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By The Skanner News
Published: 16 January 2008

Coming this fall, as a way to keep better track of high-risk students, John Marshall Alternative School's six programs will end or be moved to other schools, the Seattle School Board announced Monday nearly 18 months after voting to close it.
The alternative school has been housed at John Marshall, near Green Lake, since the 1980s and is a last stop for vulnerable students at risk of dropping out of school and a re-entry stop for students returning to school from incarceration.
Students in the school's middle-and-high school "re-entry" programs will be moved to a more well-defined program at the Wilson-Pacific building located on North 90th Street.
Before heading back to the general-education program, 29 students in the re-entry program, for kids that have been suspended or expelled, will get caught up academically and work through their disciplinary problems. Currently students often bounce back and forth or linger between Marshall's re-entry program and is alternative school.
In August, a critical report by the National Dropout Prevention Center said that John Marshall was ineffective and unsafe and the district removed the school's longtime principal Joe Drake, who for the past five months has been on paid administrative leave.
Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson also made recommendations for other programs in John Marshall's building on Northeast Ravenna Boulevard:
The Evening School, for students earning high school credit, will be moved to Franklin High School; The GRADS program for teen parents will move to South Lake High School; Interim Alternative Education setting, a program for students who get in trouble for doing something that is "a manifestation" of their disability, will move to Wilson-Pacific and a behavior-intervention program with 19 students will be absorbed into similar programs at other schools.
The Seattle School Board also decided last week that Martin Luther King Elementary School, which closed in 2006, is surplus, no longer needed, and could be leased or sold.
The final decision on whether or not to sell the former school won't be made until the end of the year and the district would have to get the property appraised, hold at least one public hearing and have the board vote publicly to approve the final sale.
Despite some community members hopes that the school can be reopened, district officials have said that the school's 2-acre lot is too small and demographics predict there won't be enough new students enrolling in that neighborhood in the future to reopen a school.

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