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CKSD changes attendance boundaries

Several secondary school students in the Central Kitsap School District will be changing schools in the fall as CKSD Superintendent Greg Lynch announced his decision regarding the change to the existing secondary school attendance boundaries at Wednesday night’s CKSD Board of Directors meeting.

“My decision is Option D, and I say Option D with phase in plans,” Lynch told the board.

Although the committee tasked with studying altering the secondary school attendance boundaries recommended another option, Lynch said he was more comfortable with the Option D.

Details for all of the options can be found on the district’s Web site, www.cksd.wednet.edu.

“If we make a decision it’s not going to be just for 24 months,” he said.

The committee pointed out that no option is perfect, but noted that something had to be done to resolve the imbalance in attendance numbers in the district’s secondary schools, he said.

“Fairview Junior High’s enrollment is so low that it’s less than some of our elementary schools, which makes it hard to staff and has fewer course offerings,” Lynch said.

Currently the issue isn’t with physical building capacity, but equitable enrollment in each of the schools, he said.

While the changes will take effect in the 2009-2010 school year, Lynch said that next year’s seniors will be allowed to remain at their current schools, so they can graduate with the rest of their peers.

Additionally this year’s sophomores will be given superiority in being able to remain at their current schools, he said.

“Certainly this is an emotional event, and parents, if given a choice, would not make the decision to change their child’s school,” he said.

Under Lynch’s decision, junior high students in the Tracyton Triangle and Military Road areas wouldn’t change schools until possibly the 2010-2011 school year and on the high school level, students in the Tracyton Triangle area wouldn’t change schools until the 2010-2011 school year.

“Because the numbers are imprecise, I want to wait and see what happens,” Lynch said, adding that the phasing in of the changes allows greater flexibility for the district in the coming years.

One unknown in the plan is what impact it could have on the number of out-of-district students attending CKSD schools, he said.

Currently about 400 out-of-district students are enrolled in the district’s secondary schools, which represents about $750,000 of additional revenue, he said.

“We believe we can handle all our CK students and we can accommodate our out-of-district students as well,” he said.

In terms of the potential staffing changes that will have be made because of the attendance boundary adjustments, Lynch said it will take some time before those impacts are fully known.

Unlike elementary schools, the challenge is greater in secondary schools due to the specialization of teachers and the need to have more course offerings, he said.

Also with the transfer process beginning on Feb. 1, Lynch said it is critical that the district inform parents and students of the changes, so they can decide what school they want to attend in the coming school year.

“I think it’s very important when parents come into the school district that we tell them the school boundaries might change, and the closer they are to their neighborhood school, the less likely they are to be affected,” he said.

Parents with questions are encouraged to contact the district for more information about what the changes mean to their students.

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