briefing for superintendent banda october 25, 2012
LICTON SPRINGS COMMUNITY SCHOOLS “The school is not just a school. School becomes a center for supporting and nurturing the future generation. School becomes a hub resource for the whole community.” – Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of England “Schools that are open 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, 9 months a year don’t meet anyone’s needs.” –Arne Duncan, Secretary U.S. Department of EducationPrefaceWe need strong cross boundary leadership and collaboration to make our schools all that our country, our stateand our city needs them to be now and in the future. Our capital and operations dollars and those of ourpartners need to work harder and smarter all day and year round to reap greater rewards for the students andfamilies we serve.Here in Seattle, we are going to build a brand new elementary school and a brand new middle school on one ofSeattle’s biggest school sites - the site of the old Wilson-Pacific junior high in Licton Springs, the heart of theAurora Corridor. With this kind of tabla raza, we have an opportunity to design a new classic. Let’s not justbuild a couple of schools, let’s build a community hub that strengthens families and communities and supportsthe complete personal development of students all year round.In Portland, Tukwila, Cincinnati and 5,000 other places in the US and Europe people are choosing to build the“Community Schools” model to achieve those goals.http://www.communityschools.org/assets/1/AssetManager/Community%20School%20Models2009.pdfPresident Obama has directed the Department of Education to prioritize and incentivize community schooldevelopment. Many large American universities and non-profit think tanks are also promoting communityschools.Community schools are something everyone agrees on.What is a Community School?http://www.communityschools.org/aboutschools/faqs.aspxA Community School is both a place and a set of partnerships between the school and other communityresources. Its integrated focus on academics, health and social services, youth and community development andcommunity engagement leads to improved student learning, stronger families and healthier communities.Schools become centers of the community and are open to everyone – all day, every day, evenings andweekends. Using public schools as hubs, community schools bring together many partners to offer a range ofsupports and opportunities to children, youth, families and communities.Why should we create a Licton Springs Community Schools Campus at the Wilson-Pacific site?A unique campus planning opportunity exists at this particularly large and under-utilized Wilson-Pacific site. Theseven 1950s buildings which once enrolled 1,600 middle schools students will be torn down. That clean slatewill allow considerable latitude to be deliberate and intentional about creating an optimal community schoolscampus configuration.
Since both a 750 student elementary school and a 1000 student middle school are planned for this site, a nexusof opportunities exists. A beautiful beacon of a green campus could be developed that would be sustainableenvironmentally, socio-culturally and economically at a time of high needs and scarce resources. It could be acentral place where students, their families, the greater community, the schools, the city, businesses,organizations, support service providers, and others can come together on the same page with the same goal.How would this be funded?There are many public and private funding opportunities to help establish and operate community schools. As aschool district we bring the site, the two schools and the operational dollars for those schools to the table. Ourpartners also bring their resources in the way of capital and operations dollars to the table. Some of the beautyof it is that by getting out of our planning silos, we can work with others to plan and create a project that will bemuch greater than the sum of the parts had we all worked apart creating our own iceberg programs andfacilities. Guidance to explore this concept is available from many organizations including The Coalition forCommunity Schools.How can SPS help?In order to get traction, we need SPS to support a feasibility study for Licton Springs Community SchoolsCampus. Once we have the study organized, we need SPS to participate in the study as a partner.Contact:Kate Martin, Organizer for Licton Springs Community Schoolskate@katemartindesign.com206-579-3703412 NW 73rd StSeattle, WA 98117-4927