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School notes | Summer vacation, 2014/2015 student projections, school bus petition

Here’s a “happy last day of school!” edition of school notes.

  • School’s out: Thursday marks the final day of the 2013/2014 school year for Seattle Public Schools. Congratulations, kids. Enjoy summer. You’ve earned it.
  • School stats: The district’s projections for 2014/2015 show continued growth in the number of children served — around 52,400 kids next year:
    Source: SPS

    Source: SPS

    Seattle Public Schools has released its annual spring enrollment projections for the 2014-15 school year. An estimated 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.

    This continues the five-year trend of enrollment growth that began in 2009, after a decade of declining enrollment. During the last five years, enrollment grew by more than 5,000 students – from 46,000 in 2009 to 51,000 this year. Next year’s expected enrollment growth of 1,300 students means the district will be serving 6,400 more students next year than in 2009.

    “Our new enrollment projections clearly indicate that we are continuing to grow,” said Seattle Public Schools Superintendent José Banda. “I want to again thank Seattle voters for approving in February 2013 the critical BEX IV capital levy, which will allow us to address the enrollment needs of our district. We will continually review a variety of data related to demographics, birth rate and capacity needs districtwide in an effort to ensure we have adequate seating for all of our students.”

    Growth is expected to continue over the next decade, and enrollment could reach 60,000 by 2020 if current trends continue.

    The main public schools serving Capitol Hill kids will represent about 8% of the district’s total population:Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 4.14.47 PM

  • Meany construction: Many of those elementary school kids are destined for the overhauled Meany Middle School when it’s ready for reopening near 19th and Thomas. CHS reported about the $14.2 million construction project here.
  • NOVA highlighted: NOVA, the alternative high school leaving Meany to make way for the project, was the subject of a great interview essay courtesy the Stranger:
    Nova is funded according to the district’s Weighted Staffing Standards, which, for high schools, are built on funding the comprehensive high-school model. Compared to all high schools in Seattle Public Schools, Nova’s average cost per student is just below the district average. Nova has a high percentage of students with special needs, and our special education population is significantly higher than the district average. Special education is funded separately from general education. Based only on our general education student numbers, Nova is the lowest cost per student of all the SPS high schools.
  • Universal preschool hovering: The Seattle Preschool program is on hold pending a November ballot initiative:
    The Seattle City Council on Monday delayed a vote on a proposed preschool expansion plan following last week’s announcement that a separate referendum had gained enough signatures to appear on the November ballot.
  • 1,100 Seattle Central grads: Seattle Central marked its 48th commencement last weekend.
  • New Math: Seattle Public Schools will have a new elementary school math program in place for 2014/2015
    With a 4-3 vote, the Seattle School Board on June 4 approved Math in Focus as the new textbook for kindergartens through 5th-graders.
    The vote came after a lengthy discussion about the merits of both Math in Focus and enVision Math, which was the program recommended by the Math Adoption Committee. 
  • No winter break: SPS also has axed the district’s week-long mid-winter break.
  • Honorable Garfield: Congratulations to Garfield for making the top 10 for students receiving the Washington State Honors Award. The Central District high school ranked 8th among the state’s 260 public high schools.
  • image2-400x240Stevens bus petition: Parents at Stevens Elementary are concerned about the loss of bus service for kids living in the southern edge of the school’s boundaries:

    Neighbors of Steven Elementary School:

    We are reaching out to you because Seattle Public Schools’ Transportation Committee has taken a vote to cancel school bus services for area 42/43 (south of Madison) to Stevens Elementary starting the 2014-15 school year and thereafter. This decision was made without adequate community notice or involvement.

    What this means for you is a heavier commute and fewer parking options during the already congested morning commute.
    You can find a petition calling for a restoration of bus service here.

  • Seattle Prep national champs: Congratulations to the Seattle Preparatory kids crowned the National High School Mock Trial champions earlier this spring. You can read about their victory here. The school has been Washington’s state champ in 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2004, and 2003. In other words, if you end up in an argument with a Seattle Prep kid, surrender.
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6 years ago

This statement is not quite accurate: Stevens bus petition: Parents at Stevens Elementary are concerned about the loss of bus service for kids living in the southern edge of the school’s boundaries:
Neighbors of Steven Elementary School.

The concern is for the loss of transportation for those students were grandfathered into Stevens when the new 2014-2015 assignment boundaries were drawn, but then denied yellow bus service. They qualify for bus service to Madrona under the new policy. These students will qualify for buses whether they go to Madrona or Stevens. They still have not been assigned to a school to which they can walk. The current treatment and disruption of student education and family life in this area which was assigned to Stevens when TT Minor closed and now is being assigned to Madrona is a good example of how this group of families has been and will be constantly disrupted.

As we all know a vast majority of students and families are much better off not changing schools in midstream.

This group deserves special consideration, as likely many of those who attend Stevens valued the access to yellow bus transportation. Some others chose other schools and made the decision to be responsible for transportation to school, but this group chose Stevens and transportation. Metro transportation from the E. Union area to Stevens is awkward, so that parents who use transit to get to work will now find themselves driving the student to school in order to provide educational stability for their students. The families who are most likely be forced to choose Madrona for transportation reasons are the likely to be disproportionately low income. These students are the most vulnerable during periods of disruption. Whatever the income level, all families deserve fair access to schools with the ability to provide a stable educational experience. This disruption has to do with the District’s lack of planning for equitable access to a stable experience for these students.


[…] city is for kids, too: Enrollment in the Seattle Public Schools has been increasing rapidly since 2007; growth in the number of students has nearly reached 16% since that […]