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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 10, 2013 at 7:07 AM

School-boundary proposal is not practical

Cruel to redistribute students who’ve established themselves at their respective high schools

Last Friday, Seattle Schools recommended extensive boundary changes to middle school enrollment, some dramatically affecting northeast Seattle schools [“Saying no to school-boundaries plan,” NWThursday, Nov. 8]. There are many questions one might have when viewing the proposed changes.

First and foremost is the wisdom — psychologically, practically and environmentally — of sending a child who lives less than a quarter mile from Eckstein Middle School to a middle school more than two miles away. How could the district not expect that such nonsensical boundaries would not lead to controversy? Either the district is insensitive to parent and student concerns or, perhaps worse, oblivious about the impact of the proposed changes.

Most outrageous is the district’s refusal to grandfather current Eckstein students. It’s cruel to pingpong a student who has spent one or two years honing a sport or participating in jazz band away from the school where he or she has formed those skills, relationships and friendships. Eckstein is renowned for its autism spectrum program that helps students on the spectrum adapt to the social challenges of middle school.

As a parent, I have quietly gone along with the many changes and missteps of Seattle Schools in the five years my son has been a student. I understand education is underfunded and the district is large — these are significant challenges. Yet they do not excuse the poor process, lack of compassion and arbitrary timeline in the current proposal.

Leslie Edith Phillips, Seattle

Comments | More in Education | Topics: education

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