Information Gathering

March 27, 2007

Below you can read a letter that will be sent out later this week as we expand the informational gathering process to include our parents and community members. This will also be printed in this week's Courier-Herald.

Dear Parents,
The language that many of our presidential candidates are using is that they are "launching an exploratory committee to run for the president of the United States."  At our board work study in March, the board and I had a conversation regarding our aging facilities.  The focus of this conversation was about building a process for determining the facility needs within our school district.  It is time as a school system and the cities of Black Diamond and Enumclaw, that we launch an exploratory process for not only determining our facility needs, but also determining a plan for addressing them.

As a result of the board study, Tim Madden (our Director of Business and Operations) and I met with staff at all of our school sites and departments seeking their input regarding their building needs.  Our goal is to use this broad base of input to determine our priorities.  As a means to this goal, we are inviting parents and community members to an information gathering meeting.  Below are options to attend one of these meetings.

Black Diamond May 8th; 6:30 (PTA meeting)
Kibler  April 17th; 6:30 (PTA meeting)
Southwood  April 24th; 6:30 (special meeting)
Sunrise  April 5th; 6:30 (special meeting)
Westwood May 10th; 6:30 (special meeting)
EMS May 3rd; 6:30 library (special meeting)
TMMS April 26th; 6:30 library (special meeting)
EHS  May 1st; 6:30 library (special meeting)

The information from these meetings will be synthesized and a list of prioritized projects will be developed.  During the summer months, these priorities will be clustered and packaged with initial pricing and sketches created to visually show possibilities.  Next fall, our school system will again provide multiple opportunities for staff, parents and community members to give feedback to us on the package of prioritized projects. 

Our hope is that late next fall our school board of directors will use this feedback to come to consensus about the needs of our facilities in order to finalize a package that could be put before our voting public in the spring, 2008.  I believe this open and transparent process will allow a two-way dialog to occur.  The winners in this entire process will be our students, not only the students of today, but the students for many years to come. 

Mike Nelson