Public meetings on Marysville school boundaries start Tuesday

  • Friday, January 10, 2020 1:30am
  • Opinion

Marysville School District had a choice system for high schools the past 10+ years. After multiple studies, the school board made the decision in August 2018 to have two comprehensive high schools. Marysville Getchell and Marysville-Pilchuck will now have attendance boundaries. Legacy and Tulalip Heritage high schools will remain choice schools, as will 10th Street Middle School.

The Board of Directors created a committee of parents, community members, staff and students in March of 2019 to study enrollment, facilities, school capacity, transportation and demographics. The goal is to have equity in the feeder boundaries from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The committee made a recommendation to the school board for all district boundaries – elementary, middle and high school. The board set parameters and required that the elementary schools remain mainly neighborhood schools.

In addition, they asked:

•The middle and high schools to reflect the diversity in cultures, economic circumstances, race, gender and other demographic factors in our diverse community to be considered.

•Students should move from kindergarten through 12th grade in a consistent manner based on elementary feeder schools to middle and then high school.

•To consider the range of learning needs, including students receiving additional services such as Special Education, Highly Capable, English Language and others.

•To look closely at busing and transportation efficiency to potentially save money while also minimizing the length of bus rides for students.

•Limit the use of temporary or portable classrooms.

There were several other factors. The district serves a large area in terms of square miles, however, the highest population is along State Avenue and 67th. There can also be large differences along economic, cultural and racial lines between schools. Coupled with population density, that meant schools in the central corridor had to be considered to achieve balance required by the school board in the secondary schools. Finally, the district has an even number of elementary schools feeding into an odd number of middle schools back to an even number of high schools. The close proximity of all three middle schools was a challenge for the committee. The committee met 13 times before reaching a unanimous decision. The committee recommendations were presented to the school board Dec. 9. Now, the school district wants to gather community input.

The district will hold public forums and also will reach out to students, families, and the community electronically. “Let’s Talk Link Input” can be given at http://bit.ly/MSD25-Boundary-Input

The Board of Directors will consider the community input before making a final decision on boundaries. Public forums will take place:

Jan. 14 – Legacy High School, 7-8:30 p.m.

Jan. 16 – Service Center Board Room (Spanish) – 6:30-8 p.m.

Jan. 22 – MG – 6-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 23 – M-P – 6-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 29 – TBD – 5-6:30 PM

Jan. 30 – TBD – 6-7:30 p.m.

More dates will be added and will be published on the district website. The committee report can be found at http://bit.ly/MSD-Boundary2019

All committee work, agendas, minutes and materials can be found at http://www.msd25.org/enrollment-and-demographics-committee—3

Scott Beebe is an assistant superintendent with the Marysville School District, which runs a monthly column in this newspaper. scott_beebe@msd25.org

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