The Capital Facilities Advisory Committee (CFAC) is continuing to analyze community feedback as they work toward adjusting elementary school boundaries to better balance enrollment.
Right now, our elementary schools have an unbalanced enrollment — a topic in last week’s CFAC letter HERE.
Thankfully, many of you have reached out to participate in a variety of ways with suggestions, ideas, and other feedback. That information has helped shape the work so far, and it will continue to aid the group in the weeks to come as we continue to fine-tune draft maps.
Some of the emerging common themes that our community has brought forward, and we are investigating, include:
Why does the latest draft map of proposed new boundaries move some students from Utsalady Elementary to Elger Bay Elementary? In order to create the most available capacity to relieve overcrowding issues at the three Stanwood schools, some students would need to be shifted from Utsalady to Elger Bay — however, exactly where those boundary lines will be drawn is still under consideration.
Why isn’t the proposed boundary line on Camano between Utsalady and Elger Bay not a straight line across the island? A combination of factors make it challenging to create an even line dividing the two schools to create an area with a sufficient population of students, including the lack of east-west roads in the area that typically help define boundaries.
Can we move a school program or several programs — such as preschool, Highly Capable, and/or Assist — instead of changing geographic areas? Generally, solely relying on moving programs from one school does not move enough students to solve the enrollment imbalance. In addition, the committee is wary of creating a so-called “satellite school” that would mostly host a variety of programs instead of mostly traditional classrooms.
Is there a way to redraw the boundaries without needing to bus Stanwood students to Utsalady? A much-discussed topic among CFAC as we acknowledge busing students from Stanwood to the island is not a desired situation. We wrestled with comparing the challenges that creates for families to the challenges to students remaining in overcrowded classrooms. Ultimately, the latest draft map reflects the consensus among CFAC that the higher priority is balanced enrollment throughout the district to best allow all students to receive equitable services.
Can we draw new attendance area boundaries where students won’t have a bus ride longer than 60 minutes? This has been one of the most frequent requests, and CFAC has taken this to heart by using this 60-minute limit when proposing new map boundaries.
However, these — and many more questions, options, and suggestions — continue to be analyzed by CFAC. Please see the current proposed draft map and read more about the ongoing work HERE.
Lastly, another increasingly common question revolves around building one or more new schools in the Stanwood area. Stay tuned — this will be the subject of next week’s CFAC letter!