Tag Archives: education

Seattle Drum School uncertain about future, DPD clarifies permit status


Steve Smith, owner of the Seattle Drum School, is shown at the building in north Seattle on May 4, 2013. (seattlepi.com photo used with permission)

As music education in Seattle Public Schools has continued to wither away, the Seattle Drum School on 15th Avenue NE and NE 125th Street has grown. For the past 27 years the school has educated students on an expanding list of musical instruments and voice lessons. The school’s 40 teachers  currently teach about 600 students..

Voice teacher Lorrie Ruiz, left, works with student Heather Newton during a lesson at the Seattle Drum School in north Seattle on May 4, 2013. (seattlepi.com photo, used with permission)

Voice teacher Lorrie Ruiz, left, works with student Heather Newton during a lesson at the Seattle Drum School in north Seattle on May 4, 2013. (seattlepi.com photo, used with permission)

But recently, owner Steve Smith has struggled with City of Seattle officials, casting doubt on the future of the much-loved north Seattle business.

The Seattle P-I reports that as the school grew, they took over more rooms in the aging two-story building they occupy behind the Brown Bear Car Wash. The now-deceased landlord partitioned the rooms, yet never applied for building permits, as he moved the school into an ever-expanding space in his building.

The P-I said that each year the school passed fire inspections when visited by the fire marshal. But after they added a performance space in the rear of the building —and a complaint was filed— a visit in 2011 by a Department of Planning and Development inspector noted Smith’s space needed major upgrades.

drumschool2First reported by The Stranger last week, Smith said that his school may be forced to close if ordered to comply with upgrades ordered by the Department of Planning and Development. Smith said the City of Seattle appeared to change the classification of his business to classification “E.” Smith told The Stranger that change “subjects us to the same safety requirements and other standards as a public school that’s publicly funded, with 30 kids per classroom.” He said that most of their business consists of a single professional offering services to a single client, in one room at a time.

Smith told The Stranger that the City of Seattle had started legal proceedings against the business.

However, after the initial stories were published in The Stranger and on KOMO/4 (video report embedded below) the DPD responded that they just needed clarification and that they now do not believe fire suppression sprinklers are needed.

“We’re not going to require an onerous update to a building if it’s not needed for the safety of occupants,” department spokesman Bryan Stevens told the P-I. “We support local business, but our mission is to make sure that the occupants of a building are safe. The only way we can verify that is through review of a building permit.”

So for now the City of Seattle will keep the school classified as fine arts school, something that doesn’t subject them to the same safety requirements as a school. But the City has not ruled out fines for the delays in permits.

You can see a KOMO/4 story on the Seattle Drum School below.

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Jamtown kicking off tots drumming class, spots still available

Creating music at Jamtown

Creating music at Jamtown in the tots class

The folks over at Lake City’s Jamtown are kicking off their Toddler 8 Week Spring Series classes this week.

There are still spots left in the classes for youngsters. Caregivers, parents and grandparents are invited by Jamtown to join in the drumming with with the youngsters during the sessions.

The 45 minute classes help the kiddos create rhythms on an assortment of drums and instruments.

The following is the class schedule:

  • Tots 8 week, Wednesday April 17 – June 5, 10 a.m.
  • Tots 8 week, Thursday April 18  -  June 13, 10 a.m. (no class 5/23)
  • Tots 8 week, Friday April 19 – June 14, 10am (no class 5/24)
  • Tots* 8 week, Saturday April 20 – June 22, 11am (no class 5/4, 5/25)

The classes cost $99 for parent/child. Siblings are 1/2 price.

You can register online here or call 206-632-9136

You can follow Jamtown on Facebook here.

Lifetime Learning Center Open House March 28th

Mature learners now have more educational opportunities in Lake City thanks to the  Lifetime Learning Center. There will be an Open House on March 28th @ 10AM.


Lifetime Learning Center has been moving into its new location in the Educational Wing of the Lake City Presbyterian Church on NE 123rd Street. Following its Open House at 10am March 28, LLC’s Spring Quarter classes will begin the week of April 1st. In addition, there are plans for a summer program in July.

The Center, which has operated since 1975, is a program of continuing education for adults of all ages. For the past three years it had been renting space at John Marshall School near Green Lake, but the school district recently decided to reopen John Marshall. The result is the Center’s recent move to Lake City where it has been offered a new home by the enthusiastic staff at Lake City Presbyterian. An entrance marked Lifetime Learning Center is now on the west end of the building and leads to LLC’s new office and suite of classrooms.

There are often up to three hundred students enrolled in the twenty-five classes that LLC offers each 8-week quarter. Class subjects range from Shakespeare and E. M. Forster to bridge, film history, exercise for older adults, Middle East history and politics, Japanese history and film, crochet, and writing one’s life story. The Lifetime Learning faculty consists of over twenty retired academics, current professionals, and artists. All are volunteers.

For the complete schedule of classes for Spring, go to www.lifetimelearningseattle.org/spring 2013.pdf or call 206-949-8882. The new address is 3841 NE 123rd Street, Seattle, 98125.

Hunger Intervention Program expanding service to feed low-income school kids on weekends

Aidan Cummings, 8, tries to keep cereal packages from toppling over during a "Healthy HIP Packs" packing party at Lake City Presbyterian Church. The food is packed by volunteers coordinated by the Hunger Intervention Program for low-income students that rely on free and reduced school lunches during the week, but on weekends do not have proper nutrition at home. (seattlepi.com photo used with permission)

Aidan Cummings, 8, tries to keep cereal packages from toppling over during a “Healthy HIP Packs” packing party at Lake City Presbyterian Church. The food is packed by volunteers coordinated by the Hunger Intervention Program for low-income students that rely on free and reduced school lunches during the week, but on weekends do not have proper nutrition at home. (seattlepi.com photo used with permission)

Lake City’s Hunger Intervention Program has expanded its much-needed service that provides food on weekends to low-income students that rely on in-school free and reduced meals.

The program has expanded from serving low-income students at John Rogers Elementary to include students at Olympic Hills Elementary and Viewlands Elementary in Greenwood. The two schools added to the program have some of the highest rates of students in the district on the in-school free and reduced meal program.

The group hosts monthly packing parties at its headquarters at Lake City Presbyterian Church, where volunteers assemble meals for students. The “Healthy Hip Packs” are then discreetly given to students that need the nutrition on weekends when they are not getting meals from the schools.

The group’s efforts were profiled in the Seattle P-I on Wednesday.

From the P-I story:

When people think of low-income areas, they typically don’t think of this part of Seattle, said Murphy, program manager for HIP, during a packing party at the group’s headquarters at the Lake City Presbyterian Church. But Northeast Seattle, particularly Lake City, is home to many struggling and low-income families.

“This program is such an important resource for children when school meals are not available,” said Murphy.

The most recent data from Seattle Public Schools lists Olympic Hills Elementary’s free and reduced-cost students at 73 percent of the school’s population, Viewlands in Greenwood at 60 percent and John Rogers at 35 percent…

…The food in the packs emphasizes whole grains, milk, high-quality proteins, fresh fruits and products with no added sugars. Under current funding, the program hopes to provide weekend meals to up to 20 students at each of the newly added schools. Their goal is to increase that to 40 students per school for the 2013-2014 school year.

You can read more in the P-I story here, which includes photos of one of the group’s packing parties.

Update: KIRO/7 also featured the HIP Program in their Thursday newscast. You can see that story by clicking here.

Lake City Lions Club Screens Students

  The Lake City Lions Club was out providing more community service yesterday. They helped staff this giant semi-truck health screening vehicle parked in front of Olympic Hills Elementary.   This health screening vehicle was purchased with donations from a variety of Lions Clubs and individuals. It is owned and operated by the NW Lions Foundation. In fact, it travels all over Washington and northern Idaho, providing hearing and vision screening for students and the general public. At each stop, local Lions Club members help staff the vehicle.         At Olympic Hills Elementary, Lake City Lions Club members were busily working, ushering students to and from the vehicle, keeping track of paperwork, and assuring each child’s needs were being met.

Free Tutoring at Lake City Community Center

Northside Youth Program is offering free tutoring at the Lake City Community Center.  This new program, called CAST (Community After School Tutoring) welcomes students of all ages and offers a quiet place to do homework, to read a book, get help on homework assignments, or work on school projects (including the Senior Project required by Seattle Schools).”   The program is free and students must register to participate.  Student applications are due by this Friday, February 22.  Tutoring will be offered on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from  3:30pm-5:30pm. The first session begins March 4th and runs for 8 weeks. C.A.S.T Tutors work with students individually or in small groups and offer tutoring as well as friendship, encouragement, and guidance. Tutoring subjects include: reading, spelling, writing, and math. (ESL/ELL classes will be offered in Fall 2013.)   Northside Youth Program will also be offering monthly workshops. Topics will include SAT/ACT prep, workplace readiness, college admission support, scholarship searches, college admission essay 101, high school resume help, and resume writing.   For more information or to register, contact: Darnesha Weary. 206-334-8475 darnesha@northsideyouthprogram.org   Applications are also available at: Lake City Community Center 12531 28th Ave NE Seattle, Washington 98125