TOPS@Seward School in news: District ranking, draft geographic zone are released

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. An explanation of the school ranking scale was added as was the ranking for Montlake Elementary.

Two items about TOPS@Seward K-8 School were reported Tuesday:

  • The school ranked at the fourth level in ratings provided by the school district.
  • A draft geographic zone for the school was published on the district’s web site.

School ranking: On Tuesday, the Seattle School District released reports on 82 schools in the district for the first time. The reports rank schools on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest) based on test scores and how well students at the school are improving. The rankings also look at how well students who qualify for free lunches are doing compared to students who don’t qualify for them.

TOPS@Seward, Eastlake’s neighborhood school, ranked at level 4. It had high achievement scores but the gap between those who qualify for free lunches and those who don’t was too high to make it to level 5.

Montlake Elementary, which is the school Eastlake kids attend if they don’t get into TOPS, was also rated at a level 4 by the district (see attached PDF).

We’ve attached the district’s reports on TOPS and Montlake, which provides more breakdown on student scores as well survey results from families and staff.

Among the survey findings, only 40 percent of the staff at the school feel positive about the school leadership compared with 66 percent district-wide in grades K-5 and 57 percent district-wide in grades 6-8. Seventy five percent of families with students in grades K-5 are satisifed with the school (86 percent district-wide) while 84 percent in grades 6-8 feel the same (82 percent district-wide).

To see more about the report, go to the Seattle School’s website. Our news partner, the Seattle Times, also has an article on the report, looking at results across the city. reports on how schools on the Hill ranked.

Geographic zone: The district has posted a draft of a new geographic zone for TOPS@Seward on its website (see attached image). The zone, which is used as a tiebreaker in determining which students can attend TOPS, is much bigger than the previous zone which encompassed only a handful of blocks around the school and didn’t allow many Eastlake children to attend the school.

The school board’s proposed geographic zone would encompass all of Eastlake south to Galer as well as the Roanoke Park neighborhood and north Capitol Hill from 10th Avenue E. west to I-5.

Last December, the Eastlake Community Council had proposed a geographic zone that would have covered everything from I-5 west to the houseboats and from Galer north to the University Bridge. The ECC had hoped to make a joint proposal of its plan with the TOPS Site Council. But the Site Council tied in voting on the proposal and the geographic zone was postponed for a year.

The new geographic zone is still only a draft proposal and is subject to approval by the school board. The TOPS Site Council is meeting on Wednesday and will reportedly be asked to consider a motion on the geographic zone.