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Friday, February 21, 2014

City Council Supports Northwest Center Kids' Plea For More Time

Posted by on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 10:53 AM

City council members Sally Bagshaw, Larry Phillips, Kshama Sawant, joined legislators Reuven Carlyle, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, and Gael Tarleton in writing a letter to superintendent José Banda and Flip Herndon asking for more time to move the Northwest Center Kids school to a new location.

If the Northwest Center Kids' teachers weren't doing this work, the responsibility would fall on the Seattle Public Schools when the children enter kindergarten. We know this is an option the SPS is not prepared to address.

The Northwest Center Kids school prepares students with physical and developmental disabilities to not only take part in, but be successful when they enter the Seattle school system. They're youngest student is merely weeks old, and the Northwest Center works hard to address the needs of pre-k students who literally have nowhere else to go, since Seattle Public Schools cannot do the job of educating students that young, particularly those with special needs. In a time when the city is discussing universal pre-k, shouldn't they be considering the Northwest Center as a school to emulate?

Full letter after the jump.

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Comments (15) RSS

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1
Grrr! That darned socialist!
Posted by Bloated Jesus is Bloated on February 21, 2014 at 11:13 AM · Report this
2
Danielle, Larry Phillips has not been a city council member, ever.
Posted by ChefJoe on February 21, 2014 at 11:27 AM · Report this
3
One thing that might help - could the City offer some options for low-cost leased space for Cascade until the district can find them a permanent home?
Posted by westello on February 21, 2014 at 11:35 AM · Report this
4
What is the City doing other than chiding the District?

What have these dedicated electeds done for NWC other than petition the District to take action?

The City and the state legislature have a long history of insulting the school district and trying to boss it and threaten it - without success. The District won't hesitate to tell them to piss up a rope.

Why doesn't the City provide some space for NWC? The City was ready to find space in SLC for a downtown school for Amazon spawn, why can't they find it for NWC?
Posted by Charlie Mas on February 21, 2014 at 1:21 PM · Report this
5
Whoops! I had that wrong. The City should find space for CPPP so NWC can remain where it is.
Posted by Charlie Mas on February 21, 2014 at 1:44 PM · Report this
meanie 6
Its hilarious because the council has no power over SPS. This is like when the council trys to ask the cops to stop beating up colored people.
Posted by meanie http://www.spicealley.net on February 21, 2014 at 2:02 PM · Report this
7
Kudos.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on February 21, 2014 at 2:52 PM · Report this
8
So when is The Stranger going to interview Cascade parents for their side of the story?
Posted by MaidenVoyage on February 21, 2014 at 4:12 PM · Report this
9
@MaidenVoyage, it's not CPPP vs. NWC. It's District senior management vs. rational leadership. And the incompetent, dysfunctional District senior management is winning.
Posted by Charlie Mas on February 21, 2014 at 7:01 PM · Report this
10
Sure. But Cascade also hangs in the balance and deserves to have a seat at the table. Who fed the council members the information that Cascade is a homeschool program? Why does the misinformation persist? Either way, our program has unique needs and deserves to be heard. If we are being denied a forever home in Queen Anne, what becomes of our program? Moving a bunch of times in a short amount of time would be devastating to our program. Moving somewhere south or inaccessible for public transportation would kill our program. We can't share space with another traditional school for myriad reasons. Where is our representation in this issue?

Some people have mentioned the possibility that if the district delays demolition of Wilson-Pacific, it would give NW Center more time. After all, the SPS needs the building back regardless of what it sticks there. Cascade was only one of the options.
Posted by MaidenVoyage on February 21, 2014 at 7:25 PM · Report this
11
MaidenVoyage: Have you contacted this author (Danielle Henderson) via email and Twitter? Offered her some names of parents to interview?
If yes, then post here and say so. I agree that Danielle should follow up on this. Cascade surely has oodles of stories to add to the "SPS is not treating people justly" storyline.
If no, why the heck not?
Posted by Let's hear more on February 21, 2014 at 7:32 PM · Report this
12
Nope, though I and other parents have contacted other media about this. In fact, one of the news outlets promised us a voice and came in after school hours to interview us. So a whole bunch of parents and students stayed after or came specially just to talk to the news, they took approximately one minute of footage of our hallway, interviewed Flip Henderson who was onsite, and then packed up and walked out without any footage of the children, the parents or any interviews or statements. The resulting news story didn't feature us at all. We were told that they'd do a follow up or more in-depth story so to please email him. Several of us did and never heard back.
Posted by MaidenVoyage on February 21, 2014 at 9:18 PM · Report this
13
That's very frustrating. I cannot imagine how disappointing that must have been for the people who were willing to talk.
I mean this seriously: you should contact Danielle. Cascade has a story to tell also, as this shuffling and lack of transparency by the school administration has not been fair to Cascade either and has put Cascade in a scary, undesired place of uncertainty.
Posted by Let's hear more on February 21, 2014 at 9:35 PM · Report this
14
Thing is, why assume Cascade PPP has a problem with SPS? We are a public school and the district did their best to come up with a suitable location...and they did! My child is looking forward to attending our new Queen Anne site, the district is serving us well by responsibly planning to use a public school to house public school students. I am very disappointed that our city council members aren't supporting our school district using pre-existing schools for public school students/program in need.
Posted by SPSparent1 on February 22, 2014 at 12:25 PM · Report this
15

Let's talk about personal and professional responsibility: NWC has been let down by their leadership. Why has that program been operating under a long term lease with a 6 month termination (aka 6 month lease)? I guess they were just hoping that someday their lack of foresight would not put their community in such a bind?

And Seattle City Council; shame on you for throwing SPS under the bus on this one. Why aren't you reaching out to the developers, business community, and the DPD, to help come up with some real solutions? The boom happening in Seattle is putting the squeeze on available sites for schools and pre-school programs. Are schools not part of the infrastructure needed to be expanded as the population grows?

Should SPS been more transparent with their tenants? Yes, that would have been helpful to NWC and their community. That could have been handled better. But as my granddad use to say "you don't do business on a handshake. Get the what you want on paper." Hoping that someday your 6 month lease would not get you in trouble was careless and irresponsible. Your community deserved better.

Skeptical of the Media
Posted by skeptical of the media on February 27, 2014 at 7:27 AM · Report this

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