Parents on the TOPS@Seward Site Council have completed their vote on a proposed geographic zone for the school and the result is a tie.
That means that the Site Council and the Eastlake Community Council will not be presenting a joint proposal to the school board for the new zone as many in the neighborhood had hoped. Instead, says Jules James, the ECC’s representative on the Site Council, the ECC will have to present a proposal to the school board on its own.
The ECC’s zone proposal (see attached map) would have included everything from I-5 west to the houseboats and from East Galer in the south to the Ship Canal in the north. A second proposal would have included the triangle of neighborhood between Eastlake Avenue and I-5 and the Roanoke Park area.
Staff at the school weren’t eligible to vote on the proposal. Since the first part of the vote, on the ECC’s proposal, tied then the second part, on adding the triangle and Roanoke Park, was rendered moot.
As we explained in a previous post:
The geographic zones are part of the Seattle School District’s new assignment plan. They would be used in the case of “option,” or “alternative,” schools to help determine who can attend them.
The school district has already issued maps for “attendance zone” schools. Eastlake falls into the attendance zone for Montlake Elementary. Students will automatically be assigned to school there. To be placed at TOPS by either the geographic zone process or lottery, students must apply during the open enrollment period during the winter.
TOPS@Seward is an “option” school, which means that children from a large part of the city can apply to go there. When children who live near an option school apply to go there, the district uses three “tiebreakers” to determine whether or not they can attend: whether siblings attend the school, the geographic zone and then the lottery. One of the tiebreakers is a new “geographic zone.”
The school district is currently working on a new attendance policy for the entire district that will emphasize assigning children to schools in their neighborhoods as much as possible. The school district staff is expected to present proposals for the geographic zones to the school board on Dec. 16.
The ECC had hoped to make a joint proposal to the school board on the geographic zone, the assumption being that that would make for a stronger case with the board. The ECC is now working on submitting its proposal to the school board, James says.