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La Center School District

Students - Learning - Excellence
A Letter from Superintendent Dave Holmes:

August 26, 2019

Dear K-8 Parents and Guardians,

With students returning and a new school year starting on Wednesday, I wanted to remind everyone of some challenges and solutions that we implemented last year to provide your student with the best education in the safest environment possible.  I know most everyone is aware of the continued and unprecedented growth the district has experienced over the last few years, and this year is no exception. Our growth has created stresses on a number of our systems across the K-8 campus, but the most concerning is the traffic congestion.  

You may have noticed that we’ve added 4 additional portable classrooms on the old softball field over the summer; bringing our total to 6.  This was done to accommodate growth and to keep class sizes reasonable. These portables are leased and will be returned when the new middle school opens, at which time we will return the softball/athletic field to its original condition and use.

Traffic congestion during drop-off and pick-up times have led to problems on our community streets and in our parking lots, creating unsafe conditions for both students and staff.  Last year we were notified that we were violating fire codes by blocking fire lanes during these times. The backups on 4th street cause traffic jams and have led to the obstruction of emergency vehicles attempting to answer calls.

Our response to this issue has had many facets and at this point, I’m asking for your continued voluntary help to solve the problem.  First and foremost, I am asking you to have your student ride the bus whenever possible. If you live in the neighborhood, please consider having your student walk or bike to school, either with you or friends, instead of driving.

If you must pick up or drop your child off for school, please consider parking at the city park, library or the lower high school lot and walk from these locations.  If you must come onto campus, please avoid arriving during the peak times between 8:15 and 8:35 in the morning and 2:30 and 3:15 in the afternoon.

For parents meeting students after school near Holley Park, please wait for students at the ticket booth.  Walking along the fence or by the bell tower creates congestion at dismissal times and confusion for students trying to load busses.

During peak times, we will be enlisting additional staff to keep the fire lanes clear.  No one will be allowed to park along the red curb area along the main entrance. When the upper horseshoe area is full, staff will post a “lot is full” sign at the lower entrance and reroute cars to one of the other lots mentioned (city park, library or lower HS lot).

As with last year, if these cooperative and voluntary efforts are not effective, our last and only resort will be to close our entrances to all traffic during peak traffic times.  The safety of all our students is our priority. The La Center school community was able to pull together and work cooperatively to solve our challenges last year, and I’m sure I can count on you again.  This ability to pull together and achieve what others sometimes can’t have made us a destination district for families moving to Southwest Washington. I hope this will be the latest example of that tradition.


Dave Holmes