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.
Olympic Hills Principal
Building Leadership Team
Olympic Hills PTA Communications Liasion
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! firstname.lastname@example.org 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!