Letters to the Editor

Letters: Board needs to take a new look at FLC decision

The recent school board decision to convert Snoqualmie Middle School (SMS) to a Freshman Learning Center (FLC) in 2013 is on my radar.

My son is a sixth grader at SMS, and so are my friends’ kids. Some of my friends have kids who will attend SMS next year.  And, for all these kids, it means moving schools, learning new systems and making new friends right in the middle of their pre-high school journey.

I’ve been told there’s just a lot I don’t know about the facts. I’ve been told we have to do this now.  I’ve been told the decision has been made and there’s no turning back. I've been told, essentially, that my opinion doesn’t count.

This puts me, and other parents, in an emotional place.  We feel angry, confused and helpless. We feel deceived by lack of information, and controlled by less than a handful of people.  Three people decided our kids’ fate. Three. That is unsettling at best.

The animosity at the school board level is evident.  Two new members elected this year are now part of an ‘us and them’ scenario. You can hear it in discussions at meetings and see it in the voting.  But, shouldn’t this group of five elected board members join together to make the best decisions for our schools?  Is a 3-to-2 vote a true representation of the opinion of voters?  How can we have trust and faith in a divided board

Perhaps a decision of this caliber should not be made by a select few, but instead, through more careful consideration, truthful presentation of facts and big picture planning for our kids’ future. Is it possible that our school board could come together and reconsider their previous decision?  I would expect further conversation and investigation could lead to a solution not even considered before.  One that shows business sense and thoughtfulness.

I challenge our school board to do the right thing.  First, present clearly and honestly any additional information that is relevant to the current FLC plan.

Second, answer the questions posed by the public clearly, honestly and without defense and emotion.

Third, take another look at how this decision negatively affects many students and teachers, and whether the fallout is worth the predicted improvement for ninth graders. Finally, take this opportunity to make a positive impact on the divided district, which is ironically coming together against you.

Lori Riffe



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