The Hood River County School District Board of Directors approved changes to elementary and middle school attendance areas on May 22.
In a message to all families with students in kindergarten through seventh grade, the district wrote:
This was done in order to solve for overcrowding at several of our schools while utilizing existing space at others. You can learn more about the boundary process and see if your address is affected on the district website, www.hoodriver.k12.or.us/boundaryreview.
“We know this process has not been easy on many families in our county,” said Superintendent Dan Goldman. “We appreciate the hard work of the boundary review committee to identify the best possible solution to a tough problem.”
In an earlier communication to families, the district provided the following summary of the boundary review process up to the final recommendation by the committee:
- In fall of last year, the district announced that it would initiate a boundary review process to solve for overcrowding at Westside Elementary School, Mid Valley Elementary School and Hood River Middle School. The Board approved a contract with FLO Analytics to guide the process.
- In November and December 2019, FLO Analytics worked with survey expert “Critical Data” to survey 265 households in Hood River County. Critical Data completed one-on-one, executive-style telephone interviews to get statistically significant and proportionally representative community feedback from parents/guardians across the district. These conversations informed the guiding principles for the process.
- In March, a committee consisting of 13 parents and seven principals met for the first time. Parent members were nominated by their principals, and collectively have children attending every school in Hood River County School District. The committee was designed to balance perspectives from various schools. Over a two-month period, the committee met eight times, hosted two open houses, and delivered four total proposals that evolved based on community input. The final of those four proposals is what exists today.
“With three of our schools operating over or near their full capacity, we simply had to do something to ensure all of our students receive the same quality education,” Goldman said.
“Overcrowding forces higher than desired class sizes and limits us from adding invaluable elective offerings. Thankfully, this need to balance enrollment came when new construction at May Street Elementary and Wy’east Middle School is expanding access to state of the art learning spaces designed specifically for 21st century learning and more opportunities in computer science, engineering and the arts.”