We welcome the news that the Lake Washington School District is moving forward with steps to reduce the out-of-control overcrowding at Rosa Parks Elementary in Redmond Ridge.
Our community has watched and waited patiently for district action as enrollment has skyrocketed toward 800 students and a record 10 portables – contrast that with nearby Wilder Elementary, which has a declining student population in the low 300s and 12 empty classrooms.
At Rosa Parks, portables have increased the number of classrooms, but crowded and over scheduled shared spaces such as the gym, commons, playground and pods designed for small-group instruction remain restrictive at the school’s current massive size. As a result, students miss out on the many expanded learning opportunities that these areas could otherwise provide.
New superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce now has the opportunity to lead the way to a short-term solution that improves the learning environment across the entire student population at a smaller, more manageable Rosa Parks.
We encourage the school community to get involved this fall, as Dr. Pierce seeks input at a meeting to be held at the school in late September. Working together, we’re hopeful the district will arrive quickly at a solution to bring Rosa Parks’ enrollment in line with its original building capacity and enable more opportunities for student learning and meaningful connections with others at the school.
We trust that long-overdue relief is on the way for 2013-14, and ask the community’s support in getting there.
Beth Zimmerman, Karen Swenson and Julianne Bogaty, Redmond Ridge residents