If you build it they will come...and that's what happened last year at Halcyon Elementary School. On the very first day it overflowed its student capacity. The popularity isn't letting up. Halcyon principal Pam Morgan says, "we register (new students) three days a week and I've had to hire someone to come in those three days to help me. It's so many everyday those three days."
The school is already being expanded with seven additional classrooms. This summer some Halcyon teachers are using their free time to learn how to use new reading materials that will help students. The materials will be bought with money raised by a parent-organized golf tournament.
"I can absolutely guarantee you, especially with proration this year, the only way we're able to fund the purchase of this program is through the charity golf tournament," says Bart Fletcher, the tournament's organizer.
Fletcher took two children out of private school to attend Halcyon, and he's not alone; dozens of former private school families who now send their children to Halcyon are saving thousands of dollars. And since the school opened last year, Halcyon is also making money, for families selling homes in its attendance zone. Two years ago the average listing price was $170,000. "Today the average sales price is $180,917 which shows a $10,000 increase in the ability to take money away in a closing," says Jimmie Ann Campbell with Prudential Ballard Realty.
Fletcher says Halcyon's high test scores, parental involvement and dedicated staff are proof that public schools can rival private schools. He hopes the golf tournament will raise $15,000.