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Boundary Review Committee makes recommendation
Boundary Review Committee makes recommendation to board
Posted on 09/28/2018
Boundary Review Committee makes recommendation to board

On April 18, 2016 the Board of Directors commissioned the Boundary Review Committee to evaluate and recommend adjustments to school attendance areas at the elementary, junior high, and high school grade levels. The committee work began in September 2016 and is commissioned to serve through November 2018. 

Change was inevitable.

More than ten years have passed since the last boundary review committee was commissioned by the district. Over that period, enrollments have increased substantially, student/community demographics have changed, and various educational programs and delivery methods have progressed. Given these changes, the Puyallup School Board commissioned the BRC to evaluate school boundaries throughout the district at the elementary, junior high, and high school level.
Boundary Review

Two years later, the committee is asking the Puyallup School Board to approve a recommendation for the new boundaries. They presented a report to the board on September 28. It contained a comprehensive plan with concrete recommendations for a new school boundary map. The board is set to make its final decision at its November 5 meeting.

The need for new attendance boundaries
In November 2015, voters in the Puyallup School District passed a $292.5 million School Construction and Facility Improvements bond with 69% approval. The bond program includes six projects which will each add permanent student capacity at the elementary level, including the new Dessie F. Evans Elementary which will include 44-homerooms with capacity to serve over 1,000 students.

Student enrollment has increased by more than 1,500 students in the last five years, with the majority at the elementary level. The housing growth in Puyallup has effected some schools more than others. Carson Elementary, for example, has more than 900 students — the current program capacity is 720 without portables. Brouillet Elementary program capacity without portables is 493 and currently has 700 students. Northwood Elementary has the capacity for 264 students in the main building and is serving 500 students.

Creative solutions for finding instructional space are in place at some schools. Computer labs and music classrooms have been repurposed into regular classrooms.

School boundary revisions are needed to create a new attendance area for Dessie F. Evans Elementary and to rebalance other crowded elementary schools when rebuilt schools open See 2015 Bond Projects timeline.

•  Firgrove, Northwood, and Sunrise rebuilt schools will open in the fall 2019 with increased capacity.
•  Dessie F. Evans will open in the fall 2019 and with the capacity to serve more than 1,000 students.
•  Hunt Elementary opened with 12 new classrooms in the fall 2018.
•  Pope remodel and expansion will open in 2020.
•  Plans are in place to expand Ballou, Ferrucci, Stahl, and Edgemont junior highs as enrollment is projected
   to increase at the junior high level.

The process
Community feedback and participation in the process has been a top priority. A critical component of the Boundary Review Committee charter is to “provide public comment opportunities and communication with district stakeholders.” To this end, the committee held 31 Boundary Review Information and Feedback Meetings hosted at each school throughout the district in April-May of 2018.  

The BRC considered equity issues, special education programs, highly capable programs, transportation, and allowing choices for students and families. They looked at equity throughout the district in regard to socioeconomic status and ethnicity, balanced enrollment, maximum access to educational programs, and an efficient transportation plan that includes non-vehicular safe routes to schools.

The 36-member committee represents each region of the district and includes community members, students, parents, Puyallup PTA Council representatives, principals, and district staff members. It held 17 committee meetings over the past two years and conducted 31 Boundary Review Information and Feedback meetings.

The committee has worked diligently with an interest in what is best for the district as whole and within its charge by the Board of Directors. It has considered comments provided through the community engagement process, the information and feedback meetings, and the 1,219 thoughts entered through the Thoughtexchange online platform. 

All boundary changes will begin in the 2019-20 school year, with one exception. The proposed changes between Edgerton Elementary and Pope Elementary are recommended for implementation at the 2020-21 school year, simultaneous with the opening of the Pope Elementary Remodel and Expansion project.

For more information and to view maps of the proposed school boundaries, please visit the Boundary Review page on the Puyallup School District website.