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New attendance areas for elementary, middle schools
MARYSVILLE New attendance boundaries for elementary and middle schools have been adopted by the Marysville School District after a five-month exercise involving more than 50 parents and a score of staff members.
A new elementary school will open in the fall of 2008, requiring new attendance areas to be drawn up, but next fall the district will switch to an all middle school format for grades six through eight. That means a new name for Marysville Junior High School as ninth graders now housed there will move to one of the 11 smaller high school learning communities and the building is renamed Totem Middle School.
The shift means the district had to divide about 3,000 students in those grades between Totem, Marysville and Cedarcrest middle schools. Since elementary schools feed into middle schools, the district set new attendance footprints for both sets of schools at the same time. The school board ratified the new attendance areas at the April 9 meeting.
The advisory committee included two parents from each building who could vote; staff were present during the weekly meetings but did not participate beyond the discussion stage.
Using sophisticated software that could pinpoint individual families, committee members dickered over the geographic spread between students homes and schools, the ethnic and economic mix of student bodies and keeping bus routes in line with state funding guidelines. They often massaged the maps to deal with awkward doglegs and irregular edges, while trying to ensure that neighborhoods werent split down the middle of streets.
School board members winced at some of the results. District Five Director Sherri Crenshaw repeatedly complained about a scheme that would send students living across 64th Street from Allen Creek Elementary School to Liberty Elementary School, and parents living immediately next door to Cedarcrest Middle School complained about having their kids bused to one of the other schools.
The Cedarcrest folks had a gate built into a fence bordering the Cedarcrest campus and complained to the board late last month about plans to shift their kids elsewhere. The administrator in charge of redistricting visited their neighborhood and agreed that it didnt make sense to bus those students living right next door.
Keith McKinney was one of those parents who spoke to the board and he said special education director Andy Rogers held a meeting at Cedarcrest and saw the logic of leaving things the way they are.
I think that he saw our concerns from a different viewpoint, McKinney said. At this point, so far it looks good. Theyve heard our concerns.
The board delved into minute detail during several meetings, watching on a big projection screen as district transportation director Joe Legare used a $40,000 software program to show how a single tweak could effect as few as a dozen students on one cul de sac.
The committee wanted to keep the students on the south side of 64th from attending Allen Creek for safety reasons, since that five-lane road is also a busy state highway and could pose a danger for kids walking to school, for example.
Some elementary schools will split their student bodies as they progress up the ladder to the middle grades. Kellogg Marsh Elementary School will be split 60/40 percent between Totem and Cedarcrest middle schools, and Pinewood students will go to Totem with a few exceptions for students living west of 67th Avenue NE who might attend Cedarcrest.
Totem Middle School will receive students from Allen Creek, Quil Ceda and Tulalip elementary schools, and a small number of students from Sunnyside Elementary School. Kellogg Marsh students living south of 84th Street between 67th and SR 9 will also go to Totem. Pinewood students will largely go to Totem, except for those Cedarcrest neighbors living west of 67th; they will attend Cedarcrest.
Marshall and Cascade elementary students are slated to attend Cedarcrest, in addition to about half of the Kellogg Marsh student body, who will be affected by the new Grove Elementary School attendance boundaries. Cedarcrest has the most homogenous boundaries, stretching from I-5 east to Getchell Hill and beyond.
Marysville Middle School has the districts south end down to the Sunnyside neighborhood and north to Shoultes, with a small ring around the center of town going to the school. Students from Marshall, Shoultes, Liberty and Sunnyside elementary schools will attend MMS