Breaking down Spokane Public Schools’ proposed boundary changes
SPOKANE, Wash. — Whether your child is in elementary, middle or high school in the Spokane school district, there is a chance they may not be going to the school you would expect.
A series of maps on Spokane Public Schools’ website shows proposed changes for all grades, including current boundary lines and what could change.
“It’s been 40 plus years since we’ve changed boundaries significantly,” said Associate Superintendent Mark Anderson. “Because we haven’t changed boundaries, we’ve had schools too full and we’ve had schools too small with capacity.”
Three middle schools are currently being built. Two are on the north side of Spokane, one is on the south. Anderson says they’re trying to balance class sizes in all of their schools.
Sixth graders will also be moving to middle schools from the elementary schools they’re at now. But, it won’t happen at the same time either.
Boundary changes will go into effect on the north side in August 2022. For the south side, it would go into effect August 2023.
With new schools being built and neighborhoods changing, the district decided it was time to figure out the puzzle, and in some cases, the change for some could be drastic.
In one case, the map shows that under the new changes, some students who live closer to Shadle Park High School would instead go to North Central High School.
Why? The district said they are trying to keep neighborhood students together.
“The choice was to stay with your neighborhood students all the way through your educational career, as a neighborhood. We call them cohorts versus having to split,” Anderson said. “That’s why in some cases, they may be near a school, but they’re going with all their neighborhood to the new school.”
On paper, this means some students will be going to a new school, which can be unsettling for parents and children.
That is why the district is adding a legacy policy, where parents can request their student stay in the same school. It’s more for those whose students are going into a certain grade when the boundary changes take effect.
“I started at Glover as a seventh grader and my new boundary is a new northwest middle school. As an 8th grader, I want to stay and finish there. You’ll be allowed to do that,” Anderson explained.
While the changes will not happen until 2022, there are ways to get involved sooner.
Families have the opportunity to provide feedback during four public forums through April. The district intends to bring its plans to the school board for approval in June. There should also be a time to give the school board public input in June as well.
For more information on when those forums will happen and how to sign up, click here.
Editor’s note: A previous version of the story showed a map of the current and proposed boundary lines. The labels on the maps were switched and has since been removed.
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