Thanks to the generous support of our community, the Camas School District is completing our final projects from the 2007 capital facility bond, and, in the fall of 2013, Woodburn Elementary School will open its doors to students. The addition of this elementary school will necessitate a boundary revision as we move from five elementary schools to six. At the same time, our two middle school boundaries will be adjusted to fit a three-and-three, feeder-school model.
Boundary Review Committee
The School Board charged the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) with recommending a boundary revision that best meets the policy, direction, and criteria set by the School Board. Available CAC members formed the Boundary Review Committee and began their scheduled meetings in February 2012. The School Board instructed the Committee to use criteria employed in previous boundary revisions to guide their recommendations. Notably, the Board included the addition of keeping school walk zones within each building’s attendance area (walk zones did not exist when previous boundary revisions were made). The criteria guiding the review process are:
- Anticipate future growth
- Match enrollment with capacity at each school
- Provide socio-economic balance
- Minimize cumulative student travel and transportation costs
- Consider neighborhood connectivity
- Align middle school attendance boundaries with elementary feeder schools
- Include walk areas in each school attendance boundary
Again, with the exception of the walk zones, these same criteria guided the previous boundary revisions.
Enrollment and Future Growth
Between 1984 and 2007, enrollment growth within the District grew by 4.3% per year, compared to the countywide rate of 3.1%. A total of 3,507 students were added to Camas School District during that time, more than doubling the size of the district population. Although there has been a general leveling off of enrollment during the current economic downturn, we can expect to continue to see an increase in enrollment over time. Much of the land within district and urban growth boundaries has yet to be developed, and there continues to be market interest in housing development in Camas and Washougal. Future K-12 enrollment is projected to increase by an average of 2.5% to 3% per year over the next 10 years. This map illustrates areas which are expected to be developed in 1-5 and 6-10 years.
For many years, the district has utilized the expertise of a demographer to forecast future enrollment for not only boundary reviews, but for annual staffing and budget considerations. Enrollment forecasts are typically updated every year or so, and a comprehensive forecast was completed in January 2011 for the Long Range Planning Committee. Most recently, our demographer provided the district with an enrollment projection update for this boundary review. Enrollment projections are largely based on the land use zoning plan and the vacant buildable lands survey adopted by the Cities of Camas and Washougal and Clark County during the 2007 Growth Management Plan update.
The approach used in making the enrollment forecast includes the following:
- Kindergarten (K) enrollment is forecast based on population of each school area (and expected population growth) together with birth rate data from five years previous using an age-cohort methodology. Data required for the K-level forecast includes projections of population growth, women of childbearing age and age-specific fertility rates.
- Actual enrollment patterns from prior years are used as a basis for projecting future enrollment for grades 1-12. For example, the students in a particular grade as of October 1, 2010, are promoted into the next grade level for 2011 (adjusting for expected population growth together with gains or losses typically associated with a particular grade-to-grade change for each grade level at each individual school).
- Economic growth impacts, land use and zoning provisions, buildable lands inventory, and new residential developments are taken into account.
District capacity is dictated by a complex matrix of regulatory mandates, student needs, educational program components, collective bargaining agreements, and community expectations.
In an effort to minimize transportation costs, the Board instituted walk zones in 2010. Students residing in these areas are not provided bus transportation and will automatically remain at their current school in this boundary review.
The number of students qualifying for the Free/Reduced Price Lunch is the indicator used by school districts nationwide to determine the number of students of poverty attending school. This same indicator is used to determine Federal and state funding for educational programs such as Title 1 and the Learning Assistance Program (LAP) which are used to support reading and math programs.
The Camas School District has long strived to maintain equity in educational programming and resources available to students in our schools. During a boundary discussion at a meeting in January, the Board reaffirmed their conviction that providing socio-economic balance is an important factor in determining attendance boundaries, and that providing such balance serves our students well.
For the purpose of the boundary review, neighborhoods have been defined by individual properties and include historic and future development plans, walk zones, topography, and bus routing challenges. These defined neighborhoods do not necessarily reflect titles assigned by developers or city/county geographic services.
Communication and Public Participation
Communication about the boundary review is ongoing and has been executed in a variety of formats. Superintendent Mike Nerland, individual school board members, and support staff have made 22 presentations at parent group and staff meetings during the months of February and March to discuss the boundary review process. An article highlighting the construction of Woodburn Elementary and the related boundary review was published in the District’s paper newsletter, The Flyer, in its Winter 2012 edition. Another article was published in the Camas-Washougal Post Record on April 3. A district-wide email message was sent on March 27 linking parents and patrons to this web page. The
The School Board invites our parents and patrons to participate in the boundary revision process by attending a scheduled listening post and/or the public hearing. Postcard invitations for these events will be mailed to the entire Camas School District community, and parents will be invited via the district listserv and announcements in school newsletters. Once the Committee has completed their initial recommendations, maps and summary data will posted on this web page. Additionally, a Frequently Asked Questions document is currently under development and will be included here as well.
Community Listening Posts
The Citizens Advisory Committee will present boundary review proposals for public input. After a brief presentation outlining the proposed boundary changes, School Board members and Committee members will be seated at table groups in order to listen to comments and suggestions. Comment cards will also be available. Verbal and written comments will be collected and reviewed by the Camas School Board and the Committee.
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Grass Valley Elementary School (map)
3000 NW Grass Valley Drive, Camas, WA 98607
5:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Hayes Freedom High School (map)
1919 NE Ione Street, Camas, WA 98607
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
School Board Boundary Hearing
Monday, May 14, 2012
Update: the location has been moved to Camas High School north commons (map)
26900 SE 15th Street, Camas, WA 98607
School Board Final Boundary Adoption
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Zellerbach Administration Center (map)
841 NE 22nd Avenue, Camas, WA 98607