Posted by: instanthausfrau | May 24, 2006

Zoomazium, School Closures

So, things have been quite busy in Chez Hausfrau and I have been remiss in my blogging duties. It means I have missed the chance to provide that semi-exclusive first look at Zoomazium, too. (We’re members of Woodland Park Zoo, and thus had access to the special preview day on Thursday, May 18th). Between Kids Quest Children’s Museum in Factoria and Zoomazium, it’s pretty easy to find the current trends in child development research:

  • Giant Tree Structure which kids can climb but parents can’t?check.
  • Enclosed toddler space, somewhat separate from the rest of the space but with low walls parents can see over? check.
  • Atmospheric stage lighting to make my pictures come out awfully dark? check.
  • Fake rocks? check.
  • Thousands upon thousand of parents and children packed into a small space? check
  • Picture of nursing primate above chair intended for visiting nursing mothers? check oh, wait, that’s just Zoomazium.

So yeah, because parents are just so excited to have something new to take their children to, Zoomazium lives up to it’s first syllable. Once crowds die down, I imagine it will be a much more pleasant place to be. And if you have a zoo membership, it’s a wonderful deal. You get free access to what is basically an indoor children’s museum type space, as well as access to all the zoo animals. It also helps provide more zoo options for rainy days or simply restless toddlers who aren’t so excited about seeing the non-touchable animals. But if you already have a membership at Kids Quest, you’ll find it’s much like where you’re already going (but without all the fun water to splash in, or the truck). Then again, Kids’ Quest can’t boast the very awesome giant egg shell kids can climb into.

Woodland Park Zoo
750 N. 50th Street (South Gate)

Hours 10am – 5pm daily

free with Zoo Admission

But the big news for kids in the Seattle area are the school closure announcements. To make up budget shortfalls and address a declining school population, Seattle Public Schools’ Community Advisory Committee has proposed closing 9 schools, relocating 5 programs, and merging two schools. Currently, they are holding town hall meetings where parents can name their concerns about the process and the closures. Emotions are running high, as no parent wants their school to be the one to close (though many recognize that closures seem a good idea). Still, it’s hard to understand the reasoning behind some of the choices; schools that just received $4.5 million dollar renovations are on the list, and that money is about equal to the projected savings the School System web page is highlighting.

Even if your own children are too young to be affected by the choices now, these do affect the options in your neighborhood in the future. Come out to a town hall meeting, see what parents and students are saying about their schools and take this opportunity to start learning about the opportunities provided by schools in your area. We attended a meeting tonight, and saw a lot of concerned students and parents making their voices heard. It also gave us the chance to ask student’s about their schools and what they like about them, although admittedly the lack of response or answers to parent questions about the selection process were frustrating. The town halls as provided seem to be more a venue for parental venting than a chance to get questions about the process answered.

You can read more about the issue here:


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