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Everett School Board to seek the public's thoughts beginning in September

Jackson High School is overcrowd and will be even more so in the future.
Jackson High School cafeteria during lunch. Built in 1994, for 1,500 students, the school cafeteria was expanded in 2011 to make room for more students. Today the school has more than 2,000 students in grades nine through 12. Eleven portables are also used for classrooms. Photo courtesy of Everett Public Schools.

By Mary Waggoner, Everett Public Schools Director of Communications

Long-term processes that are launching in September and October seek the public’s thoughts about managing newly vacant district property, and solutions for student enrollment growth.

1. District Property Management Process begins Thursday, September 18th at 6:30 pm in the Port Gardner Room of the Community Resource Center.

This process will establish changes to the existing district Property Use Matrix. The matrix was established with the help of a community group in 2013. The matrix lists how district properties may be used in the future. 

Why is the Property Management Process needed?

Three district instructional and operational support services have been consolidated into the Community Resource Center at 3900 Broadway. Two older facilities are now vacant – The Longfellow Building on Oakes and 37th Street and the Educational Resource Center on Colby Avenue and 47th Street SE.

How long will the Property Management Process last?

The process launching on September 18th is slated to extend through December 2014 and will include other public meetings in November.

2. Student Growth Management Process begins Wednesday, October 8th at 6:30 pm at Woodside Elementary School. This process will help determine solutions to overcrowding that are caused by more students enrolling in district schools.

State funding for full day kindergarten classrooms also means more elementary classrooms are needed for the youngest students now going to school a full day.

Why is the Student Growth Management Process needed?

“More students are enrolling in our district each year. We must begin planning now to make adjustments so that we have space for them in the future.” School board president Pam LeSesne emphasized the importance of that planning as first-week student enrollment counts were tallied last week.

Two hundred and fifty more students than projected are in classrooms across the district now.

Woodside Elementary, built in 1981 for 560 students, now has more than 800 students. Woodside has eight portables encroaching on the playground. By December, Woodside will have ten portables.

Jackson High School has more than 2,100 students with eleven portables. Jackson High School was built in 1994 for 1,500 students in grades nine through twelve.

How long will the Student Growth Management Process last?

This process is scheduled to run through June 2015 with a number of public meetings and a community task force to help recommend solutions to overcrowding.

Some solutions that may be considered in the process include boundary adjustments, portables, busing, variances, program changes or a combination of these and other solutions. 

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