West Seattle, Washington
From Robin Graham of the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 PTA:
Some of the classrooms at Louisa Boren STEM K-8 have chosen to participate in the Sister Schools program. Through pictures and stories, our students have learned about the overwhelming difficulties faced by children in Ugandan schools and orphanages. Following the presentation, a supply drive has been organized, and all children are encouraged to participate in ways personally meaningful to them. Both NEW and LIKE NEW items are being accepted at STEM and will be sent through Sister Schools to Uganda. Below is a list of items in order of importance that we will be collecting and we wanted to invite the community to support this drive.
School Supplies: Pencils, pens, paper, pencil sharpeners, erasers, chalk, three-ring binders, spiral notebooks.
Books: Dictionaries, atlases, children’s books, beginning readers, textbook sets, reference works.
Sports Equipment: Soccer, softball, baseball, basketball, volleyball, football, playground balls.
Arts and Crafts: Crayons, colored paper, glue, scissors, rulers, coloring books, paint sets.
Health and First Aid: Toilet paper, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, Band-Aids, sewing supplies.
Clothing: Shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, hats, raincoats, socks, shoes, light sweaters and jackets.
Toys: Board games, puzzles, toy figures, cars, etc..
Please drop off donations in the school office 8-5 M-F. Louisa Boren STEM K-8 is located at 5950 Delridge Way SW. The last day to bring in donations for Sister Schools is November 1 (this Thursday).
To learn more about Sister Schools (including a link to make direct donations) visit: sisterschools.org
What a way to start the week – a surprise presentation of a big award. It happened this morning to Alki Elementary principal Rena Deese, in her third year of leading West Seattle’s northernmost elementary School. The Alliance for Education presents the Thomas B. Foster Award for Excellence to an outstanding Seattle Public Schools principal each year – along with a grant to her/his school; the organization made the surprise presentation during an assembly starting the school day.
Deese is the first West Seattle principal to be honored with this award since Denny International Middle School‘s Jeff Clark in 2011. (The full list of winners is here.) This comes just two weeks after the news that Alki Elementary was honored as a School of Distinction for the second consecutive year.
Also in high-school sports tonight: The West Seattle High School girls played Seattle Prep in the Metro League soccer tournament semifinals. Prep won 5-0; the brackets indicate WSHS will playsHoly Names for third place, 7 pm Tuesday (October 30) at Southwest Athletic Complex (2801 SW Thistle).
On this rainy night in the shadow of the Space Needle, Chief Sealth International High School‘s varsity-football win streak ended at six games. Their rematch with Roosevelt High School at Memorial Stadium downtown tonight did not go the way last week’s Southwest Athletic Complex game against the Rough Riders went; final score was Roosevelt 42, Chief Sealth 25.
ADDED SUNDAY: Photos and toplines. The TDs were all by #8 Dontae McMillan:
The ball turned over three times in first three minutes of the game. But both teams settled down a bit and McMillan’s first big TD run came at 6:36 to go in the first quarter. Roosevelt answered four minutes later; McMillan’s second TD was with less than a minute to go in the first, which ended with Sealth ahead 12-7. But that was the last time Sealth held the lead.
Head coach Ted Rodriguez‘s team couldn’t stop Roosevelt from adding two TDs before halftime, but did add another of their own, so it was 21-18 Roosevelt at the half.
The Seahawks had to go without McMillan twice in the second half; both times, though, while he limped off the field, he was back in before long. Roosevelt, however, began to pull away, and had a 42-18 lead before McMillan got one last TD at 1:32 to go in the game, which concluded 42-25.
It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood, as Big Bird‘s old friend Mister Rogers might have said, as Lafayette Elementary‘s 2018 Walk-A-Thon unfolded throughout the day.
Kids from all grades – preschool through 5th – took turns out in the schoolyard.
Pledges were collected and the PTA hoped to eventually reach a fundraising goal of $60,000. Bake sale too!
Want to help them reach the goal? You can still contribute online.
Fundraiser at YOUR school? Please let us know so we can include it on our calendar and in our coverage!
Many families with students who use yellow-bus service to get to and from Seattle Public Schools know it’s been a frustrating fall. The district says its contractor’s been short of drivers and that’s led to late service – for example, one week ago today, the district sent parents an update showing some routes were running up to two hours late. The parent who sent us that list noted that it’s not just a problem for families, but also for schools, as staffers have to be assigned to care for students awaiting their late buses. This afternoon, the district has just sent an update on the situation:
To improve reliable student transportation service for its students, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) has negotiated a supplemental contract to add 15 general education school buses to the fleet.
The additional buses are operated by Durham Bus Service. They will be put into service on Monday, Oct. 29. The buses are in addition to the current fleet operated by First Student. SPS contracts with First Student to provide yellow school bus service. SPS students and families have experienced transportation challenges this fall due to a lack of qualified drivers. Getting students safely to and from school in a predictable, timely manner is top of mind for SPS Superintendent Denise Juneau. “I am frustrated that the start of school hasn’t been smooth for all of our students and families. Our students deserve timely, predictable transportation to and from school,” she stated.
To help mitigate the problems, SPS initially sought as many bus drivers and buses as possible with the supplemental bus contract. Durham was able to supply 15.
Families and schools are being notified today.
The addition of Durham bus service should be seamless, with the same route stops, pick-up and arrival times that were scheduled with First Student.
In preparation for the change, Durham bus drivers have performed practice runs at least three times to ensure familiarity of the routes.
In addition, the following actions have been taken to improve bus service:
• The SPS transportation department continues to prioritize yellow bus service to Title I schools and for special education students.
• SPS has subcontracted with a special education transportation contractor to expand services.
• Additional ORCA cards have been provided to secondary students when requested by schools or families.
• The transportation department convened a Transportation Task Force that includes transportation and school professionals, parents and community members. Final recommendations from the Task Force to the Superintendent will be shared next week.
Seattle Public Schools contracts with First Student to provide student transportation. In February
2018, First Student and its drivers came to an agreement after an eight-day strike. This agreement
was supposed to ensure sufficient bus drivers. Although First Student had sufficient drivers at the
end of last school year, many drivers did not return this school year, and bus routes have been
inconsistent since the start of school.
Seattle Public Schools is a microcosm of our city. Finding great employees in a city with low
unemployment and competitive wages has been a challenge for First Student. First Student has
found filling the 411 positions they require to serve SPS challenging, and they have been 15 to
35 positions short since the start of school. When this happens, First Student “doubles up” on
routes to make sure every route is run daily, but this means that some routes are significantly
delayed. In September 2018, First Student agreed to provide a salary increase to all drivers.
The playground built in summer sunshine was celebrated tonight during a break in the fall rain outside Roxhill Elementary‘s new home at EC Hughes in Sunrise Heights. Before the ceremonial ribbon was cut, Jenna Sandoval from Friends of Roxhill – parents and other community members who led the campaign to create the playground – told the story, along with Henry Luke, the artist who created a mural on the campus wall:
The celebration included pizza and sushi.
Though the school district spent an eight-figure sum on renovating EC Hughes, there was no money for a playground overhaul, so Friends of Roxhill led a campaign to make it happen, going back more than a year before this fall’s school move. The plan included a community-inspired mural. Their hard-fought successes along the way included getting a city Neighborhood Matching Fund grant and the volunteer work parties to build the playground
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Today marked the first day of the second month of the first school year with Dr. Rosie Rimando-Chareunsap serving as president of South Seattle College (WSB sponsor).
She’s also completing her fourth month in the SSC presidency. “I was counting my Mondays for a while – I lost count around eight,” she laughed during our recent conversation on campus.
While the job is new to her, the workplace is not – as noted when her appointment was announced in May, Dr. Rimando-Chareunsap has been at SSC since the turn of the millennium, most recently as vice president of student services. “I had to move offices, so the hardest part of (that) transition was decluttering my old space and letting go.”
That video is from the Lafayette Elementary Walk-A-Thon nine years ago – long enough that some of those then-Lafayette Leopards have since reached adulthood! – but we’re bringing it back as a reminder that this year’s on-foot fundraiser is coming up Friday (October 26th), rain or shine, 8 am-1:30 pm! Here’s the reminder from Erika Stromberg of the Lafayette PTA:
Students collect pledges to raise funds for our PTA and walk or run laps for 30 minutes on Friday! We invite community members to support our school Walk-A-Thon! For more information, visit our web site: lafayettepta.com/walkathon
We hope to reach our goal of $60,000 by Friday! We have raised $28,000 so far! Local businesses may also donate to our student Bake Sale, which takes place during the Walk-A-Thon on Friday. Thank you to all our Sponsors including West Seattle Blog for supporting our school!
Lafayette is on the northwest corner of California and Lander if you want to stop by and cheer, donate, and/or buy a bake-sale treat Friday.
The regular season is over and now we know what’s next on the football schedule for Chief Sealth International High School and West Seattle High School. The Seahawks, who finished atop the Metro League‘s Sound Division, have a rematch with Roosevelt, who they beat 42-37 last Friday. The two will play at Memorial Stadium downtown at 5:45 pm this Saturday (October 27). The Wildcats, meantime, have a 7 pm game Thursday (October 25) at Thomas Jefferson in Federal Way.
Four months after that work party – a ribbon-cutting party! Everyone is invited to Roxhill Elementary @ EC Hughes (34th/Holden) this Thursday for a celebration of what the community added to the renovation project before the school’s move – a playground and mural. Here’s the announcement:
Friends of Roxhill Elementary invites one and all to the grand opening ceremony for our Seattle Department of Neighborhoods-funded and community-built playground and a celebration of our new mural by artist Henry Luke on Thursday, October 25, at 5:30 p.m. at Roxhill at E.C. Hughes. We’ll meet by the playground behind the school. Parents and school community members are invited to continue on to curriculum night.
On June 2, more than 75 people came together to put together and install the playground equipment. Then, over the course of the summer, more than 50 volunteers installed and laid the safety surface and wood chips, and Henry painted the community-designed mural. Both projects are public amenities because of how they’re funded — that’s right, we can all play on the playground now!
To make it all happen, Friends of Roxhill engaged in a public process to select the playground vendor and held an open call for artists for the mural. The projects had to each go through the Landmarks Preservation Board, with multiple meetings required to gain approval. The whole project required the work of hundreds of community volunteers to be successful—if anyone at any time had faltered, it would not have come together in the short time it did. If you worked on the project in any way, please come help cut the ribbon and celebrate! You helped make this happen!
If you can’t make the event but would like to support Friends of Roxhill in another way, Roxhill teacher, parent, and FoRE member Shawna Patterson Lystra is running this November’s Seattle Marathon to raise money for the nonprofit. With a goal of $2,620 (like those 26.2 miles of the marathon), Ms. Lystra wants to raise money for field trips, materials and programs important for the Roxhill learning community. Check out her GoFundMe here.
Have questions about any of this? Contact email@example.com. Thank you for your support and generosity. See you on the playground!
“This one’s for Nino.” Chief Sealth International High School football players dedicated last night’s game to Nino Cantu, the longtime grounds manager at their home field, Southwest Athletic Complex. Mr. Cantu died suddenly a week earlier. His friend Doree Fazio-Young led the halftime tribute:
The team kept the ovation going, chanting Nino’s name, and went on to win the game, 42-37, over Roosevelt. Seattle Public Schools paid tribute to Mr. Cantu in this statement:
We are deeply saddened by the loss of a beloved staff member, Nino Cantu. Nino passed away on the night of October 11. He had been a valued SPS colleague for 18 years and was the heart and soul of the Southwest Sports Complex. His dedication to student athletes in Seattle and beyond showed every day in the pride he took in his facility as well as the enthusiasm he brought to every event at his complex. Everyone that knew Nino was touched by his energy and enthusiasm for life. His bombastic style and huge grin would greet old friends and new. He was one of a kind and his passion for life never failed to lift the spirits of those around him. You could not speak with Nino and not end up with a smile on your face. His passing has deeply affected our community. We are grateful that his legacy and leadership will live on for many years to come.
Mr. Cantu was just 51 years old.
First Sealth TD by of course #8 Dontae McMillan. Now Sealth 7, Roosevelt 0, 8:13 left in 1st qtr. pic.twitter.com/1m71vgyo6a
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) October 20, 2018
FRIDAY NIGHT: “What a game, what a night!” exclaimed the announcer after tonight’s Chief Sealth International High School football victory over Roosevelt, 42-37, at Southwest Athletic Complex. It was, for many reasons, including the Seahawks’ finish atop their division. We’ll add details and photos, including the postgame Senior Night honors, later.
ADDED SATURDAY MORNING: This was Sealth’s sixth-consecutive win, wrapping the regular season 6-2 after two season-opening losses that they proved were anomalies.
The Seahawks erupted with enthusiasm even before the game, players shouting as they bounded from their sidelines post-anthem.
After that first TD by #8 Dontae McMillan (video above) – capping a drive that had Sealth in a second-and-22 situation at one point – Roosevelt didn’t get on the board until a field goal with 3:42 to go in the first quarter.
Second TD came two minutes later, by #6 Jalanie McMillan, who had the next one too, just a minute into the second quarter. And another about three minutes later by #22 Jessie Brown:
At halftime, the Seahawks were up 35-17. Their scoring wrapped up with one more TD mid-third quarter, and then it was all a matter of holding off Roosevelt, second in the same division, and that they did, with – after two final minutes that seemed to take forever – the 42-37 win. The game was followed by Senior Night honors for players and band members who will graduate next year (no seniors on the cheer squad, we were told), including the McMillan twins, whose entourage was led by grandmother Vera Jimerson:
(If you haven’t already, read Seattle Times reporter Jayda Evans‘ story about the McMillan brothers here.) Other Senior Night scenes:
P.S. Last night’s beneficiary of the $100 donation from Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) in nearby Westwood Village: Sealth’s Native education program Šǝqačib:
Now it’s on to the postseason – we’ll update when we find out where/who/when.
Taking cover under classroom desks was only part of the plan as Explorer West Middle School (WSB sponsor) participated in today’s Great Washington ShakeOut earthquake drill. No matter how ready you are, an earthquake or natural disaster can lead to injuries, so EWMS practiced dealing with those too:
Preparedness means having supplies on hand (this includes suggestions):
And it means everyone’s involved. Here’s EW head of school Evan Hundley:
There was a communications component too – this text was sent to EWMS parents:
P.S. As mentioned in our daily highlights list and calendar, Explorer West has the first of three open houses for prospective families tonight – 6:30-8 pm, 10015 28th SW.
Two updates this afternoon on West Seattle High School golf star Lauryn Nguyen:
First, her WS Golf Course record has been confirmed. It was mentioned in this report on the WSHS girls-golf season that she was believed to have set it during the Metro Championships last week – and today, WSHS says it’s official – at 67, 5 under par, she holds the course’s women’s record.
Second, she is the third local high-school athlete in three weeks to be honored as a Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Athlete of the Week! WIAA noted in today’s announcement, “Nguyen was the Metro League Golf Championship Individual Champion with her score of 67, setting a new ladies’ course record by two strokes. She also was named Metro League Player of the Year.”
Thanks to Highland Park Elementary PTA president Laura Olson for the photos and report:
The sun was shining for Highland Park Elementary’s second annual Move-A-Thon! Students wore their own individually tie-dyed spirit wear as they walked, skipped, and ran to the cheers of staff and parents.
A big thanks to our PTA volunteers who made this event possible and our sponsor Rain City West Screen Printing. While this was primarily a fitness celebration, it’s also a fundraiser. If you want to support the HPE PTA in it’s continuing good works, you are welcome to contribute!
Whatever your age – you can be afflicted by anxiety. The film “Angst“ seeks to raise awareness about it and what you can do – and this week you’re invited to a free local screening, 6:30 pm Thursday (October 18th):
Join Denny International Middle School for a special screening of Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety, a film created to break the stigma around anxiety and open up the conversation around mental health.
Filmmakers believe there is power in watching as a community; power to change and permission to talk about it. The fifty-three minute film will be followed by a moderated discussion with mental health and school professionals.
This film will be sub-titled in Spanish. Appropriate for ages 10+. Childcare will be provided for children 4 to 10 years old.
Everyone’s invited, not just students and families. The auditorium is on the west side of the campus, at 2600 SW Thistle.
For the second consecutive year, Alki Elementary has made the statewide list of “Schools of Distinction,” the only one in West Seattle. The Center for Educational Effectiveness chooses schools for the award every year based on five years of improvement in mathematics and English language arts, as explained in the Seattle Public Schools announcement of its recipients. The full statewide list of winners is here (PDF); as it notes, Alki is a three-time winner (2011, 2017, 2018).
9:29 PM: The game’s over at Southwest Athletic Complex, where Chief Sealth International High School has just completed its fifth consecutive victory, 47-16 over Sammamish HS. The Seahawks (5-2) held the winless Totems scoreless until the final quarter was just past half over. Photos and details to come.
11:49 PM: This one was a rollercoaster. Nobody scored in the first quarter. Plenty of time to appreciate the cheer squads, both sporting pink pom-poms for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Then Sealth started lighting up the scoreboard just a half-minute into the second quarter. The McMillan twins – #8 Dontae (WIAA’s Player of the Week) and #6 Jalonie – had plenty of reasons for celebrating.
Though Sammamish got within striking distance toward the end of the first half, they were denied, thanks to work by Seahawks including #4 Quinn Killham:
Sealth’s second TD came in the first half’s final seconds, and they led 12-0 at halftime. The third quarter was scoreless until Dontae McMillan’s TD run with 2:46 left. Two minutes later, it was 26-0, and a fumble recovery with seconds remaining in the quarter led to a 33-0 score going into the fourth quarter.
Four minutes after head coach Ted Rodriguez‘s Seahawks added yet another TD with 9:31 left in the game, Sammamish finally started a bit of a comeback. A TD run at 5:31 was followed by one at :42 – but that was too little, too late – especially with one more Sealth touchdown at :12 remaining. Final score 47-16, and with Roosevelt – next week’s opponent, 7 pm Friday at SWAC – losing to Lakeside tonight, Sealth is alone atop the division.
P.S. Home game means another Wyatt’s Jewelers (WSB sponsor) donation to a Sealth club:”
The Chief Sealth Marching Band received this game’s $100 donation – from left is director Zachariah MacIntyre, with Stacy Stepper and Kameron Port.
Thanks to Andy for the photo and tip. The 4311 SW Admiral Way storefront where Atomic Boys closed more than a year and a half ago finally has a new tenant: Cometa Playschool. The Spanish-language preschool was founded in West Seattle a decade ago and has since expanded to add a Wallingford location. We asked Cometa’s director/founder Manuela Slye about the new location; she says the West Seattle school will move there “by the end of the month” and they’ll have an open house shortly afterward.
The photos and report are from West Seattle High School golf head coach Joel Snow:
Congratulations to the West Seattle High School Girls Golf Team on a very successful 2018 season!
The lady Wildcats Golf Team finished the regular season at 8-2, which is a tie for 3rd place. This a an amazing group of girls that played great golf all season long.
The Metro League Championship Tournament was held this week on Tuesday 10/9/18 and Thursday 10/11/18. Day 1 was at Jackson Golf Course and Day 2 was at West Seattle Golf Course. The team had 5 girls qualify for the Metro League Tournament.
The team finished in 5th place and qualified for the District Championships that will be held in May 2019.
Sophomore Lauryn Nguyen won the Individual Title at the Metro League Tournament with a total score of 139 and may have set a new course record at the West Seattle Golf Course.
This is still being confirmed but the current course record for Women (5535) at the West Seattle Golf Course is 69 and on Day 2 of the tournament Lauryn shot a 5 under 67 to win the league title by 5 strokes.
The Girls finished the season on a high note and are really looking to forward to competing at the District Championships.
We are looking for more girls to come join the golf team next season. For more information, please contact head coach Joel Snow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seattle Public Schools‘ new superintendent, Denise Juneau, is on a “listening and learning” tour around the district. Last night, she held a town hall at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in North Delridge. It was supposed to start with an opportunity for youth to talk with her, but there were no takers; the second part of the event was livelier, and she took questions for roughly half an hour. We recorded that part of the town hall on video:
Equity was a major topic of discussion, and Juneau says that refining the district’s definition will be a goal of her first multi-year strategic plan. That’s part of her “listening” on this tour – to get communiy opinions on a variety of issues. Among them, the challenges: simply getting to school is difficult for some, from lack of sidewalks to inconsistent bus service. Juneau said figuring out better ways to transport kids is one of her top priorities as she is “super frustrated” by how the system currently works. She added that in most of the meetings she’s held so far, parents’ frustrations about transportation have amplified the need to rethink how the district gets kids to school because – as she points out – we can ask kids to be in school and then fail them by not getting them to school in a
Other issues that surfaced included how much falls on the shoulders of PTAs/PTSAs, whose fundraising opportunities vary widely school to school, and differences in how much freedom principals have to run their schools as they see fit. Site-based control traced back ~20 years to the late Superintendent John Stanford, but the pendulum is likely swinging back to more district-centric involvement in running schools, she observed. Juneau also heard parents voice concern over language-learning programs and changes in advanced learning. She was introduced by School Board president Leslie Harris, who represents West Seattle and South Park:
The superintendent’s tour has one more stop in Harris’s district – one week from tonight, 6-8 pm Thursday, October 18th, at Concord International Elementary (723 S. Concord) in South Park, with the meeting to be in Spanish, with English interpretation.
After an hour-long Seattle School Board work session this evening, the district’s draft list for next year’s BEX V capital levy still includes two major West Seattle projects: a $53 million rebuild for Alki Elementary and $22 million addition for West Seattle Elementary. Smaller projects are also proposed for seven West Seattle campuses. Here (as first published in our preview last night) is the agenda with slide deck/documents:
(If that embedded version doesn’t work for you, go here.)
They began with the explanation of, and discussion about, weighting the proposed projects by equity. This generated quite a deal of discussion, including some wondering about demographic change in the immediate future, and whether the projections made now would hold true over the course of the six-year levy as affordability challenges continue to send lower-income residents out of the city. Another topic of discussion: The lack of alternate/interim sites elsewhere in the city is starting to affect options for what can be built where/when, district manager Richard Best said. “I’m concerned that we may not be thinking creatively and out of the box,” observed board president Leslie Harris (who represents West Seattle/South Park on the board). Some projects, said Best, would be “built in place” (with students not having to leave) – such as the proposed West Seattle Elementary addition. (Though it wasn’t a topic of discussion at this meeting, it’s been noted that Alki Elementary would move to the old Schmitz Park Elementary site during a rebuild.)
Harris asked for staffers to clearly point out any major changes from the previous meeting; the biggest, said Best, is in the “building systems and repairs” list, where they’ve added more “smaller” projects so they could “touch more schools.” This list had involved projects at 27 schools at the September 26th work session, said best, and now it’s about double that, including these West Seattle projects:
Boren STEM – K-8 HVAC – $4,034,016
Gatewood – Playgrounds – $175,000
Gatewood – Exterior Door – $150,000
Sanislo – Site Improvements – $ 383,297
Sanislo – Ceiling Fan $300,000
West Seattle – Exterior Door $ 142,977
West Seattle HS – Roof $ 8,979,237
Schmitz Park – Seismic – $472,910
Madison MS – $2,600,000
Board members agreed that the overall levy list – totaling $1.4 billion – looked “solid.” But as the hourlong meeting concluded, they also stressed that “community input is still welcome,” as board member Eden Mack put it. Board contact info is at lower right on this page. And watch for word of a public hearing on the levy in late October; BEX V, and the district’s next three-year Operations Levy, will go to voters next February.