Sunday, April 2, 2017

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Underenrolled Schools Taking It On the Chin: Why?

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Underenrolled Schools Taking It On the Chin: Why?:

Underenrolled Schools Taking It On the Chin: Why?

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News about underenrolled schools in several regions of the district (plus one update at the end of the thread on high schools).
From the Madrona K-8 PTA:

Dear Superintendent Nyland-

We at Madrona K-8 have been struggling with enrollment issues for years. Enrollment is currently at 250 for next year. Our capacity is somewhere in the 500s. With the loss of our middle school we will have at least five empty classrooms.

We recently invited Dr. Blanford to a PTSA meeting to discuss enrollment issues. He listened and offered to talk to Enrollment Planning to get the District's perspective. We then invited Ashley Davies and Faauu Manu from Enrollment Planning to a PTSA meeting to talk about what we can to do work together to improve enrollment and build the school to full capacity.

At our meeting, Ms. Davies and Ms. Manu assured us that the District is doing all it can do and the burden is on the PTSA and the school to market itself to parents and attract them to the school. In both meetings, with Dr. Blanford and Ms. Davies and Ms. Manu, parents raised the issue of school boundaries and the fact that the boundaries do not contain enough students to fill our school. No one had an answer to that.

A few days ago we discovered that Leschi Elementary will be over capacity next year and the District will spend $100k to build a portable classroom. This strikes me and many Madrona parents as incredibly fiscally irresponsible and illogical. Madrona is about ten blocks away with five classrooms sitting empty.

But this is not just about a waste of money or a poor use of space. Madrona's under-enrollment causes hardships for our students. The money follows the students. With budget cuts we are losing a teacher, half of our academic interventionists, half of our Health Team, a PCP teacher, and a full-time nurse. The PTSA is taking on the school's supply budget so money can be redirected to saving staff. We risk losing the great progress we have made in the last few years, largely because we do not have the students to bring in District dollars.

We are asking the District to help our school.  It does not make sense to build a portable classroom at Leschi while we have empty classrooms and a strapped budget.
Equalize the load and send some students from Leschi to Madrona.

Thank you.
According to the PTA, the school/PTA was indeed told to market the school themselves and that Enrollment had done all it could.  Additionally, apparently the district seems to think it is hearing too much from these parents on this Seattle Schools Community Forum: Underenrolled Schools Taking It On the Chin: Why?:

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