Hello North Beach Community,
Seattle Public Schools is working out of a $130 million budget shortfall next year and is making significant cuts from their budgets, including $11 million from schools for the 23-24 academic year. Below outlines the changes we will most likely see at North Beach next year, fact vs fiction for school consolidation, how the PTA is helping our students, and how you can continue to use your voice to advocate for our students and school. The coming year may be leaner than in the past, but if we remain united as a community and school, we will have a powerful voice for all students in the district and at North Beach Elementary.
School Budget Cuts:
Like most schools in the district, North Beach is experiencing budget cuts that will impact our classrooms. Next year, direct budget cuts from the district and the indirect impact those cuts have will result in the loss of 2 classroom teachers, our technology class, assistant principal, and other school budget items.
School Consolidation Decisions, Fact vs Fiction:
Community members are rightfully interested and concerned about talk around school consolidation for the 24-25 academic year. It is important to note that we do not know what the district will do. We are continuing to engage with the district, advocate for our community, and disperse information as it comes to us. That being said, it is very easy to get misinformation and conjecture about difficult topics. Here are some facts and fiction about information surrounding school consolidation as we know it:
- FACT: School consolidation will be announced spring of 2024.
- FICTION: North Beach is on a list to close.
- FICTION: North Beach is on a list to stay open.
- FACT: North Beach has maintained fairly consistent enrollment after COVID. We stand at around 344 students, and continue to grow.
- FACT: There are many schools in Seattle that have 200 students or less. Some of these schools have similar staffing to NB (and the same cost for said staffing). There are many schools that create a savings opportunity for the district.
- FACT: Our geozone is booming with new apartments and condos being built.
- FACT: Small schools (not by name) were highlighted during the Jan budget discussion.
- FACT: The Crown Hill Urban Village Plan is working to further improve our area and will create continuous growth as it is implemented.
- FACT: Loyal Heights (on 80th and 26th) may not be full, but it does not have much spare capacity to absorb a large portion of our 344 students. It is currently serving around 469 students and has a capacity of 572 students.
- FACT: Viewlands (currently being built) is expected to experience fairly high enrollment when it opens.
- FACT: the district will be engaginging with communities starting in the fall via evaluations, surveys, and listening sessions. Using this information they will make determinations on school consolidation.
How the PTA is Helping North Beach:
The PTA general membership voted unanimously to grant the school a $125,000 grant for the 23-24 academic year.
This grant allows the school to provide:
- Nurse, half day: Next year the district cut our nurse from 2 days to 1.5 days. This grant restores our nurse to 2 days.
- Helping to fully fund an Academic Interventionist: The Academic Interventionist supports where needed and teaches select math classes to ensure that our students have high quality instruction in the smallest groups possible.
- 2 additional days of an Academic Interventionist: In addition to our current Academic Interventionist, this position will supplement students that need academic support.
- Counselor, half day: Continues to support funding for our counselor so she will be in the building 3 days instead of 2.5 days.
- Tutors: Tutors allow for 1:1 instruction for qualifying students.
This grant will impact fundraising and The 23-24 PTA Budget:
- This funding helps cover the gaps that the state and district will not fund.
- This grant has increased $11,000 or 9.6% from previous years.
- This funding raises the per student cost to $692 (from $662); families could be asked to increase their financial support by about $30 per child.
- The budget committee will investigate other budget cuts that do not reflect the top three spending priorities for next year’s budget (direct teacher support, staffing, and community events).
How the PTA is Advocating:
- The PTA is working with other Seattle PTAs in the NW and around the district to highlight area needs and openly discuss what is happening at all of our schools.
- We have an open dialogue with our District Representative, Lisa Rivera Smith, as we continue to advocate for our school and community:
- We are continuing to push the district to further define a "well resourced school". Every student in the district deserves the same foundations of their education, from there the district can build upon this baseline to represent the diverse educational needs of schools and students.
- We are highlighting the vast amount of building and growth our area is experiencing and advocating for additional resources for our school and local area.
- We are continuing to dialogue with district officials and our Board Representative to highlight the unique needs and challenges for our school.
How You Can Help:
- Attend a PTA meeting
- District Board Representative, Lisa Rivera Smith may be able to join us for our may PTA meeting on Tuesday, May 9th at 6:30pm.
- Be strategic when you engage with the community and SPS representatives. North Beach Elementary and our area is growing. We want to highlight this growth and focus our energy on securing resources that will help our school thrive.
- Stay up to date with what is going on in our school, district, and state.
- School Resources:
- Konstella, private parent community
- The Beachcomber weekly newsletter
- NBPTA Website
- School Website
- District Resources:
- State Resources:
- School Resources:
Thank you North Beach. Our community is thriving and we are leveraging our strong voice to continue to advocate for North Beach Elementary and every student in our community and Seattle.
President, North Beach Elementary PTA