Crowded school worries parents

MARYSVILLE – When Christie Desimone and her husband, Michael, moved into a new home near Sunnyside Elementary School last fall, they made a promise to their daughters.

The family had moved from San Jose, Calif., and Sunnyside was their children’s third school this year.

“We told them, ‘This is going to be a permanent thing,’” she said. “We are not going to move for a while.”

The idea was that the girls could establish roots in their neighborhood and make long-term friends at their new school.

Now, because of overcrowding at Sunnyside, their youngest daughter, Jessica, a second-grader, could end up being bused to Marshall Elementary, where there is more classroom space.

Then again, she could be allowed to stay, a Marysville School District spokeswoman said.

As many as 50 Sunnyside students could be required to attend different schools in the next two years.

The Marysville School Board on Monday will consider recommendations from Superintendent Larry Nyland to lighten the load at Sunnyside. While district enrollment has declined in recent years, Sunnyside is growing and bracing for more growth.

Sunnyside has 640 students in 22 classrooms. Two new housing developments in the school area that will add 650 new homes are in the works, with families already moving in.

Nyland’s recommendations include:

* Busing students new to the 71st Avenue NE area to Marshall. Students already enrolled at Sunnyside could remain there next year.

* Reassigning students living in apartments south of 64th Street NE to Liberty Elementary.

* Adding two portables, and possibly more later.

* Allowing only students within the Sunnyside boundaries to attend the school.

The district will re-examine next year whether Sunnyside students living in 71st Avenue area will be allowed to remain at the school.

“Right now, we are only making the decision for the next school year,” said Judy Parker, a district spokeswoman.

Desimone said the district should consider redrawing elementary school boundaries.

“We want to have the school district look at a longtime thing and not just Band-Aid it,” she said.

In a letter to Sunnyside residents, district officials said changing boundaries in the district would take more time and could double or triple the number of student transfers.

A longer-term solution would be to build a school on district-owned property in the 71st Avenue area. However, voters would have to approve a bond measure before that could be done.

Reporter Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446 or stevick@heraldnet.com.

Marysville meeting

The Marysville School District plans a meeting at 7 tonight for families of Sunnyside Elementary School students who could be sent to different schools because of overcrowding. The meeting will be at the school.

The Marysville School Board will hear Superintendent Larry Nyland’s recommendations on where to send affected students at 5:30 p.m. Monday at district headquarters, 4220 80th St. NE.

Affected neighborhoods are:

* A rectangular section at the southwest corner of 64th Street NE and 67th Avenue NE.

* A neighborhood straddling both sides of 71st Avenue NE from 40th Street NE to Soper Hill Road.

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