Category Archives: Media

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).

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

 

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.