The Snoqualmie Valley School District is currently considering an elementary school boundary change to deal with growth and crowding at Timber Ridge Elementary School, the district’s newest and largest elementary school.
Timber Ridge opened in 2016 and has permanent building capacity for 609 students, along with three portables that can hold another 180 students.
While Timber Ridge is expected to be near capacity next year, with an enrollment of 757 students estimated, the district is also planning for the completion of the new 191-unit Panorama Apartment complex (located within the Timber Ridge attendance walk zone) which could increase enrollment by 60-150 students.
Meanwhile, nearby Cascade View is anticipated to be 100 students under capacity next year.
The district says because Timber Ridge has 200 more students than other elementary schools, that has also created some inequities in programming. Superintendent Rob Manahan noted during a recent webinar that TRES students were only getting PE once every 6 days this year.
So the district is considering shifting some Timber Ridge students to Cascade View, specifically the ‘K North’ Snoqualmie Ridge neighborhood located on the northern edge of the master planned community.
K North – which encompasses about 100 homes along Silent Creek and Douglas Ave between SE Carmichael and Burke Streets – is no stranger to boundary revisions. Due to overcrowding, K North students were moved from Cascade View to Snoqualmie Elementary in 2010 and then to Timber Ridge when it opened in 2016.
Currently K North students are bused to Timber Ridge and the district said it would try to maintain bus service if the neighborhood moved- even though it is a mile from CVE and technically in the walk zone. District officials said that would be dependent upon bus availability, though, as SVSD is facing a bus driver shortage.
One thing some parents are concerned about with the potential boundary change is the splitting up the geographically close K North and Heights neighborhoods, which also both feed to Chief Kanim Middle School. If moved to CVE, K North students would instead feed to Snoqualmie Middle School.
During the recent information webinar, district officials said there are too many students between the two neighborhoods, though, and that keeping the them together could create the same overcrowding issues at Cascade View.
Some of the pros listed by the district for moving K North students to Cascade View and putting Panorama Apartments at Timber Ridge include balancing school demographics, keeping/moving families closer to neighborhood schools and minimizing transportation needs.
The district is considering two transition plans that 1) would allow current 4th and 7th grade K North students to grandfather into TRES and CKMS for the 2020-21 school year and 2) provide a choice to move to CVES for the 2020-21 school year with complete transition in the 2021-22 school year.
The school board has asked for additional information – including boundary changes history, maps of the neighborhoods under consideration and neighborhood sub area student (elementary and middle) counts – before making a recommendation on the boundary revision.
According to the boundary revision powerpoint, if the change is approved, and pending exactly what the board approves, the district would communicate with impacted schools, staff those schools appropriately, and define and communicate protocols and procedures of both transition plans.