Give your input on traffic safety around Cedar Park

How would you improve traffic safety?
SDOT is currently gathering community feedback about traffic safety around our current location at Cedar Park. They hope to identify safety problems that face our kids (and their adults) and generate ideas for improvements such as speed controls, new sidewalks, signs, and safer places for families to walk and bike to school. Check out the project website at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/SafeRoutesCedarPark.htm

Here are three ways that you can help inform these decisions:
1. Take a brief survey.  Help us identify traffic safety problems and possible solutions. The survey is available near the main office or online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MYSSRRG

     2. Pinpoint problems on a map. Share your comments on the map across from the main office at the school.
     3. Attend a community open house. Share your opinions with SDOT staff. Thursday October 20. 6:00 – 8:00 PM. Lake City Presbyterian Church (3841 NE 123rd Street).

Questions?  Stephanie Frans   steffeff@gmail.com    206-794-8335

Cedar Park: Racial Equity?

For the last year and a half, the Olympic Hills school community (in interim at Cedar Park) has pushed hard for SPS to revisit the proposed Cedar Park boundary due to major concerns about equity and safety.

Last week, SPS pell_overlay_cpublished its recommendation to the school board’s operations committee, and unfortunately, the proposal addresses capacity, but not equity.  We are very frustrated, and disappointed with the SPS proposal.

The SPS recommendation is especially troubling because a taskforce (including teachers and parents, myself included) met with SPS staff to attempt to use the SPS racial equity “toolkit” to analyze the boundary, yet the final decision making (which did not include teachers or parents) was based on capacity, not equity.

Have a look at the numbers and compare for yourself.

First, the Cedar Park numbers from the current, board-approved boundaries for 2017-18.  Remember, these are the numbers that caused the initial equity concerns that led to community meetings and the taskforce:

  • 38.6% English language learners (ELL)
  • 65.3% free/reduced lunch (FRL)
  • 72.2% historically underserved

Then, the Cedar Park numbers for the proposed amendment.

  • 43.8% English language learners (ELL)
  • 69.0% free/reduced lunch (FRL)
  • 76.2% historically underserved

All along, our community’s desire has been to reduce the concentration of historically underserved students in Cedar Park.  However, because the proposed solution is based on capacity rather than equity, the percentages for all the categories actually increase.

If you have concerns or comments on this recommendation, let the SPS staff know by writing to growthboundaries@seattleschools.org and also write to the School Board at schoolboard@seattleschools.org.  The School Board will have the final decision on the boundaries.

There will also be upcoming community meetings where SPS will share these decisions:

  • Sept 28, 6:30pm, Olympic Hills  Meeting (at Cedar Park)
  • Oct 5, 6:30pm, John Rogers Meeting (at John Rogers)

Please come and share your thoughts.


Source: 2016-09-15 Operations Committee Agenda, Appendix C, Cedar Park Racial Equity Analysis Tool, Scenario A (Table 1) & Scenario F (Table 2).

Superintendent Nyland agrees: Cedar Park boundary needs another look

At the June 1 Seattle School Board meeting, SPS Superintendent Dr. Larry Nyland announced the Cedar Park 2017 boundary needs to be reexamined:

We now know there is not enough room at Cedar Park for the students assigned there, so there will be a boundary re-draft.  Dr. Herndon and his staff are working through that process to consider those alternatives.

Dr. Nyland acknowledged concerns about diversity, but did not go into further detail.  Watch his comments at the meeting on YouTube here.
While we still have a lot of work left to do, it’s encouraging to learn the Superintendent is acknowledging the issues affecting our students and community. Thank you to all the teachers, parents, and community members for their advocacy!

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

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!

 

OH staff, parents speak at school board meeting

The OH community is very concerned about the race and equity issues created by the proposed boundaries for the Cedar Park building, scheduled to be open in 2017 as a neighborhood school.

Last night OH staff and families gave public testimony at the Seattle School Board meeting sharing concerns about the proposed boundary for the Cedar Park building.

After the public testimony, the school board directors each have an opportunity to share some comments and/or responses to the public testimony.   During the board comments, directors Peaslee, Peters and Carr all expressed support for addressing the equity concerns we raised.  Hopefully they can bring up the issues with school district staff for discussion soon.

For reference, the maps we presented to the board are included here, as well as the Proposed Board Motion for adjusting the boundaries.

North_End_ELL_with CP (2) CP_boundary_overlay_with_Heat_map (2)

Cedar Park Construction Updates

Here is where you can find some minimal renovation updates about our temporary school site Cedar Park:

http://bex.seattleschools.org/bex-iv/cedar-park/planning/

Once available, blue prints of our temporary location will be posted at Olympic Hills Elementary so parents and students can begin to familiarize themselves with the layout of our temporary site.

Olympic Hills Elementary will move into our temporary location of Cedar Park for 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years.

During that time, our current building will be demolished and a new facility built. We will return to our brand new facility Fall of 2017.