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  • Analyze data regarding short-term and long-term housing development, capacity at our schools, and develop recommendations for short-term (2017-18 and 2018-19) attendance area adjustments and long-term adjustments (2019 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.

Basis for Establishment:

  • Bellingham Public Schools has been working with the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County to understand short- and long-term growth projections and how new housing developments will impact school capacity.
  • 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 about 245 students more at Squalicum High School, and SQHS is running out of room; Bellingham High School is currently under-enrolled. Balancing enrollment among our high schools creates better course choices/schedules for students.
  • 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:

  • Issue a call for applications on Nov. 30, 2016 and receive applications by 8 a.m. Dec. 12.
  • Finalize committee members and notify by Dec. 15.
  • Meet 3:30-5 p.m. weekly on Feb. 22, March 15 and April 12 to develop recommended scenarios.
  • Gather parent and staff feedback from affected school communities from Jan. 30-Feb. 15 and/or during the process.
  • Submit short-term recommendations for 2017-18 and 2018-19 to the superintendent.
  • Continue to meet monthly, as needed, to work on longer-term recommendations for 2019 and beyond.



  • 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
  • Kate Jones, Assistant Principal, Squalicum High School
  • Mehar Singh, Student, Squalicum High School
  • Jacqueline Brawley, Executive Director, Communications and Community Relations
  • Mike Copland, Deputy Superintendent
  • Ron Cowan, Executive Director of Capital Projects and School Facilities
  • Kristi Dominguez, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, Early Childhood Education
  • Bob Kuehl, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources
  • 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


  • 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.