The latest news for Seattle area parents and families
Community meeting on Seattle Public Schools levies
Seattle Public Schools (SPS) will host one more community meeting in January to provide information and answer questions about two levies that Seattle voters will consider in a special election on Feb. 12, 2019. The two levies are the Educational Programs and Operations Levy (EP&O) and the Building Excellence V Capital Levy (BEX V).
If approved, the two levies will replace two expiring levies that voters previously approved in 2013 and 2016.
Staff members will present detailed information and be available for questions from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the Rainier Beach High School cafeteria, 8815 Seward Park Ave. S.
The EP&O Levy replaces the expiring operations levy approved in 2016. This levy helps fund day-to-day operations and pays for programs and services that are not fully funded by the state. It helps pay for instructional materials and textbooks, funds necessary school staff beyond what the state allocates, provides funds for special education, and more.
The BEX V Capital Levy replaces the expiring capital levy approved by Seattle voters in 2013. This levy would fund capital improvements, including modernizing or replacing aging schools. Additionally, BEX V will improve safety and security at every school in the district, reduce the number of portable classrooms, provide greater access to classroom technology and more.
Lakeridge Playground Improvement Project survey
Seattle Parks and Recreation is starting the design phase for the Lakeridge Playground Improvement Project at 10145 Rainier Ave. S. The project will make playground and playfield renovations including new play equipment, new field grass turf, irrigation and drainage renovation, court resurfacing, retaining wall study, and access improvements to meet ADA standards.
The project team has designed an online community survey to gather initial feedback and encourages neighbors and friends of Lakeridge Playground and playfield to participate. Additional input will be gathered at an upcoming public meeting in March.
The project is expected to be complete and put out to public bid by the end of 2019, with construction slated for 2020.
St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma receives prestigious baby-friendly designation
Expectant mothers in south Puget Sound can have increased peace of mind knowing that they will find good postnatal care at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma.
SJMC is now one of nine hospitals in Washington state to become a certified Baby-Friendly hospital. The Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global initiative of the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund, aimed at improving health outcomes for pregnant women, mothers and newborns, through breastfeeding.
“As a designated Baby-Friendly hospital, St. Joseph is recognized for providing new mothers with thorough, consistent education and support before leaving the hospital”, said Jakki Stodola, director of the Family Birth Center at SJMC.
“The result is that a mother who gives birth here will receive significantly more education in order to make an informed decision about feeding her baby, whether she chooses to breastfeed or use formula,” Stodola said. “When a mother has questions about feeding her baby, our doctors, nurses, midwives, and staff will all give consistent, evidence-based answers.”
To date, only 543 hospitals across the country have been accredited with the difficult-to-obtain honor.
Black Lives Matter at School movement seeking support for week of action
The national Black Lives Matter at School movement has launched a petition to seek support for its upcoming 2019 week of action from Feb. 4-8, 2019. The movement began during the 2016-2017 school year in Seattle, and spread to Philadelphia and Rochester, N.Y., during the same year.
Last school year was the first nationally coordinated Black Lives Matter at School week of action with thousands of educators, students, parents, and community members participating in more than 20 cities across the U.S.
Organizers of the movement are hoping to build on the success of last year’s week of action, and are asking for people to pledge their support for the movement in the weeks ahead of February’s national action.
More on the movement, including a shareable petition and downloadable lesson plans, can be found online.