November 1st, 2013 by Doree
Seattle Public Schools announced today that it will add free all-day kindergarten at 16 more elementary schools, including Greenwood and Viewlands. That means 43 out of the city’s 69 elementary schools will now provide free all-day kindergarten to all students, instead of charging for half a day for students who don’t qualify for free and reduced price lunch.
And, if the School Board approves it at its Nov. 20 meeting, the district also will reduce the monthly amount for those still paying for the extra half-day from $311 to $283, retroactive to Sept. 1.
If approved by the Board, families who use automatic withdrawal will have their money credited back to their bank accounts by Jan. 31; those who paid by credit card will receive a refund check by Jan 31.
According to a school district press release, the money comes from a change in how the District can use $2.4 million from the state’s Learning Assistance Program.
“We know that early learning is key to our students’ success, and attending full-day kindergarten helps prepare our students academically and socially for the rest of their school career,” Cashel Toner, Director of Early Learning for Seattle Public Schools, said in the press release. “This proposal means that an additional 770 students can take advantage of full-day kindergarten at no cost.”
The state currently funds full-day kindergarten for schools that are at 50 percent population of students who qualify for free and reduced price lunch, including Broadview-Thomson K-8, just north of Greenwood. The district will now offer it to all schools with 25 percent free and reduced price lunch. The state legislature has said it plans to fully fund all-day kindergarten in all schools by 2017.
Tags: Broadview-Thomson K-8, education, Greenwood Elementary, kindergarten, Seattle Public Schools, Viewlands Elementary
June 25th, 2013 by Doree
Seattle Public Schools is hosting a community meeting tonight on a proposed new elementary and middle school, which would be built on the current Wilson-Pacific school site, just east of Greenwood.
The new schools would open in the fall of 2017. The new middle school will alter boundaries for Whitman, Eckstein and Hamilton middle schools.
The meeting is from 7:30-8:30 Tuesday (tonight) at Wilson-Pacific Seamat Center, 1330 N. 90th St.
Tags: education, schools, Seattle Public Schools, Wilson-Pacific
February 5th, 2013 by Doree
Alphabet Soup Preschool is opening a second Seattle location at 7216 Linden Ave. N., where A.C.P. CrossFit was most recently, and Furnishments before that.
Alphabet Soup Preschool started on San Juan Island, then expanded to Green Lake. This will be its third location.
Director Jeannette Mayes says the new location will open some time in March. It will have a toddler classroom for eight students ages 1 to 2-1/2, and a preschool classroom with 16 students ages 2-1/2 to 5. Each classroom will have two teachers. The school will offer half-day morning classes Monday through Friday.
Tags: Alphabet Soup Preschool, education, preschool
April 30th, 2012 by Doree
Harbor Church, 9204 11th Ave. NW in Crown Hill, is starting a new preschool called “Preschool at the Harbor” (PATH) beginning in September.
PATH is for children ages 3 to 5. Classes will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., either three days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) or two days a week (Tuesday, Thursday).
Enrollment is now open. Call 206-743-5253 or email email@example.com for more information.
Tags: education, Harbor Church, preschool, Preschool at the Harbor
March 19th, 2012 by Doree
A team of 4th- and 5th-graders from Greenwood Elementary will compete at the city-wide finals of the 2012 Global Reading Challenge on March 27 at the Central Library downtown. “The Jokers” team is one of the top 10 teams in the city.
More than 2,500 4th- and 5th- graders from more than 40 Seattle Public Schools studied 10 books to prepare for the Global Reading Challenge.
According to Global Reading Challenge rules, questions are read and repeated once. Teams have 30 seconds to write down the answer to a question.
“The purpose of the Global Reading Challenge is to promote the love of reading and to have fun,” Palmer said. “This program introduces children to a wide variety of literature and multicultural reading materials and provides a recreational outlet for readers. It makes it possible for students of all reading levels to participate in a public library activity that promotes reading as a pleasurable lifelong experience.”
The winning team from the city final will go on to face the top teams from Fraser Valley, British Columbia and Coquitlam, British Columbia at 10 a.m. Friday, April 13 in the Video Conference Final at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence, 2445 Third Ave. S. in Seattle.
The Global Reading Challenge is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 27, at the Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Level 1, Microsoft Auditorium. It’s free, and the public is invited.
Tags: education, Global Reading Challenge, Greenwood Elementary School, reading, school
January 25th, 2012 by Geeky Swedes
Whittier Elementary will not be getting a fourth Kindergarten class next school year, but could get one additional homeroom for a different grade, if needed. The Seattle School Board is looking at options to ease overcrowding in the school district and one of the options included adding a fourth Kindergarten class – an option that was opposed by the PTA.
In a letter sent to parents on Tuesday, Pegi McEvoy the Assistant Superintendent for Operations for SPS writes,
Our preliminary enrollment projections indicate we may need to add one additional homeroom at Whittier next year. The additional homeroom would NOT be for a fourth kindergarten class – we are still planning for three kindergarten classes. The potential need for an additional homeroom is based primarily on enrollment distribution across the grades. If enrollment is not as high as anticipated, we will not add an additional homeroom. However, we need to be prepared in case this need arises . We are looking at options in the building, given the fact we cannot place a portable on the Whittier site.
The school board is voting tonight on the Short-Term Capacity Management and the New Student Assignment Plan: Transition Plan for 2012-13. The Board will not vote specifically on adding a new classroom at Whittier. Placement decisions – moving or adding a new program to a school – will be made by the Superintendent. If a new homeroom is added, it is unknown which grade would get the additional class.
“These decisions are made prior to open enrollment to ensure that families can review their options for the next school year,” the letter states. “The Superintendent seeks guidance for these decisions from staff and community groups, such as the Special Education Advisory and Advocacy Council (SEAAC) and the Advanced Learning Task Force to provide input to inform these decisions.”
According to the letter, no changes in the Spectrum program or the Phinney Neighborhood Association programs are being considered at this time.
Individuals can email suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tags: education, schools, Seattle Public Schools, Whittier Elementary School
January 25th, 2012 by Doree
The North Seattle French School is getting off the ground and will hold an informational open house from 1-3 p.m. Saturday at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., Room 2 in the Blue Building.
North Seattle French School is a new elementary school dedicated to bilingual education through excellent academics, creative learning and outdoor activities while promoting a rich multicultural environment.
The curriculum will be in both French and English with a strong majority in French.
NSFS is still finalizing its location, but it will most likely be in Phinney-Greenwood, Green Lake or Ballard. It plans to open in the fall.
According to the website, tuition will be $10,000 for the 2012-13 school year, and they plan to offer an after-school program for parents who need childcare. The first class will have around 15 students. The school plans to begin with one kindergarten-first grade class, then add a grade each year until it offers kindergarten through fifth grade.
Tags: bilingual, education, French, North Seattle French School, Phinney Neighborhood Association, school
November 3rd, 2011 by Doree
If you’re interested in working as an unpaid volunteer, Seattle Public Schools needs community members for its new Advanced Learning Program Task Force.
The task force will consist of approximately 20 members including one or more district staff, principals, teachers, parents and community representatives. Late afternoon meetings will be held monthly beginning in late November at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence.
The task force’s primary purpose is to advise district staff as it develops facility recommendations that will support the delivery of services to advanced learners throughout the district. The recommendations will be used by the Seattle Public Schools Facilities and Capacity Management Advisory Committee, Superintendent and School Board. The task force’s work will include a review of Accelerated Progress Program (APP) and Spectrum enrollment patterns, key program elements, family interests, costs and decision-making factors regarding student enrollment in APP and Spectrum programs. Responsibilities will include participating in public meetings, reviewing descriptive data, and weighing the competing interests and constraints surrounding future services for APP and Spectrum.
The task force will meet at least once a month for two hours from November to June with the possibility of additional meetings as needed to provide timely information to the Facilities and Capacity Management Advisory Committee, Superintendent and School Board. District staff will facilitate the meetings. A typical meeting will include a staff presentation on a topic or issue to resolve, followed by dialogue and discussion by the task force members. Staff will review task force input to develop recommendations.
Seattle Public School parents, principals, teachers and community members with an interest in advanced learning programs are encouraged to apply. Interested individuals should submit background information and reasons for their interest via email with “Advanced Learning Task Force” in the subject line to: email@example.com no later than Monday, Nov. 14.
A district administrative team will select task force members to represent of a cross section of the community and participation in the Accelerated Progress Program and Spectrum program. Task force members and those not selected will be notified via email or mail sent Nov. 15. The first meeting is scheduled for Nov. 21 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. in Room 2765 of the John Stanford Center, 2445-3rd Ave. S.
Tags: education, Seattle Public Schools
May 13th, 2011 by Geeky Swedes
By Meghan Walker
Nestled just above Carkeek Park, Viewlands Elementary is slowly coming back to life. Since its closure four years ago, the school has stood empty. But now, with a new principal at the helm, Viewlands is planning for its reopening in the fall.
Guiding the renovation and planning is Lisa Escobar, the new principal of the school. Escobar is a seasoned school principal; she comes to Viewlands with experience working in elementary, middle and high schools.
Escobar found out she would be taking over the K-5 at the end of March. Since then, she’s been busy working with a design team to give the school a face-lift. She says it’s a very exciting thing to start a new school.
“When you go into an existing school, it already has a culture, and then you work to shape it as a leader. But when you get to create that, it’s not something that happens very often, so I jumped at it,” Escobar said.
The school needs everything from new desks to books and even a new teaching staff. Escobar said the hiring process starts soon, with six positions to fill. She wants the school to have a focus on environmental science.
“We’re working with Carkeek Park and Piper Watershed. People are very eager to get involved,” Escobar explained.
Rain gardens are being planted, and conservation will be a strong theme in the school.
“There’s an idea for a culmination project in fifth grade, where they’ll look into their (carbon) footprint, and ways to neutralize that footprint on the environment,” Escobar said. “Its an incredible opportunity to create such a dynamic learning environment.”
When the school closed in 2007, nearly 200 students were relocated to other elementary schools. Escobar said she was surprised to learn the history of Viewlands.
“When it closed it was hard on the community. So, there are a lot of old wounds that need to be healed, and there are people who are excited about it coming back. It’s going to be redone and it will be beautiful when it’s done,” she said.
The school will start with 130 kids this fall, with the hope that within five years, 450 kids will be enrolled. In the meantime, Escobar is busy getting ready for the new students.
“You have to order everything from paper clips to laminators,” she said. “You just have to imagine you start with nothing.”
(Contributor Meghan Walker is an intern from the University of Washington School of Communications.
Tags: education, schools, Seattle Public Schools, Viewlands Elementary
March 17th, 2011 by Doree
Phinney-Ridge-based Polly-Glots, which provides French, Spanish and Mandarin language classes for children, is celebrating the release of its educational French and Spanish CDs with a big party downtown next week.
Polly-Glots teacher Ines Andrade will perform in French and Spanish from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 24, at the Starbucks at 1600 E. Olive Way. The first half-hour will be French songs, and the second half-hour will be in Spanish. The event is free, but because space is limited, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each CD – The Polly-Glots Chantent and The Polly-Glots Cantan – includes 30 kid-friendly songs about food, letters, numbers, animals and the body.
Polly-Glots will give away some T-shirts, CDs, and there’s a raffle for free tuition for Spring quarter. Classes are held at the Phinney Neighborhood Center, Twirl Café on Queen Anne, and North Kirkland Community Center, as well as student-only classes at Stevens and Highland Terrace elementary schools.
Polly-Glots founder and French instructor Tanya Knudsen lives with her family in Phinney Ridge.
Tags: education, foreign language, French, Polly-Glots, Spanish
March 15th, 2011 by Doree
If you plan to enroll your child in Seattle Public Schools and you didn’t register during Early Enrollment, then now is the time. Open Enrollment begins today and goes through April 15.
Current students and new students who pre-registered before Jan. 31 will receive their assignment in the mail in mid-March.
If the family wants the assignment noted in the March letter, no other action is needed. If the family wants to apply for a different attendance area school or an Option school, they may do so during the Open Enrollment period. Families who apply during Open Enrollment will receive their assignment at the end of May.
Families enrolling students for the 2011-12 school year may visit the Enrollment website at http://district.seattleschools.org/enrollment for forms and detailed information. Families may also contact an Enrollment Facilitator at the Service Center at the John Stanford Center, 2445 3rd Ave. S. (3rd and Lander). Telephone: (206) 252-0010 or fax: (206) 252-0761. There is also a Recorded Information Line: (206) 252-0410. Registration and application materials may be mailed, faxed or submitted in person. Mailing address is: Seattle Public Schools, SPS Service Center, MS 11-174, P.O. Box 34165, Seattle, WA 98124-1165.
Interpreters are available at the Service Center for families needing assistance in a language other than English. Office hours are 8:30 a.m Ephesus. to 4 p.m.
To be eligible for kindergarten for the 2011-12 school year, children must be 5 years of age by August 31, 2011. Documents required for new students include: proof of the child’s birth date (through Grade 1), photo I.D. of the parent/guardian, two additional documents for proof of address, and immunization records. An Admission Form and Certificate of Immunization Status (CIS) form are also required.
Current students wishing to change schools must submit a School Choice Form, which will be available online March 15. If the student’s address has changed, an Admission Form and two address verification documents are also required.
All school choice forms received during Open Enrollment are processed together after Open Enrollment ends on April 15. There is no advantage to submitting forms earlier or later during the Open Enrollment period. The first few days and the last few days of Open Enrollment are the busiest. To avoid long lines, families are encouraged to consider this when planning their visit to the enrollment center.
Current students may drop off School Choice Forms in our 24-hour drop box in the JSCEE parking lot at 3rd and Lander. Forms must be filled out completely and signed to be accepted. The drop-off box is only for school choice forms for current students who already have a school assignment but would like to apply for a different school. New students must submit enrollment materials either in person, by fax or email.
You can also talk to enrollment staff in person at several libraries and community centers over the next two weeks. The nearest ones to our neighborhood are: Ballard Library, March 17; Green Lake Library, March 21; Queen Anne Library, March 29, Broadview Library, March 31. All enrollment visits are from 5:30-7 p.m.
Tags: education, schools, Seattle Public Schools
January 27th, 2011 by Doree
Seattle Public Schools is holding a series of community meetings about proposed changes to its Transportation Plan for the 2011-12 school year.
The first meeting is from 7-8:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday) at Aki Kurose Middle School, 3928 S. Graham St.
The second meeting is from 6:30-8 p.m. next Thursday, Feb. 3, at Hamilton International Middle School, 1610 N. 41st. The third meeting is from 6:30-8 p.m. Wed., Feb. 8, at Chief Sealth International High School, 2600 SW Thistle.
The proposed Transportation Plan changes would save the district $4 million by creating new Transportation Zones for bus routes for attendance area elementary and K-8 schools.
The proposed changes would benefit students and families by decreasing the bus ride time for attendance area schools to 25 minutes or less. As routes will be shorter, buses are less likely to encounter the traffic delays that occur on longer routes, so families will find departure and arrival times to be more reliable. The plan also benefits the environment by taking about 80 buses off the roads and reducing the district’s carbon footprint.
Children within the transportation zone and outside of walk zones would be eligible for district-provided transportation. Transportation Zones would include the entire attendance area of a school, extending to areas within a 1.25-mile radius from the school and within the middle school service area. Existing walk zones to schools would still apply.
Bus transportation for middle schools, high schools, option schools, English Language Learners, Special Education and Advanced Learning would have minimal changes.
In addition to the new zones, some schools’ bell times would change, with some high schools and middle schools starting 10 minutes earlier and elementary schools starting five minutes later.
The School Board is scheduled to vote on the proposed plan at its Feb. 16 meeting. Opportunities to comment during public testimony are available at the February 2 and February 16 board meetings. For information about signing up for public testimony, visit the School Board website at http://www.seattleschools.org/area/board/publictestimony.pdf.
Tags: education, schools, Seattle Public Schools, transportation