Superintendent, parents discuss Rosa Parks Elementary School overcrowding

Dr. Traci Pierce had barely put the microphone down and stepped off the stage when a group of parents surrounded the new Lake Washington School District superintendent to discuss overcrowding at Rosa Parks Elementary School.

Dr. Traci Pierce had barely put the microphone down and stepped off the stage when a group of parents surrounded the new Lake Washington School District superintendent to discuss overcrowding at Rosa Parks Elementary School.

It was feedback time at last Thursday night’s community meeting that drew about 150 people to Rosa Parks, and it was as if Pierce was a coach and the parents were players asking the superintendent about her game plan.

Presently, the Redmond Ridge school is 11 percent over capacity at 793 students, the highest number in the district. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a long-range plan for Rosa Parks and seek feedback on some potential short-term solutions that could be implemented beginning in the 2013-14 school year.

Pierce fielded questions mainly about two short-term options under consideration: two grade levels temporarily moving to another school for the next two years and a temporary boundary that would move some students to another school for the next three years.

While Pierce spoke with some parents, others wrote down their thoughts on forms that school district members passed out.

“I spoke to a good number of people who asked very good questions, who all are very concerned about their students. Everyone’s very thoughtful, very respectful,” Pierce said after the meeting. “It was a very positive experience. The parents here love this school, and rightly so. They’re supportive of the school district. I think people understand that it’s a difficult situation and that we’re all going to work together to figure out what to do about it.”

Also on people’s minds was an upcoming bond, which the school district plans to run in February 2014. If the bond passes, they plan to build a new elementary school on property they own in Redmond Ridge East. If it doesn’t pass, they will complete a comprehensive district-wide re-boundary process.

Julie Chicoine, a mother to first- and fourth-graders at Rosa Parks, said she’d like to see some students moved to another school, possibly Laura Ingalls Wilder, which currently houses 343 students and is 38 percent under capacity.

“It’s a busy school. Kids have to eat in their classroom, so we need a solution for the overcrowding — it’s way too (many) kids in that school,” Chicoine said of Rosa Parks. “We all take our kids’ education very seriously.”

Karen Swenson, who has a second-grader at Rosa Parks, said grade shifting will split families apart and make it hard for parents to arrange drop-offs and pick-ups and get involved in PTAs.

“Just the whole communication of what is going on at each school — it just becomes a logistical nightmare for parents,” said Karen, who also has a sixth-grader at Evergreen Middle School.

Ram Thiru, who has a first-grader at Rosa Parks, added that he’s heard of Redmond Ridge parents discussing that Redmond Ridge East students shouldn’t be attending Rosa Parks because that adds to the overcrowding problem.

“The thing that I’m worried about is creating a boundary that separates Redmond Ridge and Redmond Ridge East. I think it will create a rift between the neighborhoods,” Thiru said.

He’s asking the school district to consider moving the two grade levels out of Rosa Parks.

“I think that’s the best for everybody, so that way you get a mix of both neighborhood kids so you don’t create a separation,” Thiru said. “The community has a lot of things in common and I don’t think we should create a division between communities.”


More in News

Aerotek, TEKsystems hold charity golf tournament

Aerotek and TEKsystems held its Wounded Warrior and Team Gleason Golf Tournament… Continue reading

‘Technologist and philanthropist’ Paul Allen dies at 65

The Microsoft co-founder and Seahawks owner died from cancer on Monday.

State Supreme Court strikes down death penalty

All nine justices found the use of capital punishment in Washington state unconstitutional and racially biased.

Redmond aims to make parks, trails more accessible

The city is developing an ADA transition plan, which may extend to all facilities.

Mayor John Marchione presented the 2019-20 preliminary biennial budget at Tuesday’s City Council meeting on Oct. 2.
Mayor presents $797 million preliminary biennial budget

Redmond Mayor John Marchione presented the 2019-20 preliminary biennial budget on Oct. 2.

Mayor John Marchione urged all residents to “speak out against domestic violence and support LifeWire’s efforts to prevent and end domestic abuse,” on Oct. 2. Photo courtesy of LifeWire.
Redmond mayor proclaims October as Domestic Violence Action Month

Andrew Farrell, a LifeWire board director, helps the city council proclaim Domestic Violence Action Month on Oct. 2.

Police recovered this stolen saw, among other expensive tools, when they arrested the suspected tool thief. Courtesy of the Redmond Police Department
Redmond’s Pro-Act team nabs tool thief in latest bust

The Redmond Police Department’s Pro-Act unit has been conducting crime investigations for 13 years.

A Redmond police officer high fives Horace Mann Elementary students on International Walk to school Day on Oct. 10. Thousands of schools across the country, including 10 Redmond schools, participated in the 22nd Annual Walk to School Day. Redmond students helped reduce neighborhood traffic congestion and local air pollution by walking, biking, carpooling or riding the school bus. International Walk to School Day is facilitated as a part of Redmond’s SchoolPool program. The program works with schools to provide education on safety topics and events like Walk and Bike to School Days to encourage healthy behaviors for students and also rewards local students and schools for reducing the number of drive-alone trips to school. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.
Redmond schools participate in the 22nd Annual Walk to School Day

On Oct. 10, thousands of schools across the country, including 10 Redmond… Continue reading

B.C. pipeline rupture halts trash service to many Eastside cities

Waste Management fleet without fuel; PSE has urged customers to reduce consumption.

Most Read