We need a new high school

We need a new high school. Our public schools are full and bursting at the seams in the Magnolia and Queen Anne neighborhoods.

The children of the baby boomers, referred to as the echo boom-let, are in school now and many are in pre-school as well. So where are all the kids going to go to high school? Ballard is already stuffed to the gills, and their surrounding grade schools and middle schools are full as well and will feed into Ballard High School.

For those of you who think private schools are the answer for your kids, they are full as well. The new Center School only has room for 75 students per grade and it is an alternative school, not comprehensive. Who knows what is going to happen to that school when the Seattle Center decides to remodel the Center House within the next decade?

Ingraham High School has become more popular in recent years, with the addition of the IB program as well as levy improvements, and is a viable alternative to Ballard. However, it takes 30 minutes to drive to that school from the heart of Magnolia, and it can take a student up to two hours to get home via Metro if they participate in after-school activities.

If your child misses the yellow school bus (who knows how long that will be provided) or has a medical appointment, the logistics of getting them to and from school is time consuming. Racing to a parent-teacher conference after work along with everyone else leaving the downtown core makes a long day longer. Wouldn't it be logical if there was a school closer to our communities?

We need a new high school.

By this June, the Seattle School District will find out from the U.S. Supreme Court if they are allowed to use the racial tiebreaker. For those of you who have not been paying attention these past seven years, the SSD used to use this tiebreaker to assign ninth graders to a high school. The last five years, while the case has been in litigation, the district has not used the tiebreaker, and most of the kids in Magnolia and Queen Anne have been able to get into Ballard or the Center School.

Seven years ago, most of our kids were not able to get into Ballard, Roosevelt or Nathan Hale. We complained loudly, started a lawsuit and The Center School was created; they let more kids into Ballard as well. If the district wins, they could go back to using the racial tiebreaker and Magnolia and Queen Anne will be "screwed" again. If the District loses, they could opt to use a socio-economic tiebreaker, in which case Magnolia and Queen Anne will be "screwed" again because most of us do not qualify for free and reduced lunches.

We need a new high school.

By the way, where are all the kids who are being raised in the new condos downtown going to go to high school? What about the kids who will live in the new housing on the old Briarcliff property, or any other new housing that will eventually be built in the Interbay area or on former military property?

We need a new high school.

The Seattle School District currently has room at Cleveland, Rainier Beach and Sealth High Schools. These may be your only options for a high school.

We need a new high school.

We need to act now and form a group of dedicated parents and community members in order to create a new high school-one that will be ready in time for all these little kids who will someday be of high school age. We are the only neighborhoods in all of Seattle that does not have a comprehensive high school.

Remember these words? "No taxation without representation." Join the revolution for a new high school and contact me via email at piics@comcast.net if you want to attend a meeting to help us in this common sense cause. Let's make some noise!

Kathleen Brose is president of Parents Involved in Community Schools. For further info, visit www.piics.org.

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