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Meetings to address school district boundary swap proposal

Hillsboro and Beaverton school districts are gearing up for public discussion on a potential boundary adjustment that would bring land in South Hillsboro into the Hillsboro School District, and land in South Cooper Mountain into the Beaverton School District.

Both areas, currently mostly farmland, are poised for large-scale residential development.

Officials from both districts have met three times so far to discuss the intricacies of such a boundary swap. Two meetings slated for next week will bring the public into the discussion.

On Tuesday, Oct. 20, the public is invited to a meeting at Hazeldale Elementary School on Farmington Road in Beaverton and on Wednesday, Oct. 21, a meeting will be held at Hillsboro’s Rosedale Elementary School. Both meetings will run from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Officials from both districts will be on hand to discuss the proposal as well as gather public input.

Both school districts are considering bringing 156 acres in South Hillsboro ­— currently within Beaverton School District’s boundaries — into the Hillsboro School District. Similarly, there are 240 acres in South Cooper Mountain within the Hillsboro district boundaries. The proposal is to move that parcel to the Beaverton School District.

At a Hillsboro School Board work session Tuesday, board chairman Wayne Clift, who also sits on the boundary swap committee, told board members the process so far has been “an honest process that has evaluated [the proposal] carefully,” including an extensive discussion on the future financial impact to both districts.

“We have a unique opportunity,” he noted, to make the adjustment before both parcels of land become populated with homes and students.

There are currently 24 students living in the South Hillsboro area under consideration and one student in the South Cooper Mountain parcel.

Scott Schinderele, principal of Groner Elementary School, said he expects next week’s meetings “will have a showing of [Groner] parents. Folks there are wedded to the Scholls area.”

The only student in the South Cooper Mountain land under discussion is in high school, so would not be affected if a boundary swap occurred. The 240 acres under consideration are in the Groner Elementary School attendance area, according to Hillsboro School District spokeswoman Beth Graser. “The Groner community is vast in [geographical] size,” she said. “They may be sensitive to the fact that their community is being impacted,” she added.

Hillsboro School Board member Glenn Miller brought the proposal to the Hillsboro School Board in March of this year and in August the Beaverton School Board agreed to boundary discussions. The first meeting of a joint workgroup was held Sept. 10.

Both districts aim to make a decision on the proposal by the end of the year. Hillsboro School District will hold three board meetings before that, where patrons can provide input on the proposal: Oct. 27, Nov. 17 and Dec. 8.

Detailed information is available on the Hillsboro School district website at hsd.k12.or.us. Under the “About HSD” tab click on “HSD BSD Land Exchange.”

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