School board approves boundary changes

Revisions at elementary and middle school levels will take effect in fall 2013

Revisions at elementary and middle school levels will take effect in fall 2013

After months of meetings and review, the Camas School Board has approved district boundary changes at the elementary and middle-school levels.

Board members essentially kept the proposal that the Camas School District’s boundary review committee decided upon, with one change.

Phase seven of the Deer Creek neighborhood is now included in the Prune Hill Elementary attendance boundary. In the original proposal, students who live in that area of the subdivision were slated to attend Dorothy Fox Elementary.

The revised proposal will impact 30 students. Board members decided to change it because phase seven is part of the Deer Creek neighborhood and would not create a capacity issue if students attend Prune Hill Elementary.

“Inclusion of that area into the Prune Hill boundary makes sense,” said board member Doug Quinn.

The boundary review process has been underway since February. With the district’s sixth elementary school, Woodburn, opening in the fall of 2013, attendance boundaries needed to be adjusted. At the same time, the two middle school boundaries were changed to fit a three-and-three, feeder-school model.

“I don’t believe we’ve rushed the process,” said board member Casey O’Dell. “I don’t think we’re rushing the decision. Even though there are a lot of folks who aren’t happy about it, we haven’t heard enough that would delay a decision. Someone is going to be inconvenienced no matter what we do.”

Criteria guiding the process included anticipating future growth, matching enrollment with capacity at each school, providing a socioeconomic balance, minimizing student travel and transportation costs, considering neighborhood connectivity, aligning middle school attendance boundaries with elementary feeder schools, and including walk areas in each school attendance boundary.

After numerous meetings with staff and school parent groups, and two community listening posts, the committee came to a final recommendation. The revised proposal, presented to the board on May 14, included a change with Grass Valley, Dorothy Fox and Prune Hill being the elementary feeder schools for Skyridge Middle School. Lacamas Heights, Woodburn and Helen Baller will be the elementary feeder schools for Liberty Middle School. This was done to create capacity at Skyridge.

For more information about the boundary changes, visit www.camas.wednet.edu/2012-boundary-review.