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Enumclaw Proposes K-5 Schools

February 9, 2005

Dear Parents:

Over the years we all learn many truths. One of those is that we find opportunity in adversity. The present status of our elementary schools is an example. Declining enrollment has hit the Enumclaw School District hard over these past seven years. Water and sewer limitations, growth management and lower birth rates have resulted in very small elementary schools. Each year we have been reducing staff and trying to find ways to keep the ever-smaller schools stable. Small schools are obviously expensive to operate and bring significant issues to the surface as principals try to offer all needed services with smaller budgets and fewer staff.

Meanwhile, the District has been engaged in great change for the purpose of improving student learning. We have actively pursued ways of enhancing teachers’ abilities to know students better and to personalize teaching and learning. Throughout recent years we have had many discussions, committees and high staff interest in making fundamental changes in the structure of some of our elementary schools to K-5 configurations. In short, we have not been able to pursue that solution because of the enrollment demographics.

Now we find opportunity in our declining enrollment. We can now make it work! It is time to move forward with the K-5 concept for all students, and equally important, the proposed solutions help resolve some of the financial and management problems caused by our “too-small” schools. The enclosed information provides more detail about the plan and how it would touch each school. We are proposing a K-5 configuration and boundary adjustments which would be implemented in the fall of 2005.

In addition to the information we have tried to provide specific impacts for each school, key benefits, principal assignments and opportunities for you to learn more information. We have scheduled community meetings to offer more detail, answer questions or to provide us with input that might help make the plan work better for you and your children. We have tried to schedule one near your child’s school, but you are welcome to attend any.

Please consider the enclosed information carefully. We look forward to finally being able to implement this long-desired change, and we also recognize the daunting nature of converting one of our schools from student use to other district and community use. The challenges are great but the benefits are exceptional for the schools and for the children.

Sincerely,

Dr. Arthur Jarvis
Superintendent

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