New school boundaries upsets parents

SEATTLE — Parents in the Wedgwood neighborhood are up in arms after the Seattle School District released another attendance boundary map.

Some parents said they feel completely blindsided by the new plan. The new boundary would mean kids living on one side of the street will go to Eckstein Middle School, but kids living on the opposite side of the street will have to attend a different school 2 miles away.

eckstein“It does make you scratch your head,” Debbie Vaughn said. “People move into this neighborhood in order to go to these schools. It’s a wonderful neighborhood. We are a community and kids like walking to school. To just cut that line is pretty startling.”

Vaughn lives a few blocks from Eckstein Middle School and worries her son won’t be able to take the same elective classes if he has to go somewhere else.

“It’s illogical and that’s the frustrating part right now,” she said.

The school district said it is trying to accommodate increased enrollment and new school construction. The proposed changes are also concerning to some parents who worry the district isn’t focused on keeping students together.

“I’m not really wanting to send him off to a new school for 8th grade, then a whole other new school for high school,” Vaughn said.

“They came out with an 11th hour (proposal), what feels like a bait and switch on their proposal on where kids will be going to school,” Terri Green, president of the Wedgwood Parent Teacher’s Association, said. Green isn’t only the PTA president — she’s also worried her two kids who attend Eckstien will have to leave their classmates and their school behind.

“Ripping them out of their current middle school and sending them without all of their friends — just a portion of them to a new middle school — that doesn’t make sense,” Green said. “We’re asking the school board to reject this proposal.”

The school district said  nothing is set in stone just yet and an online petition is gathering signatures from parents opposed to the growth boundaries around the school.

There is a public hearing Wednesday in downtown Seattle at 4:15 p.m. and the public comment sign-up is already overflowing with speakers.

The district wants to hear input from parents and has set up an email address — growthboundaries@seattleschools.org — looking for feedback on the new maps.

The Wedgwood Community Council also released the following statement regarding the district’s proposal. You can read it here.

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