MOBILE?
Seattle Press
Community Log & News Digest
School District Almost Decides, Maybe
- Civic Affairs
After numeous postponements, the Seattle School District announced the forthcoming closure of seven schools for Fall 2007. This time it's final. MAYBE.

Here is the list from the district site. The -> symbol represents consolidation. (Italicized parenthetical comments reflect comments from readers. As always, the Forums are open for comments.)

To be closed: Viewlands, John Marshall, M.L. King, Hughes, Fairmount park, Orca, Rainier View.

Full list of closings and reallocations (luckily, the District has used the same clarify of written expression they are teaching your children):

NORTHWEST
Viewlands Elementary -> Greenwood Elementary
John Marshall -> unspecified

NORTHEAST/CENTRAL
M.L. King Elementary -> T.T. Minor

SOUTHWEST
Hughes (temporarily house So. Lake Alternative)
Fairmount Park -> High Point
Orca (Columbia Bldg.)
Rainier View Elementary


Notes:

(1*) The inability to identify two additional schools in the Northeast/Central quadrant results from demographics and a desire to adhere to the School Board's principles and criteria in identifying schools to close.

(Read: We don't know what is going to happen and we'd rather not make a professional decision and assume responsibility for the consequences. Furthermore, we're afraid of doing anything that might offend anyone about a school named Martin Luther King.)


The district will work on adjustments to assignment plans, and with communities, and expects another closure conversation during Fall 2006 to finish the process in this quadrant. Specifically,

(1) The CAC identified excess capacity in the central area of the equivalent of one school, but recommended the District discuss with the community and develop the best option for closure of one of four schools between Bailey Gatzert, Leschi, Thurgood Marshall, and T.T. Minor.

(2) The Superintendent did not accept the recommendation of the CAC to close Sacajawea Elementary School. The demographics in Northeast combined with an assignment plan that does not permit non-voluntary assignments to alternative schools result in an inability to find reference area schools for Sacajawea students at this time. (There is excess capacity in this area of the city, but the majority of that excess capacity is at Summit K-12 alternative school).

(*2) The preliminary recommendation relocated the Pathfinder program from the Genesee Hill building to the Boren Building and closing the Genesee Hill building. While Boren has positive attributes for the 6-8 portion of Pathfinder, it is not well suited for the K-5 portion. Additionally, staff determined that a higher use of the Boren site is for continued use as an interim site for future south Seattle capital projects.

(Read: We got too much heat on our original choices and feared our contracts would not be renewed.)


The district will work on adjustments to assignment plans, and with communities, and expects another closure conversation during Fall 2006 to finish the process in this quadrant. Specifically,

(1) There is excess capacity in the Southwest quadrant to close two schools (Hughes serves as an interim site).

(2) The Genesee Hill building is in poor condition and the district believes the Pathfinder program can be relocated into another site.

(Read: Despite our enormous salaries and several postponements, we couldn't get the job done on our own published schedule.)

PS: We don't know why the notes are not sequential either. It may have something to do with the unannotated asterisks in the text. Or it may be that those are not asterisks but stars, as in "we hope the answer will be revealed in the stars."

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