Tuesday, January 9, 2018

What's going on with High School Boundaries

After some conversations with neighbors I realized not everyone can keep up with the rapidly changing situation. So for those of you just joining or who have not been  avidly reading all the posts and comments for the last few months here's a quick summary:

Almost all the High Schools are overcrowded and only getting worse as larger classes age up.

SPS HS Projections

We're also currently in the process of bringing Lincoln H.S. online. Both these trends require a redrawing of boundaries. At the same time the size of the HCC cohort at Garfield has also increased just like the general population and no longer fits so it has become a huge part of the conversation.
As of right now the district has gone through several unsuccessful iterations of planning that culminated in the board rejecting the staff's plan last month. They are currently exploring one of 2 long term options:

1. Dissolving the HC pathways in high school and sending the students back to their attendance area high schools by 2021.

2. Setting Lincoln up as the North End pathway and W. Seattle H.S. for West Seattle. You can see some maps of the proposed boundaries here: http://discussapp.blogspot.com/…/capacity-scenario-visualiz…

Official SPS Link: https://www.seattleschools.org/departments/enrollment_planning/growth_boundaries/high_school_boundary_changes/

This current round of planning should result in a decision at the end of the month 1/31 if a consensus is reached by the school board.

Why is this important to everyone?
If you look at where the HC students are coming from a huge number are from the Roosevelt and Ballard area and returning them to the building is going to have a dramatic effect leading to either:
1. Increased overcrowding. There are around 530ish freshman even today in a building like Roosevelt that has a capacity for about 400 per class. We're talking about at least 100 more kids on top of that per year.
2. A dramatic domino effect movement of students between buildings. One estimate from Kelli LaRue was about 3000 high schoolers will have to switch in attempt to right size the buildings.
For the HC cohort there are additional risks to being dispersed. These will be felt at the periphery sites like Nathan Hale or Franklin where there are very few identified students and there is neither the money nor the will on the part of the principals to serve them.
I have a write up here with more details:

[Since this is a summary and the discussion is already occurring in existing posts I've disabled comments. ]
* I corrected a small mistake in the RHS numbers mentioned.

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