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Licton springs community schools campus board testimony august 15, 2012


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Licton springs community schools campus board testimony august 15, 2012

  1. 1. Licton Springs Community Schools Campus + Accelerated and Advanced Learning Programs Testimony to the School Board on August 15, 2012 from Kate Martin 206-783-6538We should decide to create something great with BEX IV on the Wilson Pacific site. Let’s not just build amodern facility, let’s modernize the very concept of what a school campus is and what it’s for. Let’sdecide to really deliver on the dream.Establishing a “Community Schools Campus” – a year round, day and evening neighborhood hub thatserves students, families and the greater community is an important direction that we need to moveinto. The “Community Schools Campus” will help us to use our facilities harder and smarter and willcreate a place for us to collaborate fully with families and partner effectively with communities, localbusinesses, service organizations, the City of Seattle and others. At the same time, we can decide toestablish a strong, stable, predictable place to serve as a long-term north central headquarters forAdvanced and Accelerated Learning Programs.Schools that stop serving at 3 pm, are closed on the weekends and evenings and that collect dust in thesummer are neither prudent nor affordable. Relegating highest performing students to tent cities thatget moved around and split at whim fails to fully support gifted and talented students and sends amessage that Seattle Public Schools is not so much interested in excellence, but rather a “meetsstandards” kind of mentality.What if we decided to change the game and shift the paradigm with a campus that is all things to allpeople. Sounds impossible? It’s not. Sounds expensive? It’s not.We have a piece of land just east of Aurora at Stone Ave N, the Wilson-Pacific site that is humongous.It’s slated for complete redevelopment as part of BEX IV with both a 750 student elementary school anda 1000 student middle school. I suggest we bump up those student numbers and go beyond just ashared campus for 2 schools and instead create a regional education oasis that is both a communityschools campus and a north central permanent home for both elementary and middle school advancedand accelerated learning programs. This would be the prototype. With each BEX in the future we couldbuild another one of these campuses and in 25 years we could have these essential hubs distributedcity-wide along a central accessible artery that shortens travel distances and takes advantage of transit,walking and biking to school. Perhaps downtown could be the place for the second one.Every parent wants their child to be able to access the remediation and acceleration they need.Interventions need to happen along that whole spectrum. Seattle Public Schools can choose to be aplace that makes that seamless.On these campuses, space can also be allocated for other programs that make sense – school to homecoordinators, preschools, language learning centers for all people, health clinics, summer academics andenrichment, recreation, and more.Let’s think outside the “school as iceberg box” and get into a mindset that will allow us to doexponentially more with our school campuses. The Wilson-Pacific site is the place to build it. Now isthe time. We can’t of course do this alone, but once we commit to doing this, we can cultivate ourpartnerships, secure grants and other funding, connect with collaborators and give form to thefunctions. I ask for articulation of your support of this concept so we can move forward developing it.