Each month, Dr. Zorn reaches out to our business community via the Kelso Longview Chamber of Commerce newsletter with information about the successes and challenges of our public schools.
A committee of staff members and citizens-at-large has studied the current conditions and the future facilities needs of the Longview School District for the past several months.
The Facilities Advisory committee gathered information about enrollment projections, school capacities, and the physical and educational condition of the district’s schools. The group of staff and citizens identified elementary schools as the area of greatest needs.
On February 8 the committee reported to the school board that, despite maintenance, many of the district’s buildings are in either poor or unsatisfactory condition. In the presentation to the board, the Facilities Advisory Committee explained that several of the elementary schools need to be modernized or replaced.
While our student enrollment is expected to be relatively stable through 2021, the state mandate for smaller class sizes will push our current elementary schools to 26% above their present capacity. The information collected by the committee also suggests that Mark Morris and Discovery High School are among other district facilities in need of modernization. Additional information about the group’s findings can be found at http://tinyurl.com/lpsbuildings
The board has authorized the committee to begin a six-month staff and community conversation about how we might address the district’s identified facility needs. Members of the committee have begun a process of collecting input from staff members. This process will be completed next month. The committee will then reach out to the community to gather their feedback during April. There will be many opportunities for input, and we hope that you can help us with that process.
If you or a community group in which you are involved is interested in reviewing the facilities information and providing input to the committee, please let me know. We’d be happy to include you on our community input session calendar. From the input gathered, a Facility Master Plan will be created with an anticipated adoption of the plan by the Board of Directors in August.
Dr. Dan Zorn, Superintendent
Longview Public Schools