Olympia School District board has postponed its decision on whether to close Madison and McKenny elementary schools. The decision, originally slated to be made by March 14, has been pushed off until April 25.
The decision practically resets the 90-day window that started after Director Scott Clifthorne posed closing Madison and McKenny on Dec. 14.
Superintendent Patrick Murphy said the district posted an updated analysis on its website of the options to help solve the district’s $3.5 million budget deficit. The options were to close both Madison and McKenny elementary schools and consolidate with surrounding schools Centennial, Pioneer and Roosevelt; to close only Madison and consolidate with McKenny, Pioneer and Roosevelt; to close only McKenny and consolidate with surrounding schools Centennial and Pioneer; or alternatives to closing schools.
He said the analysis incorporates answers to questions posed by board directors and community members during previous board meetings. He said the new information should facilitate further discussion and feedback on the options, and that will take more time.
“(The postponement) would allow you and the community ample time to digest this update and allow the board and staff more time to consider input from the upcoming school-specific community hearings and meetings,” Murphy said.
He said it also will allow the board to better understand the implications of any legislative funding changes that could be made by the state before early March. And it gives the district more time to work with its labor partners and school leaders and staff on each scenario.
A public hearing for the potential closure of Madison Elementary is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 26 in Madison’s multipurpose toom, 1225 Legion Way SE.
A public hearing for the potential closure of McKenny Elementary is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 29 in McKenny’s multipurpose room, 3250 Morse-Merryman Road SE.