BOTHELL, Wash. -- Parents of students at Frank Love Elementary in Bothell fear their school has become a “dumping ground.”
Those were words PTA President Mary Kay Branscomb used in a recent flier asking parents to attend a PTA meeting, as its school battles overcrowding issues.
By the next school year, the school will add four more portable classrooms and approximately 100 more kindergarteners. The district says it’s a result of unprecedented growth.
Frustrated parents believe it was a lack of planning.
“Every year they’ve done this, every year they’ve increased the number of kindergarteners that we’ve had, unhappy parents complaining, and no one has listened,” said Branscomb.
With three kids at Frank Love elementary school, Branscomb is frustrated that all of her children are in portables this year. According to district leaders, the school serves as an overflow site for the Northshore School District.
By next school year, the school will go from 688 students to a projected 794 due to delays in a new primary center, which would hold kindergarteners, that was set to open next school year.
Branscomb isn’t alone in her frustrations. Mom Joy Campbell believes the situation isn’t even filling her kids’ basic needs.
“The PTA is providing drinking water for students in the portables; that to me is outrageous,” said Campbell, choking back tears. “If you are going to do this, it has to be done smartly.”
Campbell and dozens of other parents and staff packed a PTA meeting Thursday night with hopes to get answers from Assistant Superintendent Kathleen Poole, who was on hands to answer questions.
“It is not ideal, certainly, however, it is certainly to say Northshore kids deserve the best kindergarten experience, and this is the best one we can give them with circumstances we’ve got,” said Poole, as she addressed the parents.
The district is assuring parents, this is only temporary. However, parents like Branscomb and Campbell fear the light at the end of their tunnel will be too late for their own kids.
“I have a sixth-grader, a fifth-grader, and a third-grader, all of whom are in the portables as we speak, and if the plans go as planned, (for) the rest of their career here,” said Branscomb.
Other concerns parents raised at the meeting were traffic concerns due to the growing number of students. District leaders said they would work with parents on these issues prior to the new school year. They believe once the primary center is built, the situation will be alleviated.