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


Seattle Public Schools conducting online survey for changing school start times

April 28th, 2015 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools is conducting an online survey to determine whether to change school start times beginning in the fall. Parents of high school students have been pushing for a later start time, citing research showing teens need to sleep later.

There are three different surveys in 10 different languages: for parents of current students, for community members whether they have had children in public schools or not, and for school staff.

A change in the start and end times for a school day has the potential to affect the entire community and it is important that the district hear from our diverse community including parents, students, staff and community members on the potential positive and negative impacts of such a decision. To focus this conversation this spring, three options are being explored: 1) no change to current bell times, 2) moving secondary schools to later start times and elementary schools to earlier start times, and 3) expanding the high school day to allow a choice for students.

To support the capture of this vital feedback from the District community, the Bell Time Online Survey will be available starting April 28. The survey will be available online in ten languages and will remain open until May 10. The survey has three primary audiences – Parents, Community Members and Staff. In addition, for those families without reliable internet access, the survey will be available on paper at each of the 26 neighborhood Community Centers managed by Seattle Parks and Recreation.

Take the Bell Time Online Survey here!

For more information on the Bell Time Analysis, visit belltimes.www.seattleschools.org

We encourage everyone, whether you are a parent of a current Seattle Public Schools student, will soon be enrolling your child in the District, or are a community member interested in the topic, to take the survey and contribute to this important discussion. The data collected from these surveys will be invaluable in determining the potential impacts a change could have on the community.


Greenwood Elementary and Broadview-Thomson K-8 among 23 Seattle Public Schools given Washington Achievement Awards

April 28th, 2015 by Doree

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction has awarded 23 Seattle Public Schools with Washington Achievement Awards for improvements in reading, English, math and overall outstanding academic success.

Greenwood Elementary was cited for “High Progress.” Broadview-Thomson K-8 was honored for “English Language Acquisition.”

Schools are selected based on their statewide assessment data for the previous three years. Schools received their awards at a ceremony today in Spanaway.

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Community meeting on Seattle Public Schools levies at Ballard High on Wednesday

March 23rd, 2015 by Doree

Voters can get more information about Seattle Public Schools’ upcoming Operations Levy and the Buildings, Technology, Academics/Athletics IV (BTA IV) Capital Levy, both of which will be on the ballot next February, at a community meeting this Wednesday at Ballard High School. The meeting is from 6:30-8 p.m. in the lunchroom. Interpreters in Spanish and Chinese will be provided.

The Operations Levy renews every three years, represents nearly 25% of the District’s annual general fund budget and supports basic educational programs not fully funded by the state.

The Buildings, Technology and Academics IV (BTA IV) Capital Levy renews every six years and funds hundreds of small renovations and major maintenance projects, as well as technology, academic and athletic initiatives at school buildings.

If you can’t make the meeting, you can email questions and comments for the BTA IV Capital Levy to capitallevy2016@seattleschools.org; for the Operations Levy to budget@seattleschools.org; or mail to Levies 2016, Seattle Public Schools, M.S. 22-336, P.O. Box 34165, Seattle, Washington, 98124-1165.

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Licton Springs K-8 tours and open house

February 16th, 2015 by Doree

Licton Springs K-8, formerly called Pinehurst K-8, will host an open house and tours for prospective students this week and next. The evening open house is from 6-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 25. School tours will be from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Feb. 19, 24 and 26, and March 3 and 5.

The tours and open house will be at the school’s temporary location in the South Wing of the Lincoln Building, 4400 Interlake Ave. N., in Wallingford. In the fall of 2017, the school will move to its new home in the Licton Springs Neighborhood, at 1330 N. 90th St.

Since Licton Springs K-8 is an option school, bus transportation will be provided for students living in the Jane Addams or Eckstein middle-school service areas, and for students in the Broadview-Thompson, Northgate, Greenwood, Bagley and Olympic View Elementary attendance areas. Seattle Public Schools provides ORCA cards for any student in grades 6-8 who lives more than two miles from their school. Click here to see the attendance area map.

If you are looking for a school that is dynamic, respectful, and student centered, while dedicated to equality, compassion, and social justice –Licton Springs K-8 may be the school for your child! Licton Springs K-8 (formerly known as Pinehurst K-8, and before that Alternative School #1), has been providing students with a hands-on, project based, social-justice curriculum since 1970, and now has a new focus on Native American experience. We are open to any student in Seattle Public Schools.

What will you find at Licton Springs K-8?

  • A student-driven approach where children have the freedom to explore their interests and follow their natural curiosity, lighting a passion for learning that they will carry throughout their life.
  • Hands on-projects and experiential learning methods that keep school connected to the real world, engaging students beyond the limits of the typical classroom.
  • A focus on Native American heritage that honors the history, experience, culture, and world view of indigenous people, creating a supportive environment for Native students, while honoring and respecting the diverse, multi-cultural background of all our students.
  • A passion for social justice and environmental education that encourages students to advocate for issues important to themselves, their community, and the world – helping them become the compassionate leaders of tomorrow.
  • An emphasis on the arts, including dance through a partnership with the Pacific North Ballet, Native American carving, film studies, and other art projects. We incorporate art and creative expression throughout our curriculum.
  • A commitment to fully serve and address the needs of all students, from the highly gifted to the highly challenged, in a supportive and inclusive community, and to fully support the needs of special education students.

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Third public meeting on new Wilson Pacific Elementary and Middle Schools

June 16th, 2014 by Doree

The public is invited to another public meeting on the new Wilson-Pacific Elementary and Middle Schools, at 1330 N. 90th St. Many students in the Phinney Ridge-Greenwood area will be assigned to the new schools when they open in the fall of 2017.

This third public meeting will discuss Seattle Public School’s request for a waiver from City zoning regulations to construct the new buildings.

The June 25 meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in Classroom #206 in Building 200 at the current Wilson Pacific School.

The School District is requesting modifications to City zoning regulations for the following:
1) Greater than allowed building height.
2) Less than required on-site parking.
3) Allowance for parking to extend into the required setback.
4) Continuation of on-street bus loading and unloading.

This meeting will include a presentation by the Seattle School District before the Development Standards Departure Advisory Committee, a committee composed of neighbors and School District and City representatives. The School District will respond to comments and questions raised at the two previous public meetings held in March and May where extensive public comment was taken on the departure requests. There will also be an opportunity for the public to testify concerning the departure. Following public testimony, the committee will make a recommendation to either grant outright, grant with conditions, or deny the requested zoning modifications. The final decision is made by the Seattle Department of Planning and Development.

The public is encouraged to attend, and there will be a 30-minute public comment period during the meeting. If the public cannot attend the meeting, written comments can be submitted to: Steve Sheppard, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 1700, P.O. Box 94649, Seattle, WA 98124-4649.

For more information, call Steve Sheppard at 684-0302, or e-mail steve.sheppard@seattle.gov.

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Seattle Public Schools hosting community meeting Tuesday about latest plans for Wilson-Pacific project

May 12th, 2014 by Doree

Many students in the Phinney-Greenwood area may be assigned to the proposed Wilson-Pacific school just off Aurora Avenue on North 90th Street when it’s built in a few years. Seattle Public Schools plans to tear down the current building and construct a new elementary and middle school on the site, to open in fall 2017.

SPS will host a community meeting to answer questions about the project at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the current Wilson-Pacific building, 1330 N. 90th St. (use the south entrance on North 90th Street.)

The existing structure will be demolished to make room for the new 1,000 seat middle school and the 660 seat elementary school buildings. Attendees will be able to make comments and ask questions with regard to the project’s building and site design.

However, last week the district’s Facilities and Capacity Management Advisory Committee released a report which calls for the site to instead be a state-of-the-art high school serving 2,500 students. We’ve got a message in to SPS to find out more about the report and how it affects the current plans.

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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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