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Purpose(s)/Goal:

  • Analyze data regarding short-term and long-term housing development, capacity at our schools, and develop recommendations for short-term (2019-20) attendance area adjustments and long-term adjustments (2021 and beyond). 
  • Use criteria from policy 3130 to develop and evaluate possible scenarios.
  • Use input from families and staff to form recommendation(s) to the superintendent.
  • Use recommendations from the next Facilities Planning Task Force to inform future long-term attendance adjustments. Currently Alderwood, Parkview, and Sunnyland are in process of being remodeled by 2022. 

Basis for Establishment:

  • New, large housing developments are being planned and some will be completed this school year within walking distance of Cordata Elementary School, which is near capacity. 
  • More housing developments are planned to open next year in the north that could impact Alderwood, Birchwood and Cordata elementary schools, Shuksan Middle School and Squalicum High School. 
  • Enrollment is currently above 700 for Shuksan and Whatcom Middle Schools while there is room for more students at both Kulshan and Fairhaven middle schools. Balancing enrollment among our middle schools creates a better school environment for students and staff. 
  • On average, 40 percent of students districtwide receive free/reduced meals, which is an important indicator of poverty levels. The number of students in each school who receive free/reduced meals currently ranges from 18 to 85 percent. More balanced free/reduced rates across our schools provide greater equity for students. 
  • Long term, Bellingham Public Schools is also reviewing existing space/capacity and projected future enrollment in our schools with the future bond improvements in mind. 

Decision-Making Process:

  • Advise and make recommendation(s) to the superintendent on revised attendance areas; the superintendent will make decisions based upon input from this committee and other feedback, as needed.
  • Recommendations will be made based on research, discussion and input gathered during the process.
  • The standing committee will continue to meet and develop longer-term recommendations as needed.

Plan of Work:

  • In early 2018, the standing committee reconvened to continue its work and broaden its scope to include middle and elementary schools, thus it added additional school representation (including principals, staff and parent/guardians).   
  • Meet 3:30-5 p.m. monthly  
  • Gather parent and staff feedback from affected school communities during the process. 
  • Submit short-term recommendations for 2019-20 to the superintendent. 
  • Continue to meet monthly, as needed, to work on longer-term recommendations.

Regular Members:

  • Micah Smith, Principal, Alderwood Elementary School
  • Hayes-Norskog, Melissa, Parent, Alderwood Elementary School
  • Matt Whitten, Principal, Birchwood Elementary School
  • Rachel Smith, Teacher, Birchwood Elementary School
  • April Barker, Parent, Birchwood Elementary School
  • Ari Feeney, Principal, Carl Cozier Elementary School
  • Aaron Darragh, Principal, Columbia Elementary School
  • Kate Deslter, Parent, Columbia Elementary School
  • Sharece Steinkamp, Principal, Geneva Elementary School
  • Emily O’Connor, Parent, Geneva Elementary School
  • Pam Pottle, Principal, Northern Heights Elementary School
  • Mylo Allen, Principal, Parkview Elementary School
  • Carrie Glimm, Parent, Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Tom Gresham, Principal, Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Ken Putney, Parent, Silver Beach Elementary School
  • Nicole Talley, Principal, Silver Beach Elementary
  • Lynn Heimsoth, Principal, Sunnyland Elementary School
  • Lillian Harris, Secretary, Sunnyland Elementary School
  • Stephanie Horsfall, Teacher, Sunnyland Elementary School
  • Eric Alexander, Parent, Wade King Elementary/Fairhaven Middle
  • Miguel Boriss, Teacher, Fairhaven Middle School
  • Steve Ruthford, Principal, Fairhaven Middle School
  • Meagan Dawson, Principal, Kulshan Middle School
  • Tommy Lingbloom, Teacher, Kulshan Middle School
  • Amy Carder, Principal, Shuksan Middle School
  • Dustin Heaton, Teacher, Shuksan Middle School
  • Jeff Coulter, Principal, Whatcom Middle School
  • Linda Miller, Principal, Bellingham High School
  • Ben Goodwin, Teacher, Bellingham High School
  • Katie Jones, Assistant Principal, Squalicum High School
  • Mehar Singh, Student, Squalicum High School
  • Jacqueline Brawley, Executive Director, Communications and Community Relations
  • Mike Copland, Deputy Superintendent
  • Kristi Dominguez, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, Early Childhood Education
  • Isabel Meaker, Special Assistant to the Superintendent, Family Engagement
  • Simone Sangster, Assistant Superintendent, Finance and Operations
  • Rae Anne Thon, Director of Transportation
  • Chris Behee, City of Bellingham
  • Co-Chairs Assistant Superintendent Steve Clarke and Executive Director Jay Jordan

Responsibilities:

  • Serve a two-year term on this standing committee.
  • Commit to meetings and be an active participant according to group norms.

2018-19 Meeting Minutes

2017-18 Meeting Minutes:

Budget Implications:

  • None, unless recommendations suggest otherwise.