By Ann Fessler, Gig Harbor
The Peninsula School District must pass its school bond. When I see that Sumner is taxed at $2.80 and then realize that, if it passes, Peninsula School District’s tax rate will be $.79, I see red. Yes, I am livid. Peninsula Schools are so superior to other school districts, but it hasn’t passed a levy since 2003 because a few citizens campaign against the school bond. They simply object to paying for schools, and it’s not that they can’t afford to pay the tax. As I look on the Peninsula School District Compass that we all recently received in the mail, I see that every single one of our elementary schools is over capacity, one is 46 percent over capacity!
By Andy Boynton, Gig Harbor
Of course, passing the Peninsula school bond will benefit school-age children in our community. But this is an issue that goes beyond kids. It’s also a matter of civic pride.
We know that Gig Harbor is a special place to live, work and raise a family and has a cherished history. This is especially true for people who’ve lived here a long time, perhaps their whole lives, and wouldn’t think of living anywhere else.
Our schools have been an important part of that history, whether it’s on Fox Island, on the Key or in the Harbor.
A Staff Report from the Key Peninsula News:
Art Jarvis argued the case for the Peninsula School District’s second ask for a major capital funding bond in less than a year.
Peninsula School District Interim Superintendent Art Jarvis, Ph.D., addressed a standing room only crowd at Blend Wine Shop in Key Center Jan. 3 to describe and defend the school capital bond issue to be put to voters Feb. 12.
By George and Cathy Young, Gig Harbor
My wife and I moved our young family to Gig Harbor in 1985 for the natural beauty and the tremendous community. My children and grandchildren have all attended the Peninsula schools. Our community has experienced wonderful growth; however, it has negatively impacted our school system. We haven’t built a new elementary school in 26 years. Our overcrowded, aging and deteriorating schools do not reflect well on the image of Gig Harbor. One-third of our elementary classrooms are in portables, enough to fill two large new schools. The teachers and staff are going over and above what should be required to provide a quality education, with some even teaching in closets, kitchens and other makeshift spaces.
By Lindsay Mas, Gig Harbor
Kids in the Peninsula School District, from the Key Peninsula to Fox Island and everywhere in between, need our help. This is the time to act. This is the time to cut through disengagement, misinformation, and myths — to educate yourself on the truth about our schools from credible sources.
By Lisa Anderson, Gig Harbor
It’s disheartening to see red signs all over Gig Harbor and the Key Peninsula that are blatantly false. Property owners, please don’t fall for their tactics.
The truth? The Peninsula Schools District’s current bond is expiring this year. The proposed bond will replace the previous expiring bond next year, and our local school tax rate will actually decrease by 3 cents from the 2018 rate. Simply put, if you vote yes, the local school tax rate will still go down.
By Linda Velluti, Gig Harbor
Children belong in safe, quality environments, and that includes their schools.
I have no children, but the value of education is deeply rooted in my family history. I taught third and fourth grades in a poor district where the classrooms were overcrowded and in need of repair.
Connor Pavlik-Brindl, Student, Discovery Elementary
My name is Connor Pavlik-Brindl, and I am a fourth-grade student at Discovery Elementary.
On Feb. 12, 2019, our community will be voting again on a Capital Projects Bond. This is my second year in a portable. Have you ever taken a test in a portable? I have. The walls are very thin in the portables, and you can usually hear other teachers teaching. It can be very distracting if we are trying to take a test or just learn.
Chuck West, Lakebay
I love Evergreen Elementary School. It’s our little jewel in the south end. But it’s bursting at the seams. Built to house 182, we already have 246 students, or 35 percent over capacity. That’s 14 classrooms, six of which are in portables.
Meghan Conant, PTA President, Evergreen Elementary
Whatever stage of life you find yourself - regardless of whether you have school age children, are newlywed, a retiree or anywhere in between––we all benefit from great schools. Past generations built schools for children who are now grown up, and we should support our future generations by building schools for them.
Art Jarvis Ph.D., Interim Superintendent, Peninsula School District.
The Voice of Experience
I am the interim superintendent of the Peninsula School District. Over these past three months, it has been my honor to join this community and learn much more about the schools, parents and community at large.
My history includes over 50 years in the education business and over 30 years as superintendent. I offer that fact as the background for my next observation—this is a very special place. The beauty of this peninsula region would be impossible to miss, but the quality of the schools and school district might be less known to some.