As you may have heard, Gatewood Elementary is facing an involuntary staff reduction of one of their first grade teachers due to lower than expected school-wide enrollment by 26 children across all cohorts. Since 1st grade has the lowest overall enrollment in the school it was decided by SPS to reduce the number of 1st grade classes and increase class size. The Gatewood teacher is being asked to transfer to Fairmount Park Elementary because that school is facing a staff shortage due to higher than anticipated enrollment. The 1st grade teacher will be assigned a 4th grade class. As a PTA Board, we feel decisions like these are highly disruptive and completely avoidable; we hope you do too.
How to show support:
1. Inform the School District that:
a. Decreases to school budgets made after the school year has begun does not serve every child, every classroom, every day.
b. Involuntary Staff transfers within a community does not foster the family support we strive to build across our schools.
c. Enrollment projections that lead to staffing assignments should be supported – and only in the case of higher than expected should schools ADD to their resources. Never should a teacher be made to leave a school after students have been assigned to a class.
2. Send email to Linda Sebring, Interim Budget Director firstname.lastname@example.org
3. Donate to Gatewood – Parents of Gatewood are trying to fundraise $90,000 by this Thursday, October 9th – an amount that the school district has informed them must be paid to retain this teacher. Through amazing effort, they have raised over $55,000 to date – if you’d like to help out or know someone who can, please write a check to ‘Friends of Gatewood’ and drop it off at the Chase Bank at Thriftway in West Seattle.
We hope you can join us in this important cause,
President – Schmitz Park PTA