Abrupt change to Seattle accelerated program could be opportunity for Lowell Elementary

Seattle Public schools has found a solution to its problem of having too many smart kids at Lowell Elementary and some parents think it’s a tremendous opportunity for the school. First, here’s the letter sent out by interim superintendent Susan Enfeld announcing the decision to move the entire Accelerated Progress Program to an elementary school campus in Wallingford:

After hearing from the Lowell community at our community meeting last week, in addition to feedback from an online survey and personal conversations, we have decided to move APP students in Grades 1-5 to Lincoln for the fall.

I want to apologize to our students, families and staff for the timing of this decision. I know this has been frustrating for many of you. We are putting proper systems in place to ensure this will not happen again.

Moving APP to Lincoln for the 2011-12 school year not only provides a short-term solution while we look long term at our growing APP program, but it also presents an opportunity for additional capacity at Lowell. We will be looking carefully at how we can work together to ensure that the ALO and Special Education programs at Lowell will be vibrant and successful. We will work closely with you and the community in the next school year on these issues.

We are working on the details and logistics of this move and we are compiling answers to the many questions you must have. We are working on issues about transportation, resources and other logistics. We will have more information in the next few weeks, including answers to frequently asked questions that we will post on our website at   http://bit.ly/lowell-2011. You may also email us with specific questions at LowellAPP@seattleschools.org.

We look forward to working with the entire Lowell community on strategic long-term solutions for both APP and the school. I know this solution is not ideal, but I appreciate you working with us to make this the best possible situation for our students. Thank you.

For APP parents living on the Hill, the decision could mean a massive logistical headache in addition to concerns about uprooting the program for what could end up only a temporary move. Concerns about their child’s education, peer ground and travel plans will be causing many a parental furrowed brow on an and around the Hill this week.

But some at Lowell are excited about the opportunity the change will bring. Jennifer Brown, a member of the Lowell PTA, said the change could be “an opportunity for Lowell to thrive and grow as a neighborhood school.” She and other parents are circulating an online petition to help raise support for Lowell during the transition:

Hello Lowell families,

Many of you may know that there will be a change next year at Lowell.  Some or all of the APP clases will be moving to Lincoln to ease the overcrowding at Lowell.  Some parents have formed a committee to communicate and be involved with the transition in order to keep our neighborhood school strong for our kids.  I am the liaison for that committee. Below is a link to a letter that we want to present to the school district, the school board and Mr. King to make our voices heard.  We are collecting signatures on the petition site and then I will forward it to the above people.  Please take a moment to sign on your support and please also forward to concerned friends, neighbors and Lowell families that we may have missed.  I urge you to sign the peititon by Thursday at 6pm so that I can send it to the school district and it will be in their inbox first thing Friday morning.When I hear a response from the district, I will send out an updated email so stay tuned fro that.  With that email, I will ask that people who want to stay informed and/or be involved a little or a lot, give me their contact information for summer for planning. Here is the petition link: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/823/697/223/ 

Thanks for your support. 

-Wendy Friedman
mom of Sydney, 2nd grade

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One thought on “Abrupt change to Seattle accelerated program could be opportunity for Lowell Elementary

  1. Makes you wonder why TT Minor was closed though. Replacing TT Minor as the neighborhood elementary school with Lowell? Isn’t the Lowell building in much worse shape?