SPS forms boundary committee with new middle schools on the way

The Spokane Public School District just broke ground on its new middle school, Shaw Middle, that will be replacing its current facility. The groundbreaking signifies the start of the district’s nearly $500 million bond that was passed in 2018.

Now, with six new middle schools in the coming years, the district is trying to form a committee to figure out new boundary lines.

There will be three brand new middle schools and three replacement ones.

Once those are finished, the school will transition to a 6th to 8th grade model, with 6th graders beginning middle school.

“You think about during a student’s lifetime, they’ll have two significant transitions – from elementary to middle and middle to high school,” said Brian Coddington, the school district’s director of communitcations. “Right now with 7th and 8th, there’s only two years to get settled into middle school and then you transition again. So, this will spread it out just a little bit give them a chance to have a little bit more connectivity to the middle school, settle in before they make that transition into high school.”

Coddington says building this new boundary map will take a couple of years.

The district is forming a committee right now.

“We’re looking for approximately three dozen members, and we’re looking for diversity both in geographic diversity, levels of school, different perspectives, different background all the things that we’re looking for to put together the committee,” he said.

Some school district staff will also be part of the committee.

“Other people that have different perspectives, different roles within the system, different stakeholder groups. So, we’ll have a good wide perspective,” he said.

The committee, once it’s formed, will start work in January 2020. Coddington says they hope to have a plan by December 2021.

“We’ll have plenty of time for the community to be engaged, and it’ll be a process of going through how we’re going to look and evaluate boundary changes and what considerations need to be done,” he said.

Anyone can have input and be part of the committee. Applications must be submitted to the school district before October 25. There is no requirement; they just hope to attract parents and others who are involved in their schools and live within the district boundary lines.

While it seems like a ways out, Coddington says they want to give families enough time to understand which schools their student will go to.

“We’re going to try, and do that and give plenty of lead time before the schools actually open and before the grades change so everybody knows and has the chance to evaluate that and absorb that and know what’s coming for them,” he said.

For those interested in applying to be part of the committee, visit the Spokane Public School’s website.