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'Save Our Schools Rally' planned in Bellevue before district's consolidation announcement

The Bellevue School District is expected to announce its plan to consolidate three elementary schools on Feb. 9 at a scheduled school board meeting.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — With just a few days to go before the Bellevue School District's (BSD) expected consolidation plan reveal on Feb. 9, families are planning a rally outside district headquarters.

The "Save Our Schools Rally" is scheduled from 4 to 5 p.m. Monday outside the district's ESC building at 12111 NE 1st St. 

Concerned parents, students and staff have rallied over the past few weeks after learning seven elementary schools would be considered for a three-school consolidation plan due to declining enrollment, according to the BSD.

The seven elementary schools being considered are Ardmore, Eastgate, Enatai, Phantom Lake, Sherwood Forest, Woodridge and Wilburton.

The BSD said these seven schools have the lowest enrollment and are not forecasted to improve in those numbers in the near future.

The declining enrollment in the district is impacting student programming, financial stability and facility usage. According to the district, they are currently only utilizing 66% of space in classrooms and other facilities.  

KING 5 attended a few of the district listening sessions and spoke to parents from several schools on the list for potential consolidation.

Many parents say they are frustrated by the speed at which the process to consolidate schools is happening. Several parents who have reached out to KING 5 said they moved to Bellevue specifically to send their kids to "neighborhood schools."

"We bought our house because it had a neighborhood school that our kids could walk to that they could have playdates with kids that were just down the street and where they're talking about sending our kids is not… not super close," said Nicole Holley, an Eastgate Elementary parent.

The BSD said final plans for how the merger, consolidation and reorganization will work have not yet been finalized.

"There are a number of possibilities that are currently being explored, along with the feedback received from our community," said Janine Thorn, a spokesperson for the BSD.

KING 5 has requested an additional interview with BSD leadership ahead of the Feb. 9 announcement. The district responded as of Monday morning. An interview is in the process of being scheduled. 

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