Thursday, July 11, 2013

Packaging and delivering a bond proposal . . .

The next week promises to be an important time for determining the scope of a planned November bond measure.  Tomorrow we meet with our architect team to view options and costs for the proposed projects.  We know the two major projects will be a new 9-12 high school built in the city of Maple Valley and a significant renovation of Lake Wilderness Elementary School.  The renovation will result in a building with 550 student capacity using Building A with additional classrooms, removing Building B, and upgrades to both gyms and fields.

There are many other projects on what has come to be identified as our "warm, safe, and dry" needs at all other buildings.  These include new roofs, replacing siding, upgrading systems, and many other needs that cannot be met through the operating budget.  Next week the Board will begin the discussion of which of these needs to include in the November proposal.  On Thursday of next week we will also be meeting with King County staff to move the property purchase forward.

In my Monday post about the property and bond there was one anonymous comment  that I want to share below because of the need to identify adaptive solutions to informing the community about our needs and the proposed solution through a bond measure.  First, I am pleased that the person is being asked questions by community members.  That would suggest that people are learning about it and want to know more.  Then, as I read the recommendations many questions emerge for me.  What facts are critical?  What story about our elementary students do we need to tell?  How do we package the facts and stories in ways that community members will read and understand?  I welcome any comments, suggestions, ideas, and feedback as we continue this important conversation in our school community.  We are learning that the packaging and delivery are critical..

Hi Mike,
I would like to say I have been asked a lot by parents and community members about the bond and they really need a "just the facts" approach to the overcrowding situation. We need to tell them the reality and plain and simple facts about what our kids are dealing with on a daily basis, not enough seats in the middle schools for all kids, kids taking all books because of locker issues, etc at EACH level of schools. The parents in elementary don't realize what is actually happening at the older schools and vise versa. If we spend too much time on what we want to do and not on what the real problems are, we seem to just lump the problems into the term "overcrowding." I think people will not understand WHY we need the bond to pass.

We need to display the facts in a subway type sign ALL OVER TOWN. With percentages, facts, and what will happen if we don't vote. Many people also point out we are not using the money we have wisely. Maybe that could be addressed as well. Just a thought.

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