Middle school boundaries community forum Sept. 19

Public comment sought on proposed changes

9/15/2016 | TACOMA, Washington

Tacoma Public Schools launched a boundary review and adjustment process Sept. 12 to redraw middle school boundaries to accommodate the future reopening of a new Hunt Middle School.

The committee will host a community forum from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19 at First Creek Middle School to hear feedback from parents, students and community members on the springboard proposal and any other considerations citizens want the committee to discuss during its work.

As part of this boundary review process, the district also will rebalance enrollment among middle schools across the community.

A committee of principals and parents representing middle school areas throughout the district has begun to look at neighborhood demographics, as well as school enrollments and capacities, to determine what adjustments to recommend to Superintendent Carla Santorno and the School Board of Directors in December.

To provide the boundary committee with a starting point for their work, a district technical team created a "springboard" boundary line adjustment proposal. The technical team's proposal includes several proposed shifts for the committee to study:

  • Aligning the boundaries of Giaudrone Middle School so students from McCarver Elementary School would attend Giaudrone and Giaudrone students would move on to Foss High School. All three schools offer rigorous International Baccalaureate programs, and the proposed alignment would allow students to stay in the IB programs from elementary through high school.
  • Reducing boundaries for Jason Lee and First Creek middle schools--due to current and future growth projections. Both are currently at or near enrollment capacity and in areas of the city projected to grow significantly in population.
  • Increasing the Stewart Middle School boundary areas due to that school's low enrollment.

The committee will host two other public meetings as the process continues, to get feedback on its proposed changes. The committee will meet approximately 13 times between September and mid-December. All meetings are open to the public.

If the School Board adopts the boundary revisions, the Hunt Middle School boundary would not take effect until about 2021 when a new middle school gets built on the West End site. Other changes would take place for the 2017-2018 school year.