Parents have 1 last chance to voice concerns over Bellevue schools consolidation

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Bellevue parents have one last chance to hear about the district’s plans to consolidate some elementary schools and shift students to other school campuses.

This week, the Bellevue School District has been hosting open houses so families can voice their concerns.

The last open house will be at Sherwood Forest Elementary School on Friday.

Parents say they were caught off guard by the plan to consolidate and feel like it’s too late for their opinions to significantly affect the final decision.

The seven schools involved in the discussion include some that have been part of the community for 70 years. They are Ardmore, Eastgate, Enatai, Phantom Lake, Sherwood Forest, Wilburton and Woodridge elementary schools.

District officials say the plan to consolidate is driven by enrollment, which is down nearly 10%. It follows a nationwide trend of fewer students enrolling in public schools.

Many parents told KIRO 7 this hasn’t felt like a discussion at all.

“This process has come across as hasty, opaque, and disingenuous leaving many in our larger community feeling frustrated, angry, and distrustful,” one parent said at an open house this week.

All of this is happening as award-winning teacher Kelly Aramaki was chosen as the district’s next superintendent. He will take over in July.

The district is expected to make its final recommendation to the school board on Feb. 9.

The open house at Sherwood Forest Elementary School is from 6 to 7 p.m.