In its final meeting of the school year, before adjourning until next fall, the Issaquah School District’s Boundary Review Committee reviewed public input made at three public preview sessions and made a few changes to their boundary plan.
“The community committee has done excellent work,” district spokeswoman Sara Niegowski said. “They’ve done the best thinking for the entire district.”
The committee choose to make adjustments around Jacob’s Creek, where 10 students currently attend Endeavor Elementary. The primary recommendation sent them to Sunny Hills. If they were returned to Endeavor, they would be the only Endeavor students that would be sent to Pine Lake Middle School while their classmates went to Beaver Lake. The committee choose unanimously to amend the recommendation so that the students would go to Endeavor and then to Beaver Lake.
The review committee choose not to change moving Area 36 out of Grand Ridge. This area includes the short street south of Southeast Issaquah Fall City Road that is not part of Issaquah Highlands.
One of the biggest points of discussion revolved around the feedback from the community preview meetings, where several parents and citizens voiced concern about the number of students attending the schools, as well as the programming and how the new boundaries would affect those students already in the school.
Many parents felt that Skyline and Issaquah high schools were so much bigger and there was some sort of inequality with Liberty.
As one boundary member put it, “Our job isn’t done if we don’t address what to do with Liberty.”
After reviewing public input, the committee voted to approve an amendment that would move students who live on Southeast 98th Place from Newcastle Elementary to Apollo, which would affect just one student.
The committee also voted not to approve two proposals.
One would have moved Overdale Park and adjacent neighborhoods from Clark Elementary to Grand Ridge and from Issaquah Middle to Pacific Cascade. The committee felt that this move would leave Clark underenrolled.
The second amendment that did not receive enough votes would have moved planning areas 45 and 51 from Issaquah High School to Liberty. Committee members said they felt that this would interfere with clean feeder patterns. Also the committee would have to move these students at a either elementary school or middle school.
The committee was originally scheduled to meet on June 18, but that meeting has been cancelled because there are no further proposals. The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 1, at which the committee will prepare for the final stage of their work.
When the committee reconvenes in the fall, it will look at new enrollment numbers and revisit the proposal.
Also in the fall, the district’s three high school principals will meet with community members to discuss one of the most prominent issues at the public input meetings, the inequality of the three schools.
This issue was brought up countless times, and the district eventually decided that the boundary review was not the place to hash out the issue.
During the meetings with the principals and the community, district officials say they hope that issues with school size and programs will be resolved.