Kelso School District considers boundary changes - Mar 10, 2019

With the anticipated opening of the new Lexington Elementary and subsequent closing of Beacon Hill and Catlin Elementaries, Kelso School District is reviewing proposed boundary changes. The suggested changes would impact approximately 1,000 students (or 20 percent) currently in the Barnes, Beacon Hill, and Catlin Elementary boundaries and take effect beginning with the 2021-22 school year.

Boundaries for all other elementary schools (Butler Acres, Carrolls, Rose Valley, and Wallace) and both middle schools will remain the same.

A Boundary Review Committee (BRC) made up of district administration and board members, school staff and administration, community members, and district transportation was convened for this process. They met six times between September 2019 and February 2020 and explored five main options with multiple scenarios within most of those options. Among other things, the BRC looked at impacts to demographics, ethnicity, and free and reduced rates to ensure there wouldn’t be an unreasonable imbalance. The committee was asked to develop a recommendation that balances enrollment at elementary schools while keeping guiding principles in mind.

The guiding principles for the BRC include:

  • Carefully evaluating potential impacts
  • Impact the least number of students possible
  • Ensure students attend schools close to their neighborhood as much as possible
  • Keep long-term solutions in mind
  • Maintain transportation efficiency and effectiveness
  • Maintain safe walking routes
  • Student continuity from elementary school to middle school should be prioritized

The committee took this responsibility very seriously. We’re proud of the effort and care they put into this work and are confident in their recommendation. The proposed boundary for Lexington is all areas West of the Cowlitz River including the Pleasant Hill, Headquarters, Ostrander, & Holcomb Acres areas East of the Cowlitz River. Proposed boundary for Barnes is East of the Cowlitz River between Rocky Point to the North, Allen Street to the South, and Interstate 5 to the East. Click to view  boundary maps: current boundariesproposed boundarieszoomed in Barnes boundary.

Review timeline and opportunities for public comment are:

  • Community survey – open from March 10 – April 10 ( open through 4/27
  • Boundary Open House – April 16 at Kelso High School, 6:00 – 8:00 pm Canceled due to COVID-19
  • School Board Hearing – April 27 at the District Office, 6:00 pm
  • Potential Board Resolution to adopt recommendation – May 11, 6:00 pm

Click to view  boundary maps: current boundariesproposed boundarieszoomed in Barnes boundary.