Letter: Chief Jo welcomes engaged parents

April 21, 2013 

My comments were quoted in a recent Tri-City Herald article on Richland middle school boundaries. In January, I submitted a school transfer request to enroll my child somewhere other than Chief Joseph Middle School.

However, before that request was denied, as an active and involved parent, I made the effort to learn more about Chief Jo. As a result, I can honestly say that I am happy to have my child attend Chief Joseph, which will provide my child appropriate academic challenges and a wealth of extracurricular opportunities in the presence of longtime friends.

Despite what Chief Jo has to offer, its test scores lag behind scores at other Richland schools. Because of this, many Richland parents transfer their kids to other schools, contributing to overcrowding elsewhere and reducing the pool of engaged parents at Chief Jo.

On April 11, the school board was pressured to preferentially rezone apartment complexes instead of stable neighborhoods into Chief Jo's boundaries to relieve overcrowding elsewhere. I believe that selectively rezoning more mobile citizens (who were not represented at the meeting) to Chief Jo would compound difficulties at the school. My hope is that any action the board takes is more supportive of the challenges faced by Chief Jo staff.

JULIE ROBERTSON, Richland

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