Wedgwood Elementary School’s annual Science Fair will be held on Wednesday, May 22, from 6 to 8 PM. Student posters and science exhibits will be featured and the traditional Egg Drop will be held. The goal of the Egg Drop is to build a contraption to protect a raw egg from breaking when dropped from great height!
A Book Fair will also be held that evening with fiction and non-fiction books for kids, plus books of interest to parents. If you would like to make an end-of-year teacher gift, you may contribute books to your child’s classroom library.
Mark your calendar for Wedgwood Elementary School’s upcoming event, Lights, Camera, Auction! This year’s Hollywood-themed school fundraiser will be held on Saturday evening, March 23, from 5:30 to 10 PM. Please note the event location: Lake City Presbyterian Church, 3841 NE 123rd Street. A list of contributing sponsors is on the Wedgwood School Auction page and you can buy tickets there via the PayPal link. Let’s participate in supporting our neighborhood school and its programs via this fun (adults-only) evening event. Even if you are not a Wedgwood School parent, you can attend the auction, bid on the great items and have a fun evening with the satisfaction of knowing you helped our neighborhood school.
Katie Traverse, a WCC Trustee and the President of the Wedgwood Elementary PTA, has been on a mission for sveral years to bring vital pedestrian and safety improvements to several blocks around Wedgwood Elementary. There are no sidewalks around the elementary school or surrounding neighborhood. With more and more kids walking and biking to school commingled together in the street with large yellow school buses and passenger vehicles, it’s only a matter of time before something regrettable happens.
In 2011, she sponsored a Neighborhood Street Fund grant application to develop a design for pedestrian and safety improvements along 28th Avenue NE , NE 83rd Street, and NE 85th Street. The NE District Council (NEDC), which is a citizens group comprised of neighborhood representatives throughout NE Seattle and who is responsible for pre-ranking Neighborhood Matching Fund and Neighborhood Street Fund grant applications, ranked her application #1. Her project went on to be funded and SDOT has completed 60% design drawings for the improvements. However, funds for construction have not been secured.
With design in hand, Katie is now working with SDOT to locate funding for the “Complete the Street Project.” SDOT has submitted a Safe Routes to School grant application to the WSDOT, which has forwarded their recommendation for $439,000 on to the State legislature for approval. Katie submitted an application in December 2012 for a Neighborhood Street Fund grant to provide additional funding for project construction.
Last week, the NEDC reviewed and ranked numerous Neighborhood Street Fund applications submitting in December throughout NE Seattle. All of them well deserving and important to making NE Seattle a safer place. After their deliberations though, they ranked Katie’s Complete the Street Project #1. Given SDOT’s involvement with this project, we’re hopeful that they too will recommend the Complete the Street project for funding and new sidewalks and pedestrian improvements will be coming to Wedgwood Elementary School!
UPDATE: This post has been revised to reflect the new name of the project that will be seeking funding. WE CAN Safety Project was the original project that was funded through design. The Complete the Street Project is the new project seeking funding to construct the design. Additionally, the 60% design drawings have been linked to for your viewing.
Wedgwood Elementary School at 2720 NE 85th Street (corner of 30th Ave NE) is located in a single-family neighborhood with few pedestrian amenities and a pattern of speeding, according to a study by Seattle Dept. of Transportation (SDOT). As part of the Wedgwood Vision Plan
completed in 2010, a survey showed that a high percentage of residents are concerned about pedestrian safety, traffic and speed control. Since that time the WCC and the PTA of Wedgwood Elementary School
have been engaged in the arduous process of applying for grant funding to improve safety.
The “Wedgwood Elementary Children and Neighbors (WE CAN) Safety Project” received funding in 2011 for a project design for sidewalks on some adjacent streets, so that children can safely walk and bike to school. The project design connects sidewalks at the front of Wedgwood School along NE 85th Street, south on 28th Avenue NE and along NE 83rd Street continuously to Ravenna Ave NE where new sidewalks and bike lanes were recently completed (thanks to WCC Trustee, Gretchen Bear). The project design also includes new sidewalks, curbs, gutters, planter strips, drainage, educational materials and events, speed feedback signs and emphasis patrols. You can view the 60% design drawings prepared by SDOT here.
WCC trustee and Wedgwood School PTA President Katie Traverse will submit the project this month to Seattle’s Neighborhood Street Fund (NSF) for the “Complete the Street Project,” which is seeking funds to construct the project. The WCC President has written a letter of support on behalf of WCC recommending the project to SDOT and to the NSF Oversight Committee. The Washington State Dept. of Transportation (WSDOT) has already recommended $439,000 for the project be approved by the State Legislature under the Safe Routes to School Program.
Wedgwood School opened in September 1953 with all-portables because there were so many children that the school district couldn’t wait for the permanent building to be completed. In a case of deja vu all over again, this year the schools of northeast Seattle are once again overflowing and are adding portable classrooms. As Wedgwood School approaches its sixtieth year, there still are no sidewalks on some adjacent streets for children to safely walk or bike to school! We thank Katie Traverse and her grant-writing team for their efforts, and we’ll let you know the progress on the grant application.
By now, you’re probably aware that school capacity is a big issue at the Seattle Public School District. Apparently, people are still having kids! More increase is projected, so the crowding is only going to get worse. The District has been hosting a series of meetings over the past year on what to do. Our NE Seattle and Wedgwood-area elementary and middle school buildings are beyond the capacity they were designed for and multiple portable units are being added. To address this, the District is looking at both short and long-term solutions.
Short Term (2013-2014) Capacity
On December 11th the District is hosting a community meeting at the John Stanford Building auditorium from 7-8:30PM to discuss their short term capacity management proposal. According to information shared at the December 5th board work session on short term capacity management, it looks like a new portable is planned for View Ridge Elementary and may be required at Wedgwood Elementary. If you can’t make it to the December 11th meeting, a NE Seattle Capacity Management Community meeting will be held on December 17th at Olympic Hills Elementary from 6:30-8 PM.
Long Term Capacity
In November, the District formally adopted a $694.9 million Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) Levy proposal to be voted on in February 2013 (along with a $559.1 million Operations Levy…that’s $1.25 billion). It is well known to some in Wedgwood that part of the District’s proposed long term solution to the growing capacity is a new school that is proposed to be constructed adjacent to Thornton Creek Elementary School, although language has been formally adopted by the school board in the BEX IV levy to allow some more flexibility on its location should another suitable site be identified. The adopted text is as follows:
“Northeast Seattle elementary school: To meet growing capacity, add K-5 school on Thornton Creek site by 2016 or equivalent additional seating capacity at another location.”
Now that the BEX IV Levy proposal has formally been approved, here’s a little bit on what the levy will do in the Wedgwood area if approved:
- A new K-5 school would be built at the Thornton Creek site or some place similar, to be open by 2016.
- Thornton Creek School would get new athletic field improvements (although its not clear if this is a result of the new school proposed on the ball fields)!
- Eckstein would get a new science lab!
- Eckstein, View Ridge Elementary, and Wedgwood Elementary School would get seismic upgrades!
- Eckstein, View Ridge Elementary, and Wedgwood Elementary School would get new track and/or playfield upgrades!
- Eckstein would get its roof worked on!
- And a variety of technology upgrades…
Not all of the proposed improvements have been welcomed with open arms by everyone in Wedgwood, but it’s because of these improvements and the pressing need to pass the Operations Levy, representing 27% of the District’s budget, that Schools First is hoping to emphasize how important these two levys are.
From Friday, December 7 through Monday, December 10 the University Book Store is hosting a book fair to benefit the Wedgwood Elementary School Library. Shop a great selection of new, used and bargain books, Husky gear, and supplies for school/art/office with a percentage of those purchases going back to the Wedgwood School library. Just tell the cashier you are a Wedgwood family. Even if you can’t get there in person, you can shop on-line: enter the book fair code WED at check-out. One more enticement to come in-person: the Room 2 kindergartners will sing at the book fair from 10:30 to 10:50 AM on Saturday, December 8!
TONIGHT: November 13 at 7 PM, you are invited for a neighborhood discussion about sidewalks and traffic safety around Wedgwood Elementary School. The meeting will be held in the school lunchroom, beginning at 7 PM, and pizza and beverages will be provided. The meeting will be approximately one hour, and sidewalk plans will be available to review. City of Seattle Transportation staff (SDOT) will be on hand to answer your questions or concerns.
New sidewalks are proposed on NE 85th Street, 28th Ave NE and NE 83rd Street. Funding for design has been partially secured and the neighborhood is actively searching for funding for construction. Wedgwood School is 58 years old and still doesn’t have sidewalks on these nearby streets! Let’s get it done!
Help Nathan Hale’s Highly Regarded Radio Station!
North Seattle KOMO has a story that Nathan Hale’s amazing radio station, C-89.5, is in the midst of a fundraiser to sustain the station. They’re hoping to raise $140,000 and YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE too!
Wedgwood Area Schools Are Still Amazing!
As we’ve report in 2010 and 2011, the public schools in our neck of the woods are pretty amazing. Last week, the Seattle School District’s new superintendent, José Banda released their Annual School Reports and State of the District. Schools are scored 1-5 (5 being the highest score) based on a variety of metrics.
In 2010, the first year that all public schools were scored, there were 12 schools that scored a 5, including Wedgwood, Thornton Creek, and View Ridge Elementary schools while Bryant Elementary, Eckstein Middle School, and Roosevelt High scored a 4 and Nathan Hale High received a score of 3.
Last year, while most school scores remained the same, View Ridge Elementary dropped from a 5 to 4, Bryant Elementary rose from a 4 to 5, and Nathan Hale rose from a 3 to 4.
This year, Wedgwood-area schools continue to score well with Nathan Hale the rising star of the year!
Great work to our local schools, including the phenomenal educators, staff, PTAs, and students that make our schools so successful!
Building Excellence IV Levy – UPDATE
As you may be aware, the Seattle School District has proposed, within a draft list of a projects for their upcoming Building Excellence IV (BEX IV) levy, to construct a new elementary school generally located on the Thornton Creek Elementary School playfields. Their list of projects has gone through several iterations although the new “North Seattle Elementary School” has largely remained unchanged despite vocal opposition by some neighbors. On Wednesday, November 7th, the school board intends to vote on a final list of projects for the BEX IV levy that will go out to voters on February 12, 2013.
At this Wednesday’s school board meeting, the board will vote on Building Excellence (BEX) IV Capital Improvement Program and Authorizing Resolution 2012/13-4. Based on the new version of this resolution, the following language has been added relative to the new North Seattle Elementary School.
“At Thornton Creek, the project list allows for the possibility that any needed additional seating capacity may be built at an alternative location.”
Furthermore, within Exhibit “A” – List of BEX IV projects, which the board will be provided, has the following language.
“North East Elementary @ Thornton Creek or equivalent additional seating capacity at another location – Opens 2016″
We currently are trying to get more information on what this revised language really means, although it appears that the District is providing themselves some ‘wiggle’ room to continue the school siting process while maintaining the necessary timeline for BEX IV to get on the ballot in February.
The upcoming School Board meeting will be on Wednesday, November 7th, starting at 4:15PM at the John Stafford Center at 2445 3rd Ave South. Public testimony is supposed to start at 5PM (see rules if you’d like to testify).
Green Blocks Blue Sound
Wedgwood Elementary School Library
Thursday, October 11th, 6:30-8PM
Sustainable Seattle is hosting a FREE informational session on the increasingly popular topic of household green infrastructure, such as rain gardens and rain barrels. The session will touch on the importance of some of these methods for controlling stormwater on our household and what conditions are suitable for them. Not only will there snacks, but they also help you get plugged into the City’s incentive program, RainWise, which we’ve written about here and here.
So, come on out and bring your neighbors to the Wedgwood Elementary library.