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Attendance Areas Committee Update for June 2018

A Message from the Department of Communications and Community Relations

This is an update about the Attendance Areas PreK-12 Standing Committee and its work.

The committee has not made any formal recommendations regarding attendance areas. Its members are in the process of brainstorming and thinking through numerous scenarios that would adjust our middle school boundaries.

You may remember that this committee, which is comprised of parents/guardians, staff and community members, recommended changes in 2017 to attendance areas for Bellingham and Squalicum high schools and Alderwood, Cordata, Parkview and Northern Heights elementary schools. This spring, the group turned its focus to middle school attendance areas because Shuksan Middle School is our largest middle school with significant growth occurring on the northside of Bellingham.

There can be a ripple effect when we shift an attendance area for one school, and it’s likely that this committee will recommend revising all four of our middle schools’ attendance areas. Currently, Whatcom has the most capacity, Kulshan’s enrollment is too low and Fairhaven could grow slightly.

The advisory committee is also charged with recommending boundary adjustments for the three elementary schools scheduled to be rebuilt (thanks to the passage of the bond in Feb. 2018). Alderwood, Parkview and Sunnyland will all have increased capacity to help with north end growth when they are completed. We anticipate having all three rebuilt by 2022.

The committee is considering the factors in policy 3130 to shape its forthcoming recommendations to the superintendent.

The committee plans to share draft scenarios with school communities and gather input from families and staff before forming its recommendation.

Committee meeting minutes are posted online for those who are interested. Please contact us at 360-676-6512 if you have questions about the process and watch for more information in the coming months.