Special Meeting Minutes - Hearing B
CALL TO ORDER
The Board of Directors of Port Angeles School District No. 121 met in special session on Tuesday, October 17, 2006, at 7:00 p.m. in the Roosevelt Middle School Library. The purpose of the meeting was to conduct a public hearing to gather comment from audience participants regarding the recommendations to close Roosevelt Middle School and reopen as an elementary school. Proper notification of the meeting was made according to law. In attendance were Mrs. Kelly, Mr. McClain, Ms. McLaughlin, Dr. Happe, Mr. Hinds, and Superintendent Cohn.
President Hinds provided the audience with the guidelines for audience participation at public hearings. President Hinds informed the audience that this hearing was being held pursuant to RCW 28A.335.020, that the board will carefully listen to, but not respond to their comments, and that they can use the comment cards provided if they would like answers to specific questions.
Tom Leinart, 3002 South Peabody, a science teacher at Roosevelt Middle School, told the board how Roosevelt learned about teaming. The teams started in 2002 and it has taken them 5 years to get where they are and are recognized all over the state. Mr. Leinart told the board that it is not possible to move this program to Stevens Middle School because of the many differences between Stevens and Roosevelt, noting that Roosevelt has 8 periods and Stevens has 6 periods. This cannot translate/transfer to Stevens. It will take two to three years to make it happen. Mr. Leinart told the board that he wants Stevens to come to Roosevelt.
Anne Shaffer, P.O. Box 2263, spoke to the board about reconsideration of Roosevelt Middle School closing. Ms. Shaffer told the board that the final recommendations are of great concern and the fact that Roosevelt is the top middle school in the district should be considered in the decision making process. Ms. Shaffer said that the priorities should be high functioning, highly trained students in our district and asked the board to look back at the criteria used to make decisions.
Kim Ciaciuch, 387 Little Loop Road, spoke to the board about Roosevelt Middle School positives, noting that Roosevelt is the reason her child was successful. Ms. Ciaciuch told the board that her daughter blossomed in middle school and is ready to take risks like the OPI science experiment. Ms. Ciaciuch said that Roosevelt’s faculty dynamic makes a great experience for students. Ms. Ciaciuch said that students moving to Stevens have already made a move when Monroe Elementary closed, and noted the bridge closures occurring in the next year or so. Ms. Ciaciuch would also like to see a whole new persona established for the new 7-8 grade middle school.
Leslie Perizzo, 5343 South Mountain Terrace Way, spoke to the board regarding the school closures. She is the parent of a 7th grade daughter at Roosevelt Middle School and a daughter in the MAC program at Franklin Elementary. Ms. Perizzo told the board that she agrees with Mr. Leinart and would like to see Stevens move to Roosevelt, noting that the A-Teams have contributed to the success of the Roosevelt students, and that there are not as many programs available at Stevens. Ms. Perizzo told the board that she doesn’t want to sound racist, but the reason she moved to the east side of town is because of the problems in the Stevens area she’s heard about from parents and administrators. Ms. Perizzo doesn’t want her daughter to experience the social problems that Stevens and the west side have. Ms. Perizzo asked the board to provide the square footage of the buildings. Ms. Perizzo commented on traffic control issues are a concern when the bridges are being worked on and said the academic achievement is higher at Roosevelt. She wants to know why one of the first options was not considered and why does Choice get taken off the chopping block every year.
Steve Anderson, 1093 Strait View Drive, spoke to the board regarding the school closures. Mr. Anderson told the board that if we are going to make this move, this is the best facility for students to come to and asked the board to make this a positive move for the kids. Mr. Anderson recommended better sports programs for the kids and as far as a wrestling program, there is no junior high program and Port Angeles is long-overdue, and it is hard to compete in high school if it doesn’t start in junior high.
Jeff Bowman, 3753 Canyon Circle, and a parent of an 8th grade Roosevelt Middle School student. Mr. Bowman weighed in with others that Roosevelt is a cut above the Stevens Middle School. Mr. Bowman suggested that the Monroe building be used for alternative space by 7-8 grade classes. Mr. Bowman told the board that by keeping the 6th grades in elementary, he suggested the board consider expanding the MAC program to run K-6th grade.
Lance Norton, 3015 East Myrtle, told the board he worked for the OESD as a drug and alcohol prevention specialist in both Stevens and Roosevelt. Mr. Norton’s concern is that the students will have fewer chances to play in sports. Mr. Norton does not want to see either middle school closed and that both schools offer good things. Mr. Norton also told the board that transportation poses the biggest problem. Mr. Norton told the board that he works for Peninsula College and does not blame the district for academic problems, but closing will make many things difficult.
Krista Emmett returned to the lectern and told the board that she feels that all of the options have not been weighed. She wanted to know why we can’t postpone the decision?
Laurie Dudley, 918 East 8th street, told the board that she had a discussion at Franklin and learned that there was a 3rd and 4th grade bubble and wants to know what will happen if this occurs again.
Vickie Garcia, 825 Caroline, thanked the board for the time to speak and said she moved to Port Angeles 1˝ years ago from California. Ms. Garcia told the board that she has the feeling the issue has already been decided and this hearing is just a political move.
Harriette Shaefer, 880 Key Road, asked that this move not be made for another year. It is a very short time to accomplish this move.
Hearing no further comments, President Hinds adjourned the second hearing at