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Update: Temporary Boundary Will Move Some Rosa Parks Students to Wilder Next Year

More than 77 percent of parents who attending a September meeting on the issue prefer a boundary adjustment over a temporary grade level move, according to an email the superintendent sent to parents.

Update, 5:30 p.m. Oct. 18: Lake Washington School District Superintendent Traci Pierce sent an email Thursday to Rosa Parks Elementary parents informing them that a temporary boundary will be drawn that will move some Rosa Parks students to Wilder Elementary in Woodinville.

The temporary boundary is intended to ease overcrowding at the Redmond Ridge school, which is currently 11 percent over capacity and projected to be 45 percent over capacity by the 2015-2016 school year, with 1,034 students. Wilder, Pierce said in her email to parents, has a current enrollment of 347 students, which is projected to drop to 238 by 2015-16.

The temporary boundary is expected to be in place for three school years: 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, Pierce said at a Sept. 27 meeting at Rosa Parks. In 2016-2017, the district plans to either open a new school or implement a district-wide bound boundary adjustment.

District spokeswoman Kathryn Reith said Thursday the number of students who will move from Rosa Parks to Wilder has not yet been determined. 

Pierce outlined the next steps in the boundary adjustment process in her email:

The next step in the short-term solution process is to convene a committee that will develop criteria for the temporary boundary decision and develop possible temporary boundary scenarios. Based on our experience with past boundary processes, the committee will be made up of the principals from the two involved schools (Tina Livingston and Steve Roetcisoender), the director of school support from the Redmond Learning Community (Jon Holmen), staff members from business services, transportation and communications (Barbara Posthumus, Jeff Miles, Kathryn Reith). It will be led by an outside consultant, Bob Collard, formerly Assistant Superintendent both for Lake Washington and for Everett School District. 

The temporary boundary committee’s first meeting will be on October 25. In early November, parents will have an opportunity to provide feedback online on the decision criteria for the boundary process. At the end of November, we will hold a public meeting to introduce possible boundary scenarios. At that meeting and through the website, the committee will gather parent feedback on the scenarios. In early January, the committee will make a recommendation to me. I will take my recommendation to the board in January. The goal is to have this process completed prior to kindergarten registration in February. The committee will communicate a more complete schedule to you after its first meeting.

Pierce sent a separate email to Wilder parents notifying them of the temporary boundary adjustment and providing background information on the overcrowding situation at Rosa Parks.

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Original post, Oct. 18: Lake Washington School District Superintendent Traci Pierce plans to pursue a temporary boundary adjustment as a short-term solution to ease overcrowding at Rosa Parks Elementary in Redmond Ridge.

Pierce announced her plans in an email sent Wednesday to Rosa Parks parents. The boundary adjustment was one of two solutions presented at a Sept. 27 meeting between parents and school district officials. More than 77 percent of parents who participated in a written survey said they "agreed or strongly agreed" with that option, versus 13 percent who agreed or strongly agreed with temporarily moving two grade levels to another school. 

Some parents who attended the meeting told Patch they are worried the boundary adjustment option would divide Redmond Ridge from Redmond Ridge East, with children in the second area being sent to Wilder Elementary in Woodinville. The district has not yet officially said which school the additional Rosa Parks students would attend or where the temporary boundary would be. 

For more on the issue, click here to read Redmond Patch coverage of the Sept. 27 meeting. Here is the entirety of Pierce's email message, as provided to Redmond Patch by the school district:

Dear Rosa Parks parent/guardian:

On September 27, I met with the Rosa Parks community to discuss the long-range plan for Rosa Parks, and to seek feedback on potential short-term solutions that could be implemented in the 2013-14 school year to help address size concerns at the school. At the end of the meeting I shared that the team would be collating and analyzing your feedback, and that I would share your feedback back to you, along with next steps, by October 17.  

As you recall, two potential short-term options were presented: Option 1: Temporary Grade Level Move, and Option 2: Temporary Boundary.  Over 250 parents took the time to fill out the feedback form.  The Rosa Parks community clearly cares very deeply about their school. I realize that both options presented come with significant pros and cons, and it was not easy for parents to consider either option.

That said, Option 2: Temporary Boundary emerged as the clear preference. The feedback received reflects that 77.34% agreed or strongly agreed with the temporary boundary option versus 13.28% who agreed or strongly agreed with the temporary grade level move option. The additional comments on the options presented also reflected that of the two options, the temporary boundary option is preferred.

Some other options beyond the two presented were also suggested in the feedback. The team did review other options suggested by parents, and while there were some creative ideas suggested, no other options suggested emerged as viable given transportation feasibility, cost, and resulting enrollment impacts. The complete feedback report is attached for your information.

Based on the feedback received, I have decided to move forward with a temporary boundary option for Rosa Parks Elementary School. As shared at the meeting on September 27, placing a limit on the number of all-day kindergarten classes at Rosa Parks also continues to be a possible option, which may be implemented in 2013-14 in conjunction with the temporary boundary.

The next steps are to engage the schools involved in the temporary boundary and to develop a process for determining the temporary boundary. This process will involve more opportunities for parent input.

Tomorrow you will receive another email from me with more specifics regarding the next steps in the process.  In addition, given that the work to determine the temporary boundary must be complete prior to the start of the February kindergarten registration process begins, you will hear from me or other district staff on a regular basis between now and the end of this calendar year. Please make sure you read any emails on this subject, as they will likely contain both information and input opportunities such as survey links and meeting dates.

Thank you again for your feedback and participation in this important process.

 

Sincerely, 

Dr. Traci Pierce

Superintendent

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