Mercer Island Reporter


Letter | MISD on the right track with new school process

November 14, 2012 · 9:41 AM

Please consider visiting the Mercer Island School District-sponsored public process website (www.engagemercerislandschools.com) and provide feedback regarding the overcrowding solutions presented.

I would like to acknowledge the work that MISD has been conducting in preparation for the next school bond measure. Specifically, over the past five months, the activities have included:

• The June public listening sessions.

• The public survey that was conducted.

• The MISD booth at Summer Celebration.

• Mahlum Architecture’s short-term and long-term planning of the sixth school and high school mega-block campus.

• Transpo Group’s ongoing traffic analysis, to be presented Dec. 10.

• MISD staff and principal input.

• The city/school district Ad-Hoc Committee’s work to vet North end school sites.

• The decision to televise future School Board meetings on MI-TV Channel 21.

• The updated student enrollment projection.

• The current Town Hall meetings being hosted by MISD.

As a result of the above work, MISD has come up with a number of solutions. There is not a “perfect” solution, as they all have individual tradeoffs.

However, by continuing to engage our community, MISD will have shown to the voters that all reasonable solutions were vetted, via:

i) Sharing solutions and raw data

ii) Collecting broad public input

iii) Making the selection criteria public.

And to the extent that any voter’s favored solutions may not be chosen, this process will hopefully win their vote since the voter will have a greater appreciation for the tradeoffs and the knowledge that their individual preferred solution was fairly, publicly and professionally vetted.

I hope all of us encourage our community members to get engaged and provide input into this discussion and challenge. We currently have 700+ students in portables, and our entire elementary and middle school populations have overcrowded commons areas. We need to find a solution that will achieve the 60 percent “yes” vote to pass.

Ralph Jorgenson


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