School Facility Efficiency Review

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Students learning in a classroom

 

School Facility Efficiency Review Committee

The Olympia School District recently conducted a re-examination of its future enrollment expectations, and new forecasting suggests that the district will decline in enrollment in the years to come. As it strives to maintain its high level of service to children and families, the school board is seeking advice from its constituents regarding this challenge.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

In addition to the information and resources on this page, we also have a list of Frequently Asked Questions that is updated regularly as questions are raised by the community.

 


 

Update January 30, 2024

 

New date for possible board action on school consolidation: April 25, 2024

The date that the Olympia School Board is scheduled to possibly take action on a board proposal to consider school consolidation/closure of Madison and McKenny elementary schools has been moved to the April 25, 2024 regular board meeting. Possible action was originally scheduled on March 14, 2024.

While the board does not vote/take action during a work session, Board President Hilary Seidel asked directors during the January 29, 2024 work session (view Zoom recording) if any of them objected to the superintendent's recommendation, made on January 25, 2024, to postpone possible action until April 25, 2024. Hearing none, she said the board calendar item would be updated to reflect the April 25 date for potential board action on school consolidation.

The superintendent recommended that the school board move the date for potential action to April 25 to allow more time for the board and community to review a revised and more focused written analysis, posted on the OSD website on January 24, 2024, of the board’s proposal to consider Madison and McKenny elementary schools for consolidation/closure. The revised and more focused analysis incorporates and supplements previously published analyses and makes the relevant information more accessible to potentially affected community members. Additionally, moving potential action to April 25 gives more time for the board to better understand the implications of any legislative funding changes, and for the district to work with labor partners and school leaders.

 


 

Update January 12, 2024

Public hearings and school board work sessions set to hear feedback on board proposal for possible school consolidation.

 

The following public hearings and board work sessions/meetings are scheduled on this topic:

Public Hearings

 

  • February 26, 2024: Potential Closure of Madison Elementary School; 6 p.m.; Madison ES Multipurpose Room, 1225 Legion Way S.E., Olympia, WA 98501
    Public Hearing Sign-Up Form: Madison ES (Form opens at 8 a.m. on Friday, February 23, 2024 and closes at 7 p.m. on Monday, February 26, 2024)

     

  • February 29, 2024: Potential Closure of McKenny Elementary School; 6 p.m.: McKenny ES Multipurpose Room, 3250 Morse-Merryman Ave. S.E., Olympia, WA 98501
    Public Hearing Sign-Up Form: McKenny ES (Form opens at 8 a.m. on Monday, February 26, 2024 and closes at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 29, 2024)

 

Olympia School Board Work Sessions

 

 

Community Cafe  

 

  • March 16, 2024: Visioning to inform budget, school consolidation, and program reduction; 10 a.m. - noon; Olympia High School Commons, 1302 North St. S.E., Olympia, WA 98501

 

Possible Board Action on School Consolidation April 25, 2024

The Olympia School Board is scheduled to possibly take action on school consolidation during its regular board meeting on Thursday, April 25, 2024.

 


 

Update January 11, 2024

 

 


 

Update December 15, 2023

The Olympia School Board voted on December 14, 2023, to open a 90-day window to accept community input regarding a board proposal to consider Madison and McKenny elementary schools for school consolidation/closure. (View the December 14, 2023 Zoom recording)


While other schools had been discussed by the board for possible school consolidation in recent months, directors narrowed the list on December 14 to include Madison and McKenny elementary schools.

Note: The board action on December 14, 2023 is NOT a decision to close Madison and McKenny elementary schools, but rather a vote, per Board Policy 6883, to spend the next 90 days gathering information and testimony on any issues related to the potential closure of a school. Once the 90-day window is closed, the board could consider taking action.

 


 

Update December 8, 2023

During its work session on December 7, 2023, the Olympia School Board asked district leadership to research the cost savings of two new possible school facility efficiency proposals that directors introduced during the meeting:

 

  • Consolidate LP Brown, Madison and McKenny elementary schools. If additional cost savings are needed to cover projected enrollment declines over the next five years, consider consolidating Boston Harbor Elementary and Reeves Middle schools.

  • Reconfigure grade level structure throughout the district so that students in preschool through grade 4 would attend elementary school and grades 5-8 would attend middle school. Students in grades 9-12 would continue to attend high school. Concurrently, consolidate Boston Harbor, LP Brown, and Madison and/or McKenny elementary schools.

 

The board will continue discussion about school facility efficiency at its next regular board meeting on December 14, 2023 and may vote during that meeting on a list of possibly impacted schools, effective starting in the 2024-25 school year.


Based on board action taken on December 14, and in accordance with Board Policy 6883 “Closure of Facilities,” the school board would hold meetings/public hearings in January and February 2024 to gather input from students, staff and community members at any school that could potentially be closed. The board would then announce a decision about school facility efficiency in March 2024.

 


 

Scenarios presented at November 2, 2023 board work session in rank order of preference

 

  • #1 (Scenario 3): Middle Schools Convert to 7-8 Grade Configuration – Consolidate: Jefferson Middle School, Reeves Middle School, LP Brown Elementary ES.

  • #2 (Scenario 4): Standard Consolidation of Boston Harbor, LP Brown, McKenny and Jefferson.

  • #3 (Scenario 1): Consultant's Eastside and Westside P-8 Grade Reconfiguration: Consolidate LP Brown, Roosevelt (into the adjacent P-8), Garfield (into the adjacent P-8)

  • “Add Alternate” - Additional Scenario Applicable to All: Consolidate the Large Special Curriculums (Options) into Fewer Buildings (Lincoln, ORLA, Avanti)

 

View the Zoom recording of the November 2 board work session (note that the meeting begins at 00:03:25)

 


 

Committee Background

 

 

Meeting Dates

The committee met eight times (from September 25 -  November 1, 2023). Meeting summaries and related data are posted below:

 

 



Committee Facilitator

Shannon Bingham, of Western Demographics, Inc. based in Colorado and Washington state, will lead and facilitate the school facility efficiency review process. At the June 22, 2023 Olympia School Board meeting, Bingham shared about his experience assisting school districts with this type of work and provided a snapshot of the work ahead in this community. He recently met with district leaders and toured the school district to get a firsthand look at OSD facilities.

 

 


 

Policy 6883: Written Analysis Report & Appendices

 

Recent Reports/Resources