At the January 28th school board meeting, the approval of the Lexington 950 student school was approved. On February 13, 2018, just one year ago, our community approved a 98.6 million dollar construction bond. This historic bond supports each and every Kelso student for now and in the future. I want to thank our Kelso team and community for the input, participation and dedication throughout this arduous process. Our decision making lens:
- Preserve the integrity of the bond program to the greatest extent possible
- Deliver a bond program largely intact as promised to the voters/ratepayers of Kelso, particularly around new school replacements
- Ensure long-term facility preservation
- Responsible use of bond proceeds and maximize State Match
- Continue to provide programming that maintains small class sizes; and state of the art facilities, technology, and safety and security
We held two open houses, two work sessions, two board meetings, one hearing, two staff meetings with Beacon Hill and Catlin staffs, two PTO school meetings and multiple in person meetings, emails and phone calls.
Our district Facility Improvement Team (FIT) and Citizens for Kelso Schools participated in meetings and gave their respective support to the Lexington 950 student school.
As Kelso Superintendent, I pledge my continued commitment and dedication in leading the programmatic and facility decisions that will establish the culture of We Are Kelso within this Lexington learning community.
Here is the collective response from our five school board team members:
“As a board we received feedback at the public hearing, two open houses, multiple meetings with staff and school PTO’s, completed a site visit to a larger elementary school, received multiple emails from staff and had multiple conversations with teachers and community members, groups and experts. We would like to thank all of those individuals and groups who provided feedback to the board during this process. As a board we had to look at the bigger long-term picture for ALL Kelso students in addition to those Catlin and Lexington elementary students who will eventually go on to the middle and high schools. We strongly felt that we needed to take into consideration the recent input received AND to also go back to the responses to help guide our decision. The larger community input included for all schools (1)Safety and Security (2)Parking/Traffic (3)School Modernization (4)Adding and updating classrooms and (5)Athletic facilities in addition to building the new schools. We reviewed multiple options with the district and experts. The larger Lexington School was the only option that we could achieve all areas noted during the comment process ensuring the best learning environment for ALL Kelso kids in addition to being good stewards of the resources the tax payers have entrusted us with.”