After two years of ramping up in its interim site at Lincoln, F.A. McDonald International School has moved into its own, spiffy, newly-remodeled building on N. 54th St. at Latona. The school had been closed for 28 years and was in pretty bad shape until now. But starting on September 5, approximately 293 students will walk through its doors to begin a new school year; 112 of which will be Kindergartners.
McDonald International is hosting a Grand Opening celebration and open house on Tuesday, September 4, if you want to come and check out the new digs. A ribbon cutting ceremony will beging at 2pm followed by school tours until 4pm.
Curious about the school’s namesake and history? I found this little nugget of information from the Seattle Schools website:
Judge F.A. McDonald was the Seattle School Board President from 1910-1913. He died in July 1913. A new school was being built between Green Lake and Latona. It had been decided by the School Board that it would be named the Bryant School. But when Judge F.A. McDonald died, School Board Briefing/Proposed Action Report the Board chose to name the new school after him, as he was on the committee that selected the site for the new school. Four of McDonald’s grandchildren would later attend the school.
McDonald School opened with three classes midway through the 1914-15 school year. In 1920-21 it became a K-8 school with 673 students in 20 classes. There were as many as 17 portables also on the site. In 1923 a new addition opened with 12 classrooms. Peak enrollment was in 1926-27 with 902 students. In its final year as a regular elementary school, 1980-81, McDonald had an enrollment of only 166 students in grade K, 3-5. It served as an interim site for schools until it was put on the BTA III project list.
Bonus fun fact: In 2009, McDonald School was used to film World’s Greatest Dad directed by Bobcat Goldthwait and starring Robin Williams. (It was depressing as all get-out, IMHO)