Room Nine gets a reprieve and a new name

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Room Nine will be Cascade K-8 Community School

Shoreline School Board Meeting Monday March 19, 2012
By Devon Vose Rickabaugh

The fate of Room Nine Community School was deliberated by the board of directors. The three alternatives under consideration were to continue the school as a K-8, change the configuration to K-6, or incorporate the program into Meridian Park Elementary School.

In the last few years the projected number of students has not translated into actual numbers. There were 140 students in the 2007-2008 year as compared to 89 this year and 107 registered for next fall. Also the cost per student is more than for other elementary schools in the district. Academic achievement has also fallen off for Room 9 students.

The directors were reluctant to change the school for next year without giving the school a chance to stabilize and increase enrollment and bring up academic achievement. Director Ehrlichman said the enrollment drop had to do with several changes in school location as well as teaching changes. She said she felt responsible for some of these issues and would like to give the school a chance to turn around. She said that not all children fit into a regular school environment and that Room Nine provided an alternative which she valued. 

Director Jacobs said that he had a problem in justifying the expense of Room Nine in its present state and its lower academic achievement, but he said he would hate to see it disappear.

The board passed a motion to continue Room Nine under the new name of Cascade K-8 Community School through next year with the provisions that it show a stable and growing enrollment, that the cost per student come down to 15% above the cost per elementary student in the rest of the district, and that academic achievement improve.


Anonymous,  March 21, 2012 at 10:03 AM  

What a tragedy that this is what has become of the Rm Nine program! This is an award winning program that has now nurtured generations of students in this district.

Rm Nine has offered families a unique way to be involved with their children's education. And yes, the District DOES bear a responsibility by forcing the program to move its location and "conform" to educational strictures that do not reflect the creativity and spirit of alternative education. Rm Nine has been able to integrate the arts, science, music and language arts in very effective ways that work with each individual student and family, unlike the "one size fits all" education that the rest of the district perpetrates. It has actually been an incredible bargain for the district that helps students who may have different styles of learning.

Rm Nine has proven over and over to this community that it provide excellence and wonderful creative educational alternatives. It has provided excellent community support and gives back in many ways. The faculty and families have shown resilience and energy and patience.

So I'm glad they are given a "reprieve" but I hope that fairness will be used in judging the program, and consideration for all the effort and changes that the Rm Nine program has had to endure.

It is also sad to change the name, which has earned respect over the last 30 or so years of its existence.

Anonymous,  May 21, 2013 at 10:47 AM  

Room 9 and I go back more than 50 years. Previous to my retirement in 1991 I was employed by the Shoreline School District as a school counselor for 25 years (1969). I felt strongly then and still maintain that the educational concept of Room 9 and its use of an individual non-traditional approach to learning was valid and served both the district as an 'educational vehicle', the special child and ultimately our society extremely well. I wonder, in our crazy-mixed up world with its senseless violence, maybe our school governing bodies should pay closer attention to our 'non-traditional citizens. Please pay heed, Bill Vickery

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