John Stanford Capacity Update

We’ve been covering the recent proposed boundary changes for John Stanford International School these last few weeks, and now Seattle Public Schools has released an official statement regarding the proposal:

On Tuesday, Seattle Public Schools announced proposed changes to the boundaries of the John Stanford International School in Wallingford.

The changes were presented at a PTA meeting and will be voted on by the full School Board on Jan. 18. These boundary changes also impact McDonald Elementary and B.F. Day Elementary School.

Seattle Public Schools has seen increased enrollment over the past two years and needs to make adjustments to ensure all students have a safe and productive environment to learn. The John Stanford International School (JSIS) is currently overcrowded and use exceeds the optimal use of the rooms.

At JSIS, there is room for 16 homerooms, but 18 are currently in use. The current boundary for the John Stanford International School is unsustainable. With no boundary change, the situation worsens and there will be a need for 23 homerooms by fall 2014.

The combined capacity for McDonald Elementary and JSIS can only support the population within the combined current boundary for two more years at most.

Also, demand for language immersion programming is greater than the number of seats available.

“Families have made it clear that language immersion programming is what they want for their students and they are moving to Wallingford/Green Lake for the program,” said School Board Dir. Sherry Carr.

In order to keep siblings together and alleviate overcrowding, the school district is proposing a plan that will offer predictability to all families. Once approved, all those impacted by the boundary change will know where their student will attend school in September 2012.

The proposal for the 2012-13 school year:

  • Ensures incoming kindergarten siblings of students attending John Stanford who live in Area # 1 or # 2 will be guaranteed assignment to John Stanford
  • Students who live in Area #1 and who are not entering kindergarten siblings will be guaranteed assignment to McDonald
  • Offers a plan to bring the number of JSIS homerooms back to a sustainable level.

The School Board will vote on this plan on Jan. 18.

See also:

John Stanford Capacity Update, January 3, 2012
John Stanford Capacity Update, December 22, 2011
Update on Wallingford schools boundary issues
School boundaries to change again for Wallingford?

  • Joe

    It’s funny that no one remembers that JSIS enrollment for the 2008-2009 school year at JSIS under the old plan when only 2 incoming K classes were allowed and attendance was based on distance from the school.

    Guess what the western cut-off street was for 2008, 2 years prior to the implementation of the Student Assignment Plan? Bagley Ave N, exactly one block west of Corliss Ave the proposed new boundary for next year.

    So for the district to move the boundary to get JSIS back to 2 incoming K classes similiar to what it was 4 years ago is no big shocker when you know the history.

  • Fruitbat

    Aine–about the “silence” at BF Day–have you seen the school? It’s a big building. Someday it might fill up, but right now, there’s room. And Fremont is less child-ed than Wallingford, so the boundaries can be much bigger than those of JSIS. So the sound you’re most likely to hear is “welcome.” Or maybe “please don’t hate us.”

  • Chris

    Wick, no my logical conclusion is that we need the funding equivalent of water-seeking-its-own-level for SPS. If you pour money in the left side of the U for language immersion in a wealthy neighborhood, it flows back to the right side and funds those struggling to get a half decent education in a ppor neighborhood first. Only when all “Maslow” needs for education in SPS are met should the water level rise to cover stuff like language immersion, period. -Whether funded by the PTSA or not. -Allowing outside funding just exacerbates the problem.

    We need a baseline for quality education and a safe learning environment that is met and available to all kids in ALL areas of Seattle. When the metrics show a problem area, that’s where the resources should go so everything levels out. JSIS only needs the minimum money to maintain the facilities and pay the staff and any federally mandated special needs money. (Oh wait, special needs kids CAN’T go to language immersion schools, so they HAVE to go to BF Day.)

    In fact, lets step back from the deep inequalities across the ship canal. Just poke your head into BF Day’s gym and look at the floor. They can’t get that rubber floor fixed and it’s been that way for at least 6 years, meanwhile we’re worried about kids getting to learn Japanese immersion. ( -Which will be really useful on the Maslow scale btw because Japanese is spoken in, well lets see…Japan.)

    It is a sense of entitlement to elitist programs in a public education system by our residents that is causing the entire problem with zones changing, not SPS’s insensitivity. It’s time to recognize that many of us won the lottery when we were born, or when we worked at the right place at the right time in history, or both. (I count myself among the double winners btw, so this isn’t sour grapes). We are not entitled to a better education here in Wallingford than anywhere else in SPS and while we continue to demand more when others go with less the friction with SPS will continue.

    The deep irony here is that a good many of these same people upset by not getting immersion rightly worry about their carbon-footprint and eating sustainable foods and buying fair-trade goods and whatnot, but are blind to the problems they cause by demanding more from the state for THEIR children than anyone else’s.

  • Joe

    @Chris…I agree with you that all Seattle Public Schools should provide a quality and safe learning environment not just to the middle class. You seem very passionate about that subject so what solutions have you brought to the table with the district & school board, what advocacy group do you work with, how have you given your support to BF Day?

    I clearly hope that you are just not ranting about the subject on blogs and not taking an active role for positive change in support of equal access for all students.

    Instead of posting a lengthy response, e-mail BF Day’s PTA and see how you can support them. I’m sure they could use help with fundraising for their gym floor, a new playground or volunteers for a project.

    It takes a village more like an army to support our schools.

  • impliedobserver

    I guess we can add to the list of drawbacks to B.F. Day is having to deal with such an opinionated lout. Can’t say I’m looking forward to dealing with this guy/gal on the PTA. And for those annoyed at my statement, I remained quiet for quite a few posts before enough was enough.

  • Floor Pie

    What else is on the list of drawbacks to B.F. Day, impliedobserver?

  • impliedobserver

    Nothing actually. I think B.F. Day is going to be a great school and I’m excited for my son to go there. But it doesn’t have language immersion which is an exciting perk for JSIS.

  • Chris

    Joe. I certainly hope so too. :) I also hope that the intent of your post wasn’t to turn this back on me to solve singlehandedly since I brought up these inconvenient truths so I STFU. I agree wholeheartedly about it taking a village, and that village should support ALL the schools not just the one their kid attends.

    I’ve actually been deeply involved with the school and PTSA at various times over the years and realize that I would like to help more with the systemic issues I point out. And I’m working on a long term plan to be able to do so.

    As for BF Day, where would they get the money from for this fundraiser when the 98103 parents kick and scream to keep their kids from going there and don’t even recognize it as a neighborhood school? -The 42% on Reduced Free Lunch? If the 98103 neighbors continue to shun the school, there is no windfall for the PTSA to help out. -Fortunately that’s changing because the NSAP made it so. -But as I said that’s not really right either.

    As for the gym, I actually don’t think that fixing it is a priority, btw. Especially if you could use the money to keep one more kid from dropping out somewhere else. I was using it more as a visible example of the disparity between the three elementary schools. So if SPS doesn’t have the money allocated, so be it.

  • Chris

    Impliedobserver, glad you broke your silence just to hurl an insult. Adding value. What’s “enough”? If you have a counter argument to anything I’ve said, fire away, but don’t just hit and run.

  • Floor Pie

    Yes, the BF Day gym floor is a little messed up, but the gym teacher more than makes up for it! He’s terrific. BF Day also has Spectrum now (an advanced learning program open to kids who test in). Lots to like about this school.

  • Laura

    Floor Pie – sounds like your experience at BFDay has been terrific. I am curious, how many kindergartens are there this year?

  • Kimberly C

    @Anthony, I feel for you since we were also just drawn out of the boundary (and into BF Day) despite living here since 1998. However, my older child attended JSIS for kindergarten and it was not a good fit for him. So perhaps you can take some consolation in knowing that even though JSIS has lots to offer, it can’t meet every child’s needs. JSIS offers no advanced learning opportunities and isn’t as strong in math and science as it is in langauge and arts. Also for kids that find learning math difficult, trying to learn it in a foreign language can be nearly impossible and extremely frustrating.

    I have been impressed at how flexible and resiliant my son has been in the whole changing-schools process. Wherever your daughter ends up, if it’s not a good fit, you can try to get her in at JSIS for 1st grade or look into advanced learning programs or private schools if you need to. When you’re in the public system, unfortunately, you have to learn to let go of a lot of expectations and work to make wherever you end up the best it can be for your child (and others of course). But, it’s cheaper than private school!

  • Floor Pie

    Laura, I don’t know the actual numbers, but there are three kindergarten classes. My son is in 2nd grade, but we’re new to the school this year. (We were at TOPS for K-1.)

    BF Day is having an Open House on Thursday, January 26 if anyone wants to come check us out.

  • Steve

    Our kindergartener has had a great year at B.F. Day this year. Good teacher, great principal (I echo the thought that she may be the best in the District), and a welcoming community. The building is a classic, and it has been renovated recently. Their is a project in place to dramatically renovate/redesign the playground. The art, music, Spanish and PE teachers are the best we’ve had thus far in Seattle Public Schools. I think the school will benefit from the NSAP in that more parents will consider the school for their children. B.F. Day has long suffered from an outdated stereotype, and I think that is going to change. If you’re newly designated for the school, keep an open mind and check it out!

  • Steve

    Oops. I meant “there is” not “their is.” Maybe I need to go back to elementary school…

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