FERNDALE - Parents in the Ferndale School District will get a chance to learn about possible school attendance boundary changes that could move some elementary students into different schools next year.
Two options for boundary changes will be presented at meetings this week: 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, at Vista Middle School, and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Cascadia Elementary School.
At the meeting, parents can examine boundary maps being considered for next year, and share their opinions with school district administrators.
New school boundaries are needed because of the closure of Mountain View Elementary after this school year and the district's decision to move sixth grade from elementary into middle schools. A boundary task force comprising parents, teachers, district officials, city employees and others has been meeting every other week since the beginning of the school year to create the new boundaries. They considered factors such as bus routes, balancing enrollment, safe walking routes, district demographics, and future road and development possibilities in the city.
"We looked at a lot of information, and we'll pour that information out and let people see it," said Scott Brittain, director of special projects for the district and a member of the task force.
Change can be difficult for parents and students who have a personal connection to their schools. But Brittain hopes that the work and research the board did will make any school changes that occur more understandable for families.
"Hard conversations are good conversations, and we had those all along the way," Brittain said.
The two maps being considered share similarities - in some cases, a school's boundaries may only be a few streets away from one map to the next - but they were different enough that the task force wanted to present both to the public. The maps will be available starting Monday.
"The idea is to test the process, to make sure there isn't something we missed, something that should've been in consideration that wasn't," said Mark Deebach, the district's executive director for business and support services, who has been working with the task force.
The meetings won't include a vote or consensus; they're just to get as much input as possible, Deebach said. The task force will meet again to consider the input before passing the two options along to the school board, which could vote to adopt a map at its Dec. 13 meeting.
IF YOU GO
The Ferndale School District is hosting two public meetings about the changes to elementary school boundaries.
Monday, Nov. 26: 7 to 9 p.m. at Vista Middle School, 6051 Vista Drive.
Wednesday, Nov. 28: 7 to 9 p.m. at Cascadia Elementary School, 6175 Church Road.
Both meetings will offer the same information.
Reach ZOE FRALEY at email@example.com or call 756-2803.