Monday, December 7, 2009

How do to an elementary APP in the north?

A while back, there were multiple requests to open a discussion on opening an APP elementary school in the north end. Let's do that now.

Some questions to discuss here might include:
  • Where should a northern elementary APP program be located?
  • Should the program be in addition to or in place of Lowell or Thurgood Marshall?
  • When should this happen?
  • Would parents prefer APP elementary options closer to them in the city (one in each of north, central, and south) or a larger, unified elementary APP program at one location (as Lowell used to be)?
  • Similarly, do parents prefer entire schools to be dedicated to an alternative program like APP? Or do parents prefer an alternative program to be side-by-side and integrated with other alternative programs or with general education?
  • If APP is split further, does that have implications for the APP community and the future of APP?
Please see also the comments and discussion on a Sept 2009 post, "Move North-end Elementary APP?", on the Seattle Public Schools community blog.


Ben said...

I want to go back to one APP school.

This will happen when hell freezes over, more or less.

dj said...

I think for the longevity of the program, I would not want it split even further (because I am concerned that the long-term plan is to have a mini-APP in every service area, or even in every school, which would likely put many students back in the same position they were in before they came to APP.

So, if there is to be a north campus -- which would, I think, make sense -- I would prefer it to be in place of, rather than in addition to, the Lowell site. Also, having three campuses would probably require slicing some of the central kids off of Thurgood Marshall, and as the parent of one of those kids, I'd really prefer that my child not be moved for a third time.

hschinske said...

I think it should be north and south, and both locations should have room to grow ... just as practically everyone recommended who thought the split could work at all.

Helen Schinske

Charlie Mas said...

The north program could be located at McDonald. It's a good central location in the north end and close to the 99 and I-5.

If McDonald lacks the necessary capacity, there is also Wilson-Pacific. It would be strictly a second choice.

Laura said...

My son's bus schedule just moved five minutes earlier in the AM -- this means he must be at his stop at 8:16 (for a 8:21 pick up). The first rider must be at his/her stop at 7:53 (for a 7:58 pick up). I've learned that this schedule change was made because a parent complained that the bus wasn't arriving early enough for his/her child to get breakfast AND have morning recess. The bus arrives at Lowell between 9:01 and 9:10 each day. Now the bus will arrive five minutes earlier, on average.

I complained to transportation. Over an hour each way is too much (especially for the rational stated above). I was told by transportation that I should expect an hour bus ride each way, and that most kids going to Lowell have "about an hour" bus ride, each way. Is this true? It used to be we should expect "around forty-five minutes" each way.

If the program were moved north, most kids would have a shorter bus ride. If the program were moved to Wilson Pacific, we could walk. If the program were moved to McDonald or BF Day, we could ride a bike, others could walk.

For all of you whose kids have great bus rides, and aren't concerned about the bus ride length to Lowell, all I can say is that was us last year -- thirty minutes each way. Please keep in mind things change, and with SPS transportation, they don't seem to be changing for the better.

A2Z said...

Without a doubt a single program would be the best way to handle APP.

ArchStanton said...

1) Single School - I'm not delusional enough to think it will happen during my child's SPS career.

2) North APP at McDonald - Seems like a good idea, but if they don't open McDonald with APP, it's hard to imagine that they would change their minds about it anytime soon. (although they don't seem to mind uprooting programs when it suits their needs)

3) North APP at another location - seems most likely if it happens at all. Others of us who know the individual sites better can speak to where the most likely location might be.

Beyond that, I don't see APP in it's current form surviving more than two locations, (possibly three if they can identify and recruit more APP eligible students under the existing criteria). Splitting four-ways might make a geographic sort of sense, but it would necessarily decimate and water down the cohort to be tenable.

dj said...

Laura, my daughter was at Lowell last year. We live in Madrona, so not exactly that far from Lowell. Were we to have used the bus, her pickup time from our house was 7:49 AM, and her after-school drop-off time was 4:20. So yes, for her, it was a little over an hour each way (or, alternatively 10-12 minutes by car, which is what we chose to do instead).

hschinske said...

dj, this isn't only a Lowell problem. Buses are often quite inefficient in terms of time, and often more so with short distances. I live only just far enough from Whittier to get busing, and the times my kids rode the bus there it took longer than the bus ride to Lowell did. It doesn't surprise me at all that the commute from Madrona to Lowell can be longer than the commute from Ballard to Lowell.

Helen Schinske

Limes said...

I'm not as concerned with having multiple sites, particularly because kids tend to end up dividing up geographically anyway. Sports teams, community centers, grocery stores, etc. create community in neighborhoods. Both of my APP children have the strongest relationships with kids close to our house for convenience sake.

I'm not sure I fully understand the drama about splitting in half, except that there is some obscure policy that said it couldn't.

I do think Lowell is too far South, but I don't know where a better site would be. Generally, I'm all for students not having to cross the canal if at all possible. It's such a hassle during commuting hours, even at short distances.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Jean said...

I would consider APP an option (instead of our children's current private school) if there were a north-end location. What I would really like to see, though, is a self-contained program for the truly highly gifted--a program such as Bellevue's PRISM program, which accepts kids from the 99.7th percentile and above. I'm not really convinced that APP would be any better than our children's current school, which does a passable job for many of its students, but leaves its most highly gifted ones to languish.

Maria Renninger said...

Viewlands appeals to me more than McDonald, even though we live in Wedgwood. The McDonald area is so densely populated that I think we'd end up struggling for space against the need for neighborhood-school space in that building. I want a permanent location for APP. It seems like that could continue to be Lowell.