GREEN RIVER — The Sweetwater County School District #2 Board of Trustees voted unanimously at their Tuesday evening meeting to accept the recommendation of Superintendent Donna Little-Kaumo that the “Option 1” proposal to send Jackson Elementary students to Monroe Elementary for the 2017-2018 school year be accepted.
Board Chairperson Brenda Roosa, Vice Chairman Steve Core and Trustees John Malone, Corina Tynsky, Ann Rudoff, Mark Sanders, and Robin Steiss were all present at the meeting and voted to accept the superintendent’s recommendation.
Closing Jackson Elementary
Jackson Elementary is a K-4 school located at 2200 E. Teton Boulevard.
Students wanting to transfer in order to remain with their fellow students from kindergarten onward will have the option to make their request beginning on Wednesday and continuing through Jan. 26.
Little-Kaumo said that she would like to close off the transfer requests by late January in order to attend to the business of closing Jackson Elementary and preparing for the 2018-2019 school year.
Little-Kaumo added that it may well take longer than Jan. 26 to respond to transfer requests.
Core asked if there will be an appeal process for parents of students whose transfer request was denied. Little-Kaumo responded in the affirmative.
No Parent Protests
Prior to the meeting, Malone had expressed concern that there could be plenty of protests at the Tuesday meeting regarding the board’s decision in November to close Jackson Elementary.
No parents appeared at the board’s Tuesday meeting to protest the Jackson closure, however. Only one parent commented and that was a positive statement “From Jackson to Monroe—here we go.”
Core reminded people at the meeting that he had voted against closure of Jackson Elementary at the November board gathering but that after last month’s vote he said he would support the board’s majority decision.
Core thanked parents of Jackson students for adopting essentially the same philosophy as himself. “It’s done. Let’s move on,” Core said.
As she had indicated in November, Little-Kaumo said she had conducted a survey of affected parents and guardians regarding the options for school boundary changes flowing out of the Jackson decision.
Option 1 was to keep the Jackson student body intact and send them to Monroe. Option 2 would have resulted in multiple schools changing their boundaries affecting four different neighborhoods.
The winner was Option 1, but it wasn’t exactly a landslide. A total of 308 survey responses came in out of over 1,000 eligible participants.
The results of the Dec. 4-8 survey were that 60.1% of respondents wanted Option 1 to be implemented, while the remaining 39.9% wanted Option 2. Prior to the board’s acceptance of Option 1, Little-Kaumo provided information why the recommended plan would work best.
Jackson students would not only be kept largely intact, but there would also be an intact parents’ organization which would simply transfer over to Monroe Elementary next year.
Beyond Core’s comments, there was only minimal discussion among board members regarding the two proposed school boundary options.
Rudoff thanked the parents who had commented after the November meeting regarding the proposals, but she added that she did not really have a use for comments that were delivered in an “ugly” manner.