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Support bond for safety
Sequim is at a decision point: whether or not to support bonds to rebuild and repair our schools.
As longtime teachers in the district, we offer some things to consider: Helen Haller Elementary reached full capacity long ago. Portable classrooms, meant to be temporary solutions for housing students, have been on campus for decades.
Now, as the state of Washington is moving to full-day kindergarten, we need more classrooms again. Sequim turned down state funding for all day kindergarten during the last budget cycle because we had no classrooms available. Soon our district will be offered this funding again. A yes vote on the bond means we can take advantage of it and join the nearly 500 other elementary schools in the state that already offer all-day kindergarten. According to census data, 76 percent of school districts in the United States currently offer all-day kindergarten.
A yes for the bonds will build a new elementary with added capacity, and classrooms that meet current codes. Why a new building? At Helen Haller physical capacity is maxed out, plumbing is failing, and decades-old electrical wiring is inadequate for the needs of modern technology. We use our gym to feed students; few bathrooms have doors, and there is one stall per 50 students in most pods (the ratio is worse is some parts of the building); we don’t meet current seismic codes; there is no fire sprinkler system, and from student safety standpoint the campus with its dozens of outside doors is a security nightmare. Please join us in voting yes.
Eric Danielson and Christine MacDougall Danielson, Sequim
(Both writer are teachers at Helen Haller Elementary School)