Letters to the Editor

Solving the problem of overcrowded schools | Letter

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Letters
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I would like to make a few points about the Northshore School District bond that is on your ballot. Although the bond includes the Woodinville High School Phase III remodel and the general upkeep and security at all school buildings I will focus on the biggest expense and the part I am most knowledgeable about, the new high school and grade reconfiguration.

The district has come to the decision to build a new high school and reconfigure grades as a way to deal with the overcrowded schools with a very effective public participation process. They have utilized the volunteer hours of many parents and community members to study the demographic trends and capacity of the schools as members of the Enrollment Demographics Task Force. As a member of the task force for five years now I can tell you that the phrase spoken most often during our grade reconfiguration and new high school discussions was, “What’s best for kids.” There are six parents and community members, serving rotating three-year terms, on the task force; they become quite knowledgeable of all of the data and the district facilities. In August 2012, the task force submitted a recommendation to the school board to build a new high school and reconfigure grades; they also spent many hours participating in retreats and study sessions explaining the reasoning behi nd the recommendation and answering questions from the school board. There is an 86-page summary of this recommendation, titled task force report, on the district website at and also two large boxes of reference materials which are stored at the district’s Support Services Office. I would encourage everyone to look at the district website to better understand why this recommendation was made.

I would encourage all voters to become informed about the differences between a middle school and a junior high. There are many resources on the district’s Grade Reconfiguration Task Force pages on the district’s website. Moving sixth graders out of the elementary schools and creating middle schools has several academic and social and emotional advantages. The biggest academic advantage that I see is that our sixth graders will be taught math and science by a teacher that specializes in math and science instead of with a generalist teacher. Although I think our generalist teachers at the elementary level are god-like. I am constantly amazed at what they are able to accomplish. They do have subject areas that they know better than others. Frequently literacy is emphasized at the elementary level and math and science instruction is not.

The district motto is “Strengthening Our Community Through Excellence in Education.” Now is not the time to sit back and enjoy our past successes; we must plan for the future. Solving our problem of overcrowded schools by reconfiguring grades and building a new high school will allow the district to continue striving for excellence.

Thank you for reading to the end; make sure to send your ballot in by Feb. 11.

Katrina Rose, Kenmore

 

 

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