Wednesday was the first day of classes for Seattle Public Schools. As was fairly typical of our academic performance, CHS brings you a few notes on the new school year — a day late.
Seattle World School grads: Two of the most unique public school programs started their last couple years in the neighborhood. In a few years, NOVA alternative high school will move to the Central District and take over the Mann building. The 90% bilingual Seattle World School will move out a year earlier in time for the 2016/2017 school year. Their current home on the Meany campus will be shut down for construction in time for a planned 2017 reopening of a new middle school for the predicted growing wave of Capitol Hill teens. For now, both NOVA and the World School are still resident on 21st Ave E.
For Wednesday’s first day of school, CHS stopped by to meet principal Concie Pedroza and acting schools superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland — he’s the one with the awesome first day of school tie. Pedroza is excited to get the word out — in the more than 30 languages spoken by the 300 students at the school — about the World School’s first class of graduating seniors. By spring, Pedroza said around 15 students will graduate from SWS. Starting in 2016, the Seattle World School will move to the overhauled TT Minor campus at 18th and Union.
- Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has announced a proposal to create a new Department of Education and Early Learning at City Hall. The mayor says it isn’t an attempt to recreate Seattle Public Schools administration but…The new structure will enable the city to better coordinate existing work and resources on behalf of students of all ages, improve collaboration with Seattle Public Schools, colleges and child-care providers, and increase performance measurement of the city’s work to support educational outcomes.
“Equity in education is the foundation of our democracy and the future of our city,” said Murray. “The City already supports programs across the continuum from birth through college, but we must do better to align resources for better outcomes for education. We will sharpen our focus on achieving great outcomes for all, so that none of Seattle’s students are left behind. We want Seattle to be the first city in America that eliminates the achievement gap.”
- Construction notes: Included in TT Minor’s work is a seismic upgrade. E Mercer’s Lowell Elementary got a $1 million seismic overhaul of its own. Construction continues at Hill private schools Seattle Prep and the Seattle Academy. We’re told St. Joe’s kids are delayed a week due to the summer construction project to expand the parish’s 18th Ave school.
- Speeding cameras: There are more speeding cameras operating in Seattle including near E Yesler’s Bailey Gatzert Elementary.
- First charter school: The first charter school to operate in the state is located in the Central District:
Like teachers across Seattle, Laurie Reddy spent Tuesday morning making sure her first-grade classroom was cheerful and organized for Wednesday’s first day of school. But Wednesday isn’t just the start of another school year for Reddy and the rest of the staff at First Place Scholars, which has for 25 years served homeless students. Instead, it marks the school’s conversion from a private school into a public one — as the very first charter school to open in the state of Washington.
- Numbers: “52,400 students are expected to attend school in the district this fall – an increase of 1,300 students over the year ending in June”