Seattle Public Schools announced on Wednesday that it may delay by one year the planned move of the Developmental Preschool at Whittier Elementary to Viewlands Elementary.
Last week we told you that some parents with children in the Developmental Preschool were upset that the district had made the decision to move the program in January, but didn’t tell them until mid-March. Some of the preschoolers have older siblings enrolled at Whittier specifically so the family could be at one school. By waiting to notify parents until after Open Enrollment had ended, those families didn’t have the option to move their older children to Viewlands as well.
The Developmental Preschool is located on the bottom floor of Whittier Elementary.
The school district says it made the initial decision in January, after determining that Whittier would likely need an extra classroom next year. Since there are no open classrooms right now, either the Developmental Preschool or the Whittier Kids before- and after-school program would need to move. The district determined that more families would be affected by the loss of the before- and after-school program.
The district has sent home a letter with all Whittier students, stating that it will wait until April 15 to determine if increased enrollment at the school will mean it needs the preschool room for an additional home room. The letter from Pegi McEvoy, Assistant Superintendent for Operations, says that if the latest enrollment data for Whittier does not show any increases for next year, then the Developmental Preschool will remain at Whittier for the 2012-13 school year, then move to Viewlands in 2013-14.
SPS Spokeswoman Teresa Wippel told me on Wednesday that the district has an exception process for siblings who want to transfer to Viewlands but missed the Open Enrollment period. The new District Ombudsman is helping affected families with that process.