On February 27, 2020, the Snoqualmie Valley School Board voted 4-1 in favor of the proposal made by Two Rivers School Principal Rhonda Schmidt to relocate Two Rivers to the Mount Si High School campus, creating a school within a school. Board member Geoff Doy voted against the proposal.
[See previous article regarding what prompted the request to move Two Rivers: Searching for Equitable Student Access: Principal proposes moving Two Rivers High School into Mount Si High School ]
The board’s approval was contingent on the move being done in a way to keep Two Rivers separate and take care of students who might struggle with social anxiety on a larger campus. The move could happen by the next school year.
Some potential benefits to the move that were discussed include:
- Access to additional graduation pathways
- Access to MSHS courses to support students’ goals and interests, including Career and Technical classes
- Improved access to MSHS extracurricular options
- Access to college and career visits
- Food Service options and expanded choices
- Transportation availability resulting in increased instructional time for students
- Access and opportunity for MSHS students to enroll in the TRS Big Picture program
Potential obstacles discussed include:
- Maintaining program separation
- Maintaining social and emotional security for students
- Maintaining current partnerships
SVSD Superintendent Rob Manahan said, “We are committed to ensuring that the TRS program remains true to the values and core beliefs of the TRS Big Picture program, AND that these next steps not only support this philosophy, but enhance the educational experience and opportunities for our students as well as the professional experience for our staff while creating a more equitable program for TRS Big Picture.”
Manahan said the next step for the district is to “verify space at MSHS, program compatibility, and the ability to ensure we meet the individual needs of our TRS and MSHS students and can successfully navigate the potential obstacles.”
Manahan cautioned, “While we are confident in our ability to do so, if after further review and consultation with staff and students it seems untenable, we will keep TRS at the current location.”
At the February 11th school board meeting where moving Two Rivers was first discussed, Principal Schmidt proposed using part of the MSHS freshman campus building as it offered room to grow the Big Picture program and was separated from the rest of the school with its own entrance, attendance office, drop-off and eating areas, etc.
Mount Si High School currently has approximately 1,665 FTE (full time equivalent) students and Two Rivers has 65 FTE students. Mount Si has a 2,300 student capacity. The most recent demographer medium range enrollment report didn’t forecast MSHS reaching capacity until 2040.
See full Two Rivers Relocation Proposal PPT HERE.