The newly released Interim Capacity Management Plan does not meet the needs of thousands of students in North Seattle.
Why reject the Interim Plan?
- Three middle schools: Hamilton, Eckstein, and Whitman are left over capacity, with little relief from overcrowding. Eckstein and Whitman will continue to rely upon many portables for the next two years.
- The Jane Addams building is left with 700 empty seats in 2014-15 and 400 empty seats in 2015-2016.
- The new Jane Addams Middle School (JAMS) would be launched essentially as a small 6th grade academy in its first year, with a combined cohort of 270 students. This is too small to provide a comprehensive middle school experience to either the general education population or the APP students in the building.
- In 2016, Wilson-Pacific is launched as a similarly small (265 student) 6th grade only school. This school, also serving both APP and general education, would not have large enough cohorts to provide a comprehensive middle school experience.
- Disrupting programs (APP, JA K-8, and others) with moves that leave buildings substantially underutilized and does not provide significant capacity relief is not worth the negative impact on those programs.
We understand that the Seattle School District has a serious capacity management problem and compromises need to be made. This includes the use of the John Marshall Building by multiple schools during the interim period. Regardless of what programs are assigned there, we need the District to assure the following items are addressed:
- Air quality – ongoing monitoring and suitable air filtration installed as necessary to provide a healthy school environment.
- Playground – a structure suitable for elementary aged students if they are placed in the building.
- Sports Fields - access to nearby fields for middle school sports teams if they are placed in the building.
We urge the Seattle School Board to reject the newly released Interim Capacity Management Plan. It fails to solve the north Seattle schools overcrowding, while creating significant new problems and, at the same time, introducing unnecessary disruption to multiple programs and thousands of students. The Seattle School District can and must do better.