School district proposes overcapacity solutions in West Seattle

As student populations continue to explode, Seattle Public Schools is trying to find ways to accommodate the city’s pupils and relieve overcrowding of schools.

We brought you the report earlier in December about a public meeting where the district laid out the options they are considering and heard back from the community. From elementary to high school, West Seattle is constantly part of the overcrowding conversation.

In the aftermath of that meeting, a school board work session was held on Dec. 19 to propose “preferred” methods of relieving overcrowding until the district can secure funding for more schools in the future.

From here, the school board will make their final decisions on Jan. 23. As always, comments can be sent to capacity@seattleschools.org.

One of the more controversial options was to move kindergarten-aged kids to an annexed location to make room at West Seattle schools like Schmitz Park and Highland Park. In the followup recommendations, that option is not currently being considered.

Here are the latest recommended overcrowding solutions for West Seattle:

Note: “Repurpose PCP” is an overcrowding solution option listed below. Thomas Redman with SPS explains, “By contract, K-5 homeroom/General Ed teachers get Preparation-Conference-Planning (PCP) time to themselves during the week for curriculum planning, conferences etc. During this time their students leave the classroom for a supplemental activity; music, art, gym etc . ‘PCP space’ is the classrooms/space used to support these supplemental activities. If the space is re-purposed as a homeroom the PCP teacher must ‘roam’ and does not have a dedicated classroom/space.”

Elementary schools

Arbor Heights – Transition unused space into a homeroom and repurpose PCP

Highland Park – Repurpose PCP

West Seattle – Place one or two portable classrooms on site

Pathfinder – Place one portable classroom on site

Schmitz Park – Place one or two double portables on site

One final note for the future, the Facilities and Capacity Management Advisory Committee is considering moving the K-5 STEM School (currently at the annex Boren building on Delridge) to the old E.C. Hughes Elementary School Building at 7740 34th Ave S.W. Westside School, a preschool through 8th grade private option, is the current tenant.

Middle School

Denny International – Place two double portable classrooms on site and reduce the number of choice assignments (meaning less students outside the geographical area will be accepted)

High School

Chief Sealth International – Instead of placing portables on site, they hope to reduce the number of open choice seats (just like Denny above)

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