Changes large and small are coming to Capitol Hill’s two public elementary schools as Seattle Public Schools maneuvers to deal with a steady increase of kids in the city. Shrinking the enrollment area of Stevens Elementary was one of the proposed changes SPS rolled-out Tuesday to deal with overcrowding at the 18th and Galer campus — more on that below.
Before the start of the school year, Stevens faced enough of a potential overcrowding situation that the school considered adding a portable classroom. That didn’t happen, but at the beginning of this school year Stevens’s three kindergarten classes were all over-enrolled with 30 students in each class.
Responding to pleas from teachers and parents, SPS officials tell CHS they will be adding a fourth Stevens kindergarten class in the coming weeks made up of students from the three current classes, according to SPS spokesperson Teresa Wippel. While SPS searches for a new teacher, the school has hired a substitute teacher to take students out of kindergarten classes for individualized instruction.
Meanwhile at Capitol Hill’s Lowell Elementary, enrollment is wide open. Wippel said that’s due in part to the schools Accelerated Progress Program moving out in 2011.
“When the APP program moved to Lincoln, it took a large number of students out of Lowell,” Wipple said via email to CHS. “So now we’re modifying that boundary along with a few other boundary changes in that area to balance out enrollment.”
Those proposed boundary changes were officially rolled out Tuesday to the Seattle School Board during its regularly scheduled meeting. The new boundaries, which would be phased starting next school year, address the growing population for elementary and middle schools. According to SPS, enrollment in Seattle schools has increased by about 5,000 students since 2009-10, to a projected 51,000 students in 2013-14. Enrollment is projected to reach 60,000 students in 2020.
With the opening of a Capitol Hill middle school at the Meany campus in 2017, the new boundaries would solidify plans to move students into the new middle school. Students from Stevens and Lowell would join those from Gatzert, Madrona (K-8), McGilvra, and Montlake in the new Meany Middle School. Currently, students from those schools all feed into Washington Middle School in the Central District.
To address the crowded classrooms at Stevens, SPS also proposed to lop off of the school’s enrollment area south of Madison. Students who live between 15th and 19th down to Cherry would be split between Lowell and Madrona.
SPS has scheduled the following community meetings to take public comment on the proposed boundary changes:
|September 23, 6:30–8 p.m.||Mercer Middle School Lunchroom
1600 South Columbian Way
(Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese and Taglog interpreters)
|September 24, 6:30–8 p.m.||Nathan Hale High School Commons
10750 30th Avenue NE
(Spanish and Somali interpreters)
|September 25, 6:30–8 p.m.||West Seattle High School Commons
3000 California Ave SW
(Spanish, Somali, and Vietnamese interpreters)
|September 30, 6:30–8 p.m.||Meany Building Lunchroom
300 20th Ave E
(Spanish, Somali and Vietnamese interpreters)
|October 1, 6:30–8 p.m.||Ballard High School Commons
1418 NW 65th Street