The Seattle Public School District has drafted potential attendance boundary changes for elementary and middle schools, including some in the Beacon Hill area. For example, some students from Northeast Beacon Hill who previously would have been assigned to Beacon Hill International School will now be assigned to Thurgood Marshall in the Central District when the new boundaries come into effect in 2014. You can see the new maps here.
The District is hosting a series of community meetings to discuss the changes before the final proposal is introduced at the October 16 school board meeting. Asa Mercer Middle School is hosting the meeting for our area on Monday night, September 23 from 6:30-8 p.m.
Mercer Middle School is located at 1600 South Columbian Way. The meeting is in the lunchroom, and there will be Spanish, Somali, Vietnamese and Tagalog interpreters on hand.
4 thoughts on “Discuss Seattle Public Schools boundary changes at Mercer 9/23”
Are Seattle Schools’ boundary changes going to affect your family? Discuss at Monday’s community meeting. http://t.co/zMZZICzMeY
Absolutely. There is a whole area of north beacon hill located south of McClellan between Beacon, I-5, and Spokane that gets reassigned to Maple. This area is within the walking radius of the light rail station (a key factor for our one car family) and located within the Seattle public schools walking zones of both Beacon Elementary and Kimball Elementary, yet its getting reassigned to a school 1.2 miles to the South on a route that hasn’t been emphasized by any of the pedestrian and biking improvements.
Having a school close enough to allow a child the opportunity to walk/ride a bike to instills a strong sense of place, accomplishment, independence and pride. I was able to walk to school as a child and the lessons learned both from walking with my parents and then being allowed to walk alone have stayed with me. Indeed that twice daily walk is still one of my most positive memories of my early education. I would hate to see the opportunity disappear just as my son is starting his educational experience. The proposed boundary changes will be denying him a sense of place and ownership over his education and his community.
There is a survey that can be filled out to outline problem areas in the new boundaries, the obvious ones for north Beacon Hill are crossings of Columbian Way and Spokane for the proposed Maple section and crossing Rainier for the Thurgood Marshall section.
I think the only safe way to cross Columbian Way to get to Maple is to detour to Beacon Ave and then use the crosswalk across Columbian on Snoqualmie? It rounds the distance up to about 2 miles. Spokane & 15th has that crosswalk-free slip-through for cars going east on Spokane and then would have to cross Columbian Way and 15th further south. Going down to the I-5 on-ramp Spokane crossing requires ridiculous amounts of hill descent followed immediately by having to climb back up to the level of Maple, and it seems like cars about to get on the highway have much less concern for pedestrians.
Why didn’t they let Kimball keep that section of north Beacon Hill and simply give Maple some or all of the Kimball students south of Alaska? They’re closer to Maple than Kimball.
As dumb as the Maple re-assignment is at least there is a sizable concentration of people who live near each other that are all in the same boat- with the Thurgood Marshall section they have a few streets worth of houses between 21st and 23rd between McClellan and College (that are half a mile from Kimball) that would have to cross Rainier- the six-way 23rd Ave intersection is awful and there is only a single sidewalk on 23rd leading to it, I think the safest route is going down the very steep hill on McClellan (which only has a sidewalk on the south side of the street, which adds additional busy street crossings) and then turning north at MLK. Anyone north of College is face with crossing blocks of side-walk free light industrial parking lots. The crossing at Massachusetts is probably better than 23rd- but again there are all those cars backed up to get on I-90 and lessened regard for pedestrians.
And then they have that strange peninsula of novel Kimball boundary that is further from Kimball than the new Thurgood Marshall section to the east. If they need simplicity, why not a straight line? Make the boundary Lander or College or inbetween. Or actually follow some more complex contour of walkability between Kimball and BHIS that balances attendance goals also- I understand there needs to be a line somewhere, but it should be a line that makes sense, and doesn’t carve up the north Beacon Hill into four elementary schools instead of two, and doesn’t send kids across dangerous streets.
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