The latest round of potential school boundary changes drawn up by the Seattle School District will be presented to School Board members this Wednesday, November 6. And for many Northeast Seattle families, there are some big differences to be spotlighted:
- Under these new changes, if accepted by the School Board on November 20, students across the street from Eckstein Middle School would no longer be attending there. Instead, all students currently attending Wedgwood Elementary would begin attending Jane Addams Middle School.
- North Seattle Accelerated Progress Program (APP) middle school students would be moved from
LincolnHamilton into Eckstein.
The documents outlining these proposed changes were last updated on October 31, and released the next day, at 7 PM. On a Friday night. So many families in the affected areas may just be hearing about them.
Wedgwood Elementary PTA President Terri Green has weighed in about these proposed changes, in a message that started circulating over the weekend. It reads, in part:
SPS boundary changes as they impact the Wedgwood community
On Friday, November 1 at 7 pm, SPS released a third iteration of their plan they think may be final to address growth boundaries. There are major modifications which will significantly impact your children and our community in two ways:
- Starting next school year, ALL Wedgwood students would be assigned to the new (as yet unopened) Jane Adams Middle School (6-8), even kids who live across the street from Eckstein.
- Former Wedgwood students currently attending Eckstein will be moved to the new Jane Adams Middle School for 7th and 8th grade. (Part of the Northend APP middle school program is proposed to move into Eckstein.)
A full copy with details of the plan is available on-line here. This plan was devised after community feedback to the previous October 16 proposal. No major changes were proposed for our school at that time and thus there was no call to action. Now our community needs to respond quickly if we wish to impact this process before it is too late.
Green goes on to say a Call to Action meeting is being held at 6:30 tonight, Monday, November 4th, in Wedgwood Elementary School’s library. (We will be attending, and will provide LIVE COVERAGE below, if possible.)
Green will also be attending Wednesday’s School Board meeting (4:15 PM at the John Stanford Center, 2445 3rd Ave S), but families should contact School Board members themselves before then. The Seattle School District is divided into seven parts, each one represented by an elected member. The representatives whose areas are affected by these changes in North/Northeast Seattle are:
- Sharon Peaslee: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sherry Carr: email@example.com
- Harium Martin-Morris: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to expressing thoughts/concerns to School Board members, parents should also email feedback to GrowthBoundaries@seattleschools.org, the official Seattle School District boundary plan address. Put your school or issue in the subject line.
For the full list of information about these proposed changes (including the data used to create them), visit the Seattle Public Schools — Growth Boundaries page.
UPDATE (12:09 PM): Thanks to some commenters on Facebook, we have learned the APP @ Lincoln PTA’s official stance on the proposed changes to their program:
PTA Responds to New Boundary Proposal
On Friday evening, the Seattle Public School district released their latest proposals for updating school boundaries. The district will present this proposal to the Seattle School Board on Wednesday, November 6th. If you would like to speak directly to the board regarding this proposal at the meeting, you may, but you must call the district and sign up on Monday (11/4) morning.
The SNAPP PTA maintains its position that splitting the APP Middle School and co-housing with attendance area schools is not in the best interest of our community or helpful with the overcrowding in the north end. Although many APP MS students come from the Whitman and Eckstein reference area, putting APP in these schools would only serve to further crowd them and keep reference area kids out.
UPDATE (Tuesday, November 5, 7:52 AM): Correction/Clarification from elementary school APP parent and Roosevelt resident Elena Waite :
Current APP middle school students do NOT attend Lincoln- in the North, they go to Hamilton and will continue at Hamilton in the proposed plan, for now, as well as Eckstein and then Whitman. I would also like to note that APP has advocated for its own Middle School site – at Wilson Pacific and never advocated to be at Eckstein as we know that school is already crowded as a neighborhood school.
UPDATE (Tuesday, November 5, 7:03 PM): Those that emailed Seattle School Board Member Harium Martin-Morris received the following email in return, outlining an amendment Martin-Morris plans to introduce at Wednesday’s meeting.
I am writing in response to your email regarding the November 1st version on the Growth Boundary Plan. As written, I do not support the plan and along with Director De Bell will be offer an amendment that will go back to the previous version of the plan with the following changes:
* Assign NE APP students to the new James Addams Middle School starting in 2014
* Have a maximum of 3 classes per grade level at James Addams Middle School
* Assign others APP to Hamilton until Wilson Pacific Middle School is online. At that point Hamilton would also go to the 3 classroom per grade and all others go to Wilson Pacific
That would mean that the middle school and elementary attendance areas in the NE would go back to October 16th revision with some minor changes basis on community input.
NOTE: While most local residents probably assume (correctly so) that most Ravenna neighborhood students attend Bryant Elementary, many in the North Ravenna area (including those here at Ravenna Blog Headquarters) are located within the Wedgwood Elementary attendance area. In fact, the boundary for Wedgwood itself is planned to expand further into Ravenna in the coming years (reflected in the image above).
APP students are scattered throughout neighborhoods, and all currently attend school at
old Lincoln High School in Wallingford (see Elena Waite’s note above). Lincoln was closed in 1981, and is used as an interim location for Seattle schools and programs.