Next school closure committee meeting Jan. 15; work slowed by mistake in members’ vote tally

POULSBO — Work being done to close a school in the North Kitsap School District has hit a bump in the road.

Citing confusion and mistakes during voting at the Dec. 18 School Closure Committee meeting, the “narrowing of schools to look into for closure was unable to occur,” according to the school district’s website.

The committee will resume work on its school closure recommendation Jan. 15, 6:30 p.m., at the district offices on 18360 Caldart Ave., Poulsbo. The meeting is open to the public.

District administrators will gather information on the schools identified as possible closure options from the Dec. 4 meeting to help with the recommendation.

The only school that made it on both committee working groups’ lists of possible closures Dec. 4 was Breidablik Elementary. Superintendent Patty Page said the only school immune from closure is Poulsbo Elementary.

Voting was done Dec. 18 using an electronic voting system. There was confusion in the school ranking system, and some committee members voted more than they should have, Page said.

The board’s goal is to close a school starting in the 2013-14 school year.

The school board is considering closing a school because of a decline in enrollment and revenue. A school closure would save the district about $300,000 to $400,000 each year because of the reduction in staff and site-related expenses. The full savings would most likely not be seen the first year because of the cost of moving personnel, students and equipment to other schools.

The goal of the committee is to make a closure recommendation to the North Kitsap School Board by February. The last committee meeting is scheduled Feb. 19. The school board will make the final decision and does not have to follow the committee’s recommendation. The committee will give the school board a ranked order of schools to close, with reasons for why the school is on the list.

Though narrowing the list of school-closure recommendations was delayed, the committee is still on track to meet the February deadline, Page said.


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