John Hay staff releases letter in full support of Interagency school

On Wednesday, Nov. 19, John Hay staff released a letter in full support of Interagency Recovery School. The letter has been published on Queen Anne Elementary School’s website.

There has been strong outcry of both opposition and support of Seattle Public Schools’ (SPS) decision to locate an Interagency Recovery School for students focused on their sobriety in the former Queen Anne High School gym building (215 Galer St.). The building is directly across the street from John Hay Elementary School, and many parents have voiced concerns about safety and SPS’ decision transparency. A petition against the school’s location has received 428 signatures.

To the Greater John Hay Community,

We, the teachers, administrators, and staff of John Hay Elementary, would like to offer our full support to the district, the Interagency School administration, and especially the students who will attend the Interagency school, to be located across the street from John Hay Elementary. We support Interagency’s firm belief that every student can grow and succeed if given the right support, encouragement, and opportunity. We, the staff at John Hay, want to offer our support and encouragement to the Staff and Students of Interagency School.

With respect to the opening of Interagency School, we believe that:

•Every student in Seattle Public Schools has the right to access instruction that best meets individual learning needs.

•Any student, at any point in time, can face difficult times and has the right to be supported in their resiliency and education.

•We believe that the chances for resiliency increase with community support and decrease with community resistance.

•Our community is responsible for supporting the education of all students.

•As a community we should embrace these youth who have themselves made the very mature decision to remove drugs and alcohol from their lives, travel the difficult road to recovery, and who have been accepted in this program as clean and sober.

We recognize that these students may need acceptance and support now in what may be the toughest time in their young lives. Understanding that some of the students may not have had the support that they always needed, we can help to make the difference for them. We want to send a clear message to these youth, their families, and those who work closely with them that they are indeed welcome, accepted, and wanted.

The district has told us that, to date, two students are enrolled in the school and that approximately 10 students will start in the beginning. The school will grow over time based on demand and support available. These students will be receiving their high school education under the direction of specially trained teachers, a chemical dependency professional, other support staff, and peers who are also committed to recovery. They will take high school classes in a typical six-period school day, as well as have access to group and individual counseling to help them navigate their chosen paths. 

We, at John Hay, will be working with administration at the Interagency School, as we would with any school in close proximity, to assure school start and stop times are offset to reduce traffic congestion.

The John Hay teachers, administrators, and staff want to offer this statement of support to the District and the Interagency School Community. 


John Hay Staff