Seattle schools struggle for balance in proposed boundary changes
SEATTLE - The opening of the city’s first new high school in four decades is filling many families with uncertainty. Enrollment boundaries are being redrawn but the final map is still a moving target.
It’s all because a shuttered campus in Wallingford is scheduled to reopen next year as the new Lincoln High School. Where the concern arises is that to fill the classrooms, the district will shift students over who planned on attending other high schools.
“In our neighborhood it looks like we might get sent far north which would mean, walking, taking the bus, transferring, walking again that would take up a lot of time,” said Kim Petersen, who lives in the Maple Leaf neighborhood and was planning on her daughters attending Roosevelt High School.
It's these concerns that Seattle school board members are trying to resolve as they sort out the best way to re-assign high school boundaries. They need to accommodate the opening of Lincoln High in the fall of 2019, and that means transferring students who had expected to attend Ballard or Roosevelt high schools.
District officials have narrowed the choices to two main options in terms of realigning enrollment boundaries, but are considering additional tweaks. Parents said such 11th hour changes give families no say about the impacts.
“I'm concerned about the areas that decisions haven't been made yet," Petersen said.
School board members said their goal is to serve the most families possible with the fewest disruptions.
“We will never please everyone. No question about it, but we'll do the very best we can and we take the work very seriously,” said Leslie Harris, the school board president.
The school board hopes to have clear boundaries drawn up by next week and have a final vote by the end of the month.