Broad View parents stick together this year

The parents of Broad View Elementary School students feel a sense of urgency.

In a meeting called by the school’s PTA Wednesday night at Oak Harbor Middle School, parents packed the cafeteria, visited tables, heard information and asked questions about what the coming school year will be like for the displaced students, and how families can maintain student body cohesiveness.

The permanent Broad View site is undergoing a remodel during the coming school year, and the student body will be dispersed throughout Oak Harbor School District’s other five elementary schools. The district’s original plan was to house Broad View at the old North Whidbey Middle School interim site for the 2002 - 2003 school year, but that plan was nixed when staff reported that the building was making them sick.

“This is a year of flux,” Kim Page, PTA president, said to the gathering. “We don’t have a school, we have five different schools.”

Page encouraged parents to participate in PTA activities at the schools their children will attend, but also asked them to join the Broad View PTA to keep the organization alive.

As a non-profit organization, the Broad View PTA can’t just simply shut down for a year, Page said. The group plans to continue fund-raising activities in order to support teachers and classroom experiences for students. The PTA has also scheduled three get-togethers for the year, “to keep people in contact with each other,” Page said.

Parents attending Wednesday’s meeting checked out school bus routes for the first time. Broad View Elementary students have always walked to school, but now as many as 440 students will be riding buses for the first time in order to get to the other five schools. The PTA asked for parent volunteers at school bus stops, which might serve as many as 60 children per stop.

“The Broad View families haven’t experienced transportation before,” David Peterson, assistant superintendent of schools, said. Peterson attended the meeting to lend administrative support. He will act as interim Broad View principal this year, since Ric Packard, the school’s principal for the past year, was transferred to Clover Valley Elementary School in a shift of building administrators. The district is leaving Broad View without a principal of its own this year, as a cost-saving measure.

Page stressed the need for parent representatives to keep the lines of communication open between teachers, parents and administration during the coming school year when the three will be spread across the district.

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