A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods

 

Bagley Elementary on School District list of schools needing major repair, remodel

October 18th, 2012 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools plans to ask voters for $700 million in levy money to replace, repair or build new schools all over the district. One of the schools on the list is Daniel Bagley Elementary at North 80th Street and Stone Avenue North (just across Aurora Avenue North). Bagley’s attendance area includes the east side of Phinney Ridge and Greenwood.

The initial list of projects shows Bagley being remodeled in 2020. The Seattle School Board will approve the final list at its November meeting. Bagley parent Erin Reid is asking people to tell the school board to keep Bagley on the list.

Bagley is a beautiful, Art Deco building that has been neglected by the district. We have been on the list for renovations multiple times, and are now fighting to get on the latest levy proposal. Building conditions at our school are pretty bad. Ceiling tiles fall on students and staff, not all water at Bagley is safe to drink, there are roof leaks into classrooms and carpenter ant infestations. In addition, we have 410 students (very, very crowded) and one set of bathrooms on the first floor for the entire school. There are no handwashing facilities on the second floor. The community, in partnership with the city, recently resurfaced the asphalt in the play area so that kids would stop losing their teeth on the slippery asphalt. Due to the overcrowding, the time for classes such as Health and Fitness have been reduced well below district standards. Academically we are a strong school, but our building is ranked 3rd lowest in the district for educational adequacy.

We are asking people to voice their support of Daniel Bagley by writing the School Board and Superintendent. Bagley needs to be included in the next levy proposal and we need our neighbors help. Letting Bagley deteriorate is bad for Phinney, Greenwood, and the Aurora Corridor.

You can find the names and contact info for all school board members on the website.

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Seattle Public Schools’ students should be enrolled by Aug. 28

August 15th, 2012 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools is urging all families to enroll students by Tuesday, Aug. 28, so the district can make sure all students are assigned to a school by the first day of school, on Wednesday, Sept. 5.

Families new to Seattle Public Schools who have not yet enrolled can submit their applications by mail, by email, or by visiting us at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence (JSCEE) at 2445 3rd Ave. S. You can find a map, driving directions, and bus routes to reach the John Stanford Center here. Downloadable enrollment applications can be found here.

Enrollment hours are 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

In addition, families should note that the JSCEE building will be closed Wednesday, Aug. 29 due to a district-mandated unpaid furlough day for all employees, one in a series of furlough days aimed at offsetting reductions in state education funding.

Families of current students who are continuing enrollment at their assigned school DO NOT need to visit the John Stanford Center. Families of current students who wish to transfer schools can submit their enrollment applications via email, by mail or by using our 24-hour drop box located at the JSCEE south entrance, facing Lander Street.

Information on how and where to enroll students is located on the SPS Enrollment page. The web address is www.seattleschools.org/enrollment

Families are also invited to visit the following SPS website links for helpful information:

For other questions, call Customer Service at (206) 252-0010.

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2 Greenwood elementary schools receive funding for conservation programs

April 17th, 2012 by Doree

Greenwood and Viewlands elementary schools are among 37 Seattle schools that will receive money from the district for encouraging conservation and environmentally responsible behaviors.

The schools will split $26,000, which comes from district-wide savings in energy and water use. Schools will use the “Green Team Funding” to conduct assessments of their schools in energy efficiency, recycling and waste reduction, or water quality and conservation.

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Seattle Public Schools may delay Whittier Developmental Preschool move by one year

March 28th, 2012 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools today announced that it may delay by one year the planned move of the Developmental Preschool at Whittier Elementary to Viewlands Elementary.

Last week we told you that some parents with children in the Developmental Preschool were upset that the district had made the decision to move the program in January, but didn’t tell them until mid-March. Some of the preschoolers have older siblings enrolled at Whittier specifically so the family could be at one school. By waiting to notify parents until after Open Enrollment had ended, those families didn’t have the option to move their older children to Viewlands as well.

The Developmental Preschool is located on the bottom floor of Whittier Elementary.

The school district says it made the initial decision in January, after determining that Whittier would likely need an extra classroom next year. Since there are no open classrooms right now, either the Developmental Preschool or the Whittier Kids before- and after-school program would need to move. The district determined that more families would be affected by the loss of the before- and after-school program.

Today, the district sent home a letter with all Whittier students, stating that it will wait until April 15 to determine if increased enrollment at the school will mean it needs the preschool room for an additional home room. The letter from Pegi McEvoy, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, says that if the latest enrollment data for Whittier does not show any increases for next year, then the Developmental Preschool will remain at Whittier for the 2012-13 school year, then move to Viewlands in 2013-14.

SPS Spokeswoman Teresa Wippel told me today that the district has an exception process for siblings who want to transfer to Viewlands but missed the Open Enrollment period. The new District Ombudsman is helping affected families with that process.

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Dairy Princess & baby calf to visit Greenwood Elementary to help tell tale of farm-to-table journey

February 14th, 2012 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools just announced that the Washington State Dairy Princess and a baby calf will visit three elementary schools this week to illustrate “dairy’s farm-to-table journey and the benefits of dairy and calcium for children’s growing bodies.”

They’ll be at Greenwood Elementary, 144 NW 80th St., in the cafeteria, from 11:30 a.m. to 12 :30 p.m. on Wednesday. (They’re also visiting Roxhill Elementary today, and Montlake Elementary on Thursday.)

The visit is part of the Washington Grown Harvest of the Month program, designed to engage students in a variety of settings where nutrition education can have the biggest impact — the classroom, cafeteria and home. Each month, a Washington-grown item will be showcased; in February, the highlight is on dairy products.

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A new class could be added to Whittier, but not Kindergarten

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: programplacement@seattleschools.org.

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Schools open, buses on normal routes, garbage to be picked up this week

January 22nd, 2012 by Doree

Life is getting back to normal after last week’s snow storm. Seattle Public Schools will reopen Monday morning, and Metro Transit has returned all buses to normal routes, after canceling dozens of routes last week.

Seattle Public Utilities is back on its normal pickup schedule for garbage, recycling and yard waste starting Monday.

Residential customers that had their collections missed last week can set out double their normal amount of garbage, recycling and yard waste on their regularly scheduled collection day at no additional charge.

Extra recycling that doesn’t fit in the city-provided container should be placed in sturdy bins or boxes next to your recycling cart. Remember to flatten empty cardboard boxes and do not put recyclables inside of bags.

Extra yard waste that does not fit in the city-supplied cart should be set out in one of the following ways:
• A 32-gallon can with handles. Label your can “yard waste,” and fill it loosely, so that it will empty easily when turned upside down.
• Bundles, tied with fiber twine, up to 4-feet long by 2-feet in diameter. Do not use wire, nylon cording, or plastic banding to tie these bundles.
• Kraft paper bags, available at many home and garden retailers
• Reusable yard waste bags, made of polyethylene.

No food waste is allowed in these extra units.

Extra garbage should be placed in plastic bags or your own garbage can (up to 32 gallons), and put next to your regular garbage.

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Seattle Public Schools make-up snow day is next Friday

January 20th, 2012 by Doree

Next Friday, Jan. 27, was supposed to be a day off school for students as a day between semesters. But, Seattle Public Schools just announced that it will be the first of three snow make-up days.

A determination on making up the additional snow days, most likely at the end of the school year, will be decided next week.

“It is important to get our students back in the classroom next week,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Susan Enfield. “We know some families may have made out-of-town plans for next Friday, and we apologize for any inconvenience this causes.”

There will still be a three-hour early dismissal on Tuesday, Jan. 24 for a scheduled furlough day for teachers and staff represented by the Seattle Education Association (SEA). That day cannot be used as a snow make-up day.

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Schools closed, buses still on snow routes, temperatures should rise and begin melting ice and snow on Friday

January 20th, 2012 by Doree

Update 9:30 a.m.: Woodland Park Zoo has reopened today after two days of closure. It is open until 4 p.m.

Update 8 a.m.: The route 28  route has changed as of early this morning.

Due to road conditions, Route 28 is now traveling via Greenwood Av N and Holman Rd in both directions between N 143rd St and NW 103rd St.

When Route 28 is operating via its designated snow routing, board or exit it at posted bus stops along Greenwood Av N.

The forecast calls for warmer temperatures and rains that will start to melt that snow and ice on Friday. Here’s the official word on closures, etc.

Seattle Public Library branches will open at 1 p.m. Friday.

Seattle Public Schools are closed again on Friday.

Next Tuesday, Jan. 24 is a three-hour early dismissal from schools because of a scheduled furlough day. That day cannot be used as a snow make-up day. District administration will determine tomorrow if Friday, Jan. 27 – a scheduled day off for professional development – can be used as a snow make-up day.

Metro buses will remain on snow routes on Friday. As of Thursday night, Metro planned to cancel 27 routes on Friday, but that could change as weather conditions change. Expect delays on routes that are still running. Dress warmly and be prepared to wait at the bus stop.

Seattle City Light reminds customers not to call 911 to report power outages. Instead, call City Light’s Outage Hotline at 206-684-7400. You can see an outage map here.

With the forecast for snow turning to rain Friday, stormwater runoff will challenge Seattle’s drainage system. Seattle Public Utilities is asking residents and businesses to locate the storm drains in the street and clear them of snow, leaves, and debris to help prevent localized flooding. Clearing storm drains is the single most important thing that residents and businesses can do to protect their property and prevent ponding in streets that poses traffic hazards.

If an inlet or street drain appears to be blocked by snow or debris, try to safely clear a channel to provide a path for the runoff. If the drain cannot be cleared, or if the cause of the blockage or flooding is uncertain, call SPU at (206) 386-1800.

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