Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lowell plan, superintendent search on School Board's Oct. 8 agenda!

The Bellingham School District posted the Oct. 8 board meeting agenda and attachments today. Included under action items:
Management Action Plan for Lowell Elementary School,
prepared by acting superintendent Sherrie Brown, is a preliminary draft for reopening Lowell Elementary School. The plan includes five objective areas: Budget, Enrollment Projections, Staffing, Communications and Logistics.
It includes moving items from storage, into the school, in December!

While this is exciting, it is also important to know that the process includes "evaluating" the impact of reopening Lowell on Happy Valley and Larrabee elementary schools.

Let's make sure this evaluation really is for staffing purposes, and not another attempt by the school district to pit school communities against one another. We need to continue to support all of our elementary schools as neighborhood schools.

The draft plan also continues to use the term "small schools" -- which has been code for "unnecessary." These southside schools are not small. Lowell had more than 300 students, and Happy Valley is supposed to have about 280 students when it is not hosting a second student body. And Larrabee has more than 200 students.

Also on the agenda under action items: "The Board of Directors of Bellingham School District #501 will take action to initiate a search for a new superintendent that includes a process for input from community, staff and students."

We hope this process will allow for new school board members to participate, since they'll be the ones working with the new superintendent.

Please make an effort to be at the school board meeting this Thursday,
7:30 p.m., 1306 Dupont St. Big decisions are being made, and it is very important that the school board, the new acting superintendent Sherrie Brown, and the school board candidates who have been regularly attending these meetings understand how much we value and support our neighborhood schools.

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