This is not a complete but I have heard people ask why the community and especially those who are not parents should care about their schools. The PTSA has also posted relevant information on CD News. But, community members must also protect their schools.
First schools are an integral part of any community and contribute significantly to the character of a neighborhood. Good neighborhood schools strengthen the community and make the neighborhood more desirable for families, serve as part of the neighborhood identity, and provide a specially protected space for safety and pedestrian amenities, and protection from undesirable businesses.
Look at the map. TT Minor is a neighborhood school.
You can look at reference areas there. Remember Lowell is not a neighborhood school, but may have some neighborhood space under the new plan. Elementary school students living more than a mile from their school under law qualify for transportation, for instance the District would have to provide transportation for any student west of 23rd Avenue who was enrolled at Madrona. The TT Minor reference are area would not have a neighborhood school.
During this process I have written the School board and testified regarding some specifics, but the longer letter is in progress. For instance, I still don’t have the specific reference area demographics beyond 2005, but I have been told they are available. I am still waiting. I know that those demographics through 2007 will further support the argument that revitalization in the area has led to an increased number of children being born here and families living in the neighborhood with school age children.
TT Minor has made significant progress and a remarkable recovery as a neighborhood school since the Sloane Foundation moved its resources and model to the New School which recently created in South Seattle. During the Sloane tenure, TT Minor was removed from the assignment pattern as a neighborhood school, but has shown growth in students, parent involvement (I know this is pretty dramatic compared to when I was Seattle Council PTSA President), and neighborhood support.
During the time that the Sloane foundation it was not allowed to be a neighborhood school. Families had to apply to get in and were admitted if they qualified for free and reduced lunch. Despite this it has come back quite strong and is located in an area with a strong if not the highest growth in birthrate of any reference area in the city (I need the stats). Please look at this article:
The Central Area has just begun to revitalize and this is no time to close schools.
While it is listed as not having met Annual Yearly Progress (AYP), it is only in stage 1 (the worst being stage 5) and did meet it this year. Once a school is listed as being in stage 1, it must make AYP two years in a row. Considering its strong showing last year, it likely will be meeting the standards again this year.
TT Minor is an a trajectory to becoming a strong neighborhood school in an area experiencing population growth and revitalization, including growth in the number of children and families. (I believe that is one reason Sloane left.)
It would be very destructive to the fabric of the neighborhood for the school to close it now and not in the best interest of children. There is no relationship between educational Best Practices and the closure of TT Minor.
Hopefully the final version of this testimony will be more eloquent, but these are some of the issues that the community can address.”>
PS Additionally, building condition is another criteria being used. No building currently housing student is in anyway dangerous and all have had significant work done for earthquake proofing. There are a number of very well-attended popular elementary schools in the North End with similar or lesser ratings for building condition than the one for TT MInor. The District tends to give the highest ratings to the newest schools or schools that have been significantly renovated recently.