Hood River County School District is set to begin what officials call “a collaborative process with staff and community members to reach a solution for overcrowded schools.”

A committee comprised of parents and school principals from each elementary and middle school will start meeting next week about possible revisions to school attendance boundaries, the district stated in a press release. While some schools are at capacity for enrollment, there are a number of other schools with space.

“We need to relieve overcrowding because not every school has space to add teachers, which is forcing higher than desired class sizes at some schools,” said Superintendent Dan Goldman. “Thankfully, this need to balance enrollment comes at the right time. New construction at May Street Elementary and Wy’east Middle School will expand access to state-of-the-art learning spaces designed specifically to create room for collaborative, project-based learning and more opportunities in computer science, engineering and the arts.”

The committee will look at student population projections by school, and review community input from phone interviews with 265 families across the county. This data informs a set of guiding principles for the committee that will ensure their conversations elevate community values and work toward sustainable solutions. At future meetings, the committee will review proposals to new attendance boundaries and ensure they align to the guiding principles.

“It’s problematic when middle school students cannot take the classes they want because we have no room to expand, or when some elementary students are being taught in portables while there is ample space at other schools,” said Goldman. “I’m optimistic about the process and look forward to the committee’s feedback and recommendations.”

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