will be on-hand. The meeting portion of the evening will begin at 7p.
If you missed last night’s update – the district also says the School Board will make its final decision on the Sealth-Denny project at its regular Feb. 27 meeting.
5:30-8:30 PM TONIGHT, THE HALL AT FAUNTLEROY: The first West Seattle open house where you can find out more about the future Metro service known as “RapidRide.” (That photo shows what the special buses will look like; it’s from the RapidRide briefing at the last JuNO meeting – WSB coverage here.) Metro managers want to hear what you think NOW, as they make key decisions about the route and station siting.
4-7 PM TONIGHT, WEST SEATTLE SENIOR CENTER: The development firm BlueStar Management is following up the Jan. 10 Design Review Board meeting (WSB coverage here) on Spring Hill, the mixed-use building proposed for 5020 California and neighboring sites (shown above are the early drawings from the DRB meeting), with a public open house for anyone interested in the latest info about the project.
7:30 TONIGHT, WEST SEATTLE HIGH SCHOOL THEATER: Thanks to TC for that photo showcasing the title of the WSHS play “Love, Sex, and the IRS,” which the WSHS Drama Club is staging tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday night. Plot summary from the Westside Notes e-mail list: “This absurd farce will “drag” you through a wild tale of cross-dressing, mistaken identities and hilarious comic lines. Remember the saying “one lie leads to another?” Well, in this case the lies start when Jon and Leslie, out of work musicians trying to save money, take advantage of Leslie’s ambiguous name and file tax returns as a married couple. The IRS is now investigating them and that is where the cross-dressing comes in. Add a fiancÃ©e, a girlfriend, a mother and an affair, and you have all the ingredients for mayhem.”
Bulletin from the Seattle School Board meeting under way right now (live on Channel 26, though no further Denny-Sealth discussion is expected tonight) — in her “superintendent’s updates,” Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson said there will be a community forum at Chief Sealth High School on Feb. 4 to present the 3 options under consideration (continue current plan, continue current plan but add some $ to Sealth renovations, rebuild Denny on its own site and renovate Sealth separately) — this apparently is separate from the Westwood Neighborhood Council‘s planned Feb. 5 meeting on the project (we will check with the Westwood folks to be sure). Then, she said, a resolution will be introduced at the Feb. 13 school board meeting recommending which option to pursue, and the board would vote on it at its next meeting after that, Feb. 27. More later, including highlights of the Denny-Sealth speakers in tonight’s public comment period (all opposed to the consolidation project — is there a reason no supporters ever seem to appear?). 11:30 PM UPDATE: Speaker recap ahead:Read More
The full agenda is now up for tonight’s Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors meeting — see it here — including the list of those who signed up to speak at the start of the meeting. 10 of the 17 people on the list are scheduled to talk about the Denny-Sealth project. The meeting’s at 6 pm — attend in person @ district HQ, or watch live on cable channel 26.
School-tour season continues today – the WSB Events page lists many West Seattle schools’ tours, continuing on into February. One of the schools with tours today is Gatewood Elementary — which also just happens to be looking to celebrate its past as well as hosting potential participants in its future — per this announcement:
Gatewood Elementary turns 100!
Are you a Gatewood graduate? If so, we would love to hear from you. We will be celebrating Gatewoodâ€™s birthday on May 31st, 2008, and would love to have you join in the party. Please contact celebration coordinator Celia Townsend with your name, contact information and any stories or photos you would like to share. Thank you!
Just back from West Seattle Elementary in High Point, where the King Day “Day of Service” work as part of the Hands on Schools project (previewed here on Thursday) got a major kickoff this morning featuring Governor Gregoire, her husband (aka “First Mike”), and Seattle Congressman Jim McDermott. Here’s our first clip, the governor joining in the City Year volunteers’ traditional morning warmup:
Tara Smith with Seattle Works tells WSB that local families are welcome to come by during the work today, which is under way through 3 pm (though the governor’s not staying all day) — they’ve got “family-friendly” activities for ages 5-12. More video ahead, including Gov. Gregoire on Dr. King, plus some of what West Seattle Elementary principal Gayle Everly and Rep. McDermott had to say:Read More
ADDED 10:35 PM: Just can’t get enough of tonight’s sunset. For this one, we have Dan E to thank:
ADDED 7:30 PM: And another spectacular sunset shot – this one from SL (thank you!):
ADDED 6:05 PM: One more scenic shot – the Sunset Avenue sunset, from Steve Heck (thank you!):
FROM EARLIER: Thanks to John LaSpina for thid shot of the Olympics in the morning light:
Now, the site notes:
ADOPT A PET! Since debuting the WSB Pets page a couple weeks ago, we’ve continued adding features, including lost/found pets and more photos from the West Seattle Blog Pet Photos group on Flickr, but we don’t mention every update here on the main page, so if you’re interested in pets, check the Pets page from time to time – you never know what you’ll find. Most recently, we have heard from a couple of animal-rescue groups asking if we’ll feature adoptable pets – so we have three links on the Pets page right now for dogs looking for new homes, including Rufus (photo right).
FORUMS GONE WILD: Well, maybe “wild” is a bit strong. But more than 250 people are now participating in the relatively new WSB Forums – which is where you can post a request for Reader Recommendations, or answer somebody else’s request – or you can get discussion going on a topic of your choice, such as the hottest one this weekend, The Seattle Freeze. (Our newest forum area is all about West Seattle schools – the forum is here; our new list of links to all WS schools, public and private, is here.)
Two updates for everyone following the Denny Middle School-Chief Sealth High School shared-campus-proposal controversy: The Westwood Neighborhood Council has slightly changed the plan for its just-announced next meeting on Denny-Sealth; it’s now at 7 pm Tuesday, Feb. 5, in the Chief Sealth Commons. The WNC announcement says the meeting will be “a moderated discussion among five panelists about the School District’s decision to combine the two schools (options 1 and 2) or retain two separate schools (option 3). Key discussion will address academic and social needs of middle- and high-school students, and will include questions from audience members. Panelists will include a school board member, a District facilities representative, Sealth staff member, child development expert, and public safety expert.” The WNC says that school-board member will be District 6 (West Seattle)’s director Steve Sundquist; we checked in with him late this week to see what he was hearing on Denny-Sealth since the last school-board meeting (WSB coverage here; that and followups since then, plus previous reports, are all now archived in their own category):Read More
We saw that close call while spending time at 34th/Morgan this past Tuesday morning, meeting with neighborhood and pedestrian-safety activists who say it’s one of this area’s most dangerous places for schoolkids to have to cross. Here’s a taste of the regular traffic:
Kids coming from the booming north side of High Point cross here to get to West Seattle (formerly High Point) Elementary, which is further south on 34th.Read More
After we mentioned the “Day of Service” volunteer work planned for Monday @ West Seattle Elementary, Seattle Works e-mailed to let us know some of the work it’s doing in conjunction with City Year would actually start today. Here’s some of what’s happening at the school right now — starting with the outlining of a hummingbird mural outside a classroom:
Outside the school, these volunteers are literally laying the groundwork for a play area that will serve the district’s special-needs preschool that’s on the WSES campus:
And this carpentry work will create decorative planters for the school’s entrance:
As you might have guessed from the orange shirts, most of the volunteers at WSES today are from Home Depot — Seattle Works says the Delridge store coordinated the effort but the HD workers are from all around Puget Sound. Meantime, organizers are still looking for donations to complete the preschoolers’ play area; our original post has info on how to help.
-WSHS has an open house this morning, with school tours offered 7:30-9 am.
–As reported here last Sunday, the group that’s trying to overturn the plan for WSHS to switch to a 6-period day next year plans a student march this afternoon, starting at 2:30 and heading from WSHS to The Junction.
-The WSHS Winter Concert is in the theater tonight at 7 pm, with the band and choir performing.
Quick headline (more to come) from tonight’s joint meeting of the Delridge and Southwest District Councils: The Westwood Neighborhood Council announced it’s set the date for its next community meeting on the Denny-Sealth project —
Feb. 6 Feb. 5, Southwest Community Center CSHS Commons. (THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE: WNC says it had to change the date to Feb. 5 after getting word today that school board rep Steve Sundquist couldn’t make 2/6.)
If there’s not a student in your family right now, you might not realize how much schools run on volunteer power and donations. Right now we have requests regarding two West Seattle elementaries. First one, posted in the WSB Forums, is about Roxhill Elementary; read it here. Second one came as an official news release about West Seattle Elementary (formerly High Point), focusing on “Day of Service” volunteer projects happening on MLK Day next Monday — and beyond:Read More
This just in from Delfino Munoz, the Chief Sealth High School teacher who has been publicly voicing concerns about the current Denny Middle School-Sealth HS shared-campus plan:
The Seattle Education Association Representative Assembly just passed a resolution calling “…on the Seattle School Board and District Administration to direct BEX III/Facilities to provide an option for rebuilding Denny at the current Denny site…”
More details when we get them. ADDED 10:01 PM: Here’s the text of the final SEA resolution, from a doc forwarded by Munoz:Read More
The controversy over West Seattle High School‘s impending switch from 4-period days to 6-period days is simmering on; the group behind this pro-4-period blog (with a comment thread where the fur’s been flying) sent this notice last night:
“Students for Democratic Process” are sponsoring: “March of the Wildcats” on Jan. 17 … 2:30-5 pm … WSHS students are marching from WSHS to Alaska Junction to protest the school district’s decision to switch WSHS from a 4-period day to a 6-period day. We invite all pro-4 students to join in! It’s our turn to roar!!
We have a follow-up question out to organizers, asking whether this Thursday protest is intended to be a march down the sidewalk, or the sort of street march for which a city permit might be required. 12:05 PM UPDATE: Just got this from one of the parents who will serve as a “monitor” during the march:
The students (and several adult monitors) will march from WSHS to the Alaska Junction, staying on the sidewalks and crossing with the lights. Once at the Junction, they will hold signs, pass out flyers, and cross four-ways at each “walk” sign.
I have applied for a permit in the event the number of students is high, and I have provided the police at the S.W. Precinct with a copy of our application and a map of the route.
NEW PAGE LISTING ALL WEST SEATTLE SCHOOLS: Thanks to the WSBers who suggested, in e-mail and forums, one comprehensive list of all West Seattle schools would be helpful during this intense choosing-a-school time of year. Here’s version 1.0 (and you can find it any time from the “schools” tab atop WSB pages). Despite our best efforts, we suspect there’s a likelihood we missed someone; if so, please let us know! We’ll meld the school-tour/open house info onto this page over the weekend, too (for now it’s on the Events page).
UPDATES ON CRIME WATCH AND PETS PAGES: On the Crime Watch page, you’ll find a reader report with an Admiral-area alert, as well as the latest Southwest Precinct Public Safety Newsletter. On the Pets page, we have added a “found pet” you might want to know about.
LAST CALL FOR NOMINATIONS, AND A REMINDER TO JOIN US NEXT FRIDAY NIGHT: Tomorrow’s the deadline to suggest someone for the first-ever quarterly West Seattle Community Recognition Awards (read more here); winners will be celebrated at an informal gathering to which you’re invited, 7 pm Friday 1/18 at Capers in The Junction – come by and say hi!
So declares Seattle Public Schools parent/activist Melissa Westbrook in a brand-new update on the saveseattleschools.blogspot.com blog, following up beyond the School Board’s Denny/Sealth work session two days ago (WSB coverage here). Westbrook posted a thorough account of that meeting (find it here) and then attended a meeting today of the BEX III (the bond measure that included the Denny/Sealth money) Oversight Committee. That committee meeting is detailed in her new post (and e-mailed to School Board members and district leadership), including what she says were discrepancies between the Denny/Sealth presentation made to that committee today and the one made to school-board members on Wednesday, and what she describes as a bottom-line revelation that under current district plans, Sealth will eventually be the “only non-renovated high school in the district.” Anyway, her update seems like a must-read for those closely following the Denny/Sealth project controversy. Until more meeting dates are set, the major “next step” here is letting the school board know what you think should happen; their contact info is here.
WEST SEATTLE MIDDLE SCHOOL INFORMATION NIGHT: We’ve been talking here about the fact this is the “school decision” time of year for many families, particularly those whose children are entering school or moving between elementary and middle, or middle and high school. We’ve been listing school tours and open houses on the WSB Events page, and tonight is one unique night of particular value to parents of 4th and 5th graders: Representatives from the public and private middle schools of West Seattle will be at Gatewood Elementary, 6:30-8 pm. According to the info page on the Gatewood website, it’ll work like this: “At 6:30 pm each school representative will give a brief overview of their schoolâ€™s programs, philosophies and activities. You will then have the opportunity to ask questions and speak further with the various representatives.”
WEST SEATTLE SECOND THURSDAY ART WALK: 6-9 pm, you can wander The Junction (and a bit beyond — from Ginomai – with its free parking lot – in the north, to C and P Coffee in the south) to see art, meet artists, and enjoy a closer look at some of West Seattle’s unique businesses and venues. Here’s the list of participating locations and artists.