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Licton Springs K-8 To Stay Put For Now As Seattle Public Schools Slows Process

Seattle Public Schools

After an outcry from parents and a contentious meeting, Seattle Public Schools officials said in an email that they’ve decided to “slow down the process” of addressing overcapacity in the new building that houses two schools: Robert Eagle Staff Middle School and Licton Springs K-8.

The district had planned to hold a meeting with families next Tuesday, but that’s now canceled, Chief Academic Officer Michael Tolley and Chief of Student Supports Wyeth Jessee said in the email.

Licton Springs K-8 is an option school with a focus on Native culture and social justice. With just 175 students, the school has been threatened with possible closure in the past and has been housed in three buildings over the past six years. But it’s beloved by parents and students, and they reacted with frustration when the district announced a week ago that the school might have to move to a different location or lose its middle school grades.

Robert Eagle Staff Middle School has 838 students and is a pathway for the district’s Highly Capable Cohort program, which is projected to grow in numbers.

Tolley and Jessee said they plan to recommend to the school board that students from Olympic View Elementary be assigned to Jane Addams Middle School for the 2019-20 school year. Students who are currently at Robert Eagle Staff will be grandfathered in there.

“As a result, for the 2019-20 school year, there will continue to be overcrowding at the Robert Eagle Staff and Licton Springs K-8 building,” Tolley and Jessee said. “We are working with the school leaders to schedule meetings to discuss more thoughtful engagement and future plans.”

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.