One thing is for certain: Doing nothing is not an option.
That was the message from Lake Washington School District Superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce as she addressed parents concerned about overcrowding at Rosa Parks Elementary School in the school's gym on Thursday evening.
The school is . Home construction is continuing to occur within the Rosa Parks boundaries, leaving officials to project the school would be 45 percent over capacity by 2015-2016, with 1,034 students.
Parents were presented with two short-term options on Thursday evening: move two grades away from the campus to another school, or adjust the school's boundary to remove a portion of students.
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Both changes would be temporary, as the district is confident voters will pass a bond measure in 2014 that will allow it to build a new school on property it owns in Redmond Ridge East—even though a measure that would have done just that was voted down in 2010. If the measure fails, a district-wide boundary adjustment would take place.
"We are planning on running that bond, and passing that bond," Pierce said.
Both options would be in place for three school years: 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, Pierce said. In 2016-2017, either the new school would open or the district-wide bound boundary adjustment will take place.
LWSD spokeswoman Kathryn Reith said officials are still working out the details of both short-term options, including which grade levels would be moved and where the temporary boundary would be. The district has not officially said which school the students would be moved to, although many parents assume the extra students would attend Wilder Elementary in Woodinville, which is 38 percent under-capacity.
Cost estimates between the two options are also still being calculated, but Reith said either option would probably affect about the same number of students.
Meanwhile, parents are invited to submit written feedback forms and offer their thoughts on both proposals. The forms, currently available at the school's office, invite respondents to rate both options of a four-point scale and offer pros and cons for each proposal.
Susie Doehne, who has a daughter in first grade at Rosa Parks and is pregnant with her second child, said she is in favor of the temporary boundary adjustment. Too many questions remain on the grade-level option, she said, and it would make sense for students that live closer to Wilder to attend school there.
"I just think the numbers speak for themselves," she said.
In any case, Doehne said it's reassuring that the district is taking action on the issue. Her daughter just began attending full-day classes at the school, and Doehne said she hasn't noticed any problems yet, but it's apparent things could get much worse.
"If you look at those enrollment numbers, that's kind of frightening," she said.
Kelly Landers and Heather Snow, who each have two children at Rosa Parks, said they are still weighing the merits of each option. Snow said she is worried the two choices will divide the school between families living in Redmond Ridge, which is adjacent to Rosa Parks and would likely not be affected by a temporary boundary adjustment, and those who live in Redmond Ridge East, which is closer to Wilder.
"This should be something decided as a community and not divide us as a community," said Snow, who lived in Redmond Ridge for four years before moving to Redmond Ridge East about a year ago.
Landers said a key advantage of the grade level option is that it would keep cohorts of students together, but she said it's tough to put her support behind that scenario without knowing which grades would move to a new school.
Either way, Landers said she knows making a change is necessary.
"The reality is parents have a harder time with change than kids do," she said. "It's one of those rip-the-Band-Aid-off moments, I think."
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