Have I got news for you!

Letter to the Editor

Did you know that the Snoqualmie Ridge community is currently sitting on a time bomb of upheaval?

I am sure you remember recently covering the May bond elections for this area. Many of the Snoqualmie Ridge residents voted in favor for the school bond to pass because we wanted the construction of the Snoqualmie Ridge Elementary School and the North Bend Middle School. However, due to the lack of information provided during this voting process, we were unaware that there are apparently problems with the proposed North Bend Middle School and its capacity to accommodate all incoming students.

This is very poor capital planning. The school bond barely passed thanks in part to the outcome of Snoqualmie Ridge voters. If you were to poll the Snoqualmie Ridge voters who voted “Yes” on the school bond, I guarantee you that we would have all voted “No” if we had been told during the voting process that the Snoqualmie Ridge incoming middle-school students were not going to be able to attend Snoqualmie Middle School, that we would have our children further segregated from the Snoqualmie community and split off to attend Chief Kanim Middle School and that the proposed construction of the Snoqualmie Middle School is getting put off.

The school board and its committee of “one,” Scott Poirier, assistant superintendent, has presented only one option. This option is to take the entire Snoqualmie Ridge area and bus them permanently to Chief Kanim Middle School. Any middle-school students currently attending Snoqualmie Middle School and thriving, will be given the option to stay, but with no public transportation to be provided by the district.

All new middle-school students entering next fall will have no choice but to attend CKMS. Families and siblings will be separated and this will cause further division among the Snoqualmie community.

Not only were we not provided this information during the voting process, which obviously they had, but the school board plans on passing this middle-school boundary change on April 8 and making it permanent.

We implore you to explore and exploit this story. Who are we? We are a group of caring, well-educated and pro-active parents wanting the best for our children and for our community. The Snoqualmie Ridge is represented by 1,600 registered voters; this is a large population base and a big chunk of tax dollars. We want nothing more than to support our local businesses and schools and, in turn, demand to be heard.

Keep in mind that there has been no citizen or resident group involved or asked to participate in the proposed boundary changes for the middle school in our community. Scott Poirier gathered his demographic information for this proposal thanks to the secretaries of the different schools involved, and though they are lovely people, they could not possibly foresee the impact that a group of residents can.

This boundary change would be permanent if it takes place. How well has the school board studied it? According to their own demographics, it will only affect 33 students entering middle school next year from the Ridge area. So why the rush? There are many questions that need to be answered that were ignored at last night’s school board meeting in the Snoqualmie administration building.

What are our requests? We want the school board to immediately stop the proceedings on the boundary changes. We want the acceptance and formation of a citizen or residents group. We want at least one year to completely and accurately study all aspects of this issue and provide alternative solutions and to have these solutions actually heard. We demand better capital planning and spending by the school district.

How can you help? Please be present and bring your cameras to all of the following meetings. Perhaps in the face of your cameras the school board will be forced to answer all of our concerns.

* Proposed Middle School Boundary Change Forum, Wednesday, March 17, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Mount Si High School, 8651 Meadowbrook Way S.E., Snoqualmie

* Middle School Boundary Change Public Hearing, Thursday, March 18, from 7-7:30 p.m. at Snoqualmie Elementary School, 39801 Southeast Park Street, Snoqualmie

* Open House, Tuesday, March 23, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Chief Kanim Middle School, 32627 Redmond-Fall City Rd., Fall City

* Snoqualmie Valley School District Board of Directors meeting dealing with the boundary decision, Thursday, April 8, at 7:30 p.m. Meeting held at the district office boardroom, 8001 Silva Ave. S.E., Snoqualmie.

Thank you in advance for your efforts in covering the whole and complete story.

Pattie Smith