If you think traffic is worse than ever this school year, you might be onto something.
Our unofficial September student count confirms what we’ve been expecting, more families are moving in to our district, and that means more cars are on the road.
Schools like Nelson Elementary and Frontier Middle are already 100 students above their projections for this school year. That’s 100 extra kids for each already-crowded school.
That means more parents are on the roads, giving our 226 buses a run for their money. During this growing time, the district is encouraging parents to have their students ride the bus, instead of driving them to school, hoping it will help alleviate some of the traffic issues we are seeing around our schools.
If you are going to drive to school, be sure to use caution, and drop students off only in specified drop off locations. Dropping them off along the side of the road or elsewhere is not safe.
The influx of new students is no surprise. Before school started, changes had already been made to two of the district’s preschool locations to free up classroom space at Nelson and Thompson elementary schools.
District officials will continue to work on short term solutions, including adding more portables, hoping it will be enough to hold until Elementary #18 opens in the fall of 2021.
Forecasters tell us this isn’t just a spike in population. If projections are correct, the district will continue to grow by 400 housing units every year, for the next 20 years.
New Bethel High
Planning for the new Bethel High School is “full speed ahead,” according to Director of Construction and Planning Cathie Carlson. The design team has been visiting local high schools to look for elements they want to incorporate into the new building.