After a nearly eight-hour meeting of the Seattle School Board Wednesday night, district staff spent Thursday sorting out details of a complex school-assignment plan the board passed unanimously with several amendments.
The meeting adjourned just shy of midnight with clear wins for advocates of the Seattle World School and the Pinehurst K-8 program.
The World School, which serves immigrant children, will receive a permanent home at the T.T. Minor building as promised, despite concerns from some board members that the school may be needed in a few years for elementary schoolchildren.
Enrollment at Pinehurst, Seattle’s first alternative school, has dwindled to 150 students, but the program found new life for two years at the former Lincoln High School when the board rejected Superintendent José Banda’s recommendation to close the program at the end of this year. The district will work out a plan over the next two years for the program’s long-term future.
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Parents seeking specifics about their child’s school in the complex new assignments plan, which was designed to ease overcrowding, will have to wait awhile longer for district staff to post details on the district’s website — www.seattleschools.org.
The board slogged through more than a dozen amendments, including a few added to the agenda just a day before the vote, which left the staff scrambling to keep up with the ever-evolving plan. The barrage of last-minute corrections, revisions and edits in the final days and hours leading up to the vote bewildered parents who are still looking for answers.
Some changes will come next fall and mostly involve a shuffle of schools north of the Ship Canal, including:
• Jane Addams K-8 option school will leave the Jane Addams building and relocate at the former John Marshall alternative high school for two years while a new building is constructed for it on the Pinehurst K-8 site near Northgate Mall.
• The Jane Addams building, near Nathan Hale High School, will become Jane Addams Middle School and will open next fall with 6th-, 7th- and 8th-grade neighborhood kids starting at the same time.
The school’s new attendance area — largely carved out of the existing attendance area for Eckstein Middle School — was approved Wednesday night. That means a fair number of 6th- and 7th-graders now at Eckstein will be reassigned to Jane Addams next fall.
• Jane Addams also will be the home for students in the Accelerated Progress Program (APP) who live in the new attendance areas for both Jane Addams and Eckstein. They will switch from Hamilton Middle School to Jane Addams next fall.
• Hamilton will continue to serve other North End APP students.
• APP elementary students north of the Ship Canal will remain at Lincoln until 2017, when the new Wilson-Pacific Elementary School opens exclusively for APP.
• There are no changes to APP south of the Ship Canal, but an optional APP program will begin at Fairmount Park Elementary, which will open in the fall with a new attendance area.
• Next fall, Dearborn Park elementary school will become a language-immersion international school that will serve neighborhood kids for the coming school year. Language immersion will begin with kindergarten and then build up with each incoming kindergarten class. The district will review enrollment data next year to determine if Dearborn Park remains a neighborhood school or becomes an option school.
• John Stanford and McDonald international schools will become option schools in 2014 with current students allowed to remain until they graduate to the next school.
In general, the grandfathering policy works like this: Current students in elementary schools can stay there, even if the boundaries shift.
But this year’s 5th-, 6th- and 7th-graders will have to attend the middle school they’re assigned to next year under the new plan.
By late Thursday afternoon, the district had posted new boundary maps for several elementary and K-8 schools on the district website’s growth boundaries page.
The staff expects to post more maps and explanations of the changes in the next few days.
John Higgins: 206-464-3145 or firstname.lastname@example.org On Twitter @jhigginsST