Seattle School Board OK’s Madrona Neighborhood Boundary Changes

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We wrote about the proposed Madrona neighborhood school boundary changes back in September and as of last week, these boundary changes were accepted by the Seattle School board. According to the Seattle Times, the board also unanimously voted on a plan for reevaluating the school boundaries over the course oft he next 5 years to fill the schools that are currently being renovated, or in construction, including another middle school that is in the North, and one in Capitol Hill. If you’d like further details on the school boundary changes and how they might affect your child, you can find the extensive article in the Seattle Times.

NAACP Run Your Race September 21st

raceThe second annual NAACP Run Your Race will take place on Saturday, September 21st in Judkins Park from 8:30am to 4:30pm. It will include an education fair and 5k run. The event will raise money for three Seattle middle schools and promote healthy living and educational excellence in Seattle’s communities of color. Admission to the fair is free and open to the public. There is a $30 registration fee for adults and $15 for students who wish to participate in the 5k run.

Update on School Zone Speed Cameras

Earlier this week we blogged about the new School-Zone Speed Cameras. According to the Seattle Times, there were over 6,000 speeders since November 1st when the cameras went live. Mayor Mike McGinn was surprised by these numbers. Because there were so many speeders, the warning-citation period that was supposed to end THIS WEEK, has now been extended to Monday, December 10. From that day forward any vehicle caught driving faster than 20 MPH in those school zones when lights are flashing, they will expect to receive a $189 ticket in the mail!According to the Seattle Times and McGinn, if drivers continue to exceed the speed limit in the numbers they did in November, the city could expect to collect between $2-4 million in ticket revenue each year! Although McGinn said, “Our goal is not to write tickets, it’s to reduce speed.”

So drivers, SLOW DOWN! Any day after Monday December 10th, if caught speeding in those school zones, you WILL be ticketed!

For more information and to read the full article from the Seattle Times, visit their website!

Slow Down or Pay $189

Seattle Schools

Photo Courtesy of Seattle Times

If you missed the article in the Seattle Times the other day, pay attention because it could cost you $189.  The City of Seattle is adding new cameras to snap pictures of school-zone speeders near four schools. The cameras, at least for the time being, will only be used to catch speeders when the school-zone beacons are flashing for motorist to slow to 20 MPH.  If they catch you, the ticket will automatically be mailed to the register owner of the car.

While there are cameras by four Seattle schools, the only one close to Madrona, Leschi, and Mt. Baker is Thurgood Marshall Elementary located in Judkins.  Thurgood Marshall is just off of Martin Luther King Jr. Way as it goes over the I-90 tunnel so anyone driving along Martin Luther King Jr. Way in that area during school hours better slow down or smile because you’re on Candid Camera.

A Look Inside Seattle’s Girl’s School

The Seattle’s Girl’s School is a 5th through 8th grade middle school in the Central area, designed to empower young girls to develop leadership skills through a challenging academic program. The school enrolls students from 20 different k-5 schools, with students traveling from 26 various zip codes to attend.

According to their website 35% of their students identify themselves as students of color, and a minimum of 30% of students receive need-based financial aid. The school aims to teach young women about democratic decision making, team building, and artistic and physical expression and preparing students for the world at large. The school held an open house this weekend for families curious about admission, and offered a chance to get an inside glimpse of what the school is all about. They’re offering another open house next month on December 4th from 6:00pm-8:00pm, mark your calendars to learn more about the school’s educational system.

What a Joke! Audit Rubber Stamps Seattle School Sale

Seattle Public SchoolsThis is old news and something I have not really commented on in the past, but now that a state audit has just rubber stamped the sale of Martin Luther King Elementary School to the lowest bidder, First African Methodist Episcopal Church (First AME),  this complete and utter bad joke has come up once again.  The audit finds that the Seattle Public Schools followed state law and district policy, but unfortunately the state did not audit for common sense.  At a time when government has no money, they took the lowest bid from a religious group that got their money for the purchase of the school from the state.  So Seattle Public Schools took money from the taxpayers of Washington State and in the process basically gave the former school to a  religious organization.   No complaints about separation of church and state?

What about key players working for the Seattle School District either being fired, charged with felony theft, and/or coming under heavy scrutiny for work related scandals.   Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson was fired early this year over a financial scandal, former Seattle Public Schools official Silas Potter Jr. has just been charged with felony theft for alleging taking $250,000 from the schools, and Potter’s direct supervisor and a member of First AME (who won the bid for the school), Fred Stephens, has come under heavy scrutiny for his management that contributed to the scandal.

The state audit found that there was a valid market-value appraisal of the Martin Luther King School and First AME paid within 90% of that value, that Fred Stephens and his affiliate with First AME had no influence on the decision to pick their bid over the other bids that were up to 4 times as much, and that they had open, public process when making the decision.   My questions are these: If you got an appraisal of your home for $250,000 and someone offers you a $1,000,000 the next day, would you think that appraisal was worth the paper it was printed on?  Do you believe that Fred Stephens affiliation with First AME had ZERO influence on the decision to take a quarter of the money offered by another party?  Are public forums worth anything if the decision has previously been made no matter what the public says?

Yes the state audit is probably right, nothing illegal was done in this transaction that can be documented.  The Seattle Public Schools legally stole money from the taxpayers and there is nothing you can do about it.

Little Known Madrona School: Harvard Avenue School

Madrona SchoolHarvard Avenue School is a Seattle toddler, preschool, and pre-kindergarten school which began on Capitol Hill on, yes you guessed it, Harvard Avenue.  That school still remains on Capitol Hill, but the Harvard Avenue School has expanded to have a toddler program in Madison Park and another location in Madrona on the 1600 block of Martin Luther King.  The Madrona school has preschool and pre-kindergarten classes.   Following is how Harvard Avenue describes itself:

Harvard Avenue School seeks to provide an educational experience that combines loving care with social, emotional, academic, and artistic development.
A carefully balanced and supervised program has been designed for our students. Children experience individualized instruction, group learning experiences, art, dance, french, music, language, math, science, geography, and outdoor play.

Children can attend school two days (Tues/Thurs), three days (Mon/Wed/Fri), or five days (Mon-Fri) a week.  Classes are from 9 am to 1 pm.

Harvard Avenue has the typical school year from September to June, but they also offer summer camps.  Those are also offer two, three, or five days a week and are from 9 am to 1 pm, but unlike the school year they are offered as two week increments.  The camps run June 30 to August 26th.  I believe the camps are offered at both the Capitol Hill and Madrona schools.

Descriptions of each session are below:

Session One: June 30 – July 15 (no camp 7/4 & 7/5)

Camp Theme: Around the World and Our Home Town

We’ll also focus on our own continent and create art projects based on our culture and those that we “visit” during our camp day.  We’ll visit each of the seven continents in these two weeks and learn about the people, animals, and customs that you find there.  We’ll also focus on world music and have a world dance party!

Session Two: July 18 – July 29

Camp Theme: Mini Mad Scientist & Creative Chefs/Baking

It’s the kids’ turn to mix some potions.  . . We’ll be doing lots of experiments this session – working with magnets, floating and sinking, mixing colors and formulas.  We will explore our five senses and have some taste and smell tests that will be lots of fun.  We’ll also do some cooking and baking

The campers will make special baking projects and also create some cool “pretend foods” out of salt dough.  We’ll also use play money to have a bake sale with our creations.  Color mixing and play dough making will also be enjoyed.

Session Three: August 1 – 12

Camp Theme: Box Town, Music Madness & Big Messy Art!

Budding engineers and artists will love this session.   A box can be anything!  Each student is encouraged to bring at least one big and small box to help us create something for our “box town.”  Will they create a house, a store, or a rocket ship?  Can they turn their boxes into musical instruments?  We’ll take inspiration from the book Roxaboxen and have lots of fun!

We’ll  also explore various music styles and explore art through color, shapes, techniques, and form.  We’ll create beautiful works of art with a variety of media.  Splash some paint on some paper Pollack style, and learn from the masters!

Session Four: August 15 – 26

Camp Theme: Space Camp!  Blast off and learn about our galaxy in this fun summer session.  The kids will create jet packs and rockets, solar system  mobiles, and paper mache planets.  Listen at home for your child’s own rollicking rendition of School House Rock’s “Inter Planet Janet” and just wait to see how much your little astronaut will learn!  10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Blast off!

To find out more or to register, contact Harvard Avenue School.