Seattle Schools' New Student Assignments: Community Meetings Set

Published on: September 19, 2009

From: Seattle Public Schools
For immediate release: Sept. 18, 2009

Seattle Public Schools took another step forward in the implementation of its new student assignment plan with the announcement that it will present proposed attendance area boundary maps for all elementary, middle, and high schools. The presentation will be made at a School Board workshop on Tuesday, October 6 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the John Stanford Center auditorium.
The District also outlined an extensive schedule of meetings at which it will consult with and inform the community at locations across Seattle — as well as ways to comment for families who cannot attend any of the meetings. After reviewing community comments, the District will introduce recommended boundary maps — including any revisions — at the School Board meeting on Wednesday, November 4.

The School Board will vote on the recommended boundary maps on Wednesday, November 18 (see schedule below).
The actions announced today are the next step in creating a new student assignment plan that is predictable, equitable, and easy for families to understand — as well as one that supports greater family participation in schools, brings needed services closer to where students live, fosters diversity, and is feasible and cost effective to implement and sustain.

“What we're embarking upon with the new student assignment plan is an important move toward ensuring that each school is an excellent school — and that every student receives a quality education,” said Superintendent Maria L. Goodloe-Johnson, Ph.D.

The general idea behind the new student assignment plan is that students will receive initial assignments to elementary, middle or high schools in their attendance areas. Those assignments will be based on their addresses. Students can choose to apply to schools outside their attendance areas; those assignments will be based on a series of tiebreakers.
If students are currently enrolled at schools outside their attendance areas, they can stay at those schools through its highest grade under a process called “grandfathering” — as long as the services the students need are available at those schools.

The new plan will be implemented in phases, beginning in the 2010-11 school year; the assignment rules for the current 2009-10 school year will remain the same. If adopted by the School Board, the new attendance area boundaries will replace a set of school reference areas that haven’t been updated in decades, no longer reflect city demographics, and do not accurately reflect the capacity of the District’s facilities.
By comparison, the development of the new attendance area boundaries has been a data-driven process, designed to reflect demographic shifts and building capacity more accurately — as well as provide greater assignment predictability while preserving choice options.

Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson said that the District will spend the next three weeks preparing families for the release of the attendance area maps and the many ways in which they will be able to provide feedback.
“We know that boundaries are of great interest to our families — as well as those with pre-school aged children and those considering moving from a private school to the public system,” said Goodloe-Johnson. “Our job is to help families understand how we got to this point, what comes next, and reassure them that when new attendance area boundary maps are released, they will have the ability to be heard — and that we will be listening.”

Community Meetings Span Seattle

A number of public meetings related to the release of the new attendance area boundary maps are scheduled over the next two months. Interpretation services will be available at all meetings.

The meetings include: 

School Board Workshop: Proposed Attendance Area Boundaries
Tuesday, October 6
4 p.m. John Stanford Center Auditorium
2445 3rd Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98134

Community Feedback Meeting Monday, October 12
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. McClure Middle School
1915 1st Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98119

Community Feedback Meeting Tuesday, October 13
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Aki Kurose Middle School
3928 S. Graham St., Seattle, WA 98118

Community Feedback Meeting Wednesday, October 14
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Ballard High School
1418 N.W. 65th St., Seattle, WA 98117

Community Feedback Meeting Thursday, October 15
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. West Seattle High School
3000 California Ave. S.W., Seattle, WA 98116

Community Feedback Meeting Saturday, October 17
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Mercer Middle School
1600 S. Columbian Way, Seattle, WA 98108
Community Feedback Meeting Saturday, October 17
1 – 3 p.m. Mercer Middle School
1600 S. Columbian Way, Seattle, WA 98108

School Board Workshop
Attendance Area Boundaries Tuesday, November 3
4 p.m. John Stanford Center Auditorium
2445 3rd Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98134

School Board Meeting: Introduction of Attendance Area Boundaries Wednesday, November 4
6 p.m. John Stanford Center Auditorium
2445 3rd Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98134

Community Information Meeting Thursday, November 5
6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Roosevelt High School
1410 N.E. 66th St., Seattle, WA 98115

Community Information Meeting Saturday, November 7
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Rainier Beach High School
8815 Seward Park Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118

School Board Public Hearing:
Attendance Area Boundaries Monday, November 9
6 – 8 p.m. John Stanford Center Auditorium
2445 3rd Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98134

School Board Meeting: Action On Attendance Area Boundaries Wednesday, November 18
6 p.m. John Stanford Center Auditorium
2445 3rd Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98134

Families who cannot attend the meetings can submit comments via e-mail and by postal mail to Seattle School Board,
P.O. Box 34165, MS 11-010, Seattle, WA, 98124-1165. They can also visit the recently updated new student assignment plan Web site.

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