preparing for east middle school

Background

Since the Fall of 2020, the HSD Boundary Committee has analyzed building capacities and growth trends in our District neighborhoods in order to study the impact of the opening of Adventure Elementary and middle school enrollment trends. This past Fall, they reconvened to discuss how to best update our school boundaries to include East Middle School, opening in the Fall of 2023. Considerations included: Students' current buildings and the programs they are enrolled in How to transition our future middle school population with the least number of building changes while keeping their elementary school populations together. Other factors considered were: demographic diversity, total population among all middle schools, extra-curricular and advanced course needs, transportation, utilizing elementary geographic boundaries, feeder schools, and establishing transitional guidelines in preparation for the opening of East Middle School.

Timeline

Fall - Winter 2020Fall 2021 Fall 2023 
The Boundary committee studied the impact of the opening of Adventure Elementary and Middle School Enrollment trends, and studied 2- and 3-school Middle School options.The Boundary committee reconvened to discuss middle school boundary changes in preparation for the opening of East Middle SchoolEast Middle School Opens

Goals

  • Review areas of growth and demographics
  • Provide recommendations to the school board transitioning elementary students to new school boundaries in preparation for the opening of East Middle School in the Fall of 2023

Considerations

The considerations influencing the decision-making process of the HSD Boundary Committee, now being presented to the School Board for consideration, are as follows:

  • A balance of racial and ethnic diversity between all middle schools. Equitable distribution of racial and ethnic diversity can have a significant impact on a learner’s sense of community and belonging, opportunity, academic and extra-curricular programs, staffing, community identity, social-emotional growth, inclusion, and overall school culture. This is achieved under the proposed three-school model, using demographic information that is currently available for analysis.
  • A balance of socioeconomic status between all middle schools. Equitable distribution of SES can have a significant impact on a learner’s sense of community and belonging, opportunity, academic and extra-curricular programs, staffing, community identity, social-emotional growth, inclusion, and overall school culture. This is achieved under the proposed three-school model, using demographic information that is currently available for analysis.
  • A balance of overall student population between all middle schools, taking into consideration the potential for growth and the maximum capacity of each building. In addition to maximum occupancy, there are minimum and/or ideal grade-level enrollments that allow for an optimal learning environment. Staff size, student-to-teacher ratio/class sizes, and course offerings/programming can all be affected by this.
  • Establishing continuous feeder patterns K-12, allowing all students from a given elementary school to attend the same middle school and high school when/if possible. This strategy is effective but should be implemented while maintaining a balance of demographic and socioeconomic diversity, as well as the overall student population.
  • Offering advanced courses and extra-curricular/co-curricular programming at all middle schools, if/when possible. Studies show that students who participate in extra-curricular/co-curricular and/or advanced programming often have a positive impact on overall school culture and social-emotional awareness within a school. However, limited enrollment numbers in such programs can have a negative impact on implementation and instructional strategies, individual growth and awareness, student leadership, and program funding. It may be difficult to offer certain advanced and extra-curricular program offerings at all three middle schools during the infancy of this model, due to enrollment numbers. The result would be low student-to-teacher ratios, which would make it difficult to offer some programs and would also be inequitable to others. A temporary two-building advanced program and, when necessary, activities co-op for some extracurriculars is being proposed until these numbers increase to a sustainable three-building option.
  • Consideration for transportation logistics and cost. Boundary changes have the potential to impact both the efficiency and cost of bussing. In addition, special arrangements could potentially be made for students who are asked to attend a school outside of the attendance area in which they reside.
  • Simplification of boundaries by utilizing elementary geographical boundaries. Minimizing the need to cross major intersections and roadways during morning and afternoon commuting to/from school can improve both safety and community cohesiveness.
  • Establishing attendance guidelines for families with younger siblings. Learners and/or their younger siblings impacted by boundary changes will either need to transition to a new school or be allowed to continue attending the school that they currently attend.

These considerations led to recommendations presented to the school board. There will be two more regular board meetings at which the school board will consider input from the community before making a final decision.

January 10, North Middle School, 6:30 PM β€’ January 24, North Middle School, 6:30 PM

Current [2021-2022] Middle School Boundaries

Current Middle School Boundaries

North Middle SchoolSouth Middle School
Journey, Endeavor, Explorer, Adventure*Horizon, Freedom, Liberty, Adventure*

*Current SMS students within the Adventure attendance area south of 271st ST. could continue attending SMS, while younger siblings in Grades 5 or lower would be required to attend NMS upon entering Grade 6. No transportation to SMS would be provided for students pursuing this option.

Transitional Year [2022-23] Middle School Boundaries

Transitional Year Boundaries

North Middle SchoolSouth Middle School
Journey, Endeavor, Explorer, Adventure*Horizon, Freedom, Liberty

*Students residing within the Adventure attendance area south of 271st St., who elected to remain at SMS during the 2022-2023 transition, have the option to stay at SMS, while younger siblings in Grades 5 or lower would be required to attend NMS upon entering Grade 6.

Opening of East Middle School Boundary Updates [2023-2024]

Opening of East Middle School

North Middle SchoolSouth Middle SchoolEast Middle School
Endeavor, Explorer, Adventure* Freedom, Liberty  Journey,* Horizon*

Advanced Program

In most cases, an advanced student's middle school attendance is determined by the elementary school zone in which he or she lives. 

Until such a time that it is determined there are enough students enrolled to offer Advanced Programming at all three middle schools (equating to two sections of advanced courses, per school, at each grade level), the District will follow the Two-School Advanced Program Model.

With this in mind, for 2023-2024, middle school students residing within the Journey and Horizon attendance area who choose to enroll in Advanced Courses will attend South Middle School. This will continue until such a time that it is determined there are enough students to support Advanced Programming at all three buildings. 

If it is determined that there are enough students to offer Advanced Programming at all schools in 2023-2024, then the Two-School Advanced Program Model will be foregone and the Three-School Model will be implemented.

Advanced Program Exception

Advanced East Middle School Students (Horizon & Journey Elementary School Zones)

Student enrollment will determine whether the Two- or Three-School Advanced Program Model is implemented. 

  • In the Two-School Advanced Program Model: Students who choose to enroll in the advanced program at the middle school level will attend South Middle School. 
  • In the Three-School Advanced Program Model: Students will attend Advanced Programming at East Middle School. 

Tiger Reserve Students 

Tiger Reserve students' who chose to continue in the Advanced Program and do not reside in the Adventure Elementary school zone will attend the middle school based upon the elementary zone in which they reside.