This fall, my daughter started school at B.F. Day. Monday through Friday, we wait on the corner for the school bus to pick her up. Across the street, a couple of children wait for the bus to McDonald Elementary. Other families walk past us on their way to John Stanford. On my block, the second grader goes to John Stanford, the first grader to McDonald and my daughter to BF Day. And next year’s kindergarteners are currently slotted to go to Green Lake Elementary.
It’s pure craziness. It makes having any sense of neighborhood school impossible. It costs a lot of money to transport students from the same corner to three different schools. And it looks to undermine all of the progress that’s being made at BF Day by stripping away its student population while overcrowding Green Lake Elementary (so that in 2 more years they can start reassigning students to yet another elementary school).
If you have a student currently at BF Day or Green Lake, or if you have a younger child whose fate has yet to be determined, the BF Day parent community asks for you to make your opinion known. Carol Magallanes wrote the following plea for action. Take a minute to read it and act!
If you scan every other email sent to you by the PTSA, I beg you to read this one carefully.
Seattle Public Schools is in the process of defining new boundaries and if adopted, the current proposal will greatly impact B.F. Day and neighboring schools. A summary of the situation follows, along with an FAQ about the changes in boundaries and how it will affect current and future B.F. Day families. Last, but not least, we’ve got information on ways you can help lessen the blow for our school.
This year, enrollment at B.F. Day is 337. If the current boundaries remain intact, the projected enrollment for our in school in 2017 is 574. (The official capacity for the building is well over 700.) However, and this is the perplexing bit, under the proposed new boundaries, our enrollment would instead be only 287. In 2022 this disparity in number grows.
So where are these 274 children going instead? Children who are living in the current B.F. Day boundaries will be assigned to neighboring schools. West Woodland for one, will need to use portables.
These shrinking numbers have serious repercussions on our school. The reality is that larger schools get more money than smaller schools. Operating a school with 287 students means fewer programs, less resources, and fewer teachers. Equity in numbers means equity in programs.
I am not an administrator, I am speaking to you as a parent, and I don’t know that doubling our student body is the only option, but we must be allowed to grow, not shrink. We must progress, not cut back.
Parents in the B.F. Day community have always been, well, pretty quiet. Right now, I am asking you not just as a parent of a B.F. Day student, but as a neighbor, friend and citizen, do not remain quiet now.
This is OUR neighborhood school, and really, it works best when our neighborhood actually goes to our neighborhood school.
Do not remain silent. These are only drafted proposals, but you MUST act now, and you MUST be heard. The last parent meeting was last Tuesday. Please send an email to Principal Katie Pearl so she can fight for our school, and do it today! Also, call or email the following staff of Seattle School District.
We’ve put together a short FAQ about the district’s Growth Boundaries program:
What is the Growth Boundaries Program?
Seattle Public Schools (SPS) is working on creating new attendance area boundaries (Growth Boundaries) to accommodate enrollment growth and new construction. In order to use this increased capacity efficiently, school attendance boundaries must be re-aligned.
What Are The Proposed Boundaries For B.F. Day? You can find the proposed boundaries for B.F. Day here.
New boundaries would send siblings of some B.F. Day students living near Gas Works Park (and north) to Green Lake (30 blocks north) instead of B.F. Day
– Information on school capacity is inconsistent and confusing. These new draft boundaries were made public on Sept. 17 (you should have received an email). Recommended changes will be presented to the School Board on Oct. 16. THIS IS URGENT
How Will The New Growth Boundaries Affect Me? Families currently enrolled at B.F. Day may remain at the school through fifth grade. Younger siblings and families who don’t yet have children enrolled at the school will be affected if they reside outside of the boundary lines.
But My Kiddos Are Already at B.F. Day. How Will This Impact Us? The new attendance area being proposed for B.F. Day is significantly reduced in size and if implemented would result in fewer students and potentially 2 less teachers by 2017. Fewer teachers means less money for the school and reduced programs.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? – Please email or call the following District personnel to let them know it’s not acceptable to shrink boundaries of our growing school. – Copy Principal Katie Pearl on your emails. [email protected] – Take action by October 10 – date Principals are meeting with District staff to discuss. – Please share this email widely. Our PTSA directory is still being finalized so we are not sure if we are communicating with all B.F. Day families.
Attend District II Board Member Sherry Carr’s community meeting on Saturday, October 12 at Bethany Community Church, Christian Education Room, 8023 Green Lake Drive North.
Flip Herdon [email protected] Assistant Superintendent – Capital Facilities and Enrollment Planning 252-0644
Joseph A Wolf K-12 Planning Coordinator [email protected] 252-0551
Sherry Carr School Board Member, District II sherry.carr @seattleschools.org 252-0040
Tracy Libros Manager Enrollment & Planning [email protected] 252-0511
Your friend and neighbor, Carol Magallanes