Parents say the approved restructuring of the two elementary schools will do more harm than good.
SEQUIM, Wash. — The Sequim School District will realign its two elementary schools starting next fall.
It was a move that some parents said would be disastrous.
With Twisted Sister’s song “We’re Not Gonna Take it,” dozens of parents gathered outside school district headquarters on Friday. They echo the classic Twisted Sister story, saying they don’t want the Sequim School Board to mess up their family.
Lara Updike said: “When they approved it, I was flabbergasted.
Updike has five children in the district. Next year, the two of them will attend the same elementary school, but a plan approved by the board could prevent that from happening.
“They would split my kids apart, extending my time and attention at four different schools,” she said.
By a 4-1 vote, the board approved Sequim’s plan to realign two elementary schools: Kindergarten through second grade students will attend Greywolf Elementary School; Students in grades three through five will attend Helen Haller.
Parents say the plan creates traffic problems, splits siblings and changes habits.
“There’s a lot of interruptions, stress, and unnecessary work,” Updike says.
Superintendent Sequim Regan Nickels said: “The concerns are completely legitimate. However, she added, it was necessary.
Under the plan, students in kindergarten through second grade will focus on literacy and early math, while students in third through fifth grades will prioritize STEM classes.
Nickels emphasizes that, in a post-pandemic world, division gives students a better opportunity to practice social and behavioral skills with their closest friends.
“New needs of students require new ways of learning, new ways of teaching,” she said. “Our teachers have talked about the support they need and we hope this helps deliver that.”
Parents have staged at least four protests in recent weeks, demanding re-election. School board president Eric Pickens says that’s not going to happen.
“The decision has been made,” he told KING 5.
Instead of a vote, a series of advisory groups will be implemented.
Pickens admits change can be difficult.
“The purpose of the advisory groups is to make sure that none of these concerns catch us off guard and that we can put solutions in place to ensure a smooth transition,” says Pickens. shall”.
Unless a parent can ask the school board to reconsider their vote, these changes will go into effect next fall.