Saturday, April 4, 2020
April 4, 2020

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Woodland Public Schools redraws school boundaries

District changes lines for three K-4 schools for 2019-2020

By , Columbian Staff Writer

Woodland Public Schools will go through some previously announced reconfiguration at the start of the 2019-2020 school year, and the school board recently approved some new boundaries for the changing district.

Woodland Primary School, a K-1 school, and Woodland Intermediate School, which houses grades 2 to 4, will both become K-4 schools next school year. That will give the district three K-4 schools, along with Yale Elementary School. Woodland Middle School will continue to serve fifth- through eighth-graders, and Woodland High School will continue as a traditional 9-12 school.

The board approved new boundary lines for the three K-4 schools at its most recent meeting. The primary school, known for now as the west side school, will serve students in the district west of Interstate 5 and all those who live in Clark County. The intermediate school, referred to in the plan as the east side school, will serve students east of I-5, north of Lewis River and west of Cowlitz-Skamania Fire District 7’s Station 3, 8020 Lewis River Road, Ariel. Yale Elementary School’s boundary will be everything east of the fire station.

The boundary discussion was done using feedback from current district families, ranking the following issues as most important when reconfiguring elementary school boundaries: similar student populations, childcare concerns and after-school activities.

District officials are working to handle anticipated growth in the coming years. Woodland’s population in 2017 was 6,138, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, and the city’s most recent comprehensive plan estimates Woodland’s population will be 9,274 in 2036.

According to a presentation made to the board about the boundary reconfiguration, Woodland Primary School currently has 349 students, Woodland Intermediate School has 501 students and Yale Elementary School has 42 students. With the boundary changes, it’s anticipated that the west side school would house 353 students, the east side school would house 463 students and Yale Elementary School would increase to 57 students.

The target capacity for the two larger schools is 400 for the west side school and 464 for the east side school. The reconfigured boundaries could also open up the district’s new dual language program to students on the west side of the district.

The district’s planning team will now work on a recommendation to the board regarding in-district choice transfer options, as some families might want the option of having their children attend a school outside of their assigned boundary area. The KWRL Transportation Cooperative is working on busing models to provide the safest and most efficient rides for students within these new boundaries.

Bell schedules, along with start and end times, staffing assignments and school names will also soon be created to accommodate the changes.