LETTER | LWSD Overcrowding is so bad, kids can't carry books in backpacks due to safety issues

Editor,

I’m a parent of a student at the seriously overcrowded Evergreen Middle School. There are so many kids moving through the congested halls at one time, administration has determined kids can no longer carry their books from class to class in backpacks due to safety issues.

Let me repeat this: our kids are in a school that’s so crowded, they can’t wear backpacks.

Our school is 28% percent over its intended capacity. 28%! To try to address this problem, LWSD has added portables – Evergreen has 11, with 2 more being added for next year. Portables, though, are not meant to be a long-term solution for learning. With 168 portables planned across the district, 14% of our Lake Washington Students will be relegated to a deprecated learning environment. 

I have seen firsthand that more kids mean more stress on both the infrastructure and the student body. Kids struggle with getting to classes on time through crowded hallways, leading to missed instructional time and disruption in the classroom, never mind accessing bathrooms designed to accommodate 28% fewer students. In order to accommodate lunches for the extra 225+ children, Evergreen has three lunch periods, leading to a third of all students having lunch occur in the middle of a class. This is not a desirable solution, especially in a school district as exceptional as ours.
 
Administration and parents both agree that we can help solve this issue. Please join me in voting YES on the April 26 Lake Washington School District bond. We owe it to our kids to make sure they have safe schools and enough classroom space to learn. We owe it to our residents to ensure that the LWSD’s distinguished reputation stays intact, benefiting all of us with educated students, healthy growth, and solid property values. Every vote will count to help us meet the 60% needed to pass this bond. Vote YES today! 
 
Beth Novak, Parent at Evergreen Middle School