FERNDALE - Responses were mixed as more than 100 parents in Ferndale School District got their first look at two potential boundary maps for elementary schools.
The district's boundary task force showed the maps at two late-November public meetings, with officials explaining the criteria used to create the boundaries and taking questions, comments and concerns from community members.
The boundary changes are necessary because the district is closing Mountain View Elementary School at the end of this school year.
Here's a description of the two maps:
Map A: Eagleridge absorbs most of the Mountain View students and remains split, pulling a smaller number of students from the tip of Lummi Reservation. Skyline continues to be split to take part of Lummi Reservation, with its boundary moving south past Smokehouse Road.
Students in the north end of Central Elementary's current boundaries will move to Custer Elementary. Central Elementary's boundaries will move south, and Cascadia will be similar to its current boundaries.
Map B: Skyline and Cascadia have the most dramatic changes in this map. Skyline will no longer be split to serve a small circle of students around the school and a portion of the reservation. Instead, its boundaries will move east, taking over the north end of Cascadia's current students.
Cascadia's border will move south to encompass the northern portion of the reservation. Mountain View students mostly move to Eagleridge and Cascadia.
Eagleridge's boundary moves north into Custer's and it takes more students from the reservation. Central's borders are similar to Map A.
Some parents liked Map A because it was more similar to the district's current boundaries, while others liked the more defined boundaries of Map B, said Scott Brittain, director of special projects for the district.
Neighbors Lisa Guerra and Sharon Dyches said both options keep their kids at Eagleridge, but they're interested to see what the socio-economic balance will be in the schools as well as see how they feed into middle schools.
They liked the criteria that the task force used to create the boundaries - considering safe walking routes and maintaining neighborhoods, among others. Guerra said there's no way to make every parent happy, but said it did seem they tried to be fair and to look at the long-term needs for the district.
"There's no easy way to draw the lines," Dyches said.
The task force will meet again Thursday, Dec. 6, to incorporate input from the meetings and potentially make changes to the maps. The school board could vote on the boundaries at its Dec. 13 meeting.
SEE THE MAPS, COMMENT
People can see the new maps and submit comments and concerns about them online at the district's website, ferndale.wednet.edu. Click on "Task Forces and Advisory Committees" under the "About" tab, and then click on the "School Boundary Task Force" link on the left side of the screen.
The link to submit questions or comments is in the center, under the task force banner.
Reach ZOE FRALEY at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 756-2803.