New school, big changes greet Seattle students, parents



Posted on September 8, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 8 at 10:28 AM


SEATTLE -- Faces light up as students see West Seattle's new Chief Sealth International High School.

After two years of construction, the wait is over and the doors are open to the $50 million renovations -- money approved by voters.

Students make their way into the new high-tech building with new computers. Smart boards with touch screens replace chalkboards.

"It's really fun to see the students walk in and see their faces. They're like 'Wow!'" said Principal John Boyd.

Construction will continue, but the majority of work was completed in time for the start of school.

A lot is going on at Seattle Public Schools, which serves more than 45,000 students from opening new schools to implementing the first year of the new student assignment plan. The re-alignment attempts to place kids at their neighborhood schools. Many parents have voiced concern and confusion over the new system.

One of the highest-profile parents in the city, Mayor Mike McGinn, says he's keeping an eye to see how it runs.

"I think the bigger issue is people have to go to their local school. That means every school has to be good. From the city's perspective, we don't run the school district. We are doing our best to provide the types of support to our youth and families and work closely with the school district on academic quality," said McGinn.

Teachers approved a new contract days before school began, but also approved a "no confidence" vote in Superintendent Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson. KING 5 asked the superintendent for her reaction.

"We're really excited about the first day of school. We're excited we have a contract that supports teachers. It gives them a really professional system as well as gives students support then need to have a really strong classroom in every single classroom across the city," said Goodloe-Johnson.