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


Seattle Schools superintendent hosts town hall meeting at Ballard High on Thursday

March 24th, 2014 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Jose Banda has been hosting a series of town hall meetings throughout the city to talk about the District’s five-year Strategic Plan. On Thursday, he’ll be at Ballard High School, 1418 NW 65th St., from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Interpreters in Spanish, Somali, Chinese, Vietnamese and Tagalog will be available at each meeting. In addition, supervised children’s activities and light refreshments will be provided.

Each meeting will include a joint presentation by Superintendent José Banda and the Executive Director of Schools for that region. Families, staff and community members will be invited to participate in small group discussions about the Strategic Plan on how to ensure the District meets its goal of ensuring every student graduates prepared for college, career and life.

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Seattle Public Schools Open Enrollment begins next Monday

February 19th, 2014 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools families who did not enroll their incoming kindergarten student during Early Enrollment, or families of current students wishing to change schools, may request a new school assignment beginning next Monday, Feb. 24. Open Enrollment runs through March 7.

Parents of students who are already attending Seattle Public Schools or participated in early enrollment will receive a letter right before Open Enrollment starts with next year’s assignment.

“While our Student Assignment Plan focuses on placing students in their attendance area school, it also provides opportunities for families to request a different school or program for their student, such as Montessori, International, Spectrum or APP,” said Faauu Manu, John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence (JSCEE) Service Center Manager.

Students don’t need to participate in Open Enrollment unless a change of school or program is desired. All students who want to enroll in a different school/program must submit a school choice application, which will be available from Feb. 24-March 7, 2014. All forms must be returned either in person or online to Seattle Public Schools by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, March 7, 2014.

If there are more applicants than seats available for a particular school, program and/or grade, then certain tiebreakers are used to determine which students are selected. If there is not a seat available for an applicant, then that student is placed on a waiting list and contacted if space becomes available.

Students who do not apply during Choice Open Enrollment may still submit a choice application later. However, fewer seats will be available after Open Enrollment.

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Greenwood, Viewlands elementaries will now offer free full-day kindergarten

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.

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Community meeting on proposed elementary and middle school on Wilson-Pacific site

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.

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District-wide Physical Education Community Showcase at Broadview-Thomson on Tuesday

November 5th, 2012 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools will show off its P.E. programs at the Physical Education Community Showcase from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday at Broadview-Thomson K-8, 13052 Greenwood Ave. N., in the gym.

(P)hysical education departments at Seattle Public Schools and their community partners will be sharing the programs and community partnerships aimed at supporting the District’s mission statement: “providing a quality physical education program that builds knowledge, fitness, movement skills, social well-being and confidence so all students can enjoy a healthy, active lifestyle.”

Parents, students and community members are welcome to browse the displays and talk with educators about Seattle Public Schools’ physical education initiatives.

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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.


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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