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Packed house at Ballard school boundary meeting

Posted by Geeky Swedes on October 14th, 2009

Nearly 200 people packed Ballard High School’s library Wednesday night to participate in a community meeting about the controversial proposal to create Seattle school boundaries. “I thought it was going to be packed,” Ballard High Principal Phil Brockman told us as the crowd gathered. “But not this packed.”

Tracy Libros, who heads up enrollment for the school district, ran through a Powerpoint of the proposed student assignment boundaries, which were released October 6th. Libros said that the district is looking “at all the boundaries” to make possible changes. “We do believe that the initial proposal did not balance out the enrollment in the north end high schools, so we’re looking at that,” she said, explaining the new maps will be released on November 3rd. A school official told us the possible changes aren’t due to bad or incomplete data, but part of “continued refinement.”

Parents split into groups to discuss their concerns and questions, which were later read to the room. “The North Ballard community is very, very concerned about being cut off,” said one parent, referring to the dividing line at 85th St. that splits Ballard High to the south with Ingraham High (on 135th St. NW) to the north. Many other parents agreed. “I’d like to go to the defense of the families of the neighborhood of North Beach, Olympic Manor, the Blue Ridge area and Green Arbor (near Carkeek Park),” another parent said. “Any of our kids can get on a bus in those neighborhoods and be to Ballard in 15 minutes. And any kids that takes a bus from those neighborhoods in Ingraham takes an hour to an hour and a half.” One group even walked to Ballard High from 85th for the meeting, explaining that it took just 25 minutes.

While North Ballard residents felt cut off, some didn’t mince words about the fact Queen Anne and Magnolia kids will be attending Ballard High under the new boundary maps. “Obviously Queen Anne and Magnolia have a right to come to Ballard, but why aren’t they fighting the fact they sold Queen Anne High School several years ago? They should go to Ingraham,” one man said to a thundering applause. “Have them build their own (high school),” exclaimed another. Another parent brought up the new boundary that divides Whittier and West Woodland Elementary schools. “It will fragment the Whittier Heights neighborhood,” she said.

“I know that a lot of people in this room are not happy, but all I can tell you is that’s where the data lead us to,” Libros said. “When you put all the numbers together of where the students live and where the buildings are located, that is where the first proposed boundaries, which do need adjustment, landed,” she said. “There are certainly convenient buses in some cases, but not necessarily capacity at those schools for all these students.”

Another key issue that was repeated through the night is the grandfathering of siblings. “We want to keep our families together,” one man said, advocating a guaranteed grandfathering plan. “When our next son or daughter is coming up, we want to stay with that school.” While the district is proposing a 10 percent open enrollment provision, which would leave a tenth of a school’s enrollment to a lottery system, many expressed concerns that it’s too small to account for all the siblings and special circumstances. “We’re not doing it because we think it’s a good idea to be mean,” Libros said in response. “Seriously, it sounds like a no brainer, and it is in a sense, except we don’t know until the boundaries are adopted and we actually look at the students that are going to that school…. But to just stand here and say all siblings are grandfathered, I can’t do that because we don’t know if we can’t support it physically. It’s absolutely a high priority.”

A few parents raised concern over the short span of time between the release of the refined maps (November 3rd), the school board public hearing (November 9th) and the final board vote (November 18th). The district assured the crowd that they’re taking the community’s feedback seriously. “We really do welcome your input and comments,” Libros said. “We truly welcome your comments.”

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176 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 super_v // Oct 15, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Will the woman who was signing people up to mobilize parents for future meetings please post contact information here?

    Thanks.

  • 2 h2o_girl // Oct 15, 2009 at 5:12 am

    I disagree that people who knowingly and willingly live in a neighborhood without a high school have the “right to come to Ballard.” They do not.

  • 3 Dumb // Oct 15, 2009 at 5:15 am

    “Have them build their own (high school),”

    Because you know, no one in Ballard has to pay for any schools but their own….

  • 4 Mindy1 // Oct 15, 2009 at 5:22 am

    I was present tonight. It was terrific to see the amount of neighbors present. My oldest child will enter kindergarten next year, so the new assignment plan does not affect us much right now. Talking with others in the small group really made me feel for the families that have a son or daughter in a school already but may be in limbo as to where their next child will attend–if they will be allowed to attend the same school as their older sibling. I also feel for the families who reside close to where the boundaries have been drawn. A couple of parents in the group stated that they live 5 minutes from a school but have been dealt a school 20 minutes away. It doesn't make sense.

    I understand that there are going to be outliers in reference to any school. I'm just wondering how we can generate more equitable and logical results.

  • 5 Drew // Oct 15, 2009 at 5:40 am

    Because people in Magnolia or Queen Anne pay less school taxes than those in Ballard??

  • 6 gt // Oct 15, 2009 at 5:44 am

    Those of us in the north part of Greenlake would be happy to trade our Ballard spots for Roosevelt (1.2 miles from our house as opposed to the 3 miles it is to Ballard). Does anyone know how many spots those of us that should be attending Roosevelt will be taking from students that should be attending Ballard, again considering their proximity to Ballard and ours to Roosevelt?

  • 7 Jules // Oct 15, 2009 at 6:10 am

    Oh, but there WAS a high school on Queen Anne, called….Quenn Anne HS! And the Seattle SD closed it.

  • 8 h2o_girl // Oct 15, 2009 at 6:10 am

    Of course not. I just disagree with the 'right to come to Ballard' language. I can walk to Ballard High in 20 minutes. Why should someone 4-5 miles away have priority?

  • 9 phinneynotballard // Oct 15, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    i understand the frustration of parents whose assigned school is located farther away than another school, whether it be Ballard HS, West Woodland, etc. But I am just floored at some of the comments I read that seem to be completely blind to the obvious fact that because of where our schools are located, and where our kids are located, that this situation has to exist (short of course of having folks in QA and Magnolia “build their own school,” which is possibly the most ignorant thing I've ever read).

    We don't live in perfectly appropriated space, with even amounts of residents or students in perfect little circles around perfectly spaced facilities. Why is this concept so difficult for so many people to accept?

    It doesn't matter where the north boundary is placed – there will be upset parents and students. And it sucks. And sometimes life sucks. It was shortsighted of the district to sell off QA HS years ago. It sure would be nice to have that facility again, but we can't undo that.

    Instead of spending so much time fighting something that will be inherently unfair to many people regardless of where lines are drawn, this would be a great learning opportunity for some kids: Life's not fair sometimes; The government changes its mind sometimes; Our leaders make mistakes sometimes.

  • 10 DavidB // Oct 15, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Boundaries had to be set and there's no way to please everyone.

    The comment saying that Queen Anne & Magnolia residents should “build their own school” is ridiculous. Obviously another school is not going to be built in this economic environment and Ballard is the closest school to these residents.

  • 11 eric // Oct 15, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    while i really don't have a “dog in the fight” (no kids) i can certainly see where some ballard residents woulb be a touch upset at kids from QA and magnolia going to ballard HS while they have to ship there own kids out of the neighborhood.

    QA had a HS and it was closed and sold and turned into condos – lol, really?? – maybe the residents there should have fought harder for their HS?

    all this said, at the end of the day, the schools will decide what THEY intend to do and everyone will have to accept it or start checking out private schools..

  • 12 Kay // Oct 15, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Queen Anne High was closed in the early 1980's. Demographics in the entire city are different now than they were then. It was short-sighted to sell the building, but it is a done deal.

    The only viable option for a new high school is Lincoln in Wallingford, but that would cost tons of money that the district doesn't have.

    I am on 70th St, with a kid starting Kindergarden next year. Under this plans she'll go to West Woodland rather than Whittier, which is closer. That's life. Both schools have active communities and good reputations. I'm glad to be living in a community where that's the case.

  • 13 Catherine // Oct 15, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Lincoln regularly houses high school programs now. There's no reason they couldn't start a program there whenever they want to other than they want to operate buildings at capacity and Lincoln wouldn't be at capacity.

  • 14 cal // Oct 15, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    “Have them build their own damn school…”

    I think I'm just not going to have kids…

  • 15 bp // Oct 15, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    Why is it ridiculous? I agree the “own” part is silly, but building a new school should be part of the discussion. I doubt the QA and Magnolia kids and parents are thrilled about crossing the bridge all the time.

    Apparently the school district is going to spend the money to open 5 schools that closed. $45 million dollars for that. That's about what budget deficit was they tried to close the past two years. Stupid decision making is what it is.

  • 16 Ballardmom // Oct 15, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    I don't know the answer to your question, but I had thought of that too. Roosevelt is a perfectly fine school (I have many friends who went there). My guess is, is that Roosevelt is already overcrowded because it draws from such a large area that's why you guys are getting sent to Ballard and Ballard kids are getting sent to Ingraham. Sigh. It makes little sense to me.

  • 17 Ballardmom // Oct 15, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    The comment is ridiculous because of two things: it would take many years and not solve the problem immediately and it would cost millions of dollars. The Seattle School District doesn't have that kind of money right now and there are bigger priorities: like keeping teachers paid, and making keeping other school buildings that are about to fall over from falling over. Many of the SPD school district's building are badly in need of repair (for instance Whitman which all our kids will go before the big much debated high school) but the district has not been able to afford it yet. Being a part of our school's PTA I see how much money has to be raised each year just so a school can have normal school programs – stuff that we took for granted when we were kids. If there were money to be spent it would be a good plan, but there is no money to be spent on this without taking away from other schools. But if you'd like to try and raise 10 million dollars for the cause feel free.

  • 18 facebook-1137996016 // Oct 15, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    the district is going to spend $14.5 million to reopen McDonald for a few hundred elementary students.
    Seattle has already housed Ballard high school, Roosevelt high school and Garfield high school in the Lincoln building for two years apiece, how will it cost them more per student to reopen Lincoln as it's own high school, than they are willing to spend on buildings they haven't been taking care of?

  • 19 Ballardmom // Oct 15, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    You either must not have kids or must not be on your PTA or must just not listen to the financial information. “There is no reason they can't start a program” – there is a reason. It costs A LOT to open a new school. You have to pay the staff (office, teachers, principals), you have to make sure the building is safe and up to code, you have to buy supplies, you have to have liability insurance – all of this adds up to millions of dollars that the school district does not have. Like I said in a last post, if people really want new schools open, they can try to raise money to do it. Or they can get involved with the government and try to force more money to go towards schools as it should be doing.

  • 20 Ballardmom // Oct 15, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    See my above comment – it doesn't just cost to have a building it costs A LOT to have what is inside the building.

  • 21 sdrake1958 // Oct 15, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    It's funny to witness this all over again. Again I ask, does everybody here shop only at Safeway? Why then so much faith/trust in a broken system? I guess being pro-choice only applies to abortion then???The more a government does FOR “the people”, the more it does TO it's faithful sycophants. I can't wait for single payer government run health care next. There won't be any bitching with that will there. “For the people, by the people”? Can a government please all the people all the time? Hope. Hope and change. Barf out

  • 22 Balllardad // Oct 15, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    The Seattle School District would save $500,000 annually by allowing Ballard kids to attend Ballard High School.

    According to the Seattle School District website, Roosevelt High School will be under-enrolled by 408 students in 2015. Additionally, the school district has allocated 493 Open Choice seats at Ballard, Garfield, and Roosevelt. The school districts own estimates indicate that there are 901 open seats at these three high schools.

    The district will pay for 1802 extra bus passes (901 to transport Ballard kids to Ingraham and 901 to transport kids from other neighborhoods to Ballard, Garfield, and Roosevelt).

    $486,540 per school year = 1802 bus passes x 9 months/school year x $30/bus pass

    By more equitably distributing kids between Ballard, Garfield, and Roosevelt, and reducing Open Choice seats the district will save $2,500,000 over the next 5 years.

  • 23 Sir Camp-a-lot // Oct 15, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    I, for one, welcome our new Queen Anne and Magnolia overlords…..

  • 24 Catherine // Oct 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Actually, I'm a 18 year PTA member, and still have a kid in the system. And have looked through the SSD budget line by line as well as individual building budgets line by line. The incremental cost of having a building open, isn't where the majority of the costs are.

    Code… they already have the occupancy cert on Lincoln, they don't have to do much code work that they aren't already planning.

    Regardless of WHERE you put the additional kids, you have to pay for teachers and supplies. Lincoln, or portables in the Ballard parking lot which they will do because their assignment plan will force them to.

    So your incremental costs are custodial and admin.

  • 25 fanisse // Oct 15, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Best line *ever*.

  • 26 Hipster! // Oct 15, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    …and they wonder why so many people in Seattle go private.

    Also, judging from that photo, is BHS going to be 9o% white (including men with blue hair)? Sure looks like it.

  • 27 phinneyneighbor // Oct 15, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    I don't think this is the first time that kids living in N.Ballard went to Ingraham. I have friends who went to Ingraham in the 70's and lived in Blue Ridge. And that was when there was a QA High School. No solution is going to be perfect–make the best of it and make your kids school the best!

  • 28 Ballard HS rocks // Oct 15, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Nothing like school politics to turn liberals (community!) into conservatives (choice!) depending which side of the line they live on. Me? I'm a liberal on this one, we fell on the good side of the line.

  • 29 dave // Oct 15, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Hell with the schools. lets build another stadium.

  • 30 P. Scott Cummins // Oct 15, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    The pre-1978 Ingraham-Ballard boundary was 85th St. Draw lines on a map – it is the same distance from BHS to Blue Ridge as it is from BHS to Magnolia.

    Here's the solution: re-open Lincoln High School. Traditionally, Phinney Ridge and Fremont went there. They should again. That would take the pressure off of North Beach about attending BHS. Lincoln could have a program to get kids launched at UW, while maintaining high school sports and other activity opportunities. Its win-win. Let's do it!

  • 31 Kiki2 // Oct 15, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Really? This is your arguement: “Life's not fair sometimes”? Weak. The arguement for shorter Metro bus rides holds more merit. A sense of community even. I understand that QA and Magnolia kids who get “shipped” to schools further away don't have tight ties to the community. That's too bad. BUT. Their parents knew there is no community school when they bought their homes.

  • 32 phinneynotballard // Oct 15, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    No, that's not the argument. Go ahead and read it again. The argument is that some kids are going to have to go to schools that aren't their closest one. Period. How you decide which kids go to which school will always make someone unhappy. And that's not fair (is it?)

    The district took their best stab at making the most people happy. The plan can be tweaked, but if the north line is at 67th, 70th, 85th or even 103rd, someone on the other side of that line will be upset.

  • 33 Idle activist // Oct 15, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    Or give parents vouchers ……. God forbid we have real choice.

  • 34 Kiki2 // Oct 15, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    It still sounds like “Life is not fair” to me. <shrug> And while that's true–life is not fair–I still think we can advocate for what we think is best for our kids overall: a sense of community, a shorter route/bus ride, and perhaps a higher percentage of parent involvement.

  • 35 zesto // Oct 15, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    it doesn't matter where your kids go to school.

    it's their genetic make-up that determines success

  • 36 ethel // Oct 15, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Um, the Lincoln building IS open. My son is attending Hamilton there at this very minute. It's not in bad shape at all. All of the students who would attend will be attending schools SOMEPLACE in the district anyway, so they will need teachers and supplies and all that wherever they are. There would be some moving costs, sure, but it's not as if you had to have $100,000 per classroom for teacher and supplies, just out of the blue.

  • 37 ethel // Oct 15, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Doesn't Roosevelt have one of the biggest, if not *the* biggest, waiting lists in the district, while Ballard has in the past couple of years had a relatively short one?

  • 38 ethel // Oct 15, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    Roosevelt will be UNDERENROLLED? (A) Where does it say that? and (B) What have they been smoking?

  • 39 Ytoo // Oct 15, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    You plan to pay for this out of your pocket?

  • 40 super_v // Oct 15, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Parent involvement and access to early learning dramatically contribute to a child's success. Your involvement at your child's school dramatically contributes to the success of your child's education as well as the success of the school.

    I was just finding some space shuttle landings for my five year old — and I was watching the first ever landing of the Columbia and some other NASA stuff and it was amazing. We send people into space and bring them back — certainly we can come up with some more elegant solutions to the boundaries.

    I was at the Ballard meeting and find the sibling issue unacceptable and was really miffed at boundaries that not more “centered” between schools. Also, if you're packing kids on Metro buses, shouldn't you factor in bus routes as part of your map?

    A challenge to employees at Google, Tableau Software and Microsoft — and other GIS/GPS companies in town! Here's a chance to get some PR for your company: Come up with a better boundary solution than the Seattle Public Schools!

  • 41 Balllardad // Oct 15, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    Please look at page C-20 of the district’s own publication: http://www.seattleschools.org/area/newassign/NS… .

    Page C-20 clearly shows that Roosevelt’s projected enrollment is only 1346 and the projected capacity is 1754. This represents a projected under-enrollment of 408.

    Page C-20 also clearly states that Open Choice seats are allocated as follows: Ballard-160, Garfield-150, Roosevelt-175. This represents 485 Open Choice seats.

    There are 893 open seats in the most densely populated part of the city. It doesn’t make sense to ship kids away from neighborhood schools when there are open seats.

  • 42 Balllardad // Oct 15, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Here's their summary:

    http://www.seattleschools.org/area/newassign/NS

  • 43 Kay // Oct 15, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    BTW- The district doesn't even have the money to re-open the elementary schools yet. They're relying on the upcoming bond-issue to pass.

  • 44 Idle activist // Oct 15, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Until that failed experiment in busing forced QA and Magnolia parents to abandon SPS for private schools in droves.

  • 45 Idle activist // Oct 15, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    Trust me, you put Seattle progressives in charge of NASA and they couldn't put humans on a bus let alone a rocket.

  • 46 Name // Oct 15, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    From a Magnolia parent's perspective, I would like to say that our son has been unable to attend our closest school ( 3 blocks away) for the past 3 years. The district assigned him to a school in West Seattle and that is why he attends a private school. Each year we try to enroll him locally and are turned away. We are happy to have these new boundaries and look forward to him enrolling into Ballard High.

    Now, I can understand a lot of these arguments, but really, let's be honest, if you live above 85th, are you really in Ballard? Sounds better than saying Greenwood, but c'mon. Crown Hill, North Beach, Blue Ridge, Greenwood, etc. — please stop saying you live in Ballard and are entitled to BHS.

    Here's my solution: Change the name of the school and then maybe half of you wannabe Ballardites will go where you're assigned with less of a struggle. Let's brainstorm some new name ideas and roll with it. I 'll start. Nickels High School, anyone?

  • 47 Ballard4Ever // Oct 15, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Magnolia and Queen Anne have a high school, it is Franklin. The folks that bought houses in those neighborhoods knew that their kids would either go to private or Franklin, so I don't know what their argument is for taking Ballard High as their neighborhood school.
    You can say, “We didn't know there was no neighborhood high school”. Well, QA High closed in the 1980's so that argument does not work.
    You can say, “We didn't know we would have kids”. Well, at some point in the 15 years since their birth, or 9 years since they started school, you had to have thought about high school, so why didn't you move to a neighborhood that had a closer high school?
    When we moved out of our 1 bedroom house in Greenwood we purposely did not choose Magnolia or Queen Anne as neighborhoods we would consider because we did not like the school choice and we would not be able to afford private.
    Someone, please tell me why QA and Magnolia have a right to Ballard when they have a reference high school and they knew that Franklin was their school?

  • 48 nwkitty // Oct 15, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Schools are socialist. We can't have that now… can we?

  • 49 Jules // Oct 15, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    It was horrendously expensive, and the end result was that a lot of schools were closed….and the taxpayers wasted a lot of money.

  • 50 Jules // Oct 15, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    No it was not. Plenty of kids from North Beach and Olympic Manor went to Ballard- all above 85th.

  • 51 Windopaene // Oct 15, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    Geez, must be tough having to be well off enough to send your elementary school student to private school.

    Yes, we are north of 85th, and yes, that is Ballard. And yes, my daughter can walk to Ballard in about 20 minutes. And see, proximity was one of the criteria with which these boundaries were to be drawn as was transportation. They weren't. The school board is lying about this. It's all about numbers of students, and keeping the QA and Magnolia residents happy, because their “opinions” are worth more than those of us in poor little Ballard.

    Let your board member know that you will be doing all you can to get them ousted from their position for this ridiculous plan.

  • 52 sweetrose // Oct 15, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    The argument can be made that you knew when you bought that boundary lines occasionally change since they have done so many times in the past. Really people its high school and not some end all to life!!! Little Johnny will be fine and get the education he wants regardless of where he attends. That’s all that really matter in high school.

  • 53 sweetrose // Oct 15, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Actually north of 85th has never historically been part of Ballard.

  • 54 sweetrose // Oct 15, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    You do have a choice right now. You can pay for private school or move out of the city.

  • 55 ethel // Oct 15, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    I think you're right — but the name of the neighborhood is hardly the point anyway. I mean, I live in Loyal Heights, and I can't send my kids to Loyal Heights Elementary, either. (They're too old now anyway, but you know what I mean.)

  • 56 Duncan // Oct 15, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Until the new building opened in 1999, kids on Queen Anne and Magnolia had no problem getting into BHS — there just wasn't any demand. It's a bit much to blame parents (especially those who settled on QA/Magnolia before 1999) for not having the ability to predict future demographic trends and the relative popularity of area high schools.

  • 57 Obiwan // Oct 15, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    You can always count on Seattlites for EXTREME XENOPHOBIA. I mean, come on people. You're upset that your kids might sit next to someone who lives in, gasp, Magnolia? Sure, they might be uberrich republicans, but they probably have a visa to live w/i the city limits, right? And as long as they keep their guns locked up at home, we'll all be OK.

    For the record – BALLARD stops at 85th st. Look up the old City of Ballard maps. North of that is Crown Hill.

  • 58 tiktok // Oct 15, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    I think if we renamed BHS to “Malcolm X High School” the over-demand would drop of its own accord, while still offering the same education.

  • 59 Ballard HS rocks // Oct 15, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    Which explains why they fail so many people …..

  • 60 Ballard HS rocks // Oct 15, 2009 at 11:05 pm

    No we don't. We pay for our schools but don't get to chose which ones to go to. Give me a voucher for the $11k a year SPS spends of my tax dollars and I'll do a better job finding a school for my kids.

    At least with the end of busing, there is hope…..

  • 61 Name // Oct 15, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    I'm not sure why you are ashamed to admit you live in Greenwood…

    And could it be that the QA and Mag residents' “opinions” are worth more because they actually pay more in property taxes than those who live in Greenwood?

    Give it a couple of years and you'll be fine. Seems like you are pretty hands-on and that is essential in educating your children — no matter where you go.

  • 62 Ballard HS rocks // Oct 15, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    I welcome the parents from Queen Anne and Magnolia, their kids and will be a great addition to BHS.

  • 63 Ballardmom // Oct 15, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    I suppose in the abstract is does make sense to say “the kids will be going to school somewhere so you'll have to pay the costs wherever they are – why not have them in a new school” but it still doesn't work like that when you get down to the budget of running a school.

    If I had a lot of extra time I would make up spreadsheets to show you that hiring an entire staff to cover an entire high school, and filling that entire high school with books, furniture, athletic equipment, school supplies, phone system, computers, internet, not to mention paying the added utilities of an entire building housing all of this plus paying payroll taxes on not a couple extra teachers but an entire staff that includes principal, secretaries, custodian, etc. would cost millions of dollars. Much much more than hiring two new teachers and paying for utilities for two portables at Ballard High.

    It's not financially practical. But if you simplify it by saying, “the kids will be in school somewhere anyway” then you can fool yourself into thinking it's a good idea.

    By the way if you (or anyone) draw up an actual budget plan that shows that opening a new school will not cost any extra than having the students at existing high schools I would love to see it – I'll eat my words and I'll buy you coffee and go with you to present it in person to the school superintendent!

  • 64 Idle activist // Oct 16, 2009 at 12:12 am

    Face it, QA and Magnolia have more clout than Greenwood. Live with it or move somewhere with some political power.

  • 65 fanisse // Oct 16, 2009 at 12:15 am

    Well, I was at the meeting with someone who grew up in Blue Ridge and she pointed out that the kids had a choice of either Ingraham or Ballard and it split pretty much down the line based on the kids' interests BUT there was a school bus taking the kids to Ingraham NOT Metro with a sketchy transfer. Big difference.

  • 66 fanisse // Oct 16, 2009 at 12:24 am

    And the problem with Greenwood is?

  • 67 fanisse // Oct 16, 2009 at 12:25 am

    It's actually Cleveland for QA/Magnolia and that's fine.

  • 68 fanisse // Oct 16, 2009 at 12:29 am

    So rich, white people are being discriminated against in this discussion. Oh the horror! Heaven forbid, they take a hit.

    BTW, no one represented these neighborhoods with clout at the meeting last night. So, it says to me that it's not as important to them as it is to those of us North of 65th.

  • 69 Ballard HS rocks // Oct 16, 2009 at 1:04 am

    “So rich, white people are being discriminated against in this discussion. Oh the horror! “
    Yyes, they'll have to attend a SPS 'white privilege' course and get reeducated.

    “Heaven forbid, they take a hit. “

    They take a hit, we all take a hit. The SPS will just be a dumping ground for poor people. We need everyone to participate, rich and poor. Scare all the people with money out of the SPS you get….well, you get the awful schools we have now.

    It's people who injected politics in SPS, first with busing, then with nonsense like the 'white privilege' courses who destroyed the school system. You've been experimenting with our kids for nearly 4 decades now and have one of the worst school systems in the country. Time for adults to take over.

  • 70 Magnolian // Oct 16, 2009 at 1:16 am

    We all know that those dissatisfied with a plan are more likely to turn out at a meeting. Don't think it's not as important to Magnolia/Queen Anne parents just because they weren't as loud at this particular meeting. If the boundary decisions had gone the other way, we would have been the ones there griping instead of you.

  • 71 Lyon // Oct 16, 2009 at 3:34 am

    Magnolia and QA parents, like myself, live as close or closer to Ballard High than many people in beyond 85th, so are we saying that just because of the water between us we shouldn't have a right to go to a city school that we pay taxes for?

  • 72 peak101 // Oct 16, 2009 at 3:36 am

    Don't forget about the *very likely* chance that the northern border of Ballard HS will move south of 85th St. by several blocks (per the announcement of the School Board's “last minute” enrollment data affecting the north BHS boundary at the Oct. 6 meeting). Why again does EVERY student in Magnolia and Queen Anne get priority assignment over Ballard students who can easily walk to BHS?? If that happens, at least be sure to change the name so it's transparent to everyone: Queen-Magnolia High School- Ballard campus.

  • 73 Done // Oct 16, 2009 at 4:29 am

    How many of you have driven around Magnolia other than the main drive along the water?
    There are so many families here that live in super small houses and apartments that are anything but rich. Stop making it sound like everyone here is rich, act entitled, and have more clout. Do you think this is all happening because we have more clout? Start researching how long people and different groups have been trying to get a high school. It goes back many many years without any progress. To think this is happening to “Our neighborhood” is Magnolian's fault is asinine. To put us down without knowing us is also being prejudice.
    Just like you think we should have looked to live somewhere else, now YOU think about moving…go ahead. Show us what we should have done and how easy it is… hmm…don't forget to look at houses in Magnolia.

  • 74 Done // Oct 16, 2009 at 4:33 am

    I wish people like you would had been just as vocal about how hard it is to send students so far away for us who have been sending our kids so far for many many years.

  • 75 GTS // Oct 16, 2009 at 5:24 am

    People send their kids to the private schools that are far out of the neighborhood and pay for the priviledge to do so.

    I know kids who commute taking the (unsubsidized) Metro bus, from as far south as Federal Way and as far north as Snohomish. Those are extremes, but you wouldn't have to look hard to find kids at BBHS that commute from Edmonds or Seattle Prep that commute from the Eastside.

    I'm not saying that you should go private if you aren't happy with SPS. I am saying that going out of the neighborhood for High School isn't the end of the world.

    Here's the deal: be a part of your child's school community, they will do better no matter how far away they live from their school.

  • 76 another mother // Oct 16, 2009 at 5:49 am

    Blue Ridge, North Beach, Crown Hill, all are part of Ballard. These neighborhoods have been volunteering, funding and generally contributing to Ballard schools for years. Not to mention supporting our community as a whole.
    Magnolia is isolated and I understand the reason for attending Ballard High. Queen Anne is another story, with easy access accross town, QA students should attend Roosevelt, Garfield, or Franklin.
    The boundary should be moved to include Ballard beyond 85th, include Magnolia, exclude Queen Anne.

  • 77 DavidB // Oct 16, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    another mother, where do you suggest the QA children attend high school? Ballard High is the closest school to them. It doesn't make sense to bus them to Roosevelt, Garfield, or Franklin because those schools are too far away. It's closer for the kids north of 85th to attend Ingram.

    So maybe the school district should extend the boundary to 87th street. Then the people on 88th street are upset because they can't attend Ballard.

    I don't think Ballard extends beyond 85th street. That's more of the Greenwood neighborhood than Ballard. Ballard doesn't extend all the way to North Beach.

  • 78 ethel // Oct 16, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    No one's saying it won't cost *any* extra — that's a straw man. And how does the couple of extra portables thing work? Is Ballard expecting to enroll all of 32 students from Magnolia and 32 from Queen Anne?

  • 79 ballardemican // Oct 16, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    okay here is my brutally honest take.

    I'm squarely set up for my kid to go to Ballard High, and I'd much rather her classmates be drawn from Queen Anne and Magnolia than Greenwood et al. She has a better chance of getting a quality academic education in classrooms with more well-prepared high-acheivers. And she'll have more opportunity to be socialized with people who know how to get ahead in life.

    Of course there are many bright individuals being excluded, but on the whole the proposed boundary is better for her than the proposed more northerly boundary that includes thousands of lower-rent apartments.

    No, this is not a collectivist opinon, and neither is yours if you are advocating the opposite. In fact you are doing so for the exact same reasons, and if I was in your place I'd do the same.

    But clout is what it is, and in this case I'm glad I'm not facing its pointy end.

  • 80 bmvaughn // Oct 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    Seems like the most logical solution of them all – and I like the Lincoln/UW tie-in.

  • 81 bmvaughn // Oct 16, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    I think you're correct on that.

  • 82 Ballard_Curmudgeon // Oct 16, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    While you are right that people will be upset no matter where the line is drawn, there is a very real difference between going to a school that slightly further away and going to a school that is many times further away.

    For example, I live about half way between Adams and Loyal Heights. I preferred Loyal heights because it was slightly closer, but I was actually in the Adams reference. So I applied to Loyal heights, and while I preferred it, I was totally happy with the possibility of going to Adams.

    If I have to send my kids to a school 6 miles away, when there is one less then a mile from me, that it totally unacceptable.

    Parts of southern Queen Anne are actually closer to Garfield then they are to Ballard High school. And there are large setions of Queen Anne where the diffrrence in distance is a matter of 10%. I have yet to hear one comment about anyone in Queen Anne going to Garfield.

  • 83 Ballard_Curmudgeon // Oct 16, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    One of the parents in the Ballard community has done exactly that. His map is much more equitable and fair. Basically Magnolia still goes to Ballard HS, Queen Anne goes to Garfield and some other small shifts to the other schools to make up for it.

    The school board doesn't give him the time of day. There is more going on here then using the numbers. Queen Anne does not want to go to Garfield.

  • 84 Ballard_Curmudgeon // Oct 16, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    I hope you understand that a lot of people are up in arms around here because the line is most certainly going to be moved south of 85th. The school board has said that the 85th line is most likely going to move south. AND worst of all they are planning on springing the new line days before they vote. The lies about “new data” coming in are just that, lies to confuse the issue. Every single one of them needs to be voted out simple for that, no matter where the line ends up being.

    I'm glad we are all in agreement that the area between 65th and 85th are firmly part of Ballard. I expect to see you support in pushing back when the school board tries to move it south.

  • 85 Ballard_Curmudgeon // Oct 16, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    No, you need to understand that the school board is planning on shifting the line south of 85th days before the vote so that we don't have time to react. Do you think that's fair? Do you think it's fair they you get to see parts of the map that are important to you weeks before the vote and we get days?

    It isn't.

  • 86 Ballard_Curmudgeon // Oct 16, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    Have you looked at a map? It is certainly not closer for kids who live near 85th to go to Ingraham versus Ballard.

    Substantial portions of Queen Anne are either closer to Garfield then to Ballard High school or the difference is tiny. When you send some kid from 65th-85th to Ingraham instead of Ballard Highscool, you are not adding a few minutes to their commute, you are multiplying their commute several times. It's the difference between 10 minutes and more then an hour. Whereas the difference for Queen Anne between Ballard Highschool and Garfield is 15 versus 10-20 minutes.

    Do you understand the difference?

  • 87 peak101 // Oct 16, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    One of the main reasons we moved to Ballard was because of the strong public schools. We didn't look at Queen Anne because we knew that the students were scattered since they turned your high school into condos. No, it is not your fault, and you have a right to attend a great high school.

    Bur honestly, how would all the Q.A. and Magnolia parents feel if you had a great, neighborhood high school that you've supported for years with strong parent and community involvement, but then suddenly every student in Ballard got priority assignment instead your children and all the other neighborhood kids who've lived there for years?

  • 88 Jeff // Oct 16, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    I think that reopening Lincoln in Wallingford is by far the best option to accommodate greater north end enrollment. More and smaller schools is a proven winner, time and time again.

    All those folks that throw their hands in the air at this suggestion and say we don't have the money, you are wrong.

    Seattle has one of the greatest concentrations of wealth and educated people in the world. Why should we settle for anything less than a world class public school system in every neighborhood.

    The money is here and we as a community just need to make the decision to spend it where it counts more than anything: on our schools.

    This negative feedback loop of cutting school budgets and moving our kids around from school to school like pawns has just got to stop. We are better than this. This country built a world class public education system once or twice already, and we need to do it again, we have to do it again.

    We are not solving any problems by cutting smaller slices from an ever decreasing pie. Find the courage and fight for more money our kids deserve better than this.

  • 89 ethel // Oct 16, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    If you want rich kids to go to school with, Ballard's got quite a few already. I can't say they're all terribly well behaved — some are and some aren't, much like anyone else's kids. I am pretty sure some of the best-off are some of the worst influences (think parents who don't remember how many bottles are in their liquor cabinet).

  • 90 not_you // Oct 16, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    I am a single mother who lives in queen anne and didn't attend the meeting because I'm pleased with the new assignment plan. Oh, and, I am not rich.

  • 91 not_you // Oct 16, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Just want to say, I am please with the new assignment plan. Thank you SPS.

  • 92 Ytoo // Oct 16, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    We certainly have the money but not under the current budget and I doubt your neighbors are willing to add a few thousand to their propety taxes. Remember other nations had revolutions over oppression and freedom and such. We had a revolution based on not wanting to pay taxes. Americans want something for nothing.

  • 93 Ytoo // Oct 16, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    The kids she attends school with with will not make your daughter smart.

  • 94 Ytoo // Oct 16, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    I LOVE that idea.

  • 95 Ytoo // Oct 16, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Sorry you don't pay enough to get it all.

  • 96 Jean // Oct 16, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Don't misunderstand, I am shuddering at balladremican's overall message. But, I also have to counter the viewpoint that “the kids she attends school with will not make your daughter smart.” That's a bit simplistic. Sure, the kids won't “make her smart.” But peer influence is huge is high school.

    Associating with others who inspire and set the bar higher can have a profound positive influence on any endeavor whether it be work, learning, sports, etc.

    Too bad ballardemican thinks it's “collectivist” to distribute the high-achievers with the “low rent” kids (not to mention the faulty assumptions threaded throughout that post). And too bad Ytoo so glibly dismisses the benefits of smart kids helping their peers do better in school, too.

  • 97 Ytoo // Oct 16, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Peer influence is a personal issue and if it affects your kids you have dropped the ball as parents.

  • 98 Jean // Oct 16, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Let's be honest here folks. It's not really about the distance to a particular school. It's about the real and perceived quality of a school. I bet the same folks complaining about a long metro bus ride to Ingraham instead of a 25 min. walk to Ballard HS would happily have their child(ren) endure that bus ride or longer if the school in question was the “best” in the city.

  • 99 ballardemican // Oct 16, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    You don't understand social dynamics. You learn how to act and interact from the people you are around. The same student who drops out of a community college (because that's what people at CC's tend to do) will not drop out of a 4 year liberal arts college (because everyone around them studies and sticks it out). Attending school with people who are conditioned to study and succeed won't make my daughter smarter, but it will make (on average) her better educated.

    The “rich” kids (by whom the poster two up means upper-middle class) likely will get into trouble sometimes, but they and the society they live in will respond to it differently than if they were “poor.” What is important is to be socialized in an environment where people behave and interact in ways that increase chances of future success.

    It's not fair that it works this way but it does. People in Blue Ridge know this and so they want their kids in Ballard. But Queen Anne/Magnolia draws more water.

  • 100 QADad // Oct 16, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    1- Crown Hill is not Ballard. It isn't. Stop being a poser. Have some self respect for Christ's sake.
    2- My kids will go to John Hay, then Mclure, Then BHS. Don't feel like they're entitled to that? Suck it. Aint nothin you can do 'bout it. We have more money than you. We win.

  • 101 Eric_H // Oct 16, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    I agree. There is no perfect solution, but it seems that this is the best option given all of the constraints SPS is facing. Well done.

  • 102 seattle native x 4 // Oct 16, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    The thing is, Ballard High is not a 'neighborhood' school, in that the neighborhood of Ballard did not pay for it. It is a city school, and was paid for by the taxpayers of the entire city, including QA and Magnolia. I can also say that my great grandparents moved to Ballard in the late 1890's , but moved 'out of Ballard', and to a house north of 80th, by the 1940's. As has been stated already, QA and Mag. are actually closer to this high school then those living in 'The North End', as we call it in our family. I am not personally involved with this issue, but I have looked at the boundry lines and they make perfect sense to me. Why would you bus some kids (QA and Mag) two or three times farther than other kids (Greenwood, Blue Ridge, etc.), just to apease the parents of the latter group? I, as a tax payer without school aged children, am glad the School Board is finally making decisions based on data and actual needs, and not just trying to be 'PC' or follow the whims of shorter-sighted parent groups.

  • 103 aems // Oct 16, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    That is simply not true. If Magnolia and QA have so much say with the school district – why have those kids been bussed all over the city for the past 20 years? Really – where do you propose those kids go to school ??? Ballard is geographically the only option.

  • 104 kurtd // Oct 16, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Hmmm….I'm betting you're not really from Queen Anne. Sounds like exactly what a shill/troll would say if he wanted people from Queen Anne to look like jerks.

  • 105 tiktok // Oct 16, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    If the closest school is full, you're going to either make the school bigger, or divert them to already existing schools with capacity which are farther away.

  • 106 seattle native x 4 // Oct 16, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Judging by this comment, I would say you have either never had or delt with children in adolcence, or you were not aware of what was happening. Peers are not only more important to the the children at this time of life, it is developmentally appropriate, normal, and neccessary. It is part of the maturation of the child, to turn away from parents as the primary influences, and turn to friends. Therefore, it is critical that parents keep an eye on who their children are 'hanging out with', and being influenced by. Good parenting at that time of life is kind of like hearding from afar (but not too afar), than thinking of yourself as the center of your child's world , which was more appropriate during early childhood. So wether you agree or disagree with the post from Ballard emican, peer influences are very important during high school, and should not be discounted.

  • 107 BRander // Oct 16, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    kurtd – I think you hit the nail on the head.

    QADad – If you were actually from Queen Anne I strongly doubt you would be posting such ridiculous statements. I haven't seen any respectable QA parents saying “suck it” lately….

  • 108 Sir Camp-a-lot // Oct 16, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Are u sure because I agree with Kurt…

  • 109 Ballard_Curmudgeon // Oct 16, 2009 at 8:30 pm

    Or you could, in turn adjust that zones boundaries to make room (like they are doing right now). For example, Garfield's southern boundary could be moved up north a half dozen blocks (which would move evenly divided the area between Garfield and Franklin anyway).

    The simple truth is the Queen Anne parents don't want their children to go to Garfield (Is it filled with undesirables or something?) and they are flexing their political muscles to push people in Ballard to Ingraham (Including people below 85th, which is undisputably part of Ballard and closer to Ballard HS than Queen Anne).

  • 110 bess // Oct 16, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    “I bet the same folks complaining about a long metro bus ride to Ingraham instead of a 25 min. walk to Ballard HS would happily have their child(ren) endure that bus ride or longer if the school in question was the “best” in the city.”

    That is not true for many of the people I have talked to. If our kids can walk to school, they should. End of story.

  • 111 Ballard_Curmudgeon // Oct 16, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    You are wrong. There is a huge difference between a one mile walk (10 minutes by foot, no bus needed) and a six mile drive (which people tell me takes more than an hour because of the transfer).

    Please please please remember, many of the people here that are upset are because the school board plans on moving the boundary somewhere between 65th and 85th at the last minute.

    And QADad, plenty of us between 65th and 85th have money. It's going to be a bad time to be on the school board if they move it south of 85th.

  • 112 tiktok // Oct 16, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    The formula for whether a kid attends a given school is some variant of:
    Proximity
    Sibling already attends same school (not “attended in the past”)

    Proximity trumps a sibling attending for tie breakers between two kids.

    If a “Queen Anne” kid is closer to Ballard than Garfield, and closer than a out-on-the-edges Ballard kid, and there's an opening, the the Queen Anne kid gets the spot, and vice versa.

    But yes, the rich always get that extra bonus. Surprise!

  • 113 pennygirl // Oct 16, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    I currently have one kid at Ballard, and another who won't be able to attend, due to the fact that we live just north of 85th.

    I was very upset about the new boundaries, as Ballard has been an extremely positive experience for us.

    That being said, if ballardemican's views are indicative of the mindset of the incoming families, then I'll take my chances with my fellow 'low-renters' above 85th up at Ingraham!

  • 114 Ballard_Curmudgeon // Oct 16, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    Do you even understand what is going on with the new assignment plan? Proximity is not a factor anymore. There is a line on the ground and if you are within that line, you go to that school (except for the 10% going to a lottery).

  • 115 tiktok // Oct 16, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    The line on the ground is what's used to measure proximity. SPS did a bunch of what-if?-ing moving those lines around before it was presented to the public. Proximity mitigated by political clout is what's driving all this. People that have more political clout get to discount their lack of proximity more than those without.

  • 116 ballardemican // Oct 16, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    Of course mixing poor and rich kids in schools reflects a collectivist ideology, much more so than fighting to get your kid into the richest school possible.

  • 117 ballardemican // Oct 16, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    that families aren't grandfathered in automatically completely sucks. Family time is rare nowdays in our busy lives. Kids at schools in two different directions unduly steals together time from families. What a F-ing hassle if you need to pick up or drop off the kids in the case of an emergency or just to get a jump on traffic for a family weekend.

    And attending two different high schools events — what about conflicts? Worst of all it splits a parent's time to get involved in the political/managerial processes of the school, a totally unfair sort of defacto marginalization.

    As for my mindset, I feel guilty about it but given the choice of Greenwood or Queen Anne classmates for my girl I'll take the later any day of the week.

    understand that I'm weighing averages here; Of course in all neighborhoods most kids are lovely and intelligent and would make great classmates

  • 118 Freddie // Oct 16, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    ballardemican, now were being honest. Brutally honest, but honest.

  • 119 pennygirl // Oct 17, 2009 at 12:00 am

    ballardemican – bear in mind that if you live in Ballard, the parents of the incoming QA/Magnolia students might consider your child to be an inferior classmate – just as you have deemed the North of 85th kids to be for your child.

    I'm not trying to be picky, but maybe you should be careful what you wish for. Ballard has a very diverse community, and it works very well. Filling the school up with what you consider to be more preferable students may not turn out as well as you envision.

  • 120 sweetrose // Oct 17, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Well native I have a teenager who lives in Ballard and happily attends Center School. After the horror that was Whitman she wanted no part of Ballard High School. Tonight she is our celebrating her 17th birthday at a party in Magnolia thrown by friends who are from all over the city, Queen Anne, Magnolia, Capitol Hill, the CD and even <gasp> Greenwood and Northgate/Aurora. She is influenced by her own thoughts and experiences and the example I show her. (really the only way to teach children anything lasting is by example) She is an honor student and an elected member of her school senate, and is politically and environmentally more aware than most adults I know.

    High school is really a very unimportant time and is over before you can blink. Silly really to get your panties in a wad over it. Children get the education they want regardless of how or where it is offered. My oldest sister graduated from the U Magna Cum Laude and Dean’s List having received most of her education from Concrete High School.

    When my daughter started middle school we lived in another city. I fought tooth and nail to get her into the closet school to our house that was also considered one of the best. It would have been an easy walk but the lines were drawn around my student ghetto hood to exclude us and include the old money area next door. Ridiculous I said that she has to ride a bus for 45 minutes and attend a school in what was known as The War Zone when she could walk 10 minutes. I lost the battle and sadly put her on the bus. That War Zone school turned out to be the best school she has attended to date. It is the 5th most ethnically diverse school in the country and over 95% qualify for reduced lunches. They took 2nd in state at the Science Olympiad beating out three private academies in our city.

    I learned my lesson not to judge based on a pretty new building or demographics or even geographic vicinity. None of those things matter a hoot.

  • 121 sweetrose // Oct 17, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Admitting you are a bigot does not negate the fact you are a bigot. I have never understood the value of admitting to poor behavior or that it is some way makes poor behavior ok.

  • 122 Freddie // Oct 17, 2009 at 12:13 am

    “incoming QA/Magnolia students might consider your child to be an inferior classmate”

    Good. I want my kids to be challenged and compete.

  • 123 sweetrose // Oct 17, 2009 at 12:16 am

    Could you show me some statistics indicating that CC students drop out at a higher rate than do 4 year college students.

    No sorry you do not get 'better educated' by osmosis.

  • 124 sweetrose // Oct 17, 2009 at 12:20 am

    It's always a bad time to be on the school board in Seattle. Funny…your post sounds lile a threat. What exactly do you think you might do?

  • 125 Freddie // Oct 17, 2009 at 12:20 am

    “sorry you do not get 'better educated' by osmosis.”

    Well, you're certainly proof of that Maria….

  • 126 pennygirl // Oct 17, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Freddie…

    I was referring to the fact that if ballardemican thinks that my kids are second class citizens when it comes to classmates, then maybe your new friends from QA/Mag will view your kids in the same light, warranted or not.

    If that is the case – your kids won't be challenged – they'll be looked down upon. Purely because of their address, not their potential.

  • 127 Freddie // Oct 17, 2009 at 12:39 am

    “the example I show her.”

    What, Maria, spending hours on this blog making inane arguments based on anecdotal evidence.

  • 128 pennygirl // Oct 17, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Queen Anne isn't Ballard either. But Crown Hill is a little more Ballard than Queen Anne is.

  • 129 peak101 // Oct 17, 2009 at 1:22 am

    BHS is located between NW 65th and 67th NW. If you live on NW 87th – north of the border- that's 20 blocks away (1.3 miles). It seems like a little 'fuzzy math' that many QA and Magnolia families like you live closer than that.

  • 130 ballardemican // Oct 17, 2009 at 1:35 am

    it isn't about what I or anyone else “deems” Pennygirl, or who is looking up or looking down at whom. That fact of the matter is that yuppie kids are on average better students and know (and teach eachother) how to get ahead in life better than working class kids. They make a better academic atmosphere for everyone.

    class structures, on average, repoduce what they reproduce. I can't change this, or at least I won't sacrifice my kid in an attempt to try to change it.

    Queen Anne and Magnolia kids will make Ballard High better for my kid, so bring them in.

    Again, if I was on the other side of the line I'd fight like a tiger to change it, but that's your job.

  • 131 ballardemican // Oct 17, 2009 at 1:45 am

    You can't have it both ways sweetrose — most of what I'm cribbing here is established in the research of social scientists, many minorities, interested in progressive social agendas. It is sh*tty and fundamentally un-American, but I can't instantly change the subtle discursive practice by which social classes tend to reproduce themselves. so I'll take/advocate for whatever gives my kid her best advantage in life.

    On the whole this is what everyone involved in this debate is doing; I'm just saying it out loud.

    As for CC retention rates:

    Ive heard stats that say 1 out of 10 students who take a CC class will EVER complete ANY degree. Even if you back out the people dropping in for extension courses, generously it must be at least a 50% rate of attrition. Most liberal arts colleges (where the “rich” send their kids) graduate almost every single student. Intelligence has basically nothing to do with this, but class and socialization certainly do.

  • 132 pennygirl // Oct 17, 2009 at 2:01 am

    You are correct on one point ballardemican. It has nothing to do with what you or I deem. It's all about the School Board, and what they deem.

    'Fight like a tiger?' Been there, done that with the Board. I was on the Save Viewlands Committee, and we threw every reasonable argument in the book at them.

    From Day 1, De Bell had his mind made up – granted they humored us for a while, but at the end of the day – De Bell (in my opinion) was wholly responsible for the closure of Viewlands.

    And now he's in charge of re-opening it – using the demographic arguments that we used against the School Board in the first place.

    So if anyone out there thinks that they have a voice that will actually be heard, you're sorely mistaken. If DeBell has decided that the boundary will slip down to somewhere between 65th and 85th, then that's where the boundary will be.

    And no amount of money or influence that the Ballard parents living within that area have will make a difference.

    The School Board doesn't actually care what you think. They go through the token 'community' meetings to save face, and pretend to listen to the most reasoned arguments. But they ignore them.

    Case in point – Viewlands closure/re-opening – which is going to cost the District big bucks.

    No, I'm not going to fight like a tiger this time. It's a waste of my time because it will be fruitless. But I will sit back and watch what doesn't happen when the 65th – 85th parents dare to go up against the School Board.

    Here's my prediction – when the new boundaries are set, you'll be up with us 85th St low-renters at Ingraham.

  • 133 sweetrose // Oct 17, 2009 at 3:08 am

    What you have 'heard' means nothing.

  • 134 pennygirl // Oct 17, 2009 at 3:28 am

    “That fact of the matter is that yuppie kids are on average better students and know (and teach eachother) how to get ahead in life better than working class kids. They make a better academic atmosphere for everyone.”

    ballardemican – that was your statement.

    I'm thinking that

    a) you live a very sheltered life

    b) you have a child who is in a high income/predominantly caucasian middle school

    c) you don't have a concept of the real world

    d) you're extremely bigoted

    When your daughter comes home with a friend from school who doesn't live up to your 'yuppie' expectations, what will you do? Or does she already have the party line ingrained in her head? How embarrassing that people still think like this, in Seattle of all places…

  • 135 kurtd // Oct 17, 2009 at 3:46 am

    Well, if the only reason that I “had” that great community school was that my school district had a ridiculous assignment plan that treated Ballard like it ought to drop into the sea when it was obvious to everyone concerned that Ballard ought to have access to “my” school, then I'd probably expect that this sort of good deal, where I get privileges while other people who pay the same taxes I do and are entitled to the same benefits I have eat sand, cannot last forever.

    But then, that's me. I'm sure that you never thought that the school district would ever stop treating Magnolia and QA unfairly. So there you are, feeling all entitled to “your” school which is every bit as much mine as it is yours. Really–did you think the free ride would last?

  • 136 sweetrose // Oct 17, 2009 at 3:50 am

    Except you do not have one scrap of evidence to back what you think and you have presented not a single fact.

    Sorry but classmates will not improve the socioeconomic standing of your kid no matter how badly you want it to be true.

  • 137 Freddie // Oct 17, 2009 at 4:05 am

    Argue with ballardemican all you like, but he is explaining exactly how class systems work and self perpetuate themselves.

    Like him, I'm glad I'm on the right side of the line. If I wasn't, I'd either move or go private.

  • 138 ballardemican // Oct 17, 2009 at 5:08 am

    look I know what I'm talking about but here is the very first stat from I came across simply using google:

    “With a semester-to-semester student retention rate of 73.7 percent — counting all students from last year's fall to spring semester — Hudson Valley boasts a figure that it says is higher than the national average. ” — “Inside Higher Education, Oct 2008.

    note that this is a term to term retention rate. If it takes the average student four term to get an AA degree (and actually it take considerably more) then you'd need to take 76% of 100%, then 76 percent of that, and so on twice more to get the graduation rate. Even if freshly entering students are more likely to drop out each new quarter you are easily under 50% degree rate.

    And this is an example of a CC with good retention. In fact degree rates are significantly lower.

    Please remember that these are averages; the president of the UW went to CC, as did many, many other very successful people. If you are a cc student you CAN make it — just make school a priority, don't EVER stop with the intention of starting again later (you won't), and keep on pushing even you feel unsure — it will pay off :)

  • 139 kevinx // Oct 17, 2009 at 6:11 am

    SCHOOL VOUCHERS NOW!!!!!

    HOW COME LIBERAL SEATTLE IS PRO CHOICE ON EVERYTHING BUT SCHOOLS!!!

    TIME FOR EDUCATION TO BE PUT IN THE HANDS OF THE PEOPLE

    SCHOOL CHOICE NOW!!!!!

  • 140 blueberry // Oct 17, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Calm please. I don't think it's a threat in the way you imply. I think he means work to get them voted off the school board. I know I wouldn't vote to re-elect anyone who goes along with a plan to move the BHS border south of 85th. Or, vote with our feet and take our kids out of SPS, or move out of the district. And, no support for any bond issues that come up, school fundraising… saw some fliers fundraising for Ballard High today at the Holman Rd QFC… better get those over to the QA Whole Foods!

    BHS may not be the Bush School or Seattle Prep, but it is our neighborhood school and we moved here expecting that our children would be able to attend. It has great neighborhood support and we figured we'd make up any shortcomings with the money we saved not paying for private school. If they do move the border south of 85th (and it doesn't have to be signficantly south) my family would be out of BHS even though we live just about exactly 1 mile from the school. In this case, I would take my 3 kids out of SPS and put them in private school. I think this is what curmudgeon is referring to when he says that plenty of people here have money.

    Would it be a burden to do this… well, yes. But, if I'm looking at a public education at a good high school in my neighborhood that my children can walk to and participate in after-school activities without transportation worries vs. a public education at a high school 5 miles from my home that my children are going to have to commute to by metro bus (including a transfer a 105th and Aurora…. sorry, but not the best area) taking them, in likelyhood, over an hour each way. Or, I'm going to have to drive them to this school far from our home and community.

    If we're going to have to do all this commuting to school, well, I'd rather pay the money and get my kids the best education they can get. I doubt I'm alone here in Ballard in thinking about this. So, history repeats itself and people leave SPS. For everyone in Mag/QA who thinks we are being unreasonable here in Ballard… just imagine if a few years from now Whitman were to close and Ballard is left without a middle school and SPS decides to send Ballard kids to McClure and send all the Mag/QA kids to Washington. Would you be ok with that?

  • 141 Freddie // Oct 17, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Poor behavior is pretending class has nothing to do with people's anger over not getting into BHS (or visa versa).

  • 142 seattle native x4 // Oct 17, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    The fact is,Ingraham High School has the International Baccaulureate Program, something most parents would LOVE to have their children particiapate in. Also, if you look at the boundary map the district came up with, you can see that that way they divided the city into geographic regions makes perfect sence. It makes me think there has to be another reason why some parents are not looking at this rationally, but rather emotionally. Why don't you want your kids to go to Ingraham? It seems like a much better school and plan than the options the QA and Mag families have been given for the past 30 years–a good school, predictable assignment, neighborhood based.

    As far as just saying 'we'll go private', good luck. Have you seen the prices lately? Between tuition and expected/mandatory 'donations', I don't think there is a private HS in Seattle for less than 18k, and 20k-25k is more like it. Plus transportation.

  • 143 sweetrose // Oct 17, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    You do have choice. You can utilize our schools or you can not.

  • 144 sweetrose // Oct 17, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    It is your choice but it has no effect on the school district at all, only on your pocketbook. Pay your money, it will only ease the burden on the public schools and right now that would be welcome. The loss of your child is not a problem for the Board. If you moved here only for a school you made a terrible mistake because lines change historically along with demographics.

    Ballard is NOT your school. It belongs to the people of Seattle to use as is needed right now. The Board makes decisions based on the budget they have right now and the demographics they have right now, not on what might happen in the future. That’s reality. If it makes sense at given moment to close Whitman it will be closed.

  • 145 sweetrose // Oct 17, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Of course it does. It has everything to do with the issue. It's also a very stupid reason. Bigots are stupid.

  • 146 sweetrose // Oct 17, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    Well penny they are. Anyone who think Seattle is a liberal city needs to open their eyes and ears. Democrats maybe but I have always said that democrats are just GOPers who like sex.

    Seems to be that these folks have very little trust in their children's ability to learn also. Of course from the sound of the parents that lack of trust may be well founded.

  • 147 ethel // Oct 17, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    No reason to transfer at 105th and Aurora as far as I can make out — when I looked at the Metro Trip Planner, the change was at the Northgate Transit Center, which is a perfectly respectable area as far as I am aware.

  • 148 ethel // Oct 17, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    ballardemican wrote: ” “rich” kids (by whom the poster two up means upper-middle class)”

    Um. No. Please don't put words in my mouth. I went to Lakeside. I do know something about rich kids.

  • 149 eric // Oct 17, 2009 at 3:58 pm

    ah, but your sweet child will have had the unfortunate hardship of living with you all these years, thus absorbing your narrow social darwinist crapola and negating the gain of being around lots of rilly rilly smart -n- rich people.

  • 150 Ytoo // Oct 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Yes they are and note that historically the most bigoted people are the lowest classes.

  • 151 GTS // Oct 17, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Actually for the Catholic High School tution ranges on the low end $8000 for O'Dea (all boys) up to $12,950 for Seattle Prep. Holy Names (all girls) and Bishop Blanchet fall in the middle. Each school gives a discount for multiple siblings attending at the same time. Each school also has a good number of non-Catholic students who attend.

    Bush and Lakeside are in the $25000 range.

    That's before financial aid.

    While some may have a mandatory “donation” you can choose to make that donation be $1 if that is what you can afford. You do have to provide transportation and buy books.

    It has been my experience that families from every socio-economic level have kids in private high schools. You will probably never be the richest or the poorest family at school, and every school has the ability to reduce tuition for families that need financial aid if the child qualifies academically for admission .

    There is an application and admission process including a test for each High School.

  • 152 blueberry // Oct 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Schools receive their money based on enrollment. If enrollment goes down their budget goes down. I didn't move here for the school, I moved here because I liked the neighborhood…. which includes that school. I know that the boundaries can and will move. My problem is I think they way they are moving is unacceptable.

    I don't have a problem with the northern boundary at 85th. But, from what I hear, it is likely to move south, cutting off most of Ballard from BHS.

    Also, they are not making decisions based on only “right now”. These projections are based on what they expect enrollment to be in the future (10 years I think).

  • 153 blueberry // Oct 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    I think it is perfectly rational to want your child to go to the school in their neighborhood. I agree with you that Ingraham has some great programs and I don't see that much difference between it and BHS. And, if I lived at say 105th, I wouldn't have a problem going to Ingraham. But I live just north of 70th. While Ingraham is a “good school, predictable assignment” in no way or stretch of the imagination is this school “neighborhood based” for me.

    I know the cost of private schools is high. But, it is not out of reach for us. Which is why, if I'm going to have to send my kids out of the neighborhood I might as well get them into a school with smaller classes and more opportunity. Isn't this exactly what has happened in the past with Seattle schools? People are unsatisfied with their public options, go private (or move…. also something we would might consider) enrollment and funding drop, school quality goes down, schools close…. this all sounds familiar.

  • 154 ytoo // Oct 17, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    If enrollment goes down they change the lines again. That's how it's done.

    They project as best they can but it is a guessing game certainly. They do however work with a right now budget.

  • 155 kurtd // Oct 17, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    “Magnolia and Queen Anne have a high school, it is Franklin.”

    Not under the new plan, they don't. Attendance areas are to be contiguous and that excludes Franklin.

    Here's a statement that's every bit as sensible as yours:

    “Ballard has a high school; it is Franklin.”

    Like it or not, Ballard High School IS Magnolia and Queen Anne's neighborhood school. That Magnolia and Queen Anne have been denied equal access to it for decades does not negate the fact.

  • 156 ytoo // Oct 17, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    On one level, unmentioned here yet, it can actually be beneficial to have students from out of district. Involvement by parents is not always a good thing especially in a conservative bedroom community like Ballard. Sadly the involved parents are never the ones we need. As teacher I can tell you the parents we could really use are busy with lives and work. We get stuck with the stay at homes who ’just loved school’ when they were teens and are trying to live their perceived glory days over again by being too enmeshed in their kid’s lives. You know, the ‘fun’ moms. (To be fair I have to admit too many teachers teach for the same reason) They are a hindrance and their poor offspring tend to be mortified by the whole thing.

    It would behoove business to offer time to some of their employees to volunteer at schools. They might get better graduates in which to invest their training dollars.

    There are other benefits also of course. It fosters independence in teens, gives them confidence and broadens their frame of reference. I taught in the days of Seattle bussing and found that students from the more affluent neighborhoods benefited most from this aspect of the plan. While there were some flaws, I found it to be the parents, and not the students, who had the strongest objections. School is for the students correct?

  • 157 Freddie // Oct 17, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Can we get a refund then on the taxes we pay that go to schools?

    ….Oh that's right, Maria, you're a renter.

  • 158 Freddie // Oct 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    BTW Maria, we don't need vouchers. We used the Supreme Court, which drop kicked the SPS a** and forced them to give us back our neighborhood schools.

  • 159 motorrad // Oct 17, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Hey dumba$$- renters pay property tax.

  • 160 lizge // Oct 17, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    That's true. When the school district came knocking on my door, they asked, if you ever have kids in high school, do you want Ballard or Garfield? And I said, Ballard, of course.
    Um, no, that never happened.
    My neighbor's daughter (who lives in QA, and lives blocks from the Ballard bridge) goes to Garfield, by choice.

  • 161 lizge // Oct 17, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Not everyone in Magnolia is wealthy, not even the majority. And QA is the most liberal neighborhood in the city. If QA & Magnolia were minority neighborhoods, would there be such an uproar? I doubt it.

  • 162 ytoo // Oct 17, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    Do you personally know this poster that you use a real name? Is that allowed by the rules here?

  • 163 pennygirl // Oct 18, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Well, that's not entirely true. The SPS lawsuit and subsequent Supreme Court ruling had nothing to do with 'neighborhood schools' as such. It was based on Kathleen Brose (a Magnolia resident) not getting her daughter into Ballard due to the racial tiebreaker that was in place.

    So, yes, the Supreme Court, via the argument of 'racial tiebreakers' was involved in giving the neighborhood schools back to the neighborhood, but the lines are blurry when you consider which neighborhood is the beneficiary.

  • 164 GTS // Oct 18, 2009 at 1:04 am

    I bet you are one of those brides who thought the wedding was for her and not your mom :).

    I agree with your take on volunteers – give me someone who has no time to volunteer on any committee; they get things done and don't wallow around in the process!

    I think a lot of people confuse “being involved in your childs education” with “being involved at the school”.

    You need to know what is going one with your childs school day “Is there a test you need to prepare for, have you recopied your notes from chemistry, do you need help with your French nouns? When is the parent teacher conference? Who do I talk to if my child needs help?” is more important when they are in High School and you are helping them to develop study and work behaviors for when they are on their own in college than cutting out snowflakes and driving to the pumpkin patch like when they are in elementary school.

    Although I do love the opportunity to mortify my child whenever possible: “Remember when you barfed down my back at Benaroya when you were 2? It's payback time: Take a look at the 'fun holiday sweater” I'll be wearing when I help out in the attendance office tomorrow. Who doesn't love sparkely jack-o-lanterns? Is it ok if I sit with you in the cafeteria and tell everyone I'm your mom?”'

  • 165 pennygirl // Oct 18, 2009 at 1:37 am

    Do many High School parents still do that?

    I was shown the proverbial door back when my kid was in Whitman! I remember tormenting him for days pretending that me and his dad would be chaperones at the School Dance. He actually said that his life had officially ended…

    I didn't realize that parents were still that eager to plonk themselves squarely in the actual school building when it came to High School!

  • 166 GTS // Oct 18, 2009 at 2:50 am

    You have no idea how many parents would be SO PYCHED to spend time in the high school building do anything.

    Seriously this time they can GET IT RIGHT!

  • 167 Structural // Oct 18, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Vote them out…..

  • 168 Sir Camp-a-lot // Oct 18, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Well, Magnolia an QA are certainly beneficiaries and I'm more than happy to have my kids going to a school with kids who will, for the most part, be better prepared for school and have higher goals for themselves….and if it wasn't for the Supreme Court decision, would we have ever gotten our neighborhood schools back or would the leftists and social experimenters at the SPS hq still be trying to bus our kids all over town?

  • 169 ballardemican // Oct 18, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    and again I didn't invent the fact that class behavior is learned and tends to reproduce itself, and I'm not really pleased that it works that way. Better neighbors generally make for better schools, so I'll take the better neighborhoods in the Ballard district.

    and btw social darwinism assumes biological differences in people rightfully prefigure social status and role. If you read what I wrote you'd know that's not what I said.

  • 170 LBB // Oct 20, 2009 at 2:41 am

    If the “walking zone” for high schools is 2 miles – then why not start with drawing a 2 mile circle and include everyone within it.

  • 171 EB1 // Oct 20, 2009 at 5:43 am

    I agree. I routinely ride my bike from my house in the center of Magnolia to BHS. It takes me less than 20 minutes. A favorite evening out for my wife and I is to walk down to Ray's boat house for dinner. A channel of water does not a dividing line make. I can see how a lazy person who lacked the desire to do real demographic research might want to use this as a dividing line. But, it is no where near as imposing of a barrier as a commute through downtown Seattle.

  • 172 Ken Jackson // Oct 20, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Can we start a new lawsuit the day the new lines are drawn. I propose that we do. In fact I'll look into this. We should make sure this is as painful as possible for everyone involved. Seattle Public Schools has been one of the most disappointing things about living in Seattle. In contrast, the Eastside has their act together.

    I think we should make SPS the biggest joke on the west coast. And then maybe we'll see some real improvement. But until then I think we'll continue to just see this horrible socioeconomic jockeying.

  • 173 Ballard_Curmudgeon // Oct 20, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    If the line moves south of 85th it is going to be war. Expect a huge lawsuit to come down the pipe paid for by every parent disenfranchised out of BHS.

  • 174 pennygirl // Oct 20, 2009 at 8:13 pm

    Having taken a closer look at the Proposed Attendance Area Map, I have a feeling that you may be correct about yet another Boundary change at the last minute.

    If the School District intends on accommodating every Mag/QA student, there is no way that they will be able to do that without moving the boundary line further south, and shipping a few more kids up to Ingraham.

    I'm just north of 85th, so my fight is probably already over, even though I already have one kid at Ballard.

    You should probably start preparing your arguments for the School District right now. If they do try to bring the boundary line south, it would be a good idea for you already to have an alternative boundary line drawn up. Maybe bringing the southern QA/Mag boundary north.

    If you look at the map, there's a perfect boundary line that could be drawn straight through Southern Magnolia/Queen Anne. The QA/Mag parents could argue that it would be splitting their kids up between 2 schools (Ballard/Garfield) but that could be countered with the fact that the northern boundary line would do the same thing to the Ballard kids (Ballard/Ingraham)

    I've gone up against the School District in the past, so I wish you the best of luck.

    (Oh, and pointing out their countless missteps in the past that have cost millions of dollars, is always a good thing to throw out at a packed community meeting…)

  • 175 susanmweber // Oct 22, 2009 at 1:10 am

    Here is an email I sent to Sherry Carr and newassign@seattleschools.org (where people are encouraged to send comments and suggestions about the school assignment plan.) Yes, I'm including my real name. I think it gives context and credibility (or lack thereof depending on your opinion.)

    Susan M. Weber

    I applaud the return to neighborhood schools! I realize that not everyone will be happy with the final boundary lines and the extent to which siblings are grandfathered into current school placements, but as I have expressed to many on this issue, there is no way to please everyone and satisfy each personal need and want with a district the size of Seattle's.

    I attended Sherry Carr's informal meeting last Saturday at Bethany church near Greenlake. I commend her for keeping her cool during a meeting where there was alot of criticism and anger and few positive suggestions (in my opinion.) Through Whittier's representative, Jordon Singer, I have been kept very well informed about the various other community meetings on this subject. Thank you Jordon!

    In my opinion alot of the anger and criticism stems from the feeling among parents that they haven't had a true voice and have had little time to process the changes and what it means for their families. I think the board has handled this issue far better than the closure of schools a few years ago with regard to communication about the process, but there is room for improvement. The short timeline between announcing the proposed changes, community meetings and the final vote is far too short. I also think that providing more reasoning behind the changes would have helped alleviate some of the hostility expressed at these community meetings. (i.e. such as offering the fact up front that there are plenty of seats for high school students, but not necessarily where there are the most students and the boundaries have to be drawn accordingly.)

    In considering the final boundaries, I encourage the board (as I did last spring in an email about this topic) to really consider the following:

    First, it is extremely important for families that their children can easily reach their schools by walking or biking. With increase fuel and transportation costs, concern for the environment, and concern for the safety of our children in getting to and from school; the ability to walk or bike to school is a high priority for many families. Walk and bike zones and the ability of high school students to reach school without dependence on cars or buses are critically important to Seattle school communities.

    Second, Metro bus access to a high school with limited transfers is also extremely important. There is no easy way for an student who lives just north of 85th to get to Ingraham, when that same student could hop on one bus down 15th NW and get to Ballard. Some consideration should be made with regard to the northern boundary for Ballard for those who would have to make more than one transfer on Metro to get to Ingraham. This takes time away from home and studying, lessens the likelihood of participation in before or after school activities (because of the long bus ride & transfers), and raises safety concerns. For example, a 9th grader waiting for a city bus at 6:30 a.m. in the dark, having to transfer once or twice, or more, to get to school participates in an after school sport and has to take the city bus home, again transferring once, twice or more, in the dark arriving at home at a time when many families have already eaten dinner and begun homework. This is not a scenario with which families feel the least bit comfortable and especially so for those families who do not have more than one car (or any car), who have two parents who work outside the home, or are otherwise unable to participate in carpooling rather than relying on public transportation to get their high school student to school.

    Third, geography is important. Student and family participation in school activities is greater when the school is geographically close to the students’ homes. Parent and student participation in a school that takes a considerable amount of time, effort and fuel to get to is going to be far less than such participation in a school that families can walk to, bike to, or get to in a short bus or car ride. Parent participation in schools, i.e. PTA, volunteering to help with before and after school activities, tutoring, sports booster clubs, evening school activities, etc. is a must for a positive well-rounded school experience for parents and students.

    It is important to realize that alot of frustration with the boundary lines for high schools as drawn leaves the Queen Anne and Magonlia neighborhoods virtually intact while the greater Ballard neighborhood is broken up. Many Ballardites feel like they are being penalized for purchasing a home in a neighborhood with a high school while those who purchased a home in neighborhoods that haven't had high schools for 20 years are getting their wishes fulfilled. Unfortunately this is pitting neighborhoods against neighborhoods and some adults are showing their worst colors at times.

    It is important to note that with the proposed boundary lines those students going to Whitman will not end up at the same high school, but will be split between Ingraham and Ballard. Some effort should be made to address this, especially considering that a student who lives across the street from Whitman (for example on NW 95th) could walk or take one bus to Ballard, but will have to transfer at least twice, if not more to get to Ingraham.

    Some effort should also be made to move the Roosevelt boundary line west at least to 1st NE at the northeast side of Greenlake as those students in that area could easily walk to Roosevelt vs. multiple bus transfers to Ballard.

    Some type of grandfathering of siblings and current school placement must be attempted, especially for younger children in elementary school. At the meeting I attended people were very hostile on this issue. Quite frankly, I felt like many of the comments that were made were far too personal and failed to take into consideration that these proposed changes are for an entire school district that is quite large and not just about the particular families at the meeting. Also, I wonder how many families are really affected by the sibling grandfathering issue. But, it is clearly a hot topic and one that needs to fully explained if grandfathering is minimal at best or non-existent at worst with the new assignment plan.

    I realize that it is impossible for Seattle School District families to have it all with the funding the way it is; neighborhood schools, choice for special academic programs, true and voluntary diversity. However, it is my sincere hope that in considering where reference area lines should be drawn, especially for high schools, that the factors outlined above will be carefully considered.

    Having voiced my opinion above, some background may give some credibility (or not) to it. First of all the boundaries as proposed do not affect my family, nor do we have sibling issues. I'm not lobbying for any particular boundary, just advocating for common sense in finalizing them. I am a parent of a sophomore at Ballard High School and a 5th grader at Whittier Elementary. I am a past PTA president at Whittier and very involved in athletics at Ballard. I am a Seattle Public Schools graduate from Ingraham and went to school starting out at my neighborhood school then being involved in the voluntary/mandatory bus program, then the closures of Lincoln and Queen Anne. I clearly remember that I could have walked to Roosevelt high school with my older brother in minutes, but was bussed down to Rainier Beach and ultimately ended up at Lincoln for my freshman year, at the end of which it closed and then I was sent to Ingraham the remaining 3 years of high school. I spent many hours on a school bus, got home incredibly late from gymnastics practice, and it was nearly impossible for my mom (a single mom with 4 kids in 4 different schools) to be involved in the schools at a level she once was when we went to our neighborhood schools. This is not the experience I wanted for my children and we've been very lucky that the schools our kids have attended have been quality schools close to our home.

    Thank you for getting through this long winded email and your work on this hot issue.

    Susan M. Weber

  • 176 North Ballard // Nov 4, 2009 at 6:13 am

    Don't think this doesn't hurt your property values north of 85th St. I would probably move to a different school district before my kid would go to Ingraham. I was going to remodel my house, but I may not now. The school district set up the schools based on programs, not boundary lines and now they have changed the rules on everyone.

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