A map of proposed middle school boundaries in West Seattle presented by Seattle Public Schools on Sept. 17.

SPS's Growth Boundary draft presents a (possible) future for West Seattle schools

From K-5 STEM to Schmitz Park Elementary: SPS’s draft for the future
Seattle Public Schools (SPS) released their Growth Boundaries draft on Sept. 17, and it includes several points of interest for West Seattle students and parents over the next several years.

Starting with STEM (an option school focusing on the disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math), Seattle Schools proposed keeping the K-5 STEM school at the Boren building in Delridge, eventually making it a kindergarten through 8th grade program. The timeline for expansion to 8th grade is proposed to occur in increments, with 6th grade coming in 2015-16, 7th in 2016-17, and finally 8th in the 2017-18 school year.

SPS had indicated earlier they were thinking of moving K-5 STEM to the Schmitz Park Elementary building. In recent weeks both the STEM PTA and North Delridge Neighborhood Association wrote to SPS asking them to consider keeping the school at Boren or moving it to the currently-in-renovation Fairmount Park Elementary building.

As for the Schmitz Park building, SPS is proposing turning it into an “early learning center.” Current Schmitz Park students and staff will be moving to a new school at the old Genesee Hill site in 2015-2016.

Fairmount Park is expected to become an attendance area elementary school when it reopens after renovations in 2014, according to draft preferences.

While a new Arbor Heights school is being built (they hope to have it done by 2016), AH students may end up learning at the Boren building on Delridge along with K-5 STEM students from 2014 – 2016.

Boren has, since the 80s, been an interim/emergency site for SPS. If it becomes the permanent home of K-5 (eventually K-8) STEM, they propose turning the current E.C. Hughes building into their new southwest region interim/emergency site starting next year. Hughes is currently home to the private Westside School, but they are planning a move to an old church at 10404 34th Ave. S.W., near Arbor Heights Elementary, in the coming year.

As for how boundaries will dictate which middle school West Seattle students attend, the draft suggests as follows:

Madison Middle School
Schmitz Park at Genesee Hill
Fairmount Park

Denny Middle School
West Seattle
Arbor Heights
Highland Park

A community meeting on all of these proposed changes will occur in West Seattle on Sept. 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the West Seattle High School Commons (3000 California Ave. S.W.). Somali, Spanish and Vietnamese interpreters will be there.

Questions and comments can be sent to GrowthBoundaries@seattleschools.org.

After hearing from the community, recommendations will be introduced to the school board on Oct. 16 and they will vote on the plan Nov. 20.

For more information (including the draft and more detailed maps), please visit Seattle Public Schools website.

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