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:
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.
A few quick ES Planning updates as you are readying for the holidays…
Nonetheless, having APS articulate a more focused set of goals for the school move phase is helpful to all of us and should be front-and-center for the School Board as it votes on which moves, if any, make sense. The community-developed alternatives actually outperform APS’s proposal on freeing up needed seats in high-growth areas–an important point to drive home.
Please reach out if you have any questions or ideas. The best things you can do at this point are to:
I am working on getting other school communities engaged via their PTAs, because I think this process should concern *all* of us. Your efforts to engage your friends at other schools would be helpful here, too.
Two quick updates:
I had hoped that additional PTAs would sign on, but it’s become clear that *many* school communities not immediately impacted by APS’s two proposals are only beginning to educate themselves about what’s going on, and hence many felt it was too early for them to sign on. Nevertheless, I hope the letter will make an impression on the School Board, and I plan to speak at the Dec 19 School Board meeting to underscore the importance of better data and a better process.
I know that many of you are reaching out to APS and School Board members individually, and I encourage you to drive home the points that we see serious flaws in both the data and process, and we are alarmed that it will yield poor results for the county (not just for McKinley). More on this when we meet this Thursday.