Greetings Washington School Parents and Community,
We are writing to update you on Monday’s School Board meeting and the ongoing space issues at our school, as well as invite you to provide your input at a special PTO meeting on Tuesday, April 2 at 7pm in the Auditorium.
At the request of concerned Washington families, the D64 School Board added a discussion of space issues at Washington to the March 18 Board meeting agenda. To refresh, current D64 projections for the 2019-2020 school year show that three grade levels are very close to requiring an additional section to remain within the D64 class size guidelines. If the need for these sections arises, there is nowhere in the school to go, as the building only has capacity for 27 classrooms, while a total 30 could be needed. Additionally, the D64 Administration shared that enrollment projections at Washington over the next ten years show that our student population could continue to grow making the need for the additional classrooms critical. (Ref: Video Link – Discussion begins at 28:48)
The Board was presented with four construction options by the architecture firm, Studio GC, who was contracted by the D64 Administration to show options for providing immediate relief to our school and the costs. ( Ref: Appendix 4, page 4 ) After a lengthy discussion, that included public comments from some of our parents and teachers, the Board directed the D64 administration to begin preliminary work on plans for the elimination of our existing auditorium and replacing it with three interior classrooms. This construction work is projected to be completed October of 2019 – six weeks into the school year – with a cost of $650,000. While there was discussion of providing Washington a suitable replacement space for the loss of the auditorium, the Board reached no consensus on this issue.
It is important to note that the Washington space issue was an “agenda only” item at the Board meeting, and no official action or vote could take place. The Board will vote on these issues at the April 9th board meeting, and they need to hear our continued concerns as they make critical decisions regarding our school.
All of the proposals offered have serious drawbacks for Washington and none offer a long-term solution for a problem that we can see, predict and plan for. We are very concerned about the short-sighted approach to this issue to date. Whatever is done will have a long-lasting impact on Washington, our students and our community for the foreseeable future. We want to gather input from our parents and teachers as we chart a course forward.
We hope that you will join us on April 2nd, and consider attending the Board Meeting on April 9th.