Multi-track, year-round schools move one step closer to reality

Task Force narrows focus with February Bond on horizon

At the start of January’s Task Force meeting there were nine options remaining on the table.

From year-round, multi-track schools to distance learning, all nine options would help alleviate the overcrowding in the district is currently facing.

During the meeting, School Board member Brenda Rogers vocalized the Board’s feelings towards the work of the Task Force.

“If my community comes to me with a proposal after hours and hours of work, I would have to have a darn good reason not to take it. We highly value what you’re doing here,” she said.

For this initial elimination round, the Task Force used the following criteria to help narrow their focus: duration of solution, capacity gained, equity, impact to after-school/extracurricular activities, safety, cost, and additional resources needed.

After numerous votes and a lot of spirited conversation, options 5, 6 and 9 were officially eliminated.

“Double Shifting is not a best case scenario. Year-Round is not a best case scenario. But when I compare them, double shifting has a few more benefits for high schoolers.”

Dr. Jennifer Bethman, Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools

Of the six remaining options, the group then discussed combinations that would gain the most capacity and help alleviate overcrowding at the most schools. Ideas included combining year-round schools at the elementary schools and turning a middle school into a high school; or double shifting at the high schools and making all elementary schools K-4 and all middle schools 5–8.

What combinations do you think would work best in the absence of a bond? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook.

Helping kids learn is the driving force behind all we do in the Bethel School District.

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