October 23, 2023

School Facility Efficiency Review Committee


Meeting 5 Minutes: 10/23/23

Committee Convened: 5:34 PM.

Announcement prior to the meeting: Request that everyone sign in.

Welcome from Shannon Bingham (SB) from Western Demographics, Inc. (WDI). Mr. Bingham acknowledged the Squaxin tribal ancestry of the district.


SB began with plan for evening that includes about 25 minutes for group discussions. Guest speaker: Thomas Parnell introduced. He provided information on Early Childhood (EC) services in the district and referred to data on slides about EC. He addressed licensing. He indicated that pre-school students could be in a PK-8, if there was some retrofitting for bathrooms.


SB discussed the research requests and responses compiled. He acknowledged that there has been a number of requests related to JAMS and CSI. He explained that when the committee is in small groups, each group will work on a bundle of schools. He reviewed the committee’s survey responses from survey conducted at the last meeting. Items addressed include:



Schools the committee felt could benefit from retaining 6th grade

SB shared data the numbers of 6th grade students in each school and FRL. He asked the members to consider this as a bundle component.


P-8 bundle survey results:


  • Jefferson/Garfield/LP Brown has a potential for $2 million savings. Also involved would be Hansen/LP Brown; McLane. LP Brown/Marshall/Jefferson also would re-boundary. This would create a symmetric P8. Overall, FRL percentage would increased. Garfield and LP Brown would come offline.

  • Roosevelt/Reeves: Reeves is on a bigger site and retrofitting expense is estimated at $11.5 mil and there are bond funds ($7 mil) that could be accessed. Although Roosevelt is a newer building, there is not enough acreage on that site for expansion. This scenario also involves Madison and Boston Harbor. This would create a two-round elementary level and a four-round middle level.


Conventional middle school consolidations:


  • Reeves (analysis does not yet account for CSI and JAMS). But the assumption is that the students will follow the program to wherever it is moved. Consideration is to close Reeves and move those students to Jefferson and Marshall.

  • Close Jefferson scenario would consolidate students into Reeves and Marshall. This scenario seems to work best.

  • Close Marshall scenario would consolidate students into Jefferson and Reeves. Results in Cooper Point riding past Jefferson to Reeves which is a long ride.


Combination options for elementary schools was reviewed.


Break 7:11-7:19


After the break SB finished reviewing the results of the committee’s input via last week’s survey and explained parameter scoring for buildings. An envelope with documents was distributed to each of 5 groups for discussion. Each group is charged with creating bundles of scenarios for conventional grade configuration and modified grade reconfiguration.


Broke into groups for 7:40-8 p.m. and had small group discussions.


The committee members interspersed questions and comments throughout the presentation. Those are documented below:



Questions/Comments from committee members with answer from SB/WDI and or administration members:


Transitional vs state-funded pre-school… does district have plans to expand?

The district does not have expansion plans. If it has more families, it would be open to expanding. The goal of transition to make the transition to school as natural as possible.


For pre-k, wait list? How many on it?

If we have enough students on a waitlist, we would consider opening another program. Right now, we have 9. They are non-handicapped students.


What does regular Early Childhood program mean? I think people would use it if they knew about it.

An ECC is a district program concentrating pk students. This would be unlike in-home daycare center like Serendipity Academy, for example.


I’m curious about a pre-school center. What are your thoughts about that?

There are pros/cons for doing that. To have a location and a school culture based around that, is positive. There might be some advantages to transportation if students are centralized.


How many slots in the district? If we had access to all-day quality pre-school?



It seems like daycare is full and it is hard to find daycare. Why couldn’t TK also be tuition-based?

We are statutorily not allowed. We must coordinate with the private PKs.


It sounds like we are just talking about bundling and consolidations. Are we going to talk about other scenarios?

There will be some boundary optimization scenarios discussed at the start of the next meeting. SB provided information on some opportunities for half-round “repair.” Used Madison in an example.
What is the magnitude of potential savings optimizing boundaries or changing grade configuration.
To be presented at next meeting.


In P8 Scenario (Garfield/Jefferson), does it change their elementary/middle school trajectory?

They would go to McLane and Marshall. LP Brown goes to Marshall/Hansen, with exception of a small group.


Is there room for that many students at Hansen?

We would have to use some portables which adds about 175 seats.


Do you know how much money we would save if we get rid of a portable?

Cost a little bit more to heat and cool. And there is a little more a of a safety/security perception difference between portables and main building. Don’t know how much beyond the utilities.


What is capacity of Marshall?

About 590?


Didn’t we just put a ton of money into Roosevelt?



What are we assuming that there will be some opting out, choosing to attend other schools?



How many students would this effect?

This proposal may involve closing 3 schools but that is up to the committee and Board. About 1,000 children/10% of the district’s clientele would be affected in one year if three schools were closed.


Did you look at closing Boston Harbor?

Yes. That is in the considerations.


What does the conventional middle school consolidation scenario do for high school feeder patterns?

It would create a split feeder situation.


Can a school be split in terms of feeder pattern?

Yes, however families may be concerned about established friendships for cohorts of students being split [at the time of the grade progression to the next school level].


Do you know what the walkability for Washington is?

From Committee member: it is very walkable.


Why are the specialized programs [ORLA} not being looked at?

It wasn’t in the original charge. Generally, in efficiency studies choice schools are not included, the focus is on the neighborhood schools.


What is school utilization?

Enrollment divided by capacity.


The meeting adjourned at 8 p.m.