Tag Archives: cleveland hs

Beacon Bits: Potholes, parents, and all-you-can-eat pancakes

Walking and driving have been treacherous during our recent cold snap, particularly in places like this 14th Avenue location where there seems to be some kind of water leak. Photo by Robert Kangas in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr.
The Friends of Cheasty Greenspace at Mt. View, together with Cascade Land Conservancy and Washington Conservation Corps, are co-hosting a Martin Luther King Jr. service day on Monday, January 17 from 10:00 am to 12 noon. All are welcome to help, including families with children (it’s a school holiday). To participate, meet at 2809 South Alaska Place, one block west of Columbia City Station. Volunteers will work on forest restoration and invasive species removal. Gloves and tools will be provided.

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Mmmmm, pancakes. MMMMMMMMmmm, all-you-can-eat pancakes for $5! The Cleveland High School softball team is hosting a pancake fundraiser on Saturday, January 9 from 9:00 – 11:00 am. Breakfast is served at the Cleveland cafeteria, the same building where the gym is located. Questions? Email Kyrsten at klpratt@seattleschools.org.

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We previously mentioned that Gage Academy of Art is offering free drop-in art classes for teens aged 13-18 in the Rainier Valley. We have more information about the classes now. January’s classes are “Imaginative Plaster Forms” with Katrina Wolfe, February’s are “Cut It Out” (cut paper in two and three dimensions) with Celeste Cooning, and March features “Explorations in Paint” with Jeanne Dodds.

Classes are on Saturdays at The 2100 Building, 2100 24th Avenue South. Classes will be from 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm. For more information, call 206-323-GAGE. Art materials and pizza will be provided.

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There is a new Yahoo group/listserv for Beacon Hill parents. Go here to join and chat with your fellow parents in the neighborhood.

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BHB contributor Joel Lee’s blog, BeHi Bonsai, was featured in The Seattle Times (BHB news partners) a few days ago:

“‘You can’t drive down a block on Beacon Hill without seeing them,’ says Joel Lee of the plant sculptures he refers to as bonsai on his popular neighborhood blog. Lee moved to the area a couple of years ago, drawn by the promise of light rail and the Jefferson Park expansion. But as soon as he started walking his dog around the neighborhood, he became fascinated by the display of sheared and shaped plants.”

Unfortunately, author Valerie Easton seemed a bit put off by the Hill’s topiary art.

The Times is also hosting a “map the potholes” project. There are a few Beacon Hill potholes already included, such as the “giant holes heading west on Holgate at approx 14th” (we hit that one a couple of weeks ago—ouch!), but if your most annoying tooth-rattler isn’t listed, please add it.

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There’s a yoga and EFT Workshop, “Rejuvenate your Energy in 2011,” this Saturday, January 8 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Jun Hong Kung Fu and Sports Association, 4878 Beacon Avenue South. Find out more and register for class on the event website.

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Neighbor Robert Kangas has noted some extreme water leakage along 14th Avenue South, west of Jefferson Park. The leaks caused some dangerous ice patches. He posted a series of photos here. In discussion on the Beacon Hill mailing list last week, some folks noted a history of artesian wells on the Hill, and suggested that these are the source of some of the leaks around the neighborhood. Others think it’s a leaky water main.

If you notice a potential water leak on public or private property, you can report it by calling 206-386-1800, and Seattle Public Utilities will then check it out.

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The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods is hosting three free workshops to educate neighborhood groups and community organizations on the funding process and requirements for the Large Projects Fund, the matching fund that awards up to $100,000 for community projects. Next Tuesday, January 11, there’s a workshop in Southeast Seattle, at the Rainier Community Center, 4600 38th Avenue South. The workshop is from 6:00-8:00 pm. More information about the Large Projects Fund and the three workshops may be found here.

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Sustainable South Seattle is hosting the third of a workshop series dedicated towards creating a climate co-op for South Seattle neighborhoods. The event is Wednesday, January 26 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the Southside Commons, 3518 South Edmunds Street. Food, refreshments, and childcare will be provided. Please RSVP by emailing climate.coop@gmail.com.

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A new co-ed a cappella group is forming on Beacon Hill, with auditions this month according to a current post on craigslist.org:

We are looking for:
Men and women who are positive, fun and excited about performing and singing harmony. We will possibly be doing 1 to 2 gigs per month starting in the Spring.

We want to be:
16 in total. (We have 10 right now) Put together performances that are tight musically, visually and are funny and entertaining to most people. You don’t have to dance or want to make a fool of yourself, but it is a bonus. Diverse in anyway possible—age, race, musical background, sexuality…

See the ad for more info.

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A couple of changes to liquor licenses on the Hill occurred last month. The Station coffee house at 2533 16th Avenue South was approved for a license as a “direct shipment receiver – in WA only.” But every new beginning is some other beginning’s end: on the same day, the liquor license for the ill-fated Tasha’s Bistro Café was discontinued.

Beacon Bits: Bazaar, barista, and a giant teepee

Victrola is looking for a "Barista w/BeaHill love & skills." Is that you? Photo by Wendi.
Beacon Hill International School is hosting their annual Beacon Bazaar on Saturday, June 12 from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, on the 14th Avenue South sidewalk in front of the school. If you would like to rent a table to sell items, you can find a registration form at the above link.

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Also in Beacon Hill International School news, two members of the school’s Chess Club competed in the 2010 Washington State Elementary Chess Championships on April 24 in Tacoma. Congratulations to first-grader Jay Zinschlag and fourth-grader Paul Wickward who each won two of five games in their tournament.

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Victrola recently posted a help wanted ad for a barista, and said “interests in coffee processing, roasting and cupping and the BeaHill/SouthSeattle area are important.” Know your way around an espresso machine and Beacon Hill? See the ad for more info.

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The Seattle school district has been awarded grants totaling $5.76 million over three years for three schools under the School Improvement Grant program, including Cleveland High School on Beacon Hill. The three-year grants, awarded by the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) with funding from the federal stimulus package, will support school improvement plans at Cleveland as well as at Hawthorne and West Seattle elementary schools.

The additional resources will be used to support the transformation of Cleveland High School into a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) school.

Here is a fact sheet about Cleveland’s plan.

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Joaquin Uy writes, “A few of us were wondering what happened to the giant teepee that used to be seen driving down McClellan. I believe there were protest signs by the teepee too.” Anyone know?

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Franklin High School is taking it to the streets for the Franklin Arts Festival on Saturday, May 15 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm in front of Franklin High School, 3013 South Mount Baker Boulevard. There will be music by the Nyamuziwa Marimba Ensemble. Franklin’s Marching Band, Lion Dancers, and other talented student groups will be there too, and there will be displays of the visual arts and crafts including ceramics, drawing, woodworking and painting. The event is free.

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The City of Seattle Office of City Auditor is conducting a review of the City’s response to graffiti, and has set up a questionnaire to help gather information from individuals, businesses, and organizations about how graffiti affects them.

The questionnaire is here. The deadline to complete it is May 10.

Beacon Bits: Cleveland Eagles championship edition

Go Eagles! Photo by Tambako the Jaguar, via Creative Commons.
We have been remiss in not mentioning that Beacon Hill’s own Cleveland High School won the girls’ basketball state championship on Saturday night, beating Holy Names by a score of 47-44 in the Class 3A final and ending the Cougars’ 19-game win streak. Not only is this Cleveland’s first state title, but two years ago the team finished 3-16. Congratulations Eagles!

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In other Cleveland High School news, the school, which was recently named one of the state’s lowest-performing, will be starting their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) option program this fall. But the $800,000 contract with the New Technology Network to help phase in the program is being revised from the version approved by the School Board last month. The Seattle Times (BHB news partner) explains the delay here.

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Willie Weir finds that the new Google Maps Bike Route option is, sadly, “not ready for prime time,” sometimes sending cyclists on dangerous routes like Rainier Avenue South.

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Overheard on Twitter recently, from @danaeK: “Bars in Beacon Hill and Lake City have more in common than one might expect.”

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Yesterday’s hot topic on the Beacon Hill Mailing List was the search for a good local vet. Anyone have any good suggestions for vets in the Beacon Hill/Rainier Valley area?

Also on the mailing list: the local canines seem to have spring fever. There have been two reports of dogs running loose in the last couple of days. The first, reported by Alex, was “an unattended mid sized beagle looking dog running freely west on Stevens St. toward 23rd avenue… it seemed a bit skittish and was enjoying freedom and kept going before I could get to it.”

Yesterday neighbor Francine reported “an adorable little black dog west up Columbian Way toward the Beacon Avenue… She/he crossed the BUSY Columbian and I tried to coax her in my car, but no luck. She tore off again.” We hope that both of these dogs have returned home safely.

Cleveland changes apparent at STEM open house

Charlie Mas (a Beacon Hill neighbor) attended the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) option program open house at Cleveland High School on Saturday, and has posted his experience there at the Seattle Public Schools community blog.

He discusses the potential changes in the student demographics and some of the challenges the STEM students may face, including budget cuts, transportation issues, and a staff that will probably need to adjust to the school’s changes themselves. According to Mas, staff members at the open house at times seemed unprepared for the possibility that many of the STEM students will be working at or beyond grade level and will want to take advanced courses in subjects such as world languages.

However, Mas also describes what he sees as positive aspects of this new program on Beacon Hill:

“My daughter is looking for a small school, and I am convinced that STEM will be small. She is looking for project-based learning and they are definitely going to have that. She wants to escape the ‘Discovery’ math, and it looks like STEM will offer an escape from it. She is looking for a lot of science, and oh boy will she have that.”

The Seattle Times (BHB partners) also reported about STEM yesterday, focusing on concerns about budget issues and whether the District will be able to support the program.

To set up the STEM program, the District may spend $800,000 for curriculum and training from the New Technology Network, a network of schools with a STEM focus. Some, including School Board President Michael DeBell, are not certain this expenditure is necessary in a time of tight budgets.

The Times quotes Cleveland principal Princess Shareef, who feels the New Technology Network support is vital: “If we want to do this correctly, we’re going to need the professional development that the New Technology Network affords. I hope, hope, hope that the board approves it.”

Starting in Fall 2010, Cleveland will not be a neighborhood “comprehensive” high school, but instead an “option” school, open to everyone in the District. The STEM program will be phased in for freshmen and sophomores in the classes of 2013 and 2014, while juniors and seniors will be enrolled in a College Readiness Academy.

Beacon Bits: cerveza, soccer, and STEM

Now customers at El Quetzal can have beer with dinner. Photo by Jason.
El Quetzal, 3209 Beacon Avenue South, has been approved for a liquor license in the category “Restaurant – beer.” Now you can have a cerveza with your torta.

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Seattle Soccer Club members are looking for players to join them for a pick-up soccer game at the old Van Asselt Elementary School tomorrow, Saturday, January 23, at noon. (If the field is occupied, they’ll move across the street to the Van Asselt Community Center.) Players of all levels are welcome. Details are on their Meetup page.

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The South Seattle Beacon discusses Cleveland High School’s new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) option program that will open this fall. In the article, principal Princess Shareef expresses some worry that Beacon Hill families near Cleveland might not take advantage of the STEM program’s availability: “The teachers and families want it to remain diverse, but when we have community meetings, families from our community haven’t been showing up… I want the Beacon Hill community to understand what is going to be happening here and for them to consider having their kids be students here.” Cleveland is hosting an open house for the STEM program tomorrow, January 23, from 10:00 am – noon, at 5511 15th Avenue South. (via Seattle Public Schools community blog)

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Urban farmer (and MacArthur Genius Fellow) Will Allen is visiting Seattle on February 3 for a series of events promoting urban farming to help Seattle residents gain access to healthy food.

At 7:00 pm he’ll be at Mercer Middle School for “Inside the Urban Farmer’s Studio,” a free, community-wide discussion about food, urban farming, and food policy.

You can find out more about Allen and the February 3 events at the Delridge Grassroots Leadership website.

Education roundup: Open houses and more

Photo by Doug Wilson.
The STEM Open House and recruiting fair is happening at Cleveland High School on Saturday, January 23rd from 10am to noon. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and is a curriculum with where students may choose from two academies: Life Science and Global Health or Engineering and Technology. See the PDF flyer. More information on the program at seattleschools.org.

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Jerrod Gonzales, the Director of Childcare at Jefferson Community Center, shares:

[O]ur After-School program was lucky enough to receive a $3,000 grant from School’s Out Washington for quality improvement. We are very excited for the opportunity to add new reading and homework materials to our site to help our kids succeed!

The community center currently has openings in their after-school program — contact Jerrod if you’d like more information.

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Romina Rivera, Volunteer Coordinator for Youth Programs for Neighborhood House, writes:

WANTED: Mentors for Middle School Students

January is National Mentoring Month. To celebrate, Neighborhood House is launching the Recruit-A-Mentor Challenge. We’re trying to double the number of our CASASTART volunteer mentors for our middle school students.

Mentors are an important component of CASASTART. Each month, mentors join our students in various activities during after-school hours. These activities range from educational to simply hanging out. By being present each month, mentors become positive adult role models to our students which they may not otherwise have if it were not for the CASASTART program. The time commitment is two hours per month with the students plus some planning time with the other mentors. We ask that mentors commit at least six months to the program.

If you (or anyone you know) are interested in becoming a mentor, please e-mail RominaR@nhwa.org for more information on how to get started as a mentor.

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Lissa Munger, a teacher at Van Asselt Elementary, writes concerning an Open House there on Thursday, January 28th from 6:30-8:30pm:

We want to welcome community members, not just current Van Asselt families. At the open house, neighbors can:

  • Learn more about the Student Assignment Plan
  • Find out which schools your family is assigned to
  • See our facilities
  • Meet current Van Asselt staff and families (and district officials)
  • Hear about Van Asselt’s programs
  • Participate in a parent meeting

Please plan to join us!

School Board approves new student assignment plan; Cleveland to be science option school?

The Seattle School Board voted this week to approve final recommendations for a new student assignment plan. Under the new plan, students will have initial school assignments based on their home address. They will still have the option to apply to other schools, and open choice seats will be available at all high schools.

Assignment area boundaries have not yet been defined; the assignment maps will be made available for public comment this fall.

A separate motion relevant to Beacon Hill proposed that Cleveland High School be designated as an “option school” under the new assignment plan. Cleveland’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) program would then be open to applications from students throughout the District. According to the District, STEM high schools “offer a four-year course of study with a focus on preparing students for academing and professional futures in science, technology, engineering and math.”

Since a STEM school would not necessarily be the right choice for all students living in the Cleveland attendance area, designating it as an Option would allow these students to have a comprehensive attendance-area high school option while still having access to Cleveland’s STEM program if they wish.

The Board is scheduled to vote on the Cleveland motion on July 1.

Celebration of pedestrian improvements near Cleveland HS, March 27

The area just south of Cleveland High School on Swift Avenue South is notoriously pedestrian-unfriendly to students and others walking there. Fortunately, there are improvements coming to the area.

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is completing a sidewalk improvement at the Metro bus stop on Swift Avenue South at 19th Avenue South. This will widen the 3-foot wide sidewalk to 9-feet wide at the bus stop. This sidewalk widening is part of a larger project that also includes a new lighted bus shelter, a new southbound bike lane, guardrail improvements, new school zone signs, and approximately 270 street trees in the neighborhood around Cleveland.

To celebrate these improvements, SDOT is hosting an event
next Friday, March 27 at 1:00 pm at the corner of South Orcas Street and 16th Avenue South. Grace Crunican, the Director of SDOT, will join approximately 30 school children from nearby Maple Elementary School to plant approximately 30 trees on South Orcas Street. The Mayor may possibly attend as well.

Thanks to Steve Louie for the information!

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Beacon Bits: Transit, tiles, eagles, and an Eagle sports legend

This eagle's in the Arboretum, but maybe one will visit the Hill. Photo by Steve Voght.
This eagle's in the Arboretum, but maybe one will visit the Hill. Photo by Steve Voght.

No comprehensive high schools to close this year

Seattle Schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson stated at a school board meeting last night that closure of Seattle’s comprehensive high schools is now off the table for this year, as are mergers such as the previously suggested options to merge Aki Kurose Middle School and the Center School with Rainier Beach High School.

The even earlier proposal to merge Cleveland High School with Rainier Beach had already been rejected.

Goodloe-Johnson did say that closure of one of the traditional high schools might need to happen sometime in the next few years, given the budget woes of the District.

Some high-school-aged students still face closure or relocation of their programs, however; Summit K-12 is currently on the superintendent’s “preferred” list for closure, while NOVA and SBOC are on the list for relocation.

The superintendent’s final recommendations will be announced January 6, and on January 7 there will be a school board meeting at which a motion to close/move schools is planned to be introduced. The District posts news about this process at their Capacity Management website, http://www.seattleschools.org/area/capacity/index.dxml.