Highline School District’s new boundaries could affect students, parents

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KING COUNTY -- Voters approved a bond in November so the Highline School District could make some much-needed improvements, including additional schools. And with new schools comes new district boundaries, which could affect students and parents.

Highline Public Schools serves students living in Burien, Normandy Park, Seatac, Des Moines, and White Center communities.

The improvement plans include new schools and that means new boundaries must be drawn, too. According to the district’s website, Highline is constructing a new middle school and replacing Des Moines Elementary School with a new, larger facility.

The schools will open the fall of 2019 and at a public meeting Thursday night, parents and community members got to learn about the proposed plan and provide feedback.

Marlys Westra says she’s concerned about safety and community.

“There’s maybe 20 to 25 kids who are going to be moved and have to travel about two, three, four miles to school versus walking to the elementary school in the neighborhood. We are from a tiny little town and it splits the town,” says Westra.

Siesia Fainga is a mother of four students and says she really likes the idea of reducing overcrowded class sizes.

“If we get more schools, the more little the classes are, the better it is. More kids can have more focus from their teacher and get more help, so, I like it. I like the good advanced notice that they are giving us,” says Fainga.

A committee made up of people from the community put this proposed plan together. No one from the school district was available to talk to us on camera Thursday night, but the district website states “if the draft plan is approved by the school board, it would keep elementary students together from kindergarten through high school once the new boundaries are in effect."

All elementary schools would feed into the same high school as before, except for Hilltop Elementary, which would feed into Highline High School. The district website says  this proposed plan will alleviate current overcrowding.

The committee will meet again April 25 to review community feedback and then recommend a plan to the school board in late spring.

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