Reader: Parents Do Have a Choice When It Comes to Seattle's Schools

One Seattle parent says you do.
Reader Melissa Westbrook of Save Seattle Schools responds to School District Quietly Scales Back Tours As It Pushes Parents To Accept New Assignments.

"I write for the Seattle education blog, Save Seattle Schools ( I have written on the same issue.

The advice I would give parents is to CHECK every school's website. Many schools are doing 3-4 tours including Lowell and Ballard. So whatever the directive was to principals, at least for this year, many schools are doing what they want."

"Second, if there is not a tour (or "visit") call or e-mail the principal. Be friendly. Tell him/her you would like to come in for a walk-thru and ask for a date and time. See you don't need a guide. Tell him/her you won't go into any classroom and disrupt but that you would like to get the feel of the building when open. As long as you set it up in advance, sign in at the office, get a visitor's tag, you should be okay. Look at the gym, the library, the lunchroom, the artwork, the parent bulletin board.

If that doesn't work, try to find a willing parent who might walk you through the school quietly.

These are public schools; 3 or 4 tours a year is not that much and if the school gets in that much of an uproar because of them, you might wonder about the principal and the teachers and their abilities to keep kids on task.

Folks, the new Student Assignment Plan does NOT lock you into one school. The district would like us all to go to our attendance area school and call it a day but that is NOT how the plan is written. You do have a choice and to ask you to make it based on what you read is pretty sad."

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