LWSD superintendent announces temporary boundary recommendation

On Wednesday, Lake Washington School District Superintendent Dr. Traci Pierce sent an email to the parents of students at Rosa Parks and Laura Ingalls Wilder elementary schools with her proposed temporary boundary change.

Pierce will recommend the temporary boundary committee's recommendation of Scenario C for the temporary boundary change between these two schools for the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

She will make that recommendation to the district's board of directors at the board meeting on Monday. The board will vote on the specific proposal on Jan. 28.

"This option provides the best balance of moving students to Wilder from Rosa Parks without placing Wilder over capacity and requiring additional portables at Wilder, which would result in additional cost to the district," Pierce said. "It keeps most neighborhoods together and makes Rosa Parks entirely a walking school, minimizing the transportation impact."

Scenario C is one of three possible boundary scenarios the committee shared with Rosa Parks and Wilder Elementary parents in November 2012. The committee considered but rejected eight other scenarios that did not move enough students from Rosa Parks, resulted in Wilder becoming at or over capacity and/or resulted in transportation concerns.

The three scenarios were presented to parents and community members at an open house on Nov. 29, 2012 at Evergreen Middle School. Parent input on these options was sought through paper and web survey instruments. A total of 345 individuals responded, including 256 who identified themselves as having students at Rosa Parks and 87 with students at Wilder.

Scenario C, which moves most of Redmond Ridge East to Wilder, was ranked number one among the three scenarios by 204 out of the 345 parents who responded to the survey. Scenario B was the second choice, while Scenario A was a distant third. Survey results are available on the district website.

Survey respondents pointed out that Scenario C would make Rosa Parks a walking school again. It would keep most neighborhoods together and primarily use natural boundaries. Scenario B was seen to impact fewer kids, keep a more steady number of students at each school and preserve the Redmond Ridge neighborhood.

In September 2012, Pierce met with the Rosa Parks community, who were concerned with the size of the school. The school's enrollment is 795 and is projected to reach 1,024 by 2015-16 if no change is made. Pierce informed the Rosa Parks and Wilder communities in October 2012 that a temporary boundary change would be put into place as a short-term solution to addressing the issue of the size of Rosa Parks. The long-term solution to the increasing capacity issues in the district's Redmond Learning Community is to build additional school(s). The district is working on developing a capital bond measure to put forward to voters in February 2014, which would include a new elementary school.

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