Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Wednesday, February 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Partly Cloudy Day 45° Partly Cloudy
News >  Education

Mead School District looks at boundary changes

Correspondent

The Mead School District is beginning to take public comment on its proposal to adjust the elementary, middle and high school attendance boundaries to accommodate the new schools being built in the district.

In a surprise move, the school board voted Monday to build a 10th elementary school after initially tabling the decision in a special meeting two weeks ago because of cost concerns. The board was forced to make $11.5 million in budget cuts last spring and a proposed $14.6 million supplementary levy failed to pass earlier this month.

At the special meeting the board announced the district had the $20 million needed to build the school but wanted to make sure the district could afford to run the school after it opened.

Those concerns about finances haven’t gone away, said assistant superintendent of student services Jared Hoadley.

“At the same time, they voted to move forward with the 10th elementary school,” he said.

Part of the reason for the shift is the work that has been done by the Boundary Review Committee, which includes district officials and community members, over the past year, Hoadley said. Their work showed that if the district remained at nine elementary schools about 1,400 elementary students would have been forced to switch from the school they currently attend to a different one.

“That’s a lot,” Hoadley said. “Adding another elementary school changes everything.”

The addition of a 10th school will drop the number of elementary students who have to move to 377, Hoadley said.

“The majority, but not all, are moving into Creekside Elementary,” he said. “It’ll pull students from Shiloh, from Meadow Ridge and from Farwell.”

Creekside Elementary is one of two schools under construction and scheduled to be complete in fall 2020. The other is Highland Middle School. The 10th elementary school would hopefully be complete by fall 2021, Hoadley said.

The boundary adjustment proposal under consideration would send students from Shiloh Hills, Creekside, Colbert and Meadow Ridge elementary schools to Mountainside Middle School. Students from Prairie View, Evergreen and the 10th elementary school would go to the new Highland Middle School and students from the remaining three elementary schools – Brentwood, Midway and Farwell – would attend Northwood Middle School.

The high school boundaries would remain much the same, with students from the new schools going to Mead High School. Only a group of about 80 students would be shifted from Mead High to Mt. Spokane High School, Hoadley said. “It’s mainly all of the Forest Creek Apartments, which are located at Wandermere,” he said.

The district will place the proposal on its home page at mead354.org today, where people can provide feedback in online comments. A series of presentations and public input opportunities will be held in the elementary schools in December.

The district’s boundary proposal could change based on input from the community, Hoadley said. “No, it’s not a done deal,” he said. “It’s just a proposal. We’re bringing it to the community for feedback.”

Hoadley said the Boundary Review Committee worked hard to create a proposal to affect as few students as possible.

Hoadley said he has been hearing concerns from parents about what school their child will attend in the future.

“We know that our families really feel connected to our neighborhood schools,” he said. “We are opening up new neighborhood schools with the elementaries and the middle school.”

The school board is scheduled to vote on a final version of the attendance boundary proposal at a special meeting on Dec. 19. The time and place of the meeting has not yet been announced.

Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter

Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.