The community-led bond and boundary planning committee for Highline Public Schools presented a recommended set of boundary maps and a short list of additional considerations at the June 6 school board meeting.
The proposed elementary, middle and high school boundaries are the result of a year-long process led by the Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC). The maps and school feeder plan presented to the school board reflect public feedback gathered in 10 community meetings and a districtwide survey.
CFAC co-chairs Rose Clark and Aaron Garcia complimented the volunteer committee members for their public service and their willingness to work through complicated and controversial issues that impact families.
“We had some difficult, but important conversations, and we did a lot of listening to feedback,” said Clark.
“I’m proud that we were able to create a plan that incorporates most of the input we got from the community,” said Garcia.
Highlights of Boundary Proposal
Clark and Garcia cited a number of benefits of the boundary proposal:
- Keeps elementary cohorts together K-12
- Does not split elementary schools
- Minimizes change to existing boundaries
- Aligns with more city and neighborhood boundaries
- Minimizes bus transportation and preserves walk routes
- Retains Somali community in Marvista Elementary School
- Improves balance of capacity v. projected enrollment
CFAC members also recommended several supplemental considerations aimed at decreasing the impacts of boundary changes and alleviating inequities resulting from neighborhood demographics in Highline. Their ideas ranged from making in-district transfers easier for students living within sight of a school that is outside their new boundary to directing more resources to schools with higher poverty rates.
CFAC Supplemental Considerations
- This plan perpetuates an inequity that has existed in our district for decades. CFAC was unable to come to consensus on a solution to this inequity.
- CFAC does not represent the demographics of the community.
- CFAC recommends that the south end Challenge program move to the new Des Moines Elementary School.
- CFAC encourages the district to ensure that students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are served as close to their residence as possible.
- CFAC recommends that students who live within sight of a school have priority for in-district transfer as a hardship.
- CFAC encourages the district to consider redistribution of financial and other resources to address the known gaps that exist between schools.
Board Action Expected June 27
The school board will take the CFAC recommendation under consideration and is expected to vote on a final boundary plan at its next meeting on June 27.
Highline families living in change areas will receive information in early fall 2018 about their new elementary service area or new feeder pattern for middle school or high school. The new boundary plan will take effect in fall 2019 and will coincide with the opening of the new Glacier Middle School and new, larger Des Moines Elementary School.