But the board stopped short of saying it will ask the child-care programs to move to make place for more classrooms.
The Seattle School Board voted Wednesday to approve a plan that could potentially displace some on-site child-care programs from the rooms some have used in Seattle schools for decades.
The board stopped short of saying it will ask the child-care programs to move to make place for more classrooms. Instead, the board members said that they were only giving preliminary approval for such moves.
Staff have said they may need about 19 of the rooms that child-care programs now use. The board also specified that reclaimed rooms would be used for kindergarten through fifth-grade classes, rather than preschool or other programs.
Board members amended the proposal to include provisions that the district come up with a list of schools that are affected by Feb. 3 and create a timeline to work with community members and the schools that may lose dedicated child-care space.
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The amendment also includes the option of creating a community-advisory committee or task force that looks at future capacity-management decisions.
“Tonight’s action is a beginning of the conversation, rather than an end to the conversation,” Superintendent Larry Nyland said.
Both the proposal and the amendment passed 6-1; Scott Pinkham opposed both.
The district estimates it will need 65 more classrooms next fall to make room for a projected 2.3 percent increase in the number of students and to lower class sizes for students in kindergarten through third grade.
The plan was criticized by child-care providers, who said they might have nowhere to go if they are displaced from their spaces, and concerned parents, who emailed school board directors in droves. Directors said earlier this month that they received more than 60 emails in four days.
Most Seattle elementary schools have on-site child-care programs, according to the school district. Many also offer part-day and full-day preschool programs. Nearly 70 child-care providers operate programs in Seattle schools and work with the district to align their programs with the schools’ academic needs.