QAE Parents and Community members,
This is an update from the SPS community meeting on November 15th to discuss the New Student Assignment Plan and its impact on Seattle schools, including QAE.
There were 12 people from QAE at the meeting. Thank you for all who attended! I'd say there were over 200 total attendees there, most of whom were there to talk about the Garfield APP/overcrowding issue.
The meeting started with a presentation from the district about the current issues with the Student Assignment Plan. The two issues from the presentation that impacted QAE the most were 1) enrollment at new schools and 2) the proposed geographic zones. Following the presentation, there was a brief period of time for attendees to make statements/ask questions of the entire group. Then we broke into smaller discussion groups to talk about issues important to our table (in this case, QAE) for a report back to the larger group.
At the QAE table, we discussed our specific issues. Here is what was reported back to the larger group/district personnel at the meeting:
1. Enrollment for QAE in 2011-2012 needs to be managed at the grade level, not the total school level so SPS doesn't keep accepting students and we end up with very full class sizes as happened this year. So if we have enough students to fill two kindergartens next year, and then more sign up, a waitlist will be formed for that grade level. We also requested that the district adhere to the standard definition of a kindergarten class size of 23 - especially since the classrooms are physically quite small at our permanent building on at Boston and 4th North.
2. The geographic zone seems small - we asked to know more about why it was drawn this way as QAE is meant to address crowding at all QA/Magnolia schools, not just John Hay as the zone seems to be drawn around at this time.
It was important to district staff to see the large % of QAE parents at the meeting and to register our feedback in this way. Next steps are that I will also write a letter to the appropriate district staff and Michael DeBell, our SPS Board rep, with the same input regarding enrollment and the geographic zone.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions you may have on this topic!
Have a great Thanksgiving Holiday.
QAE PTSA President