East Valley School District considers reopening two middle schools




Posted on January 28, 2014 at 11:11 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 14 at 8:42 PM

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash.--The East Valley School Board was considering in late January reopening two middle schools that were closed in 2011.   

Parents and teachers had a chance to voice their opinion about the issue Tuesday night.

Students were shifted into five elementary schools within the district when the two middle schools were closed by district officials. Enrollment in the middle schools was getting smaller and the district felt like they could save money while providing students with a better education. That created a situation where kindergarten students all the way up to eighth graders attend the same school.

Some like the new model, while other parents think it is time to go back to the old way.

Parents voiced their opinion at a board meeting on Tuesday night about their children attending those kindergarten through eighth grade schools in the district.

Most of the complaints were centered around squeezing too many kids into too little of classrooms.

“I am not against a K-8 model at all, I'm against the way that we've been forced into it and cramming kids into situations that they're not prepared for,” said one parent.

“Not having places for the kids to change in the locker rooms, that is a really important thing...I know kids are dressing in multiple layers in the winter,” said another parent.

The kindergarten through eighth grade model was in its third year in the East Valley School District in the 2013 to 2014 school year.

At the meeting there was an overwhelming number of parents and teachers that wanted to wait and see how test scores shake out when the year’s eighth graders hit high school in one year.

“Next year will be the first year freshman will go to the high school out of the K-8 program. And we knew that going into this process it would be a multi year effort to improve the district,” said Mike Bly, someone who wanted to wait to see test scores.

“People have a lot of issues with facilities and some of the academic things they seem to be missing in a middle school model but a lot that we're not sure about because we don't have the data. It may take another year to do that and maybe even more,” said the President of the East Valley Education Association, Leslee McLaclan.

The board decided to wait on making a decision Tuesday night so they can gather more information.

The chairman of the board, Mike Novakovich, said there is not a specific date to make a decision. The district wanted to take their time and make an educated decision.