Seattle School Closures Proposed by Superintendent Goodloe – Johnson

The Seattle School District met for almost 4 hours on Tues night discussing their preliminary Capacity Management & Building Closure Recommendations. After the meeting Superintendent Goodloe – Johnson said her power point presentation and summary of actions and appendices would be posted on the Seattle School Board website but when I got home I could find nothing. I guess it was too much to ask that it be posted right away so that parents and kids concerned about the possible fate of their schools could find out what is being proposed.

So here is the summary list of school closures proposed by the Seattle School District at the 11/25/2008 School Board Workshop.

Genesee Hill
Lowell Elementary – houses APP
TT Minor Elementary
Pinehurst – Alternative School #1
Van Asselt Elementary

Programs proposed to be relocated:

Lowell APP to Hawthorne and Thurgood Marshall
NOVA to Meany
Pathfinder K-8 to Arbor Heights
SBOC to Meany
Summit K-12 to Rainier Beach
Thornton Creek to ADDams
TT MinorK-3 Montessori to Leshi
Thurgood Marshall EBOC to Bailey Gatzert
Van Asselt to AAA

New Programs:

New K-5 at Decatur
Thornton Creek K-5 expands to K-8

Discontinued Programs:

African American Academy
AS #1
Arbor Heights
TT Minor

Click on this link to find the location of the schools mentioned.

The closure of Lowell Elementary which currently houses the APP Program and splitting the students in half and sending them to Hawthorne and Thurgood Marshall does not make a lot of sense when you look at the location of the two schools. Both Hawthorne and Thurgood Marshall are further south than Lowell and not that far apart. Most APP students now come from the north end. So why move the students even further South and make it more difficult for parent involvement?

If the goal is to have a viable APP program at two schools then a geographic split would make sense, with one school in the north end and one in the south end. But that is not what is happening. And there was no talk of expanding the APP program to more kids. Splitting the program in half seems more like a way to weaken a good program than helping meet the needs of gifted students. There is strength in keeping the program intact and concentrating resources with more student interaction and teacher and parent interaction.

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