School district releases new attendance maps for Eastlake, city

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. A quote from Jules James has been added.

The Seattle Public Schools released new attendance maps for city schools this afternoon. All of the Eastlake neighborhood has been assigned to the Montlake Elementary attendance zone.

The maps (see the PDF with this post) are part of the district’s new new student assignment plan, which was approved by the school board in June. The goal of the new assignment plan is to send children to schools that are closer to home. The new plan will begin to be implemented starting with the 2010-2011 school year.

Eastlake’s assignment to Montlake isn’t a change. Montlake in turn feeds in to Washington Middle School and then Garfield High School. (See this post from Capitol Hill Seattle for more information on how the maps are affecting schools there.)

“Citywide, the new attendance area maps seem logical and practical,” said Jules James, a longtime neighborhood resident who monitors school issues for the Eastlake Community Council. “At first blush, the school district deserves very high marks for the Assignment Plan work unveiled today.”

Yet to come is a map of the new “geographic zone” for TOPS@Seward, Eastlake’s neighborhood school. Seward is an “option” school, which means that children from all over the city can apply to go there. When children who live near an option school apply to go there, the district uses a series of “tiebreakers” to determine whether or not they can attend. The new tiebreakers for an option school will be 1) whether a sibling already attends; 2) the geographic zone; and 3) a lottery. Living within the geographic zone does not guarantee assignment to an option school, the district notes on its web site.

The hope of Eastlake residents is that the geographic zone for Seward will encompass most of the neighborhood. Those maps have not yet been posted.

There will be a series of community feedback meetings on the new attendance maps. The closest meeting to Eastlake will be at Washington Middle School, 2101 S. Jackson, this coming Saturday, Oct. 4, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Related links:

  • The Seattle Public Schools page on the new assignment plan is here.
  • Coverage of the new attendance maps from is here and from the Seattle Times here.
  • Previous coverage from Eastlake Ave. of the new maps is here.