News Blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge Neighborhoods


Wedgwood, View Ridge, Bryant elementaries to start later

June 2nd, 2012 by Support Staff

Six Seattle public schools will start later next year, including Wedgwood, View Ridge and Bryant  elementaries, Superintendent Susan Enfield announced this week.

The school day at those three schools will run from 9:25 a.m. to 3:35 p.m., according to the district’s published list.

These new bell times are a result of changes to transportation for the 2012-13 school year. The School Board voted to move forward with a transportation plan that includes longer yellow bus ride times (up to 45-minute rides) but has minimal impact on bell times. We needed to implement new start times at these six schools to continue our three-tied bus plan (where staggered start times are required so that one bus can make three trips between schools). This change will save the District between $300,000 and $500,000, allowing us to keep further budget cuts away from the classroom.

We know changing bell times is not ideal. We also know that many members of our community would like us to consider later high school start times and earlier elementary start times.

This has major ramifications for high school students, including after-school jobs and athletics, as well as before- and after-school child care for elementary school families.

We are committed to thoroughly studying these ideas, but we ask for your patience as it will require considerable time and public involvement

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Update: Wedgwood appears to win Small and Simple grant for school safety

July 19th, 2011 by hillaryu

Update July 20: The post below focuses on the next round of Small and Simple grants from the city. Now the Wedgwood Community Council is announcing the neighborhood will apparently win a $20,000 grant from the previous round after modifications are made to its proposal.

In May the Wedgwood Elementary PTA applied for a grant to make traffic safety improvements around the school, including building out curbs around the crosswalks on Northeast 85th Street and in front of the school’s entrance, according to the council.

The project as originally proposed was not approved although they … strongly supported the WE CAN Safety Project goals. Therefore, they have an alternate proposal that they would like to discuss further and award the $20,000 should the scope of that proposal be agreeable. It preliminarily sounds as though the proposed project scope may only need minor modifications.

More details at the council’s site.


The next round of the Small and Simple Projects Fund/Neighborhood Matching Fund this fall is going to have a single focus–on emergency preparedness. The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods announced Friday that it will be partnering with the Office of Emergency Management to offer this community funding focus, which will invest city resources “to help community members connect, organize and plan for emergency situations with their neighbors.” The city sites recent national and international disasters as vivid reminders of why Seattle’s communities need to be better prepared for the possibility of an emergency here.

No applications outside of the new emergency preparedness focus will be accepted for the last cycle of the 2011 Small and Simple Projects Fund. The exception is for existing capital projects funded by the Neighborhood Matching Fund (NMF) that are ready for their next phase of implementation; these projects will be invited to apply by their NMF project manager.

Once the new focus is finalized later this fall, information on project types, funding amounts, and the application process will be available right here

The deadlines for the 2012 cycles of the Small and Simple Projects Fund will be announced in November.

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Wedgwood teacher headed to summer camp

May 16th, 2011 by hillaryu

Wedgwood Elementary teacher Ashley Cox will be heading to the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy in New Jersey this summer. Cox, along with Laurelhurst Elementary teacher Grace Dublin, will join about 200 third- through fifth-grade teachers from around the country.

A little about the academy from Seattle Public Schools:

The Teachers Academy – started by pro golfer Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy – is a free, weeklong camp just for teachers in which they learn about math and science through fun experiments. They will share their experiences with students in the classroom when they return. The teachers will be joined by math and science experts from the National Science Teachers Association and Math Solutions, who teach at the Academy.

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Neighborhood schools score high marks

November 9th, 2010 by hillaryu

When Seattle Public Schools released a new ranking of all schools in the district this morning, 3 of the top 12 ended up being right here in the neighborhood.  Wedgwood Elementary, View Ridge Elementary, and Thornton Creek School all received the highest ranking of 5.  That ranking means a high number of students pass state tests and that their test scores are improving.  The rankings also reflect how students, staff, and family members feel about the school’s atmosphere.  You can take a closer look at the rankings here.

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Adding to the gardens at Wedgwood Elementary

September 14th, 2010 by hillaryu

For those of you who may not know, Wedgwood Elementary has some amazing gardens on its campus.  They not only serve as outdoor classrooms for students, but they also help the community.  Over 60 pounds of produce were donated to local food banks this year.

Recent funding from the Department of Neighborhoods also allowed the school to create a rain garden, raised gardening beds, and new playground equipment.  The rain garden will also absorb water runoff from a portable classroom.  Photos courtesy of Wedgwood Elementary.

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School renovation projects almost complete

August 9th, 2010 by hillaryu

Construction crews are still working to wrap up summer renovation projects at both Wedgwood Elementary and View Ridge Elementary.  The project manager for Wedgwood tells us everything will be finished by the time school starts.

At Wedgwood Elementary (pictured), the playground is undergoing improvements.  Crews are also replacing flooring and the curtains on the stage.  As you can see from one of the photos, windows are completely missing on one side of the building.  Those old windows are being replaced with energy efficient ones.  The project was budgeted at $723,000.

Windows and flooring are also being replaced at View Ridge Elementary, and upgrades are being made to the fire alarm and ventilation systems.  The View Ridge project’s budget is $894,000.  Both projects are being funded through a six year capital levy.

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Wedgwood Elementary gets new principal

July 26th, 2010 by hillaryu

Wedgwood Elementary has traded its principal to Eckstein Middle School for its assistant principal.

It wasn’t exactly a “trade,” a la a couple of sports team, but sort of worked out that way. Denise Espania, who had been Wedgwood principal for two years, announced at the end of the school year that she would be moving on and looking for a new job that allowed her more time to spend with her family.

She’s apparently found that as assistant principal at Eckstein Middle School. She’ll take the job of Chris Cronas, who takes over for Espania as Wedgwood’s principal.

The moves were announced over the weekend in a letter to parents from Seattle Schools superintendent Maria L. Goodloe-Johnson. Her letter can be found on the Wedgwood Elementary Web site.

Goodloe-Johnson praises Cronas’ background as a classroom teacher, instructional coach and two years of administrative experience as assistant middle school principal. She says Cronas’ “student-centered approach means that he works for the success of all students at every level; he exhibits personal integrity and an ability to foster positive change.”

A few other details about Cronas: Prior to his assistant principal role, he was a house administrator, an instruction and curriculum coach, and taught overseas in Japan for four years. He is fluent in Japanese. His professional preparation includes a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and English Education from Ithaca College and Master of Education from the Danforth Educational Leadership Program at the University of Washington.

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