Every year around this time, Seattle Public Schools plans for the nearly unplannable — how to accomodate extra students in the short-term at Seattle’s elementary, middle and high schools. The short-term plan discussed by the school board Wednesday night had something last year’s capacity planning didn’t require — a plan for overcapacity at a Capitol Hill school.
The data behind the contingency plan for Capitol Hill’s Stevens Elementary wasn’t available but a SPS document shows that — if enrollment this spring pushes the school’s population over its limits — the district’s plan is to add the first portable unit to the 18th at Galer campus. The neighborhood’s main public high school, Garfield in the Central District, is planned to be able to handle whatever population central Seattle throws at it with its existing classrooms.
For the long-term, the district has a roster of planned projects and additions including a 2017 re-opening of 19th and John’s Meany Middle School. CHS reported on the demographic trends and impact from neighborhood improvement like light rail that were behind the Meany plan. First, voters will have to approve the next school levy to pay for all of this. That vote will come in February.
Either way, thanks to that possible portable unit, the district has a plan for next school year.