A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Outdoor preschool opens at Carkeek Park, 3 other parks around the city

September 14th, 2016 by Doree

Outdoor preschools opened at four Seattle Parks this month, including Carkeek Park. The preschools are run by Tiny Trees Preschool in a pilot program for affordable, nature-based preschool.

In an outdoor classroom, lessons have a natural magic: instead of counting marbles, children collect and count acorns; to learn colors, geometry and fine motor control, children use paintbrushes to spread pollen between flowers and record the color, shape and number of petals to share with the class; and with a pile of leaves and twigs, they build sculptures and art that reflect the wilds of their imagination.

At Tiny Trees, 52% of the incoming class receives financial assistance. At Carkeek Park, families who make less than $72,000 a year receive free tuition through the Seattle Preschool Program Pathways.

Tiny Trees Preschool keeps costs low by eliminating the cost of building, renovating and maintaining a child care facility. Instead of spending a huge amount on bricks and mortar the school spends it on hiring and supporting great teachers. The result is a preschool that costs 80% less to start and tuition prices that are 10 or 40% below market rate. Beginning September 12, 2016, Tiny Trees will operate schools at Camp Long in West Seattle, Carkeek Park in Northwest Seattle, John C. Little Park in the Rainier Valley and Jefferson Park on Beacon Hill.

The pilot agreement illustrates Seattle Parks and Recreation’s support for the city’s Preschool Program, approved by Seattle voters in 2014 to make preschool opportunities available for all Seattle 3- and 4-year-old children.

The Seattle Preschool Program aims to provide high quality early childhood education programs for 1,600 children a year by 2018. Tiny Trees Preschool is a provider for the Seattle Preschool Program – Pathways at Carkeek Park, and has two years to meet the quality standards for the Seattle Preschool Program.

To make sure families are prepared for a Seattle winter, Tiny Trees provides every child a free one-piece rain suit and boots from the Vancouver, WA based company Oakiwear. Children also use picnic shelters in heavy rain and there is an emergency shelter designated at each site in case of severe weather or emergency. Tiny Trees follows the Seattle Public Schools (SPS) calendar and is closed on SPS snow days.

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Community meetings on Seattle Public Schools boundary changes for 2017-18 school year

March 29th, 2016 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools is holding a series of community meetings about boundary changes that will take effect for the 2017-18 school year. Boundaries are changing for 18 attendance area elementary and nine middle schools to balance enrollment and create attendance areas for new schools opening in the fall of 2017.

Meetings are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Monday, April 4, at Ballard High School, 1418 NW 65th St. (with interpreters in Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese); 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 21, at John Stanford Center Auditorium,2445 3rd Ave. S. (with interpreters in Amharic, Chinese, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tigrigna and Vietnamese); and 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, at Roosevelt High School, 1410 NE 66th St. (with intrepreters in Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese).

The changes were approved by the Seattle School Board on in November 2013. Additional meetings will be scheduled this fall. You can see a list of schools with changes and maps here.

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Applications now being accepted for city-funded Seattle Preschool Program

March 1st, 2016 by Doree

The application process is open for families wanting to enroll their 3- or 4-year-olds in the city-funded Seattle Preschool Program, which currently has 27 sites, including Creative Kids at 10525 3rd Ave. NW in Greenwood/Broadview.

The first selection process is Friday, March 11.

Families can apply one of three ways:

  • Over the phone by calling 206-386-1050.
  • In-person at Seattle libraries, Seattle community centers, or Seattle Preschool Program sites.
  • Online. The enrollment application is available in English, Spanish, Somali, Amharic, Chinese and Vietnamese.

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May 19 teacher walkout – what to do with your kids

May 12th, 2015 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools’ teachers will stage a one-day walkout on Tuesday, May 19, to protest the state legislature’s current underfunding of public schools. That is leaving many working parents scrambling for what to do with their kids.

Coding with Kids, a Redmond-based academy teaching computer programming to elementary and middle school children, is offering a discounted day camp on May 19 at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, 6532 Phinney Ave. N. Camp will run from 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., and is for ages 7-14. Cost is $89.

One day of coding fun! Tech-savvy instructors will guide small groups of campers as they unleash their creativity. Both beginners and experienced coders are welcome! (Students will be grouped by age and experience.)

Campers will receive personalized instruction and collaborate with new friends. Everybody will learn something new and build a game or two of their own. After camp, students will be able to share their work with family and friends and continue development through online access. (Programming environment: Scratch) The camp will include off-line activities and multiple breaks. Please, send snacks, lunch and water with your children.

Seattle Parks and Recreation will have free drop-in activities for students from kindergarten to 8th grade from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 21 community centers, including Ballard, Loyal Heights and Bitter Lake.

Due to space limitations, eligible students will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. All students must have a completed registration form. Registration forms can be obtained at open community centers, at the community centers the day of the drop-in service, or printed from http://www.seattle.gov/parks/. To hold a spot at a center register in advance please go online at https://class.seattle.gov/parks/Start/Start.asp. A registration form still must be brought to the community center on the 19th.

Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Associated Recreation Council will staff these sites. Parents are asked to drop off eligible children by 9:00 a.m. Spaces for parents who have pre-registered will not be held past 9:00 a.m. Once signed in, children will only be released to the authorized contacts listed on the registration form (identification is required).

Parents are asked to send a sack lunch with their child. Snacks will be provided to all students, and lunch will be provided to those students who are unable to bring their own.

The drop-in activities will be available at the following community centers:

  • Alki, 5817 SW Stevens St.
  • Ballard, 6020 28th Ave. NW
  • Bitter Lake, 13035 Linden Ave. N.
  • Delridge, 4501 Delridge Way SW
  • Garfield, 2323 E Cherry St.
  • Hiawatha, 2700 California Ave. SW
  • High Point, 6920 34th Ave. SW
  • Jefferson, 3801 Beacon Ave. S.
  • Loyal Heights, 2101 NW 77th St.
  • Magnolia, 2550 34th Ave. W.
  • Magnuson, 7110 62nd Ave. NE
  • Meadowbrook, 10517 35th Ave. NE
  • Miller, 330 19th Ave. NE
  • Northgate, 10510 5th Ave. NE
  • Queen Anne, 1901 First Ave. W.
  • Rainier, 4600 38th Ave. S.
  • Rainier Beach, 8825 Rainier Ave. S.
  • Ravenna-Eckstein, 6535 Ravenna Ave. NE
  • South Park, 8319 8th Ave. S.
  • Van Asselt, 2820 S Myrtle St.
  • Yesler, 917 E Yesler Way

Parks’ Teen Centers will be open 2:30-8:00 p.m. in order to provide some daytime drop-in activities for teens. Geographically located Teen Centers are Meadowbrook, Garfield, and Southwest. See http://www.seattle.gov/parks/tlc/.

If you know of any other special childcare programs on May 19, please let us know below in Comments.

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Volunteer tutors needed for Daniel Bagley Elementary

August 29th, 2014 by Doree

Invest in Youth, a nonprofit that provides free tutoring at six Seattle elementary schools, is looking for volunteer tutors for Daniel Bagley Elementary School by Green Lake. Bagley’s attendance area includes portions of Greenwood and Phinney Ridge.

Our program is unique in that we don’t charge families or schools to provide our quality tutoring services. We are able to do this because of the support of our volunteers who commit to tutoring a 3rd through 5th grade student once a week.

Each tutor is matched with the same student for the whole school year and works on things like playing math games, reading stories or working on homework, for just one hour every week. Educational materials and activities, training and support, and heartfelt appreciation are provided at every session.

The impact of Invest in Youth’s tutoring program is dramatic:

• 100% of classroom teachers agreed during the 2013-2014 school year that Invest in Youth was a valuable resource for their students.

• Students made an average gain of 19% in math and 13.5% in reading as measured by Invest in Youth’s pre and post-assessment.

• Tutors felt that the lasting bond they form with their student is the most meaningful element of the program.

With at least 85% of students enrolled in Invest in Youth being eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, it is likely that these students would not be able to receive one-on-one tutoring each week for the whole school year by a reliable adult if it wasn’t for our committed volunteers. We are looking for volunteer tutors to join us this fall in our mission to enhance the academic abilities, self-confidence and life prospects of Seattle students. Please sign up today!

For more information or to apply to be a tutor, please visit our website: www.investinyouth.org. Can’t commit to the full school year? We have substitutes to fill in for you when necessary, so don’t let busy schedules dissuade you from participating – or “share” a student and the commitment by signing up with a friend!

Tutoring begins the first week of October and runs through May. Tutoring sessions are from 3:50-4:50 p.m. every Wednesday at Bagley, 7821 Stone Ave. N.

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Seattle Public Schools hosting community meeting Tuesday about latest plans for Wilson-Pacific project

May 12th, 2014 by Doree

Many students in the Phinney-Greenwood area may be assigned to the proposed Wilson-Pacific school just off Aurora Avenue on North 90th Street when it’s built in a few years. Seattle Public Schools plans to tear down the current building and construct a new elementary and middle school on the site, to open in fall 2017.

SPS will host a community meeting to answer questions about the project at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the current Wilson-Pacific building, 1330 N. 90th St. (use the south entrance on North 90th Street.)

The existing structure will be demolished to make room for the new 1,000 seat middle school and the 660 seat elementary school buildings. Attendees will be able to make comments and ask questions with regard to the project’s building and site design.

However, last week the district’s Facilities and Capacity Management Advisory Committee released a report which calls for the site to instead be a state-of-the-art high school serving 2,500 students. We’ve got a message in to SPS to find out more about the report and how it affects the current plans.

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Greenwood, Viewlands elementaries will now offer free full-day kindergarten

November 1st, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools announced today that it will add free all-day kindergarten at 16 more elementary schools, including Greenwood and Viewlands. That means 43 out of the city’s 69 elementary schools will now provide free all-day kindergarten to all students, instead of charging for half a day for students who don’t qualify for free and reduced price lunch.

And, if the School Board approves it at its Nov. 20 meeting, the district also will reduce the monthly amount for those still paying for the extra half-day from $311 to $283, retroactive to Sept. 1.

If approved by the Board, families who use automatic withdrawal will have their money credited back to their bank accounts by Jan. 31; those who paid by credit card will receive a refund check by Jan 31.

According to a school district press release, the money comes from a change in how the District can use $2.4 million from the state’s Learning Assistance Program.

“We know that early learning is key to our students’ success, and attending full-day kindergarten helps prepare our students academically and socially for the rest of their school career,” Cashel Toner, Director of Early Learning for Seattle Public Schools, said in the press release. “This proposal means that an additional 770 students can take advantage of full-day kindergarten at no cost.”

The state currently funds full-day kindergarten for schools that are at 50 percent population of students who qualify for free and reduced price lunch, including Broadview-Thomson K-8, just north of Greenwood. The district will now offer it to all schools with 25 percent free and reduced price lunch. The state legislature has said it plans to fully fund all-day kindergarten in all schools by 2017.

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Community meeting on proposed elementary and middle school on Wilson-Pacific site

June 25th, 2013 by Doree

Seattle Public Schools is hosting a community meeting tonight on a proposed new elementary and middle school, which would be built on the current Wilson-Pacific school site, just east of Greenwood.

The new schools would open in the fall of 2017. The new middle school will alter boundaries for Whitman, Eckstein and Hamilton middle schools.

The meeting is from 7:30-8:30 Tuesday (tonight) at Wilson-Pacific Seamat Center, 1330 N. 90th St.

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Alphabet Soup Preschool moving into East Phinney/West Green Lake

February 5th, 2013 by Doree

Alphabet Soup Preschool is opening a second Seattle location at 7216 Linden Ave. N., where A.C.P. CrossFit was most recently, and Furnishments before that.


Alphabet Soup Preschool started on San Juan Island, then expanded to Green Lake. This will be its third location.

Director Jeannette Mayes says the new location will open some time in March. It will have a toddler classroom for eight students ages 1 to 2-1/2, and a preschool classroom with 16 students ages 2-1/2 to 5. Each classroom will have two teachers. The school will offer half-day morning classes Monday through Friday.

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