Marion County

Salem-Keizer school boundary changes in sight

School board vote set for February 12, 2019

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) -- The latest in a series of public meetings is set for Tuesday evening as the Salem-Keizer Public Schools talk about changing boundaries in the district.

The boundary changes are possible following the voter-approved $620 million bond last May. The construction bond will  allow the current schools to add capacity, and the extra capacity may necessitate new school boundaries.

District spokesperson Lillian Govus said the boundary adjustments will take effect next school year and are designed to help the schools most impacted by overcrowding -- McKay High School, North Salem High School and their feeder schools.

McKay, she said, has "2400 kids on a campus that was built for 1700." 

The least impacted schools, she said, are West Salem High School, McNary High School in Keizer and their feeder schools. 

The first of 3 phases of construction is expected to start in January 2019 and will continue for 5 years.

Forty-five volunteers from all the high school neighborhoods are part of the Boundary Review Task Force, which is holding these public events to gauge parents' reactions. There have been 7 task force meetings already with one more scheduled for December 11.

"This group of community members, parents, they have come together to work with projections of population that go all the way up to 2027," Govus told KOIN 6 News. "They are trying to make the best use of the new spaces that are going to be added through the new bond measure and ensure that our schools have kind of an equitable enrollment so we don't have 2400 kids in one high school and 1800 kids in another high school."

The North Salem area is very overcrowded now, she said, but there are property developers in South Salem "who are putting in a lot of residential areas, so we need to be able to accomodate that growth through the years."

The boundary adjustments "helps us be smart planners for the future."

McKay High School feeder system maps, Task Force Proposal #4
McNary High School feeder system maps, Task Force Proposal #4
North Salem High School feeder system maps, Task Force Proposal #4
South Salem High School feeder system maps, Task Force Proposal #4
Sprague High School feeder system maps, Task Force Proposal #4
West Salem High School feeder system maps, Task Force Proposal #4

This is the 2nd public listening session following one on October 30. Tuesday's meeting begins at 8 p.m. at 4 separate school locations: Kennedy Elementary, Four Corners Elementary, Waldo Middle School and Judson Middle School. Each location will discuss how any boundary change would affect the students and families in that area.

The boundary task force will present recommendations to Superintendent Christy Perry on January 8, with a school board vote planned for February 12, 2019.


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