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Boarded up windows along the north side of the closed Mountain View school buildings (October 4, 2016). Photo: Discover Ferndale

School District leases part of former Mountain View Elementary School

Officials at the Ferndale School District announced today they have a 3-year agreement with Educational Service District (ESD) 189 to house the Whatcom Discovery program at the former Mountain View Elementary School campus at 5780 Hendrickson Road beginning in July.

Whatcom Discovery had been occupying a building in south Bellingham. The program, according to the ESD website, “serves elementary, middle, and high school students experiencing significant social, emotional, and behavioral difficulties.”

According to Ferndale School District Superintendent Dr. Linda Quinn, “Whatcom Discovery is a special education program that serves behaviorally challenged students from all seven Whatcom County School Districts. Currently there are a total of 38 students enrolled, 9 of whom live in Ferndale.”

The District says Whatcom Discovery has agreed to pay for building repairs the District does not currently have budgeted to complete.

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Other benefits identified by the District include:

  • Regular tenants in the building will reduce vandalism and other unwanted activity on the campus.
  • Once the building is opened, cleaned and fixed up, the district will be able to use sections of it (like the library) for meeting space. Whatcom Discovery will only use classrooms in the office wing of the school.
  • Ferndale Schools will realize monthly revenue from the lease agreement.
  • Ferndale Schools will save both dollars and bus driver hours by not having to transport Ferndale students to and from the previous location of Whatcom Discovery every day.

District officials noted in today’s announcement that former Ferndale School District teacher, Anita Tromp, is the principal of Whatcom Discovery. Tromp taught special education classes at Skyline and Ferndale High School.

In addition to Ferndale, Bellingham, Blaine, Lynden, Meridian, Mount Baker, Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley school districts all participate in the Whatcom Discovery program.

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