• Review data and information to form possible scenarios for revised Happy Valley and Lowell elementary school attendance areas to include Larrabee students.
  • Use the following attendance area criteria to develop scenarios:
    • Minimize disruption of student’s established learning programs.
    • Whenever possible, keep siblings in the same elementary school.
    • Provide overall balance of student numbers that relates to facility size and taking into account future growth patterns.
    • Provide a reasonably balanced socio-economic relationship in all schools.
    • Provide the most efficient and feasible means for student transportation to and from schools, minimizing travel time and transportation costs.
    • Wherever possible, keep neighborhoods together.
    • Whenever possible, maintain feeder school networks so elementary/middle/high school boundaries coincide.
    • Whenever possible, follow natural boundaries and utilize existing physical boundaries such as major roadways.
  • Use input from families and staff to form recommendation(s) to the superintendent on revised attendance areas.

Basis for Establishment:

  • Following a process during the 2012-13 school year that resulted in a decision to retire Larrabee Elementary School at the end of June 2014, new attendance areas need to be established for where Larrabee students will attend school starting in fall 2014.

Decision-Making Process:

  • Advise and make recommendation(s) to the superintendent on revised attendance areas for Happy Valley and Lowell elementary schools using administrative policy 3130 [1] as a guide.

Plan of Work/Timeline:

  • Call for committee applications from early to mid-September with committee formed by the end of September 2013.
  • Meet every other week, or as needed, from October through December 2013.
  • Share recommended scenarios for family feedback prior to Thanksgiving 2013.
  • Use feedback to form recommendation(s) to the superintendent in early 2014.

Meeting Information:

All meetings are from 3:30 to 5 p.m. at District Office, unless otherwise noted.

Oct. 8, 2013 – Meeting Minutes [2]
Oct. 22, 2013 – Meeting Minutes [3]
Nov. 5, 2013 – Meeting Minutes [4]
Nov. 19, 2013 – Meeting Minutes [5]
Dec. 3, 2013 – Meeting Minutes [6]
Jan. 9, 2014, 6:30-7:30 p.m., in the Larrabee Gym (parent input session) – Meeting Minutes [7] Jan. 21, 2014 – Meeting Minutes [8]

Jan. 24, 2014 – Meeting Minutes [9]



  • Shelley Higgins, Lowell Parent
  • Heidi Ling, Larrabee Parent
  • Andrew Robinson, Happy Valley Parent
  • Maia Thomas, Larrabee Parent
  • Kate Wearn, Lowell Parent
  • Rachel Williams, Happy Valley Parent
  • Kerri Clary, Larrabee Paraeducator
  • Jeff Hilburn, Lowell Teacher
  • Katherine Tully, Happy Valley/Larrabee Teacher
  • Co-Chairs Executive Administrator Rob McElroy and Assistant Superintendent Ron Cowan
  • Larrabee Principal Kate Baehr, Happy Valley Principal Karen Tolliver and Lowell Principal Missy Ferguson
  • Director of Transportation Rae Anne Thon
  • City of Bellingham staff liaison Kim Brown


Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations Tanya Rowe


  • Attend all meetings, work collaboratively and follow the committee-established Code of Conduct/Collective Agreements.

Questions and Answers:

Updated: Jan. 9, 2014

As the Attendance Area Committee recieves questions, we wanted to share the answers here.

1. What impact would the draft scenario have on student enrollment at each school?

The size of Happy Valley and Lowell, for example, means that Happy Valley can take as many as 100 students and Lowell can take 50.

The current enrollment at Happy Valley Elementary School is 325 students. The boundary shift under the draft scenario would put the enrollment at approximately 430 students.

The current enrollment at Lowell Elementary School is 292 students. The draft scenario boundaries could put the enrollment at approximately 327 students.

2. What impact would the draft scenario have on the student demographics, including the free and reduced meals program, at each school?

The percentage of students in the free and reduced meals program at Happy Valley Elementary currently stands at 23.7 percent. The boundary shift under the draft scenario would change that percentage to approximately 28.4 percent.

The current free and reduced meals program percentage at Lowell Elementary School is 17.8 percent. The draft scenario would change this percentage to approximately 19.6 percent.

These percentage changes in student participation in the free and reduced meal program is not statistically significant.


Related Documents:

Recommended Attendance Areas for 2014-15 [10]
A Message from the Attendance Area Committee, Jan. 6, 2014 [11]

Attendance Area Committee Survey (Closed Jan. 13) [12] Map Proposal [13]
Questions and Answers [14]