Dear McKinley Friends,
I’m writing you about the School Board vote taken earlier this evening. In case you missed it, the School Board voted 4-1 to approve the APS Recommendation on elementary school moves. (Reid Goldstein was the dissenting vote. I just ordered flowers to be delivered to him tomorrow from all of us at McK.)
The vote means that in September 2021, the Key Immersion program will move into the ATS building, and the ATS program will move into the McKinley building. About 60-70% of McKinley’s student body will likely transfer to the new school at the Reed site, with the remainder of McK students going to one or more other nearby schools. We’ll know more about that next fall, when APS staff presents new boundaries for all neighborhood elementary schools (the School Board will vote on these new boundaries in December.)
It was an emotional night and it still feels somewhat shocking, given that (in my opinion) the decision defies all logic. I am really sad for all those past and present who have known and loved McKinley as their neighborhood school. I am equally sad for Escuela Key and ATS, particularly for their low-income families who may not be able to move with those programs. I don’t think this vote will be remembered as a high point in APS’s narrative about championing diversity and inclusion.
I’m reaching out to ask two things of you:
- First, I imagine there are a range of reactions to tonight’s vote. I imagine that for some families a stone’s throw away from Reed, this vote may not feel the same as for those who live a block from McKinley’s building. Likewise, those whose kids will have moved on to middle school by Sept 2021 may feel this less acutely than those whose kids are younger. Whatever your particular feeling is, I hope we can all be respectful and supportive of one another. We have a year and a half still to go as a McKinley community and I really hope we’ll make the most of our time together.
- Second, I’d like to urge that we be really careful with our language (and I’ve also mentioned this to Colin and Gina M. to share with school staff.) Please let’s not say “McKinley is moving to Reed” because that’s not in fact what is happening. It’s quite possible that the Kaleidoscope program and most of the staff will move to the new school, but 30-40% of families won’t. It would be confusing to some of our kiddos, and upsetting to some of our families, to use the “moving to Reed” language to describe what’s happening. I don’t have an elegant phrase to recommend instead, but I just hope we can be thoughtful in how we talk about what’s happening.
That’s more than enough for tonight. Thank you for all you’ve done. I believe we did all we could have, and we did it with intelligence and integrity. I am so proud of you all.