Magnolia Voice Reader Susan was kind enough to send over her notes from Tuesday night’s special PTA meeting at Catharine Blaine regarding capacity. Thanks, Susan!
I attended the Blaine capacity meeting. I believe there is strong support for keeping Blaine a k-8 from the community. People talked about how that is what sets us apart from Lawton, Coe etc.(They)…talked about capacity & how the school district comes up with their numbers talked a lot about how Seattle follows birth rates & assumes a lot of people migrate to the suburbs. With the change in the economy & the housing bubble, he envisions more kids staying in the Seattle schools. The school districts numbers don’t reflect that. However, the district expects to be 5000 kids over enrolled by 2015. At Blaine, we were supposed to have 595 kids and instead have 621 for this year. The school district projects that we’ll grow more for one more year, then have fewer students again in 2 years. Sounds like that’s the big mystery whether or not that will happen.Meanwhile, since we don’t max out our classes (have 23 instead of 28 kids) in K-3, the school district believes Blaine is under enrolled However, we have to keep on adding one more class & teacher each year for the now 4th grade. It sounds like we’ll be getting portables this July 2013 to accommodate the growth.There was some discussion about McClure middle school and how if all the kids in our cluster (including Blaine) went there, it would be over capacity. Historically many Magnolia kids went to private school for middle school and this is changing. It sounded to me like we need to rally together and make a lot of noise so that the school district is aware that we truly value K-8 education.Blaine is about 18 months behind the other schools in our cluster for asking for funds from the school district. We’ll probably need to expand and we need further discussion whether that need can be met with portables or if we need an addition. We missed the deadline for applying for BEX monies. We can still apply for BTA monies (building technology & academics) but it sounds as if they’re not used for additions usually.The next step is forming groups to work on capacity planning and forming our vision for Blaine. People were instructed to contact PTA legislative chair Kara Beckman to sign up for groups. Click here for the Catharine Blaine website.