Many students across the greater Seattle area walked through the doors of newly constructed or completely renovated public schools in their district. Here what's new:
Mercer Island: opened their 4th elementary school - Northwood serving 450 K-5th graders easing overcrowding across the island's other three elementary schools. This school also is home to one of the two special education programs in the district.
Issaquah: The district rebuilt Issaquah Middle School and held a community ribbon cutting ceremony on August 30th opening their doors on September 1st for 750 students in grade 6-8. The district also opened a new high school - Gibson Ex. This is a specialty high school providing personalized interest based learning partnered with real-world internships. The school currently serves grades 9-10 with 110 students expanding yearly to become a full high school housing 200 students. The school is designed with removable walls, makerspace, recording studio, gardens and state of the art research labs.
Seattle: The Seattle School District opened five new schools for the 2016-17 school year including a much needed rebuild of Arbor Heights Elementary School in SW Seattle. Previously over 50% of the classroom space was housed in portables and the remainder of the school was dark, damp and no reflection on the quality teaching going on at this school. Now the school is described as "a bright light in education both inside and out" with the dedication attended by over 400 community members. Also in West Seattle, Genesee Hill Elementary School closed their current school built in 1948 and reopened in all new space combining with Schmitz Park Elementary School. to create a vibrant, true neighborhood school.
Three of the new schools rebuilt are choice/options schools. The project based learning choice school, Thornton Creek K-5 Elementary School and Hazel Wolf K-8 which follows the E-STEM curriculum (environmental science) located in the North Seattle Pinehurst neighborhood both opened last week. The Seattle World School located in the Central District provides strong services for immigrant and multi-lingual high school students and opened on the site of the former TT Minor School.
Bellevue School District: Lots of ongoing construction across the district and two new school rebuilds have been completed. Odle Middle School houses grades 6-8 including one of the district's gifted programs and the well-loved neighborhood school, Enatai Elementary School, were built anew on their current sites and opened their doors this September.
Lake Washington School District: With the passing of the 2016 School Bond, LWSD will be rebuilding and renovating 8 schools with completion dates between 2017-21. This district is the fastest growing school district in the State and the passing of the bond added much needed funds to support their growth. Juanita High School will be rebuilt and enlarged (2021), Redmond Ridge Middle School (2019) and Redmond Ridge East Elementary (2018) are new schools addressing the growing development in the Redmond Ridge community area, Old Redmond Schoolhouse will be renovated to incorporate more preschool space (2019), North Redmond Elementary School is also a new build to address housing growth (2018) with Peter Kirk Elementary School (2019) and Mead Elementary School (2019) both getting a much needed rebuild. Project based, choice school, Explorer Community Elementary serves 70 students in multi-age classrooms on the campus of Emily Dickinson Elementary School. This school will have their current portable classrooms replaced in 2017.
There are many construction projects across all the districts and pending boundary changes and community meetings in the works. I always advise my client families to have an understanding of district plans and I am here to provide you information to help your family avoid surprises prior to your home purchase and school choice.