In its first meeting of the school year Tuesday, Sept. 13, the Edmonds School Board heard from Business and Operations Director Stewart Mhyre that the fourth-day student count this school year reveals an enrollment decrease of 200 students district-wide.
Mhyre went on to report that the sharpest decrease is in the southeast quadrant of the district, which includes Mountlake Terrace and Brier. Asked about the significance of this decline and the potential effect on funding and other parameters, Mhyre responded that the numbers are new and need to be studied further to assess their full impact.
In other business, the board opened a public hearing on the proposed 2016-2021 Capital Facilities Plan, at which a group of Terrace Park K-8 parents presented a letter questioning the proposed removal of portable classroom space at that school. Pointing out that the Challenge programs now held at Terrace Park are best conducted in dedicated classroom space, they argued that removing the portable would force the district to either mix these students with the general education population or provide additional classroom space in the near future.
However, in light of the decreased enrollment figures reported by Mhyre, the parents agreed “that the district’s decision regarding the portable was a good one.” The Board subsequently voted to approve the CFP.
Two new administrative staff members were introduced, and the board came down from the dais to greet them personally. Mark Roschy, former head of human resources for the Mercer Island School District, will be the new Director of Classified Staff, and Mara Marano-Bianco, RN will bring her 22 years of experience in public health to the district as the new Manager of Health Services.
The board also discussed proposed changes to the absence, attendance and tardiness rules, aimed at bringing more consistency among all schools. In addition they heard public testimony on the potential to expand the district’s role in addressing homelessness in our community, and the possibility of re-naming the Edmonds District Stadium. With regard to the latter, the board pointed out that a public meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 29 to present options and take input on re-naming the stadium.
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel