Seattle Public Schools superintendent José Banda is trying to appease angry parents from one school by pissing off parents at another.
After renting their North Queen Anne building from the school district for 28 years, the nonprofit Northwest Center Kids school has been evicted to make room for the rapidly growing Seattle school population, and the Cascade Parenting Partnership is slated to move into that space this summer. But while parents and staff at the Northwest Center have begged the district for more time to adapt—since the replacement site the district offered them is inadequate for their physically and developmentally disabled students—Banda has been mostly uncommunicative since they were given the boot.
But at a quickly assembled meeting on February 26, Banda met with Cascade's parents to offer a solution to the Northwest Center problem. What's his big idea? For Cascade to stay in their current space, the Wilson-Pacific Building, while it gets demolished and rebuilt over the next year. That would buy the Northwest Center some time.
That's right: The plan is to operate a school in a construction zone.
More of a new problem than a solution.
Both programs have students with special needs, and the idea of moving kids around the building to avoid construction while trying to accommodate kids with sound and sensory issues is ridiculous. Now instead of just angry Northwest parents, both camps are fuming.
Parents have said from the beginning that the best interests of the children at both schools are paramount. But by pitting the two communities against each other, Banda has managed to demolish that spirit of collaboration—while still underserving both of these important programs.