A large crowd gathered this morning at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for Cascadia Elementary School, one of three newly-constructed schools that will open to students on their first day of school tomorrow.
Many of those in attendance were families whose students will attend Cascadia, and children lined the floor in front of the ribbon while speakers emphasized the importance of inclusive, fully-funded public education.
Cascadia Elementary serves the north end's highly-capable cohort, and marks a change from the school's prior shared site at Lincoln. It's situated next to the newly-constructed Eagle Staff Middle School, which shares a new campus with the existing Licton Springs K-8 School. Both sites feature murals by Native American artist Andrew Morrison that depict Native American culture and heritage, as well as outdoor learning sites.
In addition to Cascadia and Eagle Staff, Seattle Public Schools has also opened a new building to house the existing Olympic Hills Elementary School, and Meany Middle School, a modernized building to house a new middle school.
Speaking at the Cascadia ribbon-cutting ceremony, Superintendent Larry Nyland says these new buildings add room for 2,000 students — a move designed to address, at least in part, the growing size of Seattle's student body.
But increased seats won't solve the problem of educational funding, which continues to plague districts across the state. Nyland has been an outspoken critic of the Legislature's budget, and the district attempted to file an amicus brief with the state Supreme Court last month.