BOUNDARY ADJUSTMENTS | Spokane Public Schools
Spokane Public Schools had not significantly adjusted attendance boundaries for over 27 years. While the city had grown tremendously over those three decades, it was also a place where families often live and work in specific neighborhoods for generations, engendering a real sense of community and passion about the schools in those neighborhoods. This combination of growth and a pressure to remain unchanged generated unique challenges to engaging with neighborhoods across the city to effectively change inefficient, but very institutionalized, attendance boundaries.
As part of a multi-year facility planning process which also included grade configuration changes, Teater-Crocker worked with Spokane Public Schools to evaluate options for changing attendance boundaries in order to maximize the utilization of current school facilities and create room across the district for anticipated growth in the coming years. Together, we developed and facilitated a committee representing all areas of the city to work to a recommendation that minimized impact on students while maximizing efficiency and value for the district. Even though some neighborhoods were impacted differently than others, in the end the committee was able to come to a consensus recommendation to the school board for district-wide boundary adjustments at all grade levels.
LONG RANGE FACILITY PLANNING | Moses Lake School District
This planning effort happened post-bond, while the election results were being litigated to the state Supreme Court. Our review and analysis, and subsequent planning effort and committee facilitation, led to the district formally changing their bond project (with board and community support) from one large additional high school to a mid-sized high school and two elementary schools. This effectively saved the district from having to run an additional bond for $30 million or more at a later date to build the additional elementary schools necessary to address current over-capacity. It also helped them avoid losing nearly $10 million in state matching funds which would have resulted from being over-built at the secondary level in the initial bond package.
Through a focus on program and data, as well as careful facilitation attuned to the unique nature of the situation in the community, were able to engage with an incredibly polarized and contentious representative committee and bring them to a consensus recommendation for a long-range facility plan that was adopted by the school board.
LONG RANGE FACILITY PLANNING | West Valley (Yakima) School District
Not every project goes as planned, for the district or for us. This planning project ended up being started three different times after it was delayed multiple times by the district for internal reasons. Through all three of the “re-starts”, we were able to refresh and update enrollment, capacity and utilization data for the planning committee’s analysis. Programs also evolved quite dramatically over the course of the project but we were able to keep them updated for the committee so the final plan was representative of the committee’s recommendations in light of the most current data and program elements. This project was successful and a consistent thread for the community through significant changes in district facility planning leadership.
LONG RANGE FACILITY PLANNING | Elma School District
This planning effort in a small, coastal-range town included the complexity of having to plan not only for internal growth, but also for the potential inclusion (or not) of a neighboring K-6 district. In addition, the district’s programmatic trajectory of moving to a mastery assessment model for grades K-12 was just starting at the same time that facility planning concerns were needing to be addressed. By remaining laser focused on program and data and taking the time to help the representative community-based committee understand the implications of the program trajectory and the growth data, we were able to move them to a consensus recommendation to the school board for executing a long range facility plan.