January 21 - Meeting Information

2021 Boundary Review Committee Meeting - 6:00-8:00 p.m., Thursday, January 21, 2021

YouTube Link: https://youtu.be/fG9iQAOSl2I

Agenda:

  • Welcome and attendance
  • Review agenda and approve minutes from last meeting
  • Questions from the committee from the past two weeks and community correspondence
  • Review of final portions of elementary boundaries not yet completed
  • Break Out Groups
  • Report Outs from Break Out groups
  • Group discussion and motions
  • Agenda planning for February 4th and possible scheduling of an additional meeting
  • Adjourn

Meeting Mini Summary

2021 Boundary Review Committee - January 21, 2021

Official Action

The committee passed a motion to approve the meeting minutes from the 1/7 committee meeting. The committee also passed a motion to the amended springboard proposal to date by a vote of 97%.

Discussion

For the fourth meeting, committee members were asked to approve the prior meeting’s minutes. There was discussion regarding community correspondence that had been received, as well as updates to the proposed springboard. Updates made included: 1. Elementary splits at IVE, Sunny Hills and Discovery, 2. combining the Lakemont community schools (Sunset and Cougar Ridge) to feed into IMS, and 3. a Newcastle proposal that would allow for Newcastle students to continue at Maywood MS, while Maple Hills students would be moved to IMS. Committee members had a chance to break out into sessions to further discuss their thoughts on the updated springboard, and came back together to report out. A motion was made to approve the springboard proposals as amended to date, effectively adopting #1 (current elementary splits), while no longer accepting #2 and #3 (Lakemont and Newcastle proposals). This motion was seconded. This motion passed, while action was given to the Technical Team to refine information prior to the next meeting.

Up Next

Committee members will return for the final meeting on February 4. During this time in between meetings, the Technical Team will make a few technical corrections as well as looking into cleaning up District wide maps with the new boundaries. The next meeting will spend time discussing transitions and how we build new communities as they come together.

Official Meeting Minutes

2021 Boundary Review Committee - January 21, 2021

Welcome

  • Boundary Review Committee (BRC) members were welcomed by Dr. Josh Almy and CFO Jake Kuper
  • 40 voting BRC members were present, out of 40 total members, meeting quorum requirements
    • Quorum established at 12/3 meeting - 75% of all committee members
    • Quorum reached for 1/21 meeting - 100%

Agenda & Charter Review

  • Walkthrough of agenda with BRC members
  • Walkthrough of charter with BRC members

Review and Approve Minutes from 1/7 Meeting

  • BRC members were given a chance to review minutes from previous meeting
    • Comment made re: information regarding Highland Creek and Rainbow Lake Ranch moving to ES #16 not shown under breakout discussion?
      • This action is shown under overview of next meeting as action for Technical Team
    • Motion was made by Tyrell Hardtke, then seconded to approve minutes as presented
      • Results: 40 BRC voting members approved – MOTION CARRIED
      • Minutes will now be designated as official

Recommendation Process to Superintendent

  • Almy and Mr. Kuper walked through process of how the BRC recommendations work
  • After meetings are concluded, BRC recommendation is given to the Superintendent
  • Superintendent will review and:
    • Accept the recommendation as presented and report out to School Board
    • Alter the recommendation and report out to School Board
  • Superintendent has the authority to set school boundaries, therefore the Board will not vote on boundaries
  • Question was asked if Superintendent had accepted previous committee recommendations in whole; per Mr. Kuper, last two boundary reviews were accepted in whole and not altered

BRC Members Roles and Responsibilities Review

  • Kuper brought up the roles and responsibilities that each BRC member signed prior to joining board
  • He acknowledged the sometimes difficult and emotional decisions this committee is tasked with, and thanked all members for not only representing their own communities but serving a broader role for the good of the District as a whole

Q&A from BRC Members re: Community Correspondence and Updated Springboard

  • Based on community input, springboard has been updated to address concerns. Mr. Kuper walked BRC members through changes
    • Elementary Splits:
      1. IVE 70%/30% split – 70% IMS & 30% MS #6 – allows for future growth in corridor
      2. Sunny Hills 80%/20% split – 80% PLMS & 20% PCMS – remains split
      3. Discovery proposed 80%/20% split – 80% PLMS & 20% BLMS
        1. Further discussion needed on PLMS / BLMS split per community input
  • Lakemont Community wishes to keep Sunset and Cougar Ridge together and feed into IMS. Tradeoffs occur, including IVE 100% feeding into MS #6 and inflating population of IMS which allows not much room for growth at this building. Concern of potential growth planned to occur on valley floor per City of Issaquah.
  • “New” Newcastle Proposal from community: Keeping Newcastle at Maywood MS and moving Maple Hills to IMS. Proposal is worthy of discussion but falls short number-wise in committee’s goals of lowering Maywood’s enrollment. Community input is trending against moving Maple Hills.
  • BRC members then asked questions and provided feedback to committee from input received from their respective communities
  • Kelly Butterworth (Sunset)
    • Community is interested in transportation piece – sometimes routes (from Lakemont to PCMS as example) can be 50 minutes long. Do we need more analysis of bus routes? Is our hypothesis utilizing transportation in the most effective way? What about capacity of buildings?

Answer: Mr. Kuper believes the Technical Team has done due diligence to utilize bus routes to correct capacity. In some areas (Highlands as example) we make less stops, and load as many students as possible at one stop to maximize efficiency. Routing patterns also help gain efficiency. For building capacity, not all schools are built to hold the same amount of students; and even if a building has classroom capacity, other common areas (lunchrooms, library, etc) may be impacted, as experienced by Maywood currently.

  • Lisa Reeder (Discovery)
    • Was socio-economic impact part of our original charter? Some neighborhoods are very concerned about having students moved to a new building at this time, and have expressed this via petition. Also, if we did discuss High School boundaries at this time, we may have been able to explore different options for some impacted communities.

Answer: We did not call out socio-economic impacts in the charter but do recognize the effects felt in some neighborhoods. It was decided to not include high school boundaries in this discussion due to the very large task it will be to walk through those boundaries. However, we can build upon the work done in this committee to start the conversation for the high school boundaries.

  • Tyrell Hardtke (Apollo)
    • Do we know which neighborhoods may have contributed to overcrowding at Maywood? We’ve seen rapid growth in area around Newcastle and Apollo. Also must take into consideration potential equity issues that appear at different areas of the District.

Answer: The South End has seen rapid growth over the last decade on any available land not hindered by the Urban Growth Boundary Line (UGBL). Newcastle Commons (approx. 900 units) was one of largest recent developments. It should be noted that Liberty is only fed by Maywood (one middle school) whereas Issaquah High and Skyline are each fed by two middle schools respectively. (Note that Gibson Ek has no set boundaries, as any student of proper grade may apply to attend from across the District).

  • Trisha Marshall (Newcastle)
    • When springboard was originally proposed, was there capacity utilization at Maywood and IMS?

Answer: Currently in District there are 5000 middle school students. Ideally, by adding a sixth middle school, every school could be “right sized” to 850 – 900 students. We need to ensure from an operational standpoint we have potential growth allowable at all buildings that will experience future growth (IMS, for example). The South end has the most growth potential IF the UGBL were to change, since this area has most open land. At this time, the valley floor in Issaquah is slated for growth over the next decade. It was noted when Briarwood went through remodel, growth of the area did present itself. 

  • Tod Wood (Newcastle Principal)
    • Appreciated the time and effort put in by the community who came up with the Newcastle proposal, and noted he saw value in that proposal staying at Maywood as well as those families wishing to move to MS #6. He met with community members for Q&A to discuss new proposal in detail, and shared with the BRC via chat the document.
  • Amy Myhre (Endeavour)
    • It was noted in some community correspondence that middle schools were not built the same and some schools may have more capacity than others?

Answer: Correct – in the case of PLMS and BLMS, their building base shows more area for students at PLMS vs BLMS (930 vs 790), however BLMS has current portable space of 260 and PLMS has portable space of 56, allowing BLMS to hold more students overall. Cost to put portables down at any location can be quite costly so that is not in the plan at this time at PLMS (although space does exist if future needs warrant portables).

  • Erin McKee (Maywood Principal)
    • Is growth potential different in unincorporated King County, vs City of Renton or City of Issaquah, etc?

Answer: This is dependent on UGBL. Each unincorporated area does have certain targets they are expected to meet, set by state statutes.

Group Breakout and Discussion

  • Groups were sent into breakout rooms to review and discuss updated springboard proposals and bring back any issues

Group Report Out

  • Group 5 – Carrie Reckling spokesperson
    • OK with adopting springboard as amended
    • Noted that every school has passionate communities
  • Group 4 – Tim Baynes spokesperson
    • OK with adopting springboard as amended
    • Still looking for feedback on Rainbow Lake Ranch and Highland Park

Answer: Technical Committee to make technical corrections and present at next meeting

  • Group 3 – Erin McKee spokesperson
    • OK with adopting springboard as amended
    • Lots of conversation on Lakemont and Newcastle proposal
  • Group 2 – Lisa Reeder spokesperson
    • Not a proponent of the Lakemont community proposal
    • Group did not reach consensus on Discovery split

Group 1 – JoEllen Tapper spokesperson

  • OK with PLMS / BLMS split
  • With some original pieces moved from Discovery to Endeavour back to Discovery are we back in balance?

Answer: Numbers not numerically balanced but they are correct, numbers at Discovery will remain higher.

  • Maple Hills community moving to IMS – when it came down to numbers, didn’t work numerically since Maple Hills is not expected to grow, and they are smallest school in District
  • Newcastle proposal was shared by Tod Wood, and he wanted to recognize efforts put in by community on the data analysis
  • Keeping equity of all schools in mind very important
  • If Maple Hills were to go to IMS this would raise FRL rate at IMS to be highest of all middle schools

Motions

  • Kuper recapped what was said by the groups, as well as emerging themes of the conversation. He noted technical corrections needed for Rainbow Lake Ranch and Highland Park, and noted the Technical Team would work to provide clean maps for next meeting.
  • All BRC members were thanked for handling these highly emotional discussions with grace
  • Motion was made by Courtney Eldridge to bring forward and adopt the springboard proposal as amended to date. Effects would be to adopt #1 and strike #2 and #3 (as shown below):
    • Current Elementary Splits
      1. IVE 70%/30% split – 70% IMS & 30% MS #6 – allows for future growth in corridor
      2. Sunny Hills 80%/20% split – 80% PLMS & 20% PCMS – remains split
      3. Discovery 80%/20% split – 80% PLMS & 20% BLMS
    • Lakemont Proposal – no longer acceptable to committee
    • Newcastle Proposal – no longer acceptable to committee
  • This motion was seconded.
  • Discussion around the motion was presented by BRC members
    • Lisa Reeder (Discovery) – 430 people signed petition to stay at Discovery. While neighborhoods have received some concessions to stay at Discovery, we can still ask for all neighborhoods to be included
    • Andrew Guss (Maple Hills) – Maple Hills community is in support of this proposal and believes it takes into account equity across District. Maple Hills serves Passage Point community, which would have been quite an impact on some of our most vulnerable students. Issaquah – Hobart Road has congestion issues and would have made commute to IMS unbearable for most in MH community. While 900 is not great to travel, better than Issaquah-Hobart.
    • Trisha Marshall (Newcastle) – Consider grandfathering in students to their original schools for one more year, especially after this last year students have experienced
    • Mark Clemens (Clark) – Clark is large geographical area, and denying access to community resources in downtown Issaquah could be detrimental if students moved to different middle schools.
    • Marcelle Waldman (IVE) – Keeping IVE a split community makes the most sense, kids are resilient and we’ll see our friends again in high school
    • Leann Tuupo (Sunset principal) – During last boundary review, Lakemont community felt the process was done “to them”, not “with them”. Please keep this community in the forefront of the conversation in the future.
    • Erin McKee (Maywood principal) – Top goal for Sunset not being split was for community cohesion, and same can be said of both the Lakemont and the Newcastle proposal. Maywood is a large school but we need to move students out of this building – currently looking at having to add a fourth lunch period. For the benefit of all students at Maywood, we need to relieve the high enrollment numbers.
  • Vote was taken on motion
  • Results: of 39 present members at this time in meeting: 38 YES, 1 NO
    • 97% - meets passage requirement of 75% - MOTION CARRIED

Overview of Next Meeting and Closure

  • Technical Team will correct pieces of Highland Creek and Rainbow Lake Ranch moving to ES #16.
  • Technical Team will also clean up District wide maps to clearly show new boundary lines
  • Next meeting will focus on transitions and how do we build these new communities as they come together
  • Thanks were given in support of the work accomplished by the Technical and Administrative Teams
  • Thanks were also given by School Board President Suzanne Weaver to all members of the BRC for the difficult job they were tasked with in coming up with these recommendations
  • Reach out to Dr. Almy or Mr. Kuper with any questions in the interim
  • Next meeting – February 4 @ 6PM