School district agenda appears to be murky | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

In the spring of this year, the school district announced that it had a budget shortfall, and that one of the considerations for saving money would be to close the Commodore Options building, home of Odyssey first-sixth grade, Odyssey 7th-8th grade, Eagle Harbor High School, and Mosaic Home School, relocating these programs somewhere else, dismissing the principal of these programs, and office support staff.

After an outcry from the involved parents/children, the school board decided to address the immediate shortfall with layoffs and began a Commodore Options advisory committee, consisting of one parent and one teacher representative from each affected program, including Ordway Elementary school, the proposed site where many of these programs would be relocated.

The agenda for these meetings was set by the district, the data collected regarding the needs of each program was carefully choreographed, and despite the district collecting 500 pages of data, each program could not even express what their top priority was for their program.

Instead, the district proceeded to generate six different reconfiguration plans (with various “winners” and “losers” among the programs e.g. entire programs in portable buildings; separation of the fifth and sixth grade of Odyssey from the first-fourth grades in some of the schemes; Eagle Harbor High School crammed into a remodeled Commodore lunchroom/boardroom in a few of the schemes). In the meantime, the district enrollment unexpectedly increased by slightly over 300 childrenthis year, relieving the budgetary pressure.

The school board has not decided which of these reconfiguration plans to proceed with, if any.

Any of them would be a temporary move, as the longer-term plan is to create an integrated Ordway-Options campus, and demolish these remodeled spaces. It doesn’t seem like a good use of taxpayer money to remodel something that will be demolished in the near future. It definitely is not conducive to “social and emotional health” of the students (which the district is emphasizing this year) to disrupt Ordway, Odyssey 1-6, Odyssey 7-8, Eagle Harbor High School, El Velero Spanish Immersion program, and the Mosaic home schooling program for a temporary “fix” to a problem that no longer exists.

This process has been the stressful for the students and parents alike, and I can’t imagine how the taxpayers will react to their dollars being used for remodeling/reconfiguring that has no long-term future.

Why is this still being discussed? What is the district’s real agenda?

SHERRI WILSON

Bainbridge Island

More in Letters to the Editor

Memorial Day is a time for gratitude | Letter to the editor

To the editor: I appreciate the cartoon commemorating our comrades who fell… Continue reading

Our beloved tree was a safety hazard | Letter to the editor

To the editor: Winslow community, you may have noticed a very open… Continue reading

Let’s work together for a livable future | Letter to the editor

To the editor: Young people are speaking out. The May 31 article… Continue reading

We’re doomed if we don’t stop idling | Letter to the editor

To the editor: We’re doomed. I can’t park in a lot on… Continue reading

Thanks for supporting our Bike to School Day | Letter to the editor

To the editor: Thanks to so many for making Bike to School… Continue reading

The people Trump wants are here now | Letter to the editor

To the editor: The younger more educated immigrants that Trump prefers, ARE… Continue reading

Please drive the posted speed limit | Letters to the editor

Bravo to the Bainbridge Island City Council. May and all months have… Continue reading

City should think again before purchase | Letter to the editor

To the editor: My wife and I often visit a dear friend… Continue reading

Wood chips probe prompts questions | Letter to the editor

To the editor: Do I understand correctly that everybody involved in the… Continue reading

Remind PSE of the importance of clean energy | Letter to the editor

To the editor: Thank you 23rd Legislative District! We are so fortunate,… Continue reading

Council should stop project immediately | Letter to the editor

To the editor: It seems apparent that four members of the Bainbridge… Continue reading

Impeachment needs support of GOP Senate | Letter to the editor

To the editor: I was delighted to see that the Bainbridge Island… Continue reading