West Woodland parents frustrated by delay in portable classroom additions

Parents from West Woodland Elementary are worried the school won’t have enough space for students for the upcoming school year. The school district is asking parents to be patient, saying they’re taking steps to alleviate the problem.

The number of students at the school has increased, and there’s a need for portable classrooms to provide enough teaching space. Parents have been worried because the classrooms haven’t yet arrived and the first day of school is September 9. A recent letter from Seattle Public Schools says the portables are on their way.

West Woodland parent Kate Bovey wrote a letter to Seattle Schools saying she is, “extremely disappointed to hear from some of our wonderful teachers that they are being forced to teach without adequate classroom space. They are also understaffed for the enrollment numbers we are facing.” Bovey say the district promised more portable classrooms, but with just a couple weeks left before school starts, they’re worried it won’t be installed in time.

In her letter, Bovey asks that the district install the new portable classroom now. She also asks that they consider adding a new teacher to the staff, as opposed to hiring a substitute.

West Woodland Principal Farah Thaxton responded with a letter sent home to parents that addresses their concerns. They say they’ve hired a new 1st grade teacher, and are working hard to get the portables delivered as soon as possible.

“I have been working with central office this summer regarding the delivery of the portables,” Thaxton writes. “I  appreciate your ongoing support with this and feel your frustration.”

Richard Best, Director of Capitol Projects and Planning for Seattle Public Schools wrote a letter to parents with the updated timeline for the new portables, saying they’re currently being constructed by the factory and will be delivered to the school the weekend of September 19. Two 2nd grade classes will move into the portables once they’ve been inspected by the school district. Best regrets the delay, saying the district had been taking bids for the portables in an effort to, “make wise use of taxpayer dollars.”

“This action resulted in a delay of the construction of the portables we ordered, including the new West Woodland double classroom portable,” Best writes. “We are grateful for your strong support for West Woodland Elementary School and sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. We ask for your patience until this project is completed.”

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