I learned today that Gloria Mitchell, the new Seattle Schools Elementary Education Director for Viewlands Elementary, notified the school that due to decreased enrollment, Viewlands would lose a teacher by the end of September.
This absolutely should not happen! Losing a teacher at this point would mean reconfiguring classes, creating additional burden on the principal and teachers, not to mention additional disruption for the students.
When the district made the decision to close Viewlands and other schools during Phase I, they could have easily predicted that enrollment would decline. I think the district should consider excess staffing at these schools as a necessary cost of the closure and consolidation decisions, as valid as any of the capital and administrative expenses they are budgeting for.
If you agree, contact Gloria Mitchell at 252-0010 or email@example.com.
(By the way, this is the same Gloria Mitchell who was the T.T. Minor principal until last year and has first-hand knowledge about what it means to be a school slated for closure. She is a former award-winning principal, and a committed, principled advocate for students' needs. What is it about being part of the Seattle Public Schools bureaucracy that could lead someone like Gloria to support the idea of pulling a teacher from a school slated for closure?)
It is likely that other schools slated for closure during Phase I (Whitworth, Rainier View, Fairmount Park, etc.) are facing the same problem. The district should act quickly to protect the current staffing levels at these schools, with prompting by the School Board and parents and community members, if necessary.