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Recap of Blaine PTA meeting

November 15th, 2012 · 6 Comments

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.

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  • Bruce Carter

    Thank you!
    !
    It’s great to get this report about the changes at Blaine!!

  • kjonas

    “We missed the deadline for applying for BEX monies.” Was there any explanation as to why this important deadline was missed, if we’re already over capacity? Whose responsibility was it?

  • Clmag

    I know this meeting centered around Blaine, but was there any mention about highschool and how they plan to accommodate the growing numbers with just Ballard High as the public option?

  • magmom

    The school district’s assumptions about growth have been notoriously wrong. Hence closing schools only to re-open them a year or two later at enormous expense. What would drive the entering class size down? They opened Queen Anne Elementary as an almost emergency response to the growth in this cluster. (They interpreted growing classes year after year as an anomoly rather than correctly interpreting it as a trend.) Two years later, QAE has 3 kindergartens, and all of the cluster schools are full to over-crowded. So why would Blaine, all of a sudden, see a smaller incoming class?

    If I were a Blaine parent, I’d dog them on this. Their assumptions, if wrong, will lead to crammed classes and another expensive, gun-to-the head decision, which might be losing grades 6-8, or more and more portables. The only thing protecting you on losing 6-8 is that there is probably not enough room at McClure.

  • sps parent

    Lincoln is slated to be a high school in 2017. Not sure if the plan is to redraw boundaries here or in Ballard, or both, but some Mag/ QA kids will likely go to Lincoln by then.

    How big is the 6-8? McClure is 450 kids, capacity is 600-700 and it’s held almost 1000 back in the day (which isn’t optimal of course)

  • guest

    This recap was originally posted to the Magnolia Moms and Dads yahoo group. If you are a parent in the Magnolia area, search for our group on groups.yahoo.com