Saturday, November 15, 2014

The miserable state of facilities

By request, a new thread to talk about facilities. The request was to talk about facility issues at Lincoln, but let's broaden this to talk about facility issues at all HCC (APP) locations.

For reference, the "2014 Facilities Condition & Educational Adequacy Assessment" might be helpful. In it, I noticed that Lincoln and Washington Middle School have quite a lot of issues, though some of the other locations are in fairly good condition. While this thread is specifically to discuss HCC location building issues, the miserable state of facilities is a broad problem at many locations throughout the district, in part aggravated by years of delayed maintenance and poor capacity planning, so a broader solution like a bond measure and then investment in ongoing maintenance may be necessary to get beyond twiddles.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I realize that these are different pots of money, but the crowded and decrepit conditions of HCC -- and non-HCC --facilities are far less important to me than the lack of consistent access to and use of technology in our schools and the lack of teachers trained in classroom support of gifted kids.

Thank you

Middle Mom

Anonymous said...

The lack of appropriate playgound structures for 680 elementary kids at Lincoln is incredibly frustrating. Rumor has it that kids have been hurting themselves (think concussions and broken bones) by inappropriately using the too small pre-school structure in the back. Can anyone confirm?

-Recess matters

Anonymous said...

Honestly recess at Lincoln makes me incredibly nervous from a potential for severe injury perspective.

Anonymous said...

Prospect of kids running into or falling against the large ground level windows in the front of the building makes me nervous. There are no barriers in front of these - it would be so easy for a running kid t crash into/through one of them, or get pushed, or trip into it. I don't know if they are safety glass or not -but I doubt it. Last year a child fell against a single pane (non-safety glass) window somewhere at school. It broke and she suffered neck wound that required trip to hospital to remove the glass. She could have bled to death if it hit major vessel.
I would like to think the district has looked at the risky windows at Lincoln and replaced them with modern glass or put on a safety coating but somehow I doubt it. Or at least they could provide some form of physical barrier to stop kids getting too close to the ground level windows.
Seems like another accident waiting to happen.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with 1st poster. Of course the education side of it is important, but it is actually more important to me that my kids are first and foremost in a safe, secure, and healthy environment at school. I doubt they have that at Lincoln.
I'd like to know the air they breath is good quality, the water is potable (no contaminants, heavy metals), no asbestos, the building is secure (able to keep out and/or notice intruders), building meets safety standards for earthquake and fire, playground structures are safe and used appropriately, the building is clean and well maintained, and temperature kept within reasonable ranges. Read the facilities reports that came out earlier this month. It has asbestos, non potable water in some places, original wiring that may be a fire hazard, duct work etc that may harm air quality, problems with heating systems etc, lose brick facade etc etc - lots of cosmetic and functional issues. Lincoln is not the worst and there are a lots of bad buildings but it is certainly pretty bad. It's not the Lincoln staff fault - they have to work with what they have got and what the district with give them (practically nada). The level of district neglect and obstruction (to getting play equipment, repairs etc) is disgusting. But what can we do?

Safety First

Anonymous said...

I agree that facilities, equipment, and technology matter. What is galling is that Lincoln hasn't received the same equipment and supplies that other new or temporarily placed schools have been given. I applaud the SNAPP for their thoughtful, data-driven letter.

Lincoln parent

Anonymous said...

Middle Mom,

I also have to disagree with your priorities. Here is my quick prioritized list.

1. Safety and hygiene.
2. Teachers (quality and quantity).
3. Organized Curriculum (appropriate content, depth, and pace)
4. Socialization and civic training
5. Support staff and arts enrichment
6. Parent engagement and communication.
7. Technology and workforce training.
-J

Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot textbooks, and books... That would come just after curriculum I guess. Amazing things have been done in the past with a blackboard and a great, organized instructor, no technology needed. -J

Anonymous said...

What can we do? How about putting pressure on the legislators to enact a state income tax AND make sure Corporate Welfare is ended? If Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon et al. are required to actually pay taxes like the rest of us "people" then the state can fund education fully. Until that happens, there is NOT ENOUGH MONEY for even basic maintenance in ALL of SPS buildings. You do know that there are elementary schools where ceiling tiles fall off and everyone has to drink from bottled water, right? I really think making sure kids don't get brained with ceiling tiles and poisoned with tap water is more important than fixing undamaged windows on a historic building. How about telling our kids not to run into walls and windows? There are windows on other buildings, if those kids can refrain from crashing into them at recess then have faith that APP kids can learn to do the same.
And yes, my kids ARE in APP, I am not anti-gifted kids. Sometimes this blog is like the Twilight Zone. SPS is not being obstructionist and singling APP out for mistreatment, THERE IS NOT ENOUGH MONEY and EVERYONE is affected. WA is 44th out of 50 in education funding and is required by the court to fund education by an additional $3.5 billion. The state legislators are the ones who need to provide more money, but as long as we keep voting in people who refuse to tax big corporations and refusing to pay more taxes, it's not going to happen, EVER.

Anonymous said...

I think the movable plastic construction toys on the Lincoln playground should have mats under them. Kids are building tall structures and climbing and jumping all over them and a fall off the top would mean cracking a head on concrete. It's fine to try to be positive and mellow and say we're all having fun, but recess just doesn't feel very safe at Lincoln.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous@9:23
I too have kids in APP. I remember last year when one of the kids fell in the window and ended up in the emergency room. Uh, were you aware that of all of the elementary schools in Seattle, Lincoln is funded the least per student (Garfield is least funded for HS..)? Yeah, it sucks everywhere but does that mean we should turn a blind eye? APP is "temporarily" housed for SEVEN YEARS @ Lincoln and we didn't get basic school needs when we moved in-you know, chairs and desks, a library, music instruments....and the play space is crap. Yeah, it's bad all over. But I am sick of hearing that we all need to settle for crap when we watch really stupid decisions being made over and over again. Yes, we need more revenue, but we also need a super and a board that are actually intelligent, apply critical thinking, understand their roles, make solid decisions and spend what money they have WISELY. On kids. Not on a bloated HQ staff, constant legal battles because they can't get it right, out of scope initiatives and unfunded mandates. I really can't imagine that any other group, including the city, could do much worse.

-annoyed

Cap Hill mom said...

This is not about HCC. Let's remember that 1200 kids attend Washington Middle School, and that facility is equally lame for every kid there. The Seattle Public Schools should invest in a better setting for the benefit of all students, period.

ben said...

For the most part funding per student is determined by the state's formula and more dollars are allocated for special needs populations like ELL, FRL, or Special Education. Since Lincoln (as far as I know and I did some comparisons just to check against other schools) has the lowest percentages of all these categories in the district its not unexpected that its funding per student is lowest. I don't think even the PTSA letter claimed that funding model was not being followed just that there were serious unmet needs despite that.

Anonymous said...

"I really think making sure kids don't get brained with ceiling tiles and poisoned with tap water is more important than fixing undamaged windows on a historic building. How about telling our kids not to run into walls and windows? There are windows on other buildings, if those kids can refrain from crashing into them at recess then have faith that APP kids can learn to do the same."

Seriously????

Anonymous said...

To the glib poster who suggests we tell the kids not to run into windows or walls, the windows in question are at ground level - by that I mean the actual window glass starts at the level of the grass "playground'' (if you can call it that) in front and is full sized (i.e. about as tall as an adult perhaps. So it is certainly within the realms of possibility that a kid could accidentally run into one or fall against one. Even if they have been told not to! Yes, kids run into or lean on or are shoved into walls all the time when playing around - that is no big deal but a fall or shove into one of these windows (if they are not safety glass) could be fatal.
Don't even get me started on the play materials being used on a concrete surface. Aren't there actual regulations about surfacing of playscapes? What do we need in that area to mitigate falls from those pieces?
Oh, and the building layout means any criminal could wander around and who would ever know - they are not exactly going to check in at the office tucked around the corner and there is no visibility from the office.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised by the movable playground equipment (PTA funded?) being used on a concrete surface. Also, if a student was injured by falling into the ground floor window, and the district has done nothing since to put up a protective barrier, that sounds like negligence.

What is the principal's response to concerns about playground safety? You'd think for liability purposes there would be a district policy in place regarding playground equipment and safety. Perhaps a school board member needs to be invited to visit during recess.

Anonymous said...

I believe Sue Peters was at Lincoln during the school day this week. Someone should really evaluate the playground. Between parents saying we should just teach our snowflakes to not fall into windows to other parents afraid to speak up about recess at Lincoln, we need someone to evaluate this situation. Sue???Objectively I don't know how those windows could not be a major concern and I don't think the recommendations are being followed for the SNUG equipment.

http://snugplay.co.uk/infopack.html

•Don't allow children to build and climb too high. This is less important if Snug is being used on grass or other soft surfaces, but on hard tarmac or concrete surfaces it is recommended that children should be discouraged from climbing higher than 600mm which is the height of the mound. So for example don't let children climb to the top of the wall when upright on its end, or to the top of the cone.
•Don't allow children to swing parts of the kit around, use them as weapons or for tugs of war e.g. the noodles. Although these are made from soft materials they should not be used intentionally as a weapon.
•Don't use Snug where there are obstacles in the play space that could cause injury such as trip points, low walls, or fences.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they are. My child plays with the snug equipment every day and has been reprimanded for not following two of those recommendations, so now they play "properly." Please stop advocating to have him lose the one part of the playground that is fun for him for no reason. It is so much safer than soccer on the concrete parking lot, which is what they would do instead.

I came and watched, and to be honest I feel they were being perfectly safe and having fun before, and these restrictions are just another way we are allowing fear of minor bumps to keep our children from just playing, and raising them to be terrified of just moving through the world. But rest assured, the children are being policed, and the recommendations are being followed to the absolute letter.

Anonymous said...

Is someone able to put an agenda item for a forthcoming PTA board meeting to advance some of these concerns - re windows, consideration for some padded mats for SNUG area for example.
I cannot attend the meetings.
If cost is an issue for the district with regard to window glass replacement, I know there are clear adhesive coatings that can be applied that hold the glass together if it breaks, prevents shattering into sharp pieces, - this could be a low cost PTA-funded option. Or some sort of fencing in front of the windows so kids can't get run right up to them?

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the covered area between the back door of the building and the gym/auditorium that had peeling paint. That peeling paint is significantly peeling. That is where the ice cream social takes place and also next to a play area.
Lincoln Alum

Anonymous said...

I mean the ceiling paint peels downwards and falls downwards.
Lincoln Alum

Anonymous said...

I guess you're trolling Lincoln Alum. No one is complaining about peeling paint (even if it might be lead paint). Comments here have been focussed on actual threats to life and limb so to speak. I would be worried about the peeling paint falling all over the ground if I thought it was leaded and there was a significant risk of kids ingesting it. After all what is the point of going to an APP program if the excessive lead exposure there is going to knock points off the IQ and contribute to behavioral problems. You can make a joke of it but I bet kids at SPS schools (maybe Lincoln , I don't know, probably other old ones) are getting exposed to heavy metals and other safety hazards at school.This is not just a Lincoln problem but since it is an APP blog that is why we are discussing problems at the APP schools. Duh!

Not a paint chip-eater

Anonymous said...

What's with the vitriol? There is potential lead exposure if the peeling paint contains lead (chances are good that it does). Sounds like it falls under "The miserable state of facilities."

Anonymous said...

No, I am not trolling. I went to Lincoln for four years in high school. My kid went to Lincoln for three years recently. I have gone to innumerable HIMS orchestra concerts there. And sometimes the eating of food is there in the covered area. Yes, the paint is old, that is why it is peeling. That building is very old. That paint probably went on in the early 70s. Yes, lead paint is a problem if you eat it in your ice cream sundae. I only posted here because it said "miserable state of facilities". I mentioned it because I am gone from that building now, and I actually do care if people get lead poisoning, especially children, including your children, and you too....
Lincoln alum