School Board approves boundary changes

Revisions are due to the opening of Columbia River Gorge Elementary, Jemtegaard remodel

The Washougal School Board unanimously voted Tuesday to approve new elementary and middle school boundaries as proposed by district administration, after a lengthy boundary review process.
Boundaries are being readjusted due to construction of the new Columbia River Gorge Elementary and remodeled Jemetegaard Middle School, which will open this fall.
Some students will have to switch schools due to the changes. Those who want to stay in their current school will be able to request an in-district boundary exception beginning May 1.
All families will be sent a letter in mid to late April regarding the changes.
“There has been an immense amount of work done by committee members during the boundary review process,” said Mike Stomme, superintendent. “Many of them took time away from their families to volunteer for this. I am very appreciative of that effort.”
The boundary review committee was comprised of 10 parents and six principals, representing each of the elementary and middle schools. They met six times, hosted two public open houses and heard 48 public comments on the matter. Additionally, 236 parent surveys and 31 community leader surveys were conducted.
The schools’ construction were a part of the $57 million capital improvement bond approved in February 2015 that addressed safety, student capacity and facilities needs for WSD students.
The School Board provided the committee with a set of guiding principles to help members focus their work. These were to consider existing district policies, community surveys, and land use and enrollment forecasting.
The district also hired consultant FLO Analytics to facilitate the boundary process.
“I’ve never been part of a process where you change boundaries and everyone is pleased,” said Tyler Vick, owner. “This work is always very challenging, but the committee members really took it in stride.”
The district has posted maps, showing the revised boundaries, at www.washougal.k12.wa.us. A tool to locate addresses and determine boundary schools will be posted soon.
For more information about how a boundary review process works, visit www.flo-analytics.com.

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