School Facility Efficiency Review Update

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School Facility Efficiency Review Update
Students in a classroom learning

The following is an update of work that has been done, as well as next steps, in the School Facility Efficiency Review process.


Update April 26, 2024
Following is a message shared with all OSD staff and families on April 26, 2024:


The Olympia School Board has accepted a recommendation from the superintendent to balance the 2024-25 district budget without closing any schools.

As a result, Madison and McKenny elementary schools, which the board had explored possibly closing next year, will remain open along with all other OSD schools.

Superintendent Patrick Murphy presented the board with two four-year administrative budget options during the April 25 school board meeting. The two plans, which were emailed to all OSD staff and families on April 24, outlined suggested cuts for the board to consider to balance the budget in the face of a continued projected enrollment decline.

Plan 1, which the superintendent recommended, includes approximately $1.7 million of suggested budget reductions to staffing and services, as well as some non-staffing savings. The plan also assumes a ratio-based staffing model districtwide in which the number of employees assigned to each school is commensurate with its enrollment. Plan 1 would achieve a balanced budget in 2024-25, with additional savings projected the following three years.

Murphy explained Plan 1, based on the assumptions outlined in the plan, would allow all schools to remain open “for the next few years while enrollment is closely monitored and increased revenue streams are explored and pursued.” Details about the suggested reductions and other savings are included in the budget planning document emailed April 24 to staff and families.

Plan 2 included the same proposed $1.7 million of reductions with the addition of the closure of Madison and McKenny elementary schools.

The superintendent suggested possible thresholds that would trigger a resumption of school closure consideration including factors based on enrollment and facility use. Directors also suggested a threshold tied to the district’s ability to meet District Improvement Plan goals.

Now that school closure is removed from consideration for the 2024-25 school year, district leadership will continue to refine Plan 1. Some directors and community members voiced concern during the board meeting about school-based staffing cuts in Plan 1.

The final 2024-25 OSD budget is tentatively scheduled to be presented to the board for consideration and possible action in June.


Update - February 20, 2024: The form to provide community feedback at the March 7, 2024 Community Solutions Work Session has been posted below (see listing for March 7, 2024 work session)


Update - January 12, 2024: Public hearings and school board work sessions set to hear feedback on proposal for possible school consolidation

The following public hearings and board work sessions/meetings are scheduled on this topic:

Public Hearings

February 26, 2024: 
Potential Closure of Madison Elementary School; 6 p.m.; Madison ES Multipurpose Room, 1225 Legion Way S.E., Olympia, WA 98501



February 29, 2024: Potential Closure of McKenny Elementary School; 6 p.m.: McKenny ES Multipurpose Room, 3250 Morse-Merryman Ave. S.E., Olympia, WA 98501


Olympia School Board Work Sessions

March 7, 2024: School Efficiency and Possible Consolidation; 6 p.m., Knox Administrative Center, 111 Bethel St. N.E., Olympia, WA 98506


Community Cafe


Saturday, March 16, 2024: Visioning to inform budget, school consolidation, and program reduction; 10 a.m. - noon; Olympia High School Commons, 1302 North St. S.E., Olympia, WA 98501

Possible Board Action on School Consolidation April 25, 2024

The Olympia School Board is scheduled to possibly take action on school consolidation during its regular board meeting on Thursday, April 25, 2024.



Update January 11, 2024




Update December 15, 2023

The Olympia School Board voted on December 14, 2023, to open a 90-day window to accept community input regarding a board proposal to consider Madison and McKenny elementary schools for school consolidation/closure. (View the December 14, 2023 Zoom recording)

While other schools had been discussed by the board for possible school consolidation in recent months, directors narrowed the list on December 14 to include Madison and McKenny elementary schools.

Note: The board action on December 14, 2023 is NOT a decision to close Madison and McKenny elementary schools, but rather a vote, per Board Policy 6883, to spend the next 90 days gathering information and testimony on any issues related to the potential closure of a school. Once the 90-day window is closed, the board could consider taking action.





In late August 2023, the Olympia School Board received an analysis of enrollment trends and a long-term enrollment forecast from Flo Analytics in Seattle. That analysis showed that districtwide enrollment has declined in recent years and is projected to continue to decline by nearly 1,000 students over the next 10 years. The lower enrollment projected is due to a variety of factors, including housing trends and declining births — issues not unique to our district. View the complete Flo Analytics report posted on the district website.

That same month, the board chartered a School Facility Efficiency Review Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) made up of nearly 40 staff, students and community members. The committee’s responsibilities, as outlined in the charter, were to:

  • Study the comprehensive enrollment forecast, housing trends, staff allocations generated by state funding formula, and building capacities/conditions.
  • Dialogue with other CAC members about the diverse perspectives and needs of individual school communities, but remain focused on the needs of the district as a whole.
  • Provide a variety of recommendations on school size and configuration to the board that would help the district achieve financial sustainability without reducing services or programs.


The School Facility Efficiency Review CAC met from September 25 - November 1, 2023. Shannon Bingham, of Western Demographics, Inc., facilitated the committee meetings. Meeting summaries, reports/data, and committee membership are posted on the OSD website.

On November 2, 2023, the Olympia School Board held a work session to hear a report from several committee members. Bingham shared that the committee did not reach a consensus on any recommendations, but provided the board with four possible school facility efficiency scenarios in rank order. These four possible scenarios, which include school closures and grade reconfigurations, are posted on the district website.