Letter to BSD School Board

Sima Sarrafan

Carolyn Watson

Joyce Shui

Christine Chew

Jane Aras

January 26, 2023

Dear Bellevue School District Board,

We, as individuals and families directly impacted by the proposed Bellevue School District closures, are writing to formally object to the Bellevue School District process currently underway to address budget shortfalls by closing selected elementary schools. This process has come across as hasty, opaque, and disingenuous, leaving many in our larger community frustrated, angry, and distrustful of the Bellevue School District, as evident by the 1,450+ people urging you [1] to involve more stakeholders and more options in the decision making process and only close [2] schools [3] as a last [4] resort [5].

We request public access to the data sets and methodology used to arrive at the projections of decreasing student enrollment and the conclusion that the trend is due largely to area population decline. A number of individuals, including data science experts, in our school community have raised questions about the modeling methodology employed by Mr. Bingham and have concerns about other causal factors not included in the analysis. Many more can offer anecdotal reasons why friends and neighbors have opted for local private schools, and some of us have considered (or are considering) the same.

We ask you to include a team of representatives from our school community in the recommendation process to ensure open channels of communication with constituents. Those of us who remain in the district would welcome the opportunity to work with you as stakeholders to better understand the data behind enrollment projections, explore alternatives to closing three elementary schools in a single year, and balance economic constraints with other critical concerns including equity, educational outcomes, and potential causes of further defection to private schools. 

Lastly, if we as a collective of district decision makers and the school community, ultimately recommend one or more elementary schools to be closed, we request meaningful involvement and due process of school closures as required by RCW 28A.355.020 [6] and BSD Policy 6883 [7].


The undersigned members of the Bellevue School District community


[1] https://www.change.org/p/slow-the-process-to-close-bsd-schools

[2] https://www.change.org/p/save-phantom-lake-elementary-school

[3] https://www.change.org/p/save-woodridge-elementary-school-the-heart-of-our-hill

[4] https://www.change.org/p/save-eastgate-elementary-school

[5] https://www.change.org/p/save-wilburton-elementary-school

[6] https://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=28A.335.020

[7] https://bsd405.org/wp-content/pdf/policy/6883.pdf



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