As a young family with young kids who would have eventually attended Langley Middle School, we are so sad to read about the decision to close it. I know this has been a long and challenging process and I expect the school board is doing all it can with limited options.
It’s been made clear that low enrollment is one of the major driving forces behind this decision. Though enrollment may currently be down, there is a very large wave of children under 6 in South Whidbey and I truly hope this has been accounted for and considered in this decision. If there is any doubt about this, please observe the year-long waiting-lists at the child care/ learning centers that serve this population (Children’s Center, Waldorf, etc, etc).
I continually see the 2010 census referenced as a demographic marker and this is of great concern, as it does not at all account for the new and large wave of future students that wait in the wings of this district and its current enrollment slump. Many young families with young children have moved here in the past few years and we meet more by the day. We love it here and intend to stay, but if school doors are prematurely shuttered as our wave of future students come of age, it could create an untenable situation. For one, in no way would we be comfortable having our middle schoolers sharing the hallways with high-schoolers, which I understand is one of the primary “solutions” being put forth.
I know this must be a difficult process for the board, but I truly hope this wave of future enrollment is being thoroughly accounted for in the planning. Otherwise, the “solution” to the low-enrollment challenge may be driven away before it even has a chance to meet the problem.