School board schedules public forum to review options with overcrowded schools

Meeting at Jackson High will evaluate options following voter rejection of fourth high school
By Dan Aznoff | May 03, 2018

A majority of voters in Everett Public Schools voted in favor of a capital bond in February to build a fourth high school in the district to deal with growth in the south end of the district. However, the 55.4 percent approval margin was four percent shy of the state mandated that requires a super majority of 60 percent needed to pass the construction levy.

The school board has scheduled three public forums in May to take suggestions on possible alternatives to deal with the overcrowded classrooms and lack of facilities. The last of the listening sessions has been scheduled on Tuesday, May 29, from 6 until 7:30 p.m. at Jackson High School in Mill Creek.

EPS Superintendent Gary Cohn scheduled the community meetings after the board met on April 17 to discuss methods to maintain the quality of education without the $330 million bond that was rejected by the voters.

Cohen said the district has limited options. The alternatives under consideration for students in Mil Creek include an adjustment of boundaries for Jackson High and Heatherwood Middle schools, additional portable classrooms and/or changes to the school day to accommodate double shifts.

There are currently 17 portables on campus at Jackson, according to Principal Dave Peters. He estimated the school would need as many as 30 portables to deal with the expected influx of students over the next few years.

Peters previously told The Beacon that the portables would most likely be located on either the student parking lot or on the school’s tennis courts.

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