Lake City Neighborhood Alliance advocates for Olympic Hills and Cedar Park students

On March 10 the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance membership voted overwhelmingly to advocate for our Lake City students by writing a letter to Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Nyland and the Board of Directors. Please see the text of the letter below:

March 22, 2016
Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Larry Nyland
Seattle Public Schools Board of Directors

Dear Dr. Nyland and Board Members, I am writing on behalf of the Lake City Neighborhood Alliance (LCNA), an alliance of organizations with the mission to protect and enhance the quality of life in the greater Lake City area. LCNA is comprised of 27 member groups representing neighborhood, business, faith, school, special-issue, and serviceprovider groups throughout Lake City. Like you, each member organization cares deeply about the education, safety, and well-being of all students in our community. At LCNA’s March 10th meeting, we held a discussion about some of the proposed changes in our neighborhood schools, especially the elementary schools. That discussion raised a number of concerns. Our membership voted overwhelmingly to advocate for the following issues:

1. CAPACITY MANAGEMENT. Adjust boundaries so that enrollment is consistent with building capacity, with a reasonable amount of space set aside to accommodate enrollment growth at all schools. The enrollment numbers that were presented to us implied overcrowding in one school and significant under-enrollment in another.

2. RACIAL, ETHNIC, AND SOCIOECONOMIC EQUITY. Adjust boundaries so that English Language Learners (ELL) and Free/Reduced Lunch (FRL)- qualified students are more evenly-distributed between multiple schools and not concentrated at Olympic Hills Elementary School (ES) and Cedar Park ES. There are two major boundary areas of concern: (a) The “slice” of the Little Brook neighborhood (with high numbers of ELL and FRL students), just west of Lake City Way NE to 30th Avenue NE and between NE 123rd Street and NE 145th Street, would be reassigned from Olympic Hills ES to Cedar Park ES. We strongly support that students in this “slice” continue attending Olympic Hills ES. (b) The southern boundary of the Cedar Park ES attendance area reassigns a significant population of students who qualify for ELL and FRL to Cedar Park ES. Of specific concern are the approximately 70 ELL students now assigned to John Rogers ES, but under the geo-split model, would be reassigned immediately to Cedar Park ES, resulting in the sudden loss of needed support staff at John Rogers ES. We urge you to readjust that boundary so that these students remain at John Rogers ES.

3. WALKABILITY AND SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL. The Cedar Park boundary should not cross major arterials, such as Lake City Way NE (State Route 522!) Page 2 and NE 125th Streets. The walk zone should be drawn at 35th Avenue NE and NE 125th Street.

4. STUDENT REASSIGNMENTS. Using the geo-split model is too disruptive for students. The rollup model has been used for the opening of all new Seattle attendance-area elementary schools since 2010. As part of the roll-up model, allow all elementary school age siblings to attend the same elementary school.

5. IMPROVEMENTS FOR CEDAR PARK ES. In its current state, the Cedar Park ES facility is substandard. Explore the possibility of using Cedar Park ES for something other than an attendance area school. Or, with additional funding, improve the facilities so that it could be a more functional neighborhood school in the future. Thank you for considering our concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Very sincerely,
Sandra Adams Motzer
Chair
sandymotzer@aol.com
206.819.8056

Lake City Future First Conversation on Seattle Public Schools

Lake City Future First is hosting a Community Conversation on Achieving Equity and Excellence in our Public Schools on April 6. The meeting will be at the Lake City Community Center from 5-7pm with free refreshments. Kids and families are encouraged to come! The topic will be Seattle Public Schools.

LCFF is working in collaboration with City Departments and the Mayor’s office to take part in the community conversation schedule that is happening around the city to inform the Mayor’s Education Summit taking place on April 30th.

We hope you can attend! Click here for more information

Reading Partner volunteers needed!

We need about 8 more volunteers to serve all of the students in need of a Reading Partner at Olympic Hills this year. We hope to reach that number as soon as possible so each student can receive as much tutoring as possible before summer. Can you help? Contact sigourney.gundy@readingpartners.org.

Tuesdays:
9:30-10:15 2 tutors needed
12:00-12:45 1 tutor needed
12:50-1:35 1 tutor needed
1:50-2:35 1 tutor needed

Wednesdays
12:00-12:45 1 tutor needed

Thursdays
12:50-1:35 2 tutors needed

OH students learn about Safe Routes to School

Check out this awesome post from the Seattle DOT blog!

Students Learn About the Safe Routes to School Program

Reflectors

On Friday January 29, 2016, 296 students from Cedar Park Elementary (Olympic Hills Interim) learned how to be safe while walking or biking to school. Monica Sweet, an active member of Lake City Greenways, presented the importance of reflectors for visibility at night. One of the parents, Karoliina Kuisma, also joined her.

The demonstration at the school assembly featured Sweet sporting all-black attire with reflectors pinned to the front of her coat. The lights on stage were turned off and as she walked across the stage, the students had difficulty spotting her. Sweet turned to face the audience, as Kuisma used flash photography to illuminate the reflectors. The students were amazed at how bright the reflectors were.

After the presentation, Sweet and Kuisma visited each classroom to deliver packages of reflectors shaped like bicycles, umbrellas, hearts, and otter paw prints (the school’s mascot). This presentation would not have been possible without the help of the Safe Routes to School Mini Grant Program. This program provides up to $1,000 to schools, PTAs, and community groups for education and encouragement programs for walking and biking to school.

We want to thank Monica Sweet and Karoliina Kuisma for educating the students at Cedar Park Elementary (Olympic Hills Interim) about our Safe Routes to School Program and for setting an example for future presentations.

To learn more about our Safe Routes to School Program as well as our mini grant program, visit our website.

Link to blog post here

Safe Routes to School Mapping Meeting 2/8

Safe Routes to School Mapping Meeting
at Olympic Hills Interim & Cedar Park ElementarySRTS 8.5x14

Bring YOUR valuable input for Circulation Plan and Walking School Bus Routes

Parents, Teachers, Students and Neighbors all Welcome!

Location: Cedar Park Elementary School cafeteria
13224 37th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98125
Date: Monday, February 8, 2016
Time: 6:00 to 7:30 PM
Free Food provided by Goodies Mediterranean

This project is funded in part by a Mini Grant award from the City of Seattle, Seattle Department of Transportation and hosted by Lake City Greenways
For more information: CedarParkSRTS@gmail.com and monica.sweet.lac@gmail.com

 

Race, Equity, and OH 2017 Boundaries: Community Meeting on 2/9

COMMUNITY MEETING TO CONFRONT RACE AND EQUITY ISSUES CREATED BY OLYMPIC HILLS ELEMENTARY 2017 BOUNDARY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2016

Olympic Hills Elementary Parent Teacher Association invite media to attend a Seattle Public Schools community meeting to discuss race and equity issues surrounding 2017 boundary changes February 9th, 6:30-7:30pm in the Cedar Park Elementary cafeteria.

The Growth Boundary Plan enacted in 2013 creates inequities and imbalances in the Olympic Hills and Cedar Park attendance areas for 2017-2018 when the new Olympic Hills building opens. This meeting offers an opportunity to address the following issues:

  • Significant over-enrollment at Cedar Park: CP is overcrowded at 300 students; the district anticipates 375 students assigned to Cedar Park in 2017.
  • Significant under-enrollment at Olympic Hills: the district anticipates only 214 students at Olympic Hills, built for 600+, in 2017.
  • The boundaries as drawn create an ultra-high-poverty school with a reasonable prediction of 90% of students receiving free and reduced-price lunch. When population heat maps superimposed over district-adopted 2017-2018 boundaries are reviewed it is clear that almost every student receiving English Language Learner services in the Lake City area is reassigned to Cedar Park for 2017-2018. While English Language Learner services are not a proxy for free or reduced-price lunch, there is a high correlation in our community, nearly 1:1.
  • The new Olympic Hills will house a health center for families living in poverty, small-group spaces for supports for our English learners, a kitchen space dedicated to families and community members, a large counseling area, and many other features specifically designed to support our school’s community. Every year just under 80% of our students receive free or reduced-priced lunch, over a third receive English Language Learner services, and approximately 20% typically receive special education services. The boundaries as drawn separate the new building from the population it was designed to serve.

This skewed enrollment will overwhelmingly impact our minority and high-poverty students, a violation of district policy as well as Seattle Public Schools best practice.

CONTACT

Helen Joung
Olympic Hills Principal
206-252-4300

Kevin Hilman
Building Leadership Team
206-388-2473

Maggie Cheung
Olympic Hills PTA Communications Liasion
206-619-4285

North_End_ELL_with CP

 

Community Meeting 2/9 – We Need You!

The Olympic Hills community has the opportunity to have a face to face conversation with Seattle Public Schools staff about the boundary issues for 2017 and we need you to be there! Please come to the school cafeteria on FEBRUARY 9 from 6:30 to 7:30PM to give your feedback. This meeting will give families an opportunity to voice their concerns and let the district office know that all of our students deserve the best learning environment. Please come!

For background information, data, and maps on this issue, check out this previous post. Have questions? Email us! olympichillspta@gmail.com or call the school at 206-252-4300. If you’re wondering how you can advocate for our kids, the BEST thing you can do right now is attend the February 9 meeting to show your support. THANK YOU!

 

KING5 news covers coding camp

Over the winter school break, the PTA partnered to offer a FREE computer coding camp, and KING5 news covered it.  Watch the video and read the full story on KING5 (video starts with an advertisement).

Special thanks to Creative Coding 4 Kids who are running the camps, and the sponsor of the event, UW Alumni Katherine A. Hitchcock, whose recently released memoir, Atypical Girl Geek, describes her career as a programmer.

Buy a t-shirt! Show your support for Olympic Hills Elementary

 

It’s Olympic Hills T-shirt Time!
Es hora de que Olympic Hills camisetas!

When: ASAP! This order form and payment is due by Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Cuando: lo antes posible! Este formulario de pedido y el pago se debe martes, 15 de diciembre.

Cost: $5 per t-shirt, $7 per XXL Shirt, $18 per Sweatshirt, not available in XXL
sudaderas estan disponibles en tamaños para adultos y de los niños, no esta disponible en XXL

PAYMENT: Please submit cash or check written to Olympic Hills PTA with this order form,
Por favor, envíe efectivo o cheque escrito a Olympic Hills PTA con esta forma de orden.

***OHE PTA breaks even on the t-shirts offered to our families. If you are a community member, please consider adding a $5.00 donation to your order to support Olympic Hills PTA.

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