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Final Community Hearing For Columbia Elementary School

April 16 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

<h1 class="tribe-events-single-event-title">Final Community Hearing For Columbia Elementary School</h1>
Columbia Elementary

Columbia Elementary Leads Academic Growth Amidst Closure Controversy

Wenatchee, WA – April 8th, 2024 – Columbia Elementary proudly emerges as the
beacon of educational excellence in Wenatchee, showcasing the highest growth scores
among all schools in the district. With an unwavering commitment to nurturing student
progress, Columbia has outperformed all schools in the entire region in reading growth,
setting a standard that others aspire to achieve.

And yet, the Wenatchee School District has proposed closing Columbia Elementary due
to a projected financial shortfall, aiming to save a negligible 2% of the budget. While
acknowledging the necessity of addressing budget deficits, it’s crucial to recognize that
the purported savings from this closure represent a mere fraction of the overall budget.
This decision contradicts the district&#39;s mission and values, disproportionately affecting
350 students from underserved demographics. Overcrowding and resource access
issues will impact nearly 900 other students at Lincoln and Washington schools.

Concerned individuals are encouraged to attend the final community hearing April 18th
at 6 PM at Wenatchee High School. Preserving educational opportunities for all
students, especially the vulnerable, must be prioritized in reevaluating this proposal.

Projected long-term enrollment decline underscores the need for long term strategic
solutions, rather than hastily setting the precedent for school closures. Across the state,
districts grappling with similar challenges are diligently exploring sustainable
alternatives to safeguard the continuity of education and highlight the best and most
innovative that public schools can offer.

Teachers, parents, and community members are advocating for dialogue, urging the
exploration of viable and sustainable options that preserve the educational fabric of the
district without sacrificing schools.

Central to this debate is the profound impact on vulnerable student populations.
Columbia stands as a bastion of support for these students, serving one of the
highest concentrations of vulnerable students within the district.

The proposal to close Columbia Elementary raises critical questions about equity and
inclusion within the Wenatchee School District. As a district committed to equity and
inclusion, the decision to close Columbia raises critical questions. Research
underscores the detrimental effects of school closures, particularly on vulnerable
populations. As demonstrated by experiences in other districts, the repercussions
extend far beyond educational disruption, disproportionately affecting homeless,
migrant, language learners, persons of color, and those with special needs.

Wenatchee’s diverse student body, with 54% Latino representation, underscores the
urgency of addressing these concerns. The proposed closure disproportionately
impacts Latino students, with 74% affected by the decision. Additionally, 79% of
students at risk of displacement qualify for free or reduced lunch, highlighting
socioeconomic disparities compounded by the closure.

As a district committed to equity and inclusion, these disparities should serve as a
wake-up call, prompting a reevaluation of the proposed closure&#39;s impact on vulnerable
communities which will in the end effect the entire community as schools will continue to
be closed if enrollment continues to decline as projected by the District.
Preserving the educational opportunities of students, particularly the most vulnerable,
should remain paramount in shaping the district&#39;s future. For more information visit

For media inquiries, please contact:
Jamie Johnson,

campaign &amp; media support,
[email protected]


April 16
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Event Category: