Lake Forest Park and Ridgecrest removed from closure consideration list

Saturday, June 15, 2024

A map from the Shoreline school district website shows the current nine elementary school boundaries 

By Oliver Moffat

At the June 6, 2024 School Capacity Review and Closure Consideration meeting, the task force voted to remove Lake Forest Park elementary and Ridgecrest elementary schools from the list of schools that may be recommend to the school board for closure in 2025.

In an email, the school district said Lake Forest Park and Ridgecrest were removed from closure consideration because:

  • Lake Forest Park Elementary School: Lake Forest Park serves a relatively diverse population and a large number of families supported by subsidized housing, including families who speak English as a second language. Closure of this school would also have a relatively greater impact on middle school enrollment patterns and other schools during a boundary process.
  • Ridgecrest Elementary School: Ridgecrest serves a diverse population of students and receives federal funding to allow all students to receive free meals through the Community Eligibility Provision. Closure of this school would also have a relatively greater impact on middle school enrollment patterns and other schools during a boundary process.

The task force previously removed Briarcrest, Cascade K-8, Meridian Park, and Parkwood from closure consideration. 

There are four schools left that may be considered for closure: Brookside, Echo Lake, Highland Terrace and Syre.

Like school districts across the state, Shoreline is facing budget shortfalls and dwindling enrollment. But unlike other districts the district assembled the task force to make a closure recommendation.

The final decision on whether to close a school and if so, which one, will be entirely up to the elected School Board and Superintendent Dr. Susana Reyes.

The closure decision and any new school boundaries is expected to be finalized in time for Kindergarten open enrollment in January of 2025.

Information on the School Capacity Review and Closure Consideration task force and how to attend a school board meeting and submit public comment is available on the district’s website.


Anonymous,  June 16, 2024 at 9:04 AM  

What a mess

Alfred Frates,  June 16, 2024 at 7:52 PM  

With rezoning and the influx of families in the years to come I hope these properties are not sold. I also hope our School Board and Director spend more time in Olympia. The School Board Day is not enough- testify for more money and share your words here. Finally, Arts and Libraries and Nurses should not be cut.

Anonymous,  June 16, 2024 at 9:51 PM  

What can people living in the Shoreline School District do to prevent this? Are there any levies being considered? I watched something similar happen in my hometown, and it saddens me to see it happening here too. The schools that closed never reopened.

Anonymous,  June 24, 2024 at 11:26 AM  

Close Meridian Park! Send the students a little way north and sought to Echo Lake and Parkwood! Common sense - to stop kids crossing 175th!

Anonymous,  June 26, 2024 at 6:57 PM  

The Shoreline School District’s General Fund is not in dire straits, and as more families move to the region in the next decade more funding will come from the State organically. The District should take a longer-term approach to restoring the General Fund balance, rather than the drastic measure of closing a school. All of the elementary schools have strong family and community engagement, strong PTAs, and diverse staff and student populations. Closing a school and redrawing most, if not all, the attendance area boundaries places the entire burden of this problem on the students and staff within the District. None of the elementary schools have the excess classroom space to absorb half the population of a closed school without drastically increasing class sizes, except Meridian Park and Brookside, so the hypothetical scenario that the District presented where closing School A would result in decreased class sizes at School B doesn’t seem possible. Finally, while the Task Force has identified socioeconomic factors and special educational programs as factors to consider, all of the elementary schools are comparable in these respects, so closing any one school would negatively impact a large group of disadvantaged students regardless of what school the District ultimately decided to close.

Anonymous,  June 26, 2024 at 7:08 PM  

The District stated in their FAQs that it would retain the property and building for any school that is closed, so building maintenance costs will not be reduced by closing one of the schools. If the District must continue to maintain all their properties, why not just keep all of them open for instruction? Even the worst-case growth scenario presented by the demographer shows the student population growing at all of the elementary schools over the next few years. This is an inadequate funding (at the State and Federal level) problem rather than an excess capacity problem.

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