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District Representative: Ron Banner

Bio:

Ron Banner is Clover Park School District’s assistant superintendent for elementary schools---a position he’s held for the last three years. He has worked in Clover Park School District since 2003 and has served as a middle school assistant principal, an elementary school principal and a middle school principal before becoming an assistant superintendent. Next school year, he will serve as deputy superintendent of the district.

Topic: Educating military students in CPSD 

  1. There is a significant number of military families who live in our area. However, I’m not sure everyone knows Clover Park School District has schools located right on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

I think you are right! Even people who have lived in the Lakewood area all their lives often don’t realize we have six elementary schools located on JBLM. 

  1. How many elementary schools does Clover Park School District have and which ones are located on JBLM?

Clover Park School District has 16 elementary schools across Lakewood and JBLM. The elementary schools located on JBLM are: Beachwood; Carter Lake; Evergreen; Hillside; Meriwether; and Rainier. 

  1. How many students attend elementary school on JBLM and where do middle and high school students living on JBLM attend school?

Our elementary schools serve student in grades pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. We have about 2,500 elementary students on JBLM. Depending on where on JBLM families live, middle school students usually attend Mann or Woodbrook Middle Schools and high school students attend both Clover Park and Lakes High Schools. We have a lot of military-connected students who attend Harrison Preparatory School as well.

  1. How do elementary schools on JBLM differ from other district elementary schools? Actually, they are basically the same. All of our elementary schools have the same grade level configuration and use the district’s curricula. Our staffing levels and funding are the same and are dependent on student enrollment.

Really the only difference is that all the elementary schools on JBLM are brand new, thanks to special funding from the US Dept. of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment and state school construction assistance funding.

  1. Does the school district have any special programs for military-connected students?

We have a great partnership with our colleagues on JBLM. We work very closely with the school liaison’s office and over the years, have developed strong relationships with several of the divisions and departments on JBLM. 

As for special programs…. Each of our schools has a MFLC or Military Family Life Consultant and we have school behavioral health counselors as well in each elementary school on JBLM.

The MFLC and the school behavioral health counselors help students with transitioning to a new school, provide support during deployments, help students develop social/emotion skills and provide behavioral health counseling. 

Because JBLM is considered a compassionate assignment for families and Madigan Army Medical Center is so close, we also have several students with special needs who benefit from our programs at schools throughout the district. 

District students have also benefitted from special funding for after school programs as well. 

We are currently working on a partnership with developmental pediatrics at Madigan to support students with medical needs right on the elementary school sites as well. 

  1. What advice would you give a new family moving to JBLM about our schools? Is there any else you’d like to share?

First, I’d say welcome to Washington and the Pacific Northwest…! We welcome all military families to our area!

Across the district, all of our schools have students from military-connected families in them. Certainly our JBLM schools have the highest percentage of military-connected students in them. We understand military life…and deployments and transition from location to location. We get it!

As far as advice…. I’d encourage families coming to JBLM to check our district website… there’s a lot of really helpful information there! The address is www.cloverpark.k12.wa.us.

Even better, if timing allows, come and visit our schools. Get a feel for them and meet the staff and teachers who will be working with your children.

We are available throughout the year at the Student Services Center and can answer questions or at least, point you in the right direction. Families can call the elementary schools office at 253-583-5160 and our Student Services department can assist families as well at 253-583-5154.

It is important to know that if families choose to live off post, but still want their children to attend school on JBLM, they will need an enrollment waiver annually. Both offices I referenced can help families with that process.

We really are here to help…and want new families to have a great experience here and in our schools!

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