Parents sound off about plan to revise school boundaries

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by HEATHER GRAF / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherGrafK5

KING5.com

Posted on September 23, 2013 at 11:18 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 23 at 11:18 PM

Parents are sounding off about proposed boundary changes within Seattle Public Schools.  On Monday, the district held the first of five community meetings seeking input on revisions to the current school boundaries.

The changes would not take effect until the 2014-2015 school year, but angry moms and dads are already voicing concern.

"Maple Elementary has historically been the elementary schools that services the Georgetown community, and we would like to keep it that way, because it's a family member," said parent Justin Howell.

He is one of dozens upset with the district's first draft when it comes to school boundaries.

Currently, his kids are zone to attend Maple Elementary, which sits just one mile and an easy, safe walk from his house.

If the changes are approved, the Howell family and many others would see their kids shuffled to Van Asselt Elementary, 2.4 miles away on Beacon Hill.

"My major concern is that it's not not walkable," said mom Kelly Welker.  "There are seven areas where you have to cross busy roadways."

Parents packed Mercer Middle School for a community meeting on Monday night, during which district leaders told the crowd that enrollment is on the rise in fast-growing areas.  They say that is creating the need for additional classroom capacity.

"That requires changing the boundaries sometimes, that draw in the students to each of these schools," said the district.  "So this is phase one, there are five community meetings that are happening.  We're not saying we've solved it all in this first draft."

Clearly, the moms and dads in attendance don't think so either.

"You've gotta give me something, it it's going to affect my child this much, you've gotta give me something so I can go back to my child and explain it to them," said Bobbi Jenkins.

District leaders in attendance tried to reassure the crowd that a final decision won't be made for another month.

If you'd like to attend one of the upcoming community meetings you have a few more opportunities to do so:

Tuesday, Sept. 24th, 6:30 p.m. at Nathan Hale High School
Wednesday, Sept. 25th, 6:30 p.m. at West Seattle High School
Monday, Sept. 30th, 6:30 p.m. at Seattle World School's Meany Building
Tuesday, Oct. 1st, 6:30 p.m. at Ballard High School

Again, the boundary revisions eventually approved will not take effect until the 2014-2015 school year.

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