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Signs of our times April 12, 2008

Posted by kindergartenwatch in Growth.
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Some schools in Washington state cannot provide enough full-time kindergarten slots to all children in attendance area, because they do not have enough classroom space. Increased density and shifting demographics are likely among the factors that have led to increased kindergarten enrollment, and will likely cause more enrollment pressure in years to come.

SignIncreased density can occur when property owners subdivide or request “short plat” lots, seek private amendment requests, add accessory dwelling units “ADUs” (add-on structures that people live in), or seek to increase density through multi-family zoning. In some Puget Sound communities, such as Kirkland, Redmond, and Bellevue, you’ve probably seen signs like this often.

In addition to increased density, another trend is smaller homes being torn down in favor of larger homes. Often the original homeowner has no children living at home, whereas the new homeowner might be a young professional with school-aged children. Traffic on our bridges is an incentive for Seattle families to move closer to employment centers when they have children.

This blog is not suggesting that the growth is all positive or all negative, but districts need to approach the issues head on. Many large projects are underway or are being considered, such as new condos everywhere, Google leasing a new building site in Kirkland, and significant renovations to Park Place and Totem Lake (including possible office space).

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Please share your experiences April 10, 2008

Posted by kindergartenwatch in Parents Speak.
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Districts in Washington state vary widely in how they handle full-day kindergarten, and we’d like to hear about your experiences.

Did you have to haul out your paperwork and participate in a lottery for a limited number of slots for your neighborhood school?

If you didn’t get a full-day slot, have you been left hanging for half-day kindergarten, not knowing until weeks (or even days) before school starts whether your kid is in morning or afternoon programs?

Or perhaps you had to select multiple “feeder” schools, with the understanding you might not be able to attend your neighborhood school?

Do you feel that Washington state should try harder to catch up with many other states on early childhood programs?

Feel free to share your experiences through the comments feature. Approval by the blog author is required , but mainly to ensure that random, offensive comments don’t appear. Parents with young children might visit this site, so we want to avoid unwelcome surprises.