Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Students, families, community members rallied in support of Lake Washington School District's bond

Tuesday’s event at Margaret Mead Elementary in Sammamish highlighted the need for the April 26 bond

Mead Elementary in the fast-growing Lake Washington School District is so crowded that students are served lunch outside – dodging crows – and then return to their classrooms to eat.

Addison Smith, a third grader at Mead, told a crowd gathered Tuesday morning in support of bond, what that means for students.

“This is important because we do not have enough space for students to successfully learn and grow,” 9-year-old Addison said. “We don’t even have a good place to eat. We don’t have a cafeteria..our salad bar is set up in the courtyard, in the rain, and we have to carry our lunch back to our classrooms.”

There are 600 students at Mead, in a school designed for 449 students. And enrollment continues to increase.

Mead is one of several projects on Lake Washington School District’s April 26 bond. After failing to reach the needed 60 percent vote twice in 2014, supporters are rallying to urge voters to approve the measure this spring.

The event at Mead Elementary was part of a districtwide Red Tuesdayevent. Supporters were near schools during the morning commute, waving VOTE YES signs. You can find photos and videos on social media #Yes4LWKids and #redTuesday

Eric Campbell, a Lake Washington School District parents and one of the 60-plus community members who served on the district’s long-term facilities task force, explained that the bond will reduce the number of portables and help alleviate overcrowding, all at no tax rate increase.

“The Lake Washington School District is one of the fastest growing in the state
In fact, we’ve grown form the sixth to the fourth largest this year alone,” Campbell said. “We saw an increase of 1,114 students in just one year. To paint a picture, that’s growth of 34 new classrooms in one year. But we don’t have the space to house those students.”

If approved, the bond will:

·        Build two new elementary schools
·        Build a new middle school
·        Rebuild and enlarge Juanita High School
·        Replace and enlarge both Mead Elementary here and Kirk Elementary in Kirkland
·        Renovate the Old Redmond School House
·        Generally reduce our use of portables
·        All without raising our tax rate

Nicole Morgan, a Mead Elementary kindergarten teacher, also spoke on Tuesday, telling the crowd how much she loves the school community, and what the bond would mean for their school.

“This school was built for 449 students, but we currently have 600 students. As a teacher, that means we are often teaching in rooms that were not designed as classrooms,” Morgan said. “It means our teaching spaces do not meet the demand for today’s technology. We don’t have a cafeteria, so our students each lunch in our classrooms, which has created a problem with ants.”
 Nicole added, “I’m proud to be a teacher at Mead and at Lake Washington School District. We have an amazing community here and I’m so impressed with the support for our students and schools.”
 For more details on the April 26 bond, visit: www.vote4lwsdkids.org

See Mead’s outdoor hot lunch line and crow netting on this video:http://www.screencast.com/t/gVBETpxiLV

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