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Forum: Be heard on Columbia Crest

12:07 pm March 26th, 2013

I am writing this letter to encourage everyone that I know to please let the School Board members of Eatonville School District know how you feel about them potentially closing Columbia Crest Elementary School.
While the board has not openly said they are closing the school, they have made the statement that “everything is on the table.” Whether you have a child in school or not, your tax dollars are being spent locally and I encourage you to become part of the decisionmaking process.
There will be a School Board budget meeting March 27 at Eatonville High School’s auditorium, with public input at 6 p.m. Please come and share your ideas on how to manage the budget, or let them know your opinion on anything that is going on. A web site of a financial advisory company (www.plantemoran.com) has a detailed list with school district cost-savings initiatives. These are real suggestions as to what other districts are doing. There are so many creative ideas on finding extra funding or cutting what we do have. In the absence of public input, our board members are left to make these decisions without your opinion.
If school districts are required by the year 2018 to reduce class sizes plus provide all-day kindergarten, combined with at least one new housing development coming into the town of Eatonville, we will need Columbia Crest. I believe that CC is currently an excellent model, demonstrating how a school can survive on a lean budget. Did you know that the principal also teaches, answers the phones and holds reading groups, in addition to her other duties? Or that the cook is also the janitor? Our librarian helps to collect lunch/breakfast money at the lunch line and also sets reading goals for each individual student and makes sure they stay on track. Our third-grade teacher is part-time; the PE teacher assists third grade plus teaches health class. All of the teachers, staff and volunteers at CC creatively work together to keep the school functioning smoothly and effectively.
Please come share your opinions.
You can find links to the board members contact information as well as state representative info. on the school district website at www.eatonville.wednet.edu.
Shanna Littrell

8 Responses to Forum: Be heard on Columbia Crest

  1. Eric Watson Reply

    March 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    I wont be able to show to the meeting due to job related issues. Maybe my thoughts here would help save money. Stop tearing down and closing old schools and building new ones. I went to Earlington Elementary and Daffodil Elementary and both of them were less than 30 year old school buildings that were leveled. Same with Lakeridge Jr High. That school was not even 20 years old when it was leveled and a new school built. I noticed this going on a lot and WE THE PEOPLE need do stand up and say STOP waisting our money. If the education department can not build a school or have someone draw up plans for a school to stay then we have to find someone who has brains to do it. I have noticed some of the 100 year old school buildings are still standing yet closed. Some were sold and people buy them to make homes out of them. If you cant see something wrong here then I am wrong. Sumner High leveled some of is buildings and rebuilt. The school is still doing good. Is this a good picture or am I dreaming again. 75% of Our property taxes goes to the education slush fund. If you add up the billions of property taxes and ask where it goes….you might want to have someone audited. Probably Christine Gregorie …Hugs to you all

  2. agstr Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 11:52 am

    First the school administration creates havoc proposing a four day school week, now this travesty to the community proposing closure of Columbia Crest.

    Perhaps the tax payer would be better served with fewer spendthrift administrative ‘geniuses’, whose actions demonstrate nothing more than a myopic understanding of what is best for residents of this community.

  3. Gilly Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I was so disappointed! I looked at this page the day AFTER the 28th and I love CC! It’s better than the middle school at least! Soon, the whole Eatonville will be shut down!
    I wish I could do something

  4. Eric Watson Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Agstr and Gilly….I totallllly agree with both of you. IT seems someone is double, tripple or quadripple dipping their hands in the money pocket. It sure aint me….cos I owe to much out and my savings account says 10 bucks. lol

  5. Hay Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Eric Watson, (also Gilly and agstr)

    I must say that I think you’ve missed the point slightly as to what the district would be doing with Columbia crest. They wouldn’t be tearing it down to build a new school. We already have nicely renovated schools, thanks to the help and support of the communities around our schools.
    While Columbia Crest may be an excellent school, so are the other schools in our district and it does not seem realistic to try and keep CC open for the 60 (ish) students who actually belong there due to where they live (as opposed to the 65+ who are driven up there from the Eatonville area) while the rest of the district has classrooms that are filled and the teachers must be stretched so they can provide all the attention that every student deserves.
    Mr. Watson, you also mentioned on another forum that you feel as if maybe people would be better off home-schooled and if you can’t home school your kids that you must be stupid. I will say that I have known many kids who were taught by their parents and some turned out well while others were a little different. Going to public schools allows kids to socialize with others, gain a sense of independence and learn new perspectives from others besides just their own families. Especially in the Eatonville/Ashford/Elbe communities it is harder for students to find ways to participate with others as far as sports or clubs while other large communities like Puyallup or Tacoma might.
    Also you commented on the quality of the teachers in the public schools: “Rather than allowing a bunch of wanabes teach something America calls education.” And I have to say I don’t think you’ve gotten the chance to know them. While there are a few teachers who may not be enjoying what they do, our schools are filled up with passionate individuals who are helping to mold our kids into members of society. They plan field trips, reward events and lessons. They are the ones who see kids on a daily basis and in one school year, get to know them very well. For students from broken homes, schools provide a home base and perhaps the one place where things are normal with their teacher. The teachers care. Not only at Columbia Crest, but at Eatonville El, Eatonville Middle School, Weyerhaeuser El and Eatonville High. They certainly don’t teach because it pays well.

    Finally, its not like this will be an easy decision for the district to make. Regardless of the outcome people will be upset. But the reality is that somehow the amount needs to be cut from the budget. Whether that is from teacher salaries, sports, bus routes, columbia crest closing or cutting staff positions everywhere. The board members are VOLUNTEER. They are doing it for the kids, because they too care. Just take the time to remember that.

  6. agstr Reply

    April 5, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I don’t think you are making any hay, Hay with your comments which gloss over the real issues.
    Profligate waste of tax payer money is legitimate and well documented. An audit of the district budget may be warranted.

    In any event the amount of money invested by the tax payer does not correlate well with scholastic achievement. An example: investing in monolithic, overpriced educational ‘institutions’ catering to the latest fads for engaged learning. School buildings on this industrial scale dehumanize, often having all the charm of a prison-like atmosphere. For what? To many it inspires the oxymoron ‘herded scholarship.’

    To laud the educational performance of US public schools is to truly ignore achievements of other industrialized countries (or even more impoverished ones) where in comparison, US performance would be given a failing, abysmal grade. A comparison of public vs privately run schools is also not favorable for the state. Burying our heads in the sand to ignore the truth is not a solution.

    If the reasons for these dismal results are societal, as is often surmised, then why waste tax payer money that doesn’t have a prayer of putting expenditures for educational resources to good use?
    The overall track record is very troubling.

    Hay, are you in an awkward position defending disruptive behavior in public school classrooms? Unacceptable behavior that wastes time and resources for education, unacceptable behavior that turns teachers into babysitters and wastes time needed for students to genuinely learn? Recent actions of a troubled student in the middle school, as well other nationally well-publicized violence, is an indicator that not all is well with status quo administrative practices in our fortress schools.

    I will conceded that ‘public education’ has achieved desegregation of students with self-motivated aptitudes for scholarship…social experimentation at its finest. At least private schools have the ability to temper the classroom atmosphere with civility, so it is conducive to making best use of dedicated educators and resources, with equal opportunity for all.

    Compare the facility operating costs of privately run schools to get an inkling of what costly, inflexible state mandated bureaucracy has wrought, a state bureaucracy out of touch with local communities, a bureaucracy which degrades effective local support networks.

    It is self-evident the concerns and challenges faced by the public school teaching staff are not really addressed by an out-of-touch centralized administration, with the staff often feeling powerless to effect a meaningful difference in student learning. God help them if they voiced their true opinions. It’s bad enough teachers have been burdened with the extra stress of administrative practices which create employment instability and stress.

    I’d venture a majority of state school teachers are in these positions for a variety of well-founded, personal reasons that are community based. And yes, teaching as a profession generally does not get the respect or compensation it deserves, at least for those with the most knowledge to impart to students.

    There are exceptions to striking it rich in the education profession. Any guess what the administrator (president) of WSU/UW earns annually? Its a seven figure compensation package–absolutely insane. Are you going to argue that is a wise use of tax payer money?

    • Eric Watson Reply

      April 8, 2013 at 8:09 pm

      I love your comment. IT was nice and to the point. But you might be forgetting that the government created an issue where both parents have to work. Thus taking our children away from the family and using them for profit or a way to create more jobs and more tax spending from Government Grants and such. The government forced the public to have a two income family to cover the costs. Just as they are doing now but in a worse way. Youre right, the schools are more like a prison, they even look like a prison. Now we have shootings and soon there will be metal detectors in all entrances, the kids locked in till they are let out, soon there will be armed guards outside and more. Do we need to subject our children to this style of life? Home schooling a child will allow the child to be a child till he/she decides to grow up. Learn what the parents can teach if they can teach. The government knows all people are smart and they want those people working. That way they get more tax money per year than if it was a one income family. A two income family is wrong if its both mother and father. It takes away the culture of what America started. This greed has been going on since the 70s and the public might see it, but the majority ignore it. So they stuff their kids any place they can so they can make the money the government gets for free. We should not have to pay the government to live here as we do. At least one parent should be able to stay at home and take care of the kids and home while the other takes care of the income. That way the parents can watch over their kid(s) and keep them out of trouble. Home school the mothers or fathers should be paid for if the parent does not feel comfortable putting their kids in a public or private school. I dont feel comfortable with my kids in a public school any more. Or should I say pre prison. Nope, I am not going to put anymore of my kids through school.

  7. John Reply

    April 9, 2013 at 10:39 am

    Point is Columbia Crest is a waste of money. Why bus kids up to the school from Eatonville, while transporting the high school and middle school aged kids to Eatonville from Ashford. That isn’t very “resourceful”. The small number of children makes no sense to keep it open. Sell the property and be rid of it. There are plenty of “keep it open” arguments, but it is a fact that Columbia Crest is a waste of money!

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