Bellevue district will consider consolidating some elementary schools
Members of the Bellevue School Board will be briefed Thursday on proposals aimed at helping the district deal with its declining enrollment numbers.
A letter sent to families says one plan calls for consolidating three elementary schools with the largest declines to date. Read the full letter below. In short, a total of seven schools are up for consolidation, including: Ardmore, Eastgate, Enatai, Phantom Lake, Sherwood Forest, Woodridge, and Wilburton.
A series of sessions and open houses for the community will be held over the upcoming month. A final recommendation to the board will be presented to members Feb. 9.
Dear BSD Families:
There will be a presentation to the Board on Thursday, January 12, 2023, with options to address declining enrollment. A series of staff engagement sessions and open houses for impacted families and community members will be held over the upcoming month.
The proposal will consider shifts to consolidate three of the seven elementary schools identified below to stabilize elementary enrollment. These schools have experienced the greatest enrollment decline to date and include Ardmore, Eastgate, Enatai, Phantom Lake, Sherwood Forest, Woodridge and Wilburton elementaries. A direct message was sent to community members at the impacted schools with dates and times for their open houses.
We recognize that any potential scenarios may cause disappointment and concerns for students, staff, and families in our community. The district is focused on ensuring that our students are supported, and the educational process will continue for them – especially following the pandemic and learning recovery efforts led by BSD administrators and educators. There is no right answer, only the best possible answer to this challenge we face together, acknowledging that the impacts will be felt deeply. Bellevue, like many school districts, both locally and nationally, is faced with some difficult decisions on how to responsibly manage the fiscal fallout of these enrollment shifts. On January 12, BSD will share some potential scenarios with the Directors of the Bellevue School Board at the study session of regularly scheduled Board Meeting which aim to address declining enrollment and share opportunities to engage all stakeholders in providing final recommendations.
For the past several months the Bellevue School District has shared information with our learning community about the enrollment challenges the district is projected to experience. In November, we shared the BSD Demographic and Enrollment Future Trends study which laid the foundation for understanding the varied factors that impacted the past and predict future levels of BSD enrollment. In December, we shared the Planning for Our Future presentation by Deputy Superintendent, Melissa deVita, that shared information on the potential impact of declining enrollment. In December and January, we partnered with the Bellevue Education Association and building leaders on this topic and continue to meet regularly.
A final recommendation to the Board is tentatively set for the regularly scheduled Board meeting on February 9, 2023.