LOWELL APP PETITION TO THE SEATTLE PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT
The Lowell APP community requests that the Seattle Public School District keeps our entire cohort together and creates a stand-alone school in a permanent, centrally located building, north of the ship canal, starting in the 2013-2014 school year.
We, the parents, teachers and staff at Lowell APP, strongly urge the Seattle School District to consider the above request regarding the permanent location of our North-end APP program. Lincoln High School was intended as a short-term solution for our elementary school children, not as a long-term solution. Staying in this building is not in the best interest of our students or the district. We are a community of families and staff who continue to be split and moved as a result of district decisions regarding capacity. We do not want a program of 550 Lowell APP children that continues to grow, to be an afterthought during building and operations discussions.
APP children have unique social and emotional needs. The Washington State PTA categorizes highly capable with special needs, yet the Seattle Public School district provides no additional support or funding, not even a building. Lowell APP should not be co-housed just to co-exist in an environment that does not complement or benefit all students. Lowell APP children should have a school that encourages them to thrive - a place to feel safe, a place to feel normal among peers, and a staff and community who understands and accepts them.
In the absence of additional state and district funding for highly capable children, Lowell APP depends entirely on: • the collaboration and curriculum development by our educators,
• the direction of a single-program focused Building Leadership Team,
• a principal with a passion and vision for highly capable education, and
• PTA funding for professional development and curriculum specific to highly capable education.
If the cohort is split between multiple locations, Lowell APP will lose all of these programmatic benefits, thereby severely weakening our program. In addition, distributing 550+ students across Seattle north-end schools will exacerbate the overcrowding in this region.
The Seattle Public School District has committed to keeping kids in schools close to their homes—for Lowell APP that promise translates to a central location north of the ship canal. We have also been told that our children’s future location will be driven by Teaching and Learning, not Operations and we want to ensure that this commitment is honored. Lowell APP wants the ability to develop and grow a successful, single-focused academic program, similar to other alternative curriculum schools (STEM, language immersion, etc.). We are asking for equity in education for all children that is not biased by ability or politics.