Ballard gets squeezed by proposed school boundaries, parents fight back

With Lincoln High School opening in Wallingford and Ingraham High School expanding in 2019, the Seattle school district is redrawing the boundaries for North Seattle high school students.

Until last week, one of the recommended scenarios (.pdf) kept the vast majority of Ballard-area families inside the Ballard High School boundary, drawing the northern line roughly at Carkeek Park. But this option has fallen off the list, and many parents in North Ballard, Crown Hill, North Beach and Blue Ridge are not happy about it.

The new option, called scenario F (above), draws the line at 80th St. instead of Carkeek Park. (In the map, green is Ballard High, brown is Ingraham and purple is Lincoln. There are several versions of scenario F — this is version 2 .pdf — but the northern cut-off remains 80th St. in each).

That means any families to the north of 80th will attend Ingraham High School, which is located up at 135th St., above Bitter Lake. If you live at 24th Ave. and 83rd St., for example, that’s 4.5 miles away. Ballard High is 1.5 miles away.

Then there’s the other option, called scenario H version 3 (above and .pdf). While the Carkeek Park boundary is preserved, the southeastern boundary is at Ballard High School itself: homes to the south of 65th At. and to the west of 15th Ave. — the West Woodland neighborhood — fall inside the boundary for Lincoln High. You could live a block from BHS, but go to school in Wallingford.

“North Ballard parents do not support either of these plans,” explains a new site, North Ballard Parents, created to rally opposition to the proposals. “We support our neighborhood and community all being allowed to attend Ballard High School. Seattle Public Schools shut down the high school serving Magnolia and Queen Anne, and now Ballard is paying the price.”

The organizers of North Ballard Parents have created a petition on Change.org which has 1,290 signatures and counting.

Another site, Save Seattle Schools, urges parents to “tell the board and the superintendent you will be voting no on the operations levy in Feb. 2019.”

Seattle Schools says the new scenarios take into consideration the potential changes in the highly capable pathways at the high school level. “We heard overwhelmingly that families want increased and equal access to advanced courses offered closer to home,” explains a November post on the Seattle Schools site.

The Magnolia neighborhood has worked hard lobbying the High School Boundary Task Force — which is tasked with creating the proposed boundaries — to remain inside the Ballard High School zone. One of its primary arguments: the commute from Magnolia to Wallingford would be problematic — as much as 74 minutes each way on Metro.

The task force is expected to present its recommendations to the school board on January 3rd, and the board is slated to vote on the final boundary map two weeks later on January 17th.

Your thoughts on the boundaries? Let us know in comments…


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Old Ballard F@rt
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Old Ballard F@rt

Let’s let Magnolia and North Beach parents fight it out, cage-match style.

Old Ballard F@rt
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Old Ballard F@rt

This is one of those times you see the true colors of a white Seattle “liberal”.

OLD BALLARD F@RT
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OLD BALLARD F@RT

By the way, there is no such area as “North Ballard” above 85th. Pretty much every city map shows Ballard ending at 85th. Now, maybe they think getting cutesy and calling themselves “North Ballard” is justification to have their snowflakes sent to “Ballard” HS, but it isn’t.

Ann Selznick
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Ann Selznick

This isn’t about Magnolia verses North Beach. This is about a city that is growing faster and denser than the school district can efficiently manage. You would think that the opening of Lincoln High School would offer enough relief for Ballard’s overcrowding, but it’s clearly not enough. Some of the projections show Ballard overcapacity again as soon as 2021, even WITH the new boundaries.

Liberal Snow Flake Lover
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Liberal Snow Flake Lover

I’d love for my kids to be able to attend Ballard HS – it’s a 10/10 on great schools.org – Ingraham is a 4/10 due to some serious academic challenges. Further, Ballard HS is 1.5 miles away, Ingraham is 4.5 miles away. Even more, my kids are growing up with and making lifelong friends at Loyal Heights Elementary. I’d hate to see them broken up for high School due to this proposal. This white seattle liberal will sure look out for his snow flakes.

Annoyed
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Annoyed

Once again the district kowtows to magnolia. Ever since the snowflake woman sued them that her daughter’s civil rights were being violated by not getting into Ballard. Funny how no one’s civil rights were violated before the school was remodeled in 1999. Sorry but if you knowingly and willingly live in a neighborhood with no high school then you go where there’s room. Don’t kick other kids out of their neighborhood school.

Ballard mom
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Ballard mom

So the proposal that ends at 80th will have all the kids from 80th- 85th (within the ‘Ballard’ boundaries) drive 5 miles north?! That’s ridiculous. And Magnolia residents knew they weren’t moving into a neighborhood with a HS. Why do they get more of a voice? One positive thing about Ingraham (besides it being a pretty good school), is that kids that play sports have a lot field. Pretty sure the neighbors of BHS have vetoed the lights for sports activities.

Ballard mom
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Ballard mom

*lit field*

Maggkat
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Maggkat

Neighborhood families who want to put in time and physical participation have my support. If you just want to write a check, find another school. What makes Ballatd High School successful is the participation of families – current students and their families, alumni families and Ballard High School alumni.

Right the Wrong
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Right the Wrong

OLD BALLARD FART

The new maps put out this week has proposals for the boundary to be at 80th. So, will you then petition to change the official Ballard border to 80th to match up? We wouldn’t not want an influx of more snow flakes.

The other option put the Lincoln HS boundary at 65th and 15th. So, if you are across 65th from BHS, you go to Lincoln instead of BHS so some kid in Magnolia can go to BHS instead.

Do the math – the boundary today is 85th. The map options they published have it at 80th. How long before it becomes 77th? 75th? Where do you live OBF? The north is clearly squeezing and already crossing your Ballard border at 80th. Another version of the map wipes out south of 65th and east of 15th. At what point for you does it start to get ridiculous?

Linda Gleason
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Linda Gleason

So I have my grandson in Magnolia and he has been with the same friends same kids since kindergarten and he will be a junior in High School at that time. I think it’s wrong to uproot kids that are working hard in programs for their own future. These children that are in sports , academic programs, engineering, biotech or other opportunities Ballard High has to offer for the children heading to colleges. Seriously the children already established in Nallard at that time is what needs to be addressed they are planning their future. High school from 9th to 12th grade is a plan don’t mess with their plan.
If they are incoming Freshman that’s different and seriously Magnolia to Wallingford those children would spend 3 hours a day just getting to school and home!
I think Ballard High School boundaries should be all of Magnolia / 85th to ballard bridge north south / water to 3rd ave west to east goes to Ballard high school!
Lincoln would be all of Queen Anne / 3rd ave / 65th/ Greenwood/ Wallingford / Fremont/ and university district boundaries also to Lincoln all the way

Right the Wrong
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Right the Wrong

Linda Gleason

From where I live, it is several hours bus time from Crown Hill to Ingraham and back as well, with the main transfer point being on Aurora. Why is it okay for these kids to spend hours on a bus but not your grandson?

All your reasons for wanting to go to Ballard are fine – except they are our reasons too and WE CAN WALK to BHS.

Can you list one rationale reason why a kid who can walk to BHS (in one map, literally across the street) should not actually go to BHS so your grandchild can go to BHS? Why should a kid who is significantly closer have to move schools for your kid?

Truth
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Truth

“We don’t like any of these proposals, but we don’t have any suggestions of our own.”

Sounds like the Ballard I know and love!

Right the Wrong
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Right the Wrong

TRUTH

Not sure where you’re getting that. Scenario H version 2 was the one that was recommended by the boundary taskforce based on the guiding principles and data. That version was preferred by most within closer proximity to Ballard.

These new maps released this week is what everyone is up in arms about….none of them make sense. 80th makes even less sense than 85th in one of the scenarios. In the other 65th and 15th makes zero sense.

Scenario H version 2 is the “suggestion” I guess

Typical Ballard
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Typical Ballard

I know a solution. Change the school’s name to “Malcolm X High” and watch everyone flee.

parpaillou
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parpaillou

Agree with “Right the Wrong” : what is shown in this article does not reflect the latest version shared on SPS site : “The High School Boundary Task Force developed nine scenarios before coming to consensus around a 10th scenario — Scenario H version 2 (H v. 2) — as their recommended scenario.”
http://www.seattleschools.org/cms/one.aspx?portalId=627&pageId=28262696

SanityCheck
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SanityCheck

For those people who say Magnolia kids should just go where they’re put is unreasonable, Magnolia did have a school, it is Ballard. They pay the taxes same as everyone else and we are all one city. For someone to say they should go to Ballard because they live close doesn’t make sense when Magnolia students would have to pass Ballard on the way to Lincoln. We want to keep transportation time to a minimum. As you can image from my comments, I am a Magnolia resident but I also totally get the arguments from the Ballard folks and they also have merit. The bottom line is the school board has just done a terrible job here with a complete lack of transparency and failure to look at all the variables. The fact they did not look at transportation is a disgrace. Also when one of their tenets favored HC students they immediately put themselves in legal jeopardy, they cannot favor some students over another. I think the main problem here is they are trying to reduce the radius of the impact when what they should just do is draw a radius around a all high schools until they reach… Read more »

What's in a Name?
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What's in a Name?

I take issue with the “North Ballard” (is that a real place?) Parents running a negative campaign by falsely describing Lincoln as “a new high school in Wallingford for Magnolia & QA students” in their petition.

SPS is opening a high school. Period. Who goes there is still TBD.

If Ballard High School were called something else, perhaps there wouldn’t be such a sense of entitlement.

This Seattle Times article references a quote from 1907, when Lincoln was built, saying the hour-long commute from Queen Anne was an “extraordinary proposition.”

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/lincoln-high-school-in-1920/

I can understand why families with students who might end up at Lincoln are still concerned about the commute 110 years later.

Queen Anne to BHS and Lincoln are roughly equidistant. Magnolia to BHS and Lincoln are not. Magnolia to Lincoln is a much longer commute than to BHS. This is a legitimate concern.

I agree
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I agree

I agree with RIGHT THE WRONG and PARPAILLOU.

The current Task Force recommendation is Scenario Hv2, which has North Ballard students attending Ballard High School.

This article is incorrect. The Task Force’s recommendation has not changed.

Old Ballard F@rt
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Old Ballard F@rt

“I take issue with the “North Ballard” (is that a real place?)”

It’s not.

Maybe Magnolia parents should start calling the North Beach and Blue Ridge neighborhoods “South Ingraham”

Truth
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Truth

@Right the Wrong:

Mea culpa. I did not glean that there was a reasonable alternative that was put forth and rejected. Digging through the SPS link clearly details the actual case.

Not Truthful
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Not Truthful

The Task Force has not rejected Scenario Hv2.

It remains the recommended scenario.

Old Beave
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Old Beave

Olympic Manor, North Beach and Blue Ridge were never called North Ballard but their kids all went to Ballard High School for severalgenerations. Magnolia had a high school, too. It was Queen Anne High School. It closed the same year as Lincoln – 1981. To say Magnolia kids have more of a “right” to BHS than those north of 85th is a bit bizarre…….

Status Quo
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Status Quo

@Old Beave:

I don’t think anyone has said Magnolia students have more of a “right” to attend BHS than students north of 85th.

I understand Magnolia’s main concern is the transportation situation between Magnolia and Lincoln. That seems like a real concern.

“North Ballard” students have attended Ingraham for some time. Maintaining the status quo for them and Magnolia students seems reasonable until and unless there is a downtown high School or one at Fort Lawton.

WalkToSchool
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WalkToSchool

Drive past Ballard to get to Lincoln from Magnolia? You need a new mapping program. You don’t have to go to 65th to get back to 45th. Lincoln is not closer to Magnolia than Ballard, but Ballard is not exactly a walk in the park to get to from Magnolia either. It is not like you can walk to Ballard and are instead being asked to go further away. It is a trek either way, is it not? I frankly still have not heard a rationale argument why a kid who can walk to BHS cannot go to BHS in favor of a kid who is 4 miles away….whether that’s Magnolia or anywhere else. I understand it is not the fault of Magnolia that SPS lacked foresight and didn’t keep a high school closer to them. When there were no other viable options other than Franklin, I understood that and could even rationalize 85th back then. However, in my opinion, now there is a viable option in Lincoln so the boundaries should be put back. Saving Mag from going 5 miles to Lincoln to 4 miles to Ballard so someone who is a mile from Ballard to have to go… Read more »