Last week, we told you about Seattle Schools’ capacity issue that is affecting middle schools in the north end, including Hamilton International Middle School here in Wallingford. This past Wednesday, the School Board was going to vote on a short term capacity plan to alleviate the overcrowding at Hamilton and Eckstein. That vote, however, has been delayed until next week, when they’ll have enrollment projections for next year. Here’s the statement from Seattle Schools:
The Seattle School Board on Wednesday decided to remove the Annual Short Term Capacity Management Plan from the agenda. The Board called a special meeting to vote on the issue, to be held at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31 at the John Stanford Center. The SPS enrollment team should have data on the 2013-14 enrollment projections early next week. The delay will allow staff to continue to review the options to address our growing enrollment for next year with this additional data. Families can continue to voice their opinions at [email protected] and [email protected].
In case you missed my update in the comments section of last week’s post, this was my takeaway from the meeting held last week in Laurelhurst:
The three options on the table that I’ve noted in the post are still on the table; however, no one is crazy about the formation of a sixth grade academy. It’s something the District has never done before and it would affect well over 800 families. Plus, last night, I asked the question if they had thought about things like HOST (Hamilton Out of School Time) and band and sports and all that for sixth graders. How would they get these kids over from John Marshall to Hamilton (or Eckstein, for that matter?) It’s just not well thought out, in my opinion.
Why is that option still on the table then? I don’t know. But I don’t think it will be the option chosen. There was an operations meeting held at the John Stanford Center yesterday, before this meeting, where the board addressed this with facilities. You can read Melissa Westbrook’s recap of that meeting here:
It seems like they will either decide to “do nothing” this year and make adjustments to Hamilton (add Wifi in the building; convert the computer labs to science and math classrooms) to accommodate the “surge capacity.” But, they said last night, doing nothing will result in an 18million dollar budget gap…and then they still have to do something the following year AND deal with the budget gap.
They really want to open a comprehensive middle school at Jane Addams this fall, rolling it up beginning with sixth grade. If this is the case, then incoming 6th grade and new students in the Olympic Hills, John Rogers, and Sacajawea attendance areas would be assigned to a new comprehensive middle school at Jane Addams instead of Eckstein. Students in the Laurelhurst attendance area would be assigned to Eckstein instead of to Hamilton.
I have news for everyone, folks: boundaries WILL BE REDRAWN in 2014. Make no mistake about it. You’ll be hearing a lot more about that in the fall. On the plus side, though, Lincoln will open in fall of 2018 (provided BEX IV passes next month…I have a post coming about that this Sunday.)