Good communication key in Othello bond proposal

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Othello schools are bursting at the seams, fraught with overcrowding in kindergarten through eighth grade and grades 9-12. The school district is working to solve the problem and improve conditions for students and staff.

One step in the right direction is a recent community survey that was done to gather feedback from Othello residents before placing a bond before voters. A total of 183 people responded and were allowed to offer comments without their names attached. Nearly 72 percent of the participants overwhelmingly chose the option of the district running one February bond to address overcrowding at all grades. Twenty-eight percent surveyed said they wanted two separate bond requests. The first bond would be presented to voters in 2018 to deal with K-8 overcrowding and a second bond would run at a later date to create more space for secondary students.

Those surveyed were also asked their preference in funding the auditorium and athletic complex. A total of 50.6 percent surveyed want to run a separate bond for the auditorium and athletic complex, and 49.4 percent surveyed indicated they wanted the district to include the auditorium and athletic complex in one of the bond options shown above.

People left a variety of responses about what they thought the next steps should be in the process. They weren’t shy about critiquing the options presented. Five of the 35 people surveyed said they did not want a K-8 school and one respondent “did not approve of younger students being mixed in with older students.”

We are glad community members cared enough to provide their comments. The school district would likely benefit from continuing the dialogue and answering any feedback. The process shows a good effort at communication on the district and community’s parts. We hope the conversation continues.

To read the survey online, please visit boarddocs.com/wa/othello/Board.nsf/files/AQKUCK7B5CBD/$file/Othello%20SD%20Community%20Survey%20%20Results.pdf.

— Editorial Board

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