June 21, 2024

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Congratulations To Our Entire Community!

The end of the school year is upon us, and what a year it has been! We hope you had a successful school year, and we wish all students a fantastic summer break.

To all parents and caregivers, we hope you have some time for fun and relaxation this summer.

We are so happy for all of our graduating 5th graders - way to go! We wish you all the best as you go on to your next adventure in middle school. Please keep in touch!

Thank you so much to our wonderful TC staff for all you did to make this a meaningful year.

News About Thornton Creek's Future

Dear TC Community,

We have timely information to share.

This week, staff at Thornton Creek Elementary were informed of the following:

  • The district will not add any additional students from our waitlist. We have 46 currently on the waitlist for kindergarten, and our previously approved kindergarten capacity still has more than a dozen open spots. We also have more than 80 students on our waitlist across K-5. The waitlist summary report is here.
  • The district will be capping our school enrollment at 390 next year—a reduction from the projected 423 students the district had approved in April. (For context, we currently have 455 students and our building capacity is 660).
  • As a result of this decision, the district will be reducing our teacher staffing by 2.0 FTE from the previous allocation for next school year.

In addition:

  • Our community was informed that our principal is on a leave of absence one week before this information was shared by a district leader to our staff.
  • The district appears to be intentionally under-enrolling our school and other option schools so that we are under-enrolled by their (not yet publicly stated) criteria. This would more easily allow them to justify closing or consolidating option schools for Fall '25.
  • These decisions are being made without transparency and with no partnership from families. The school closure and consolidation plan has neither been fully presented by the district nor approved by the school board.

We believe these actions to be unacceptable because:

  • Waitlists demonstrate that option and alternative programs are in demand. Families recognize that education is not one-size-fits-all. 
  • Parents who applied to option schools or made other open enrollment requests did so with the understanding that the district would fill schools to their allocated capacity. The district has not communicated to waitlist families that they have altered this plan.
  • Artificially capping option school enrollment hurts currently enrolled students at those schools because lower enrollment means fewer resources.
  • Staffing allocations were made in April and teachers were given commitments regarding their positions for the next year. To renege on this commitment is unfair to staff and undermines all the planning the school has done for the next school year, including careful classroom assignments.

These latest moves by the district: 1) Principal Kischner on a leave of absence, 2) freezing the waitlist, 3) capping enrollment, and 4) reducing staffing seem to point to the inevitable announcement of option schools being targeted for closure.

What you can do now:

  • Write a letter to the district, local and state officials, and media indicating your concerns around our and other schools who have families on waitlists not being enrolled, despite space in the school. It is particularly important to include people beyond the district to ensure some level of accountability.

  • Write a letter to Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal to share your concerns about the lack of transparency and foggy math being used by the district. It may be time for OSPI to step in and govern SPS until it can make community-centered decisions. Parents in our community are supporting this effort by preparing template letters others can use. Once ready, they will be accessible here, so please check back later. And feel free to share with us any letter you have written.

  • Reach out to the parents you know in other schools within the district. TC is not the only school experiencing the heavy hand of the district. We are stronger when we share our stories and raise concerns in collective ways. 

  • Advocate to the State Legislature to fully fund our public schools.

Remember, this isn’t just about saving Thornton Creek, though obviously TC is important to us. What we care most about is that all students enrolled in SPS schools have the opportunity to thrive, and as we’ve seen first-hand, option and alternative programs are one way to support that. 

TCPG Annual Meeting 6/11/24 - Budget and Election Outcomes

TCPG Board Election

Incoming Board

Chair: Erin MacDougall

Vice Chair: vacant

Secretary: Jessica Knaster Wasse

Treasurer: vacant

Assistant Treasurer: vacant

Fundraising Co Chair: Robyn Hodges

Fundraising Co Chair: vacant

Communications Chair: Gavin Murphy

Volunteer Chair: Kelsey Johnson

Hospitality Chair: vacant

Remaining board positions are in process to be filled over the summer.

A HUGE thank you to our outgoing board members for their incredible service: Kristi Strauss, Roddy Theobold, and Sterling Maximo!

Budget Voting Results

Members in attendance made an advisory vote to approve the proposed TCPG Budget for the 24-25 school year. See the budget here.

TC Summer Landscaping Volunteers Needed

Looking for a fun and impactful way to help our school? Volunteers are still needed to help water our beautiful school grounds this summer! A BIG thank you to those who have already signed up!

Please see details and sign up here:

Parking Lot & Rain Garden/Library Patio


Calendar of Events

TCPG Calendar of Events and Volunteer Opportunities here

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Thornton Creek Elementary School

This newsletter is from the Thornton Creek Parent Group and does not represent Seattle Public Schools or Thornton Creek Elementary.