Seattle Schools Taking Public Input on Proposed Map Change

Sep 30, 2013

Where should Seattle children go to school? That’s the question Seattle Public Schools is hoping to answer as it redraws the school assignment map.

But before the district makes its final proposal, it wants to hear what parents have to say. The district is holding two more community meetings tonight and tomorrow night. It is also taking community input online. 

Diana Bodwin, who lives in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood, says she had expected to enroll her 4-year-old son, Teddy, in what she thought was her neighborhood school, Maple Elementary School. But under the district's proposals, Georgetown children would be assigned to Van Asselt Elementary School, which is farther south.

"We know Maple. We know that we feel connected to it, and we were prepared for it. And we had a good experience and good recommendations from parents who had been there," said Bodwin.

Bodwin’s commute would double to 2 miles instead of 1, which she says would be way too much for Teddy to walk.

Seattle Public Schools is forecasting enrollment will grow by another 9,000 students between now and the year 2020. As a result, the district says it has no choice but to adjust its school assignment map.

"We do need to look at boundaries for where students go to school and make some adjustments to those," said district spokesperson Teresa Wippel.

The proposed revision changes about 20 percent of the elementary school assignment map. And among other possible changes, the district has recommended closing Pinehurst Elementary in the city’s north end.

The district will make final recommendations to the school board later this month.