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Spokane Public Schools takes another step towards first boundary change in 30 years

SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Public Schools school board approved guidelines at its meeting Wednesday that will help determine which students are affected by the impending boundary changes.

A boundary study committee formed the guidelines, which are based on input from district staff and parents. More than 3,000 parents also weighed in about their concerns online and in person. The board will turn that input into policy when creating the new boundary lines.

The guidelines highlight concerns of the community, which include keeping neighborhoods together and transportation costs low, according to associate superintendent Dr. Mark Anderson. Anderson said the guidelines will play a huge role in the years to come.

"We will use those as we start to draw new boundary lines. We'll see if we're in conflict with the guidelines," Anderson said. "If we are, we'll probably change the boundary line to meet the guidelines."

Anderson said the boundary changes come as a result of a new basic education law calling for smaller class sizes. Smaller class sizes will translate to Spokane Public Schools moving to a 6th-8th grade structure, which creates the need for three new middle schools.

"It's not as much with student growth as it is with trying to get class size reduced at the elementary level," Anderson said.

The possible sites for the middle schools, depending on terms of a city-district partnership, will be located on North Foothills Drive across from Gonzaga Prep, on Mullan Road and next to Joe Albi Stadium.

Anderson said the boundary changes could become a reality in the next two to four years. He said the school board will have a better grasp of its timeline at its next meeting July 18.


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