Bellevue School District proposes consolidating several elementary schools amid low enrollment

Some elementary schools in Bellevue that have been part of neighborhoods for 70 years could be forced to shut down due to rapidly declining enrollment.

The Bellevue School District held a board meeting Thursday night where they talked about potential next steps given the trend of fewer students enrolling in public schools.

The school board came up with a proposal to consolidate at least seven elementary schools to stabilize declining enrollment. Some of the schools have a majority of students of color.

The schools proposed to be consolidated are Ardmore, Eastgate, Enatai, Phantom Lake, Sherwood Forest, Woodridge and Wilburton.

Parents of students in those schools are only recently hearing about the plan.

Having fewer students is a trend that’s also affecting Seattle schools. Since the schools get state funding based on the number of students they have, big drops in enrollment mean less money for the schools to operate.

That means either cutting staff, programs, or, in Bellevue’s case, entire school buildings.

There will be time for parents to weigh in on the proposal before any schools are consolidated.