Rose keeps boundary map unchanged
Superintendent agrees with a committee's proposed map, most transition concepts
After weeks of review, Superintendent Jeff Rose has decided to recommend the same high school boundary map that a committee of principals and parents sent him last month.
Rose discussed his decision Monday night with the Beaverton School Board, who next month will decide whether the plan meets the objectives and follows the criteria they set last year to begin the process.
If those two bars were cleared, the board's own process calls for them to approve the superintendent's boundary map and related transition plans. The board is expected to make those determinations at its May 16 meeting.
The High School Boundary Adjustment Committee, made up of a principal and two community members from each of the existing five high school areas, met for five months beginning last fall to hash out new boundaries.
It's a process fraught with controversy and emotion no matter where it occurs, and Beaverton's version still has plenty of both.
Some unhappy community members and at least one board member Monday night continued to question whether the process led the committee and ultimately Rose to the right proposal.
Becky Tymchuk, one of two board members elected after the boundary process was established, worried that the committee was given too little direction on which criteria trumped when they conflicted with each other.
"Did we as a district tee them up and provide them with the right (tools) to do their jobs," she asked. "I could see how conflicted it was."
LeeAnn Larsen, a veteran board member who took part in setting the process, said it was important for the board to provide the committee with direction but also necessary that those guidelines be flexible enough to allow trade-offs that had to be made for the whole process to reach a conclusion.
Several parents spoke out against the boundary plan Rose has endorsed, including continuing frustration from residents near West Tualatin View and Elmonica elementary schools who want their children to attend Sunset or Westview high schools rather than switching to Beaverton or Aloha high schools, which are farther from home.
"This is about distance," said Kim Overhage, who last year chaired the district's budget committee.
The map Rose proposes is identical to the one the committee sent to him, except for one minor correction involving a tiny wedge of property east of Bethany Boulevard that was intended to be in the Sunset High attendance area but originally color-coded for Westview.
A couple of residents also asked the board to allow students who will be sophomores in September 2017 when the new boundaries take effect to remain at the schools where they started.
The boundary committee also had asked Rose to consider whether that would be feasible, but Rose said he and principals could find no way to do so without exacerbating overcrowding in existing schools and harming programs starting up at the new school in the South Cooper Mountain area.
Rose did recommend that both juniors and seniors remain at their current schools in 2017-18 and the following year, meaning the new school would open with freshman and sophomore classes and take two more years to house all four levels.
He also said there would be a pathway for some siblings of older students to remain in their neighborhood's historic school, and additional students who meet other criteria may be able to use an existing administrative process to avoid changing schools.
By Eric Apalategui
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