By Richard Van Winkle, News of Mill Creek.
The Everett School District faces increasing high school enrollments at the already overcrowded Jackson and Cascade High Schools. Projections show an additional 377 high school students in the south end of the district by 2023.
A 2017 bond measure that would have provided funds for a new south-end high school failed to get support from the super majority of voters necessary for passage.
Jackson High School was designed to accommodate 1,750 students, but 17 portables were necessary to accommodate the 2,140 pupils enrolled there in the 2017-2018 school year.
If nothing is done, an additional 30 portables will be necessary at Jackson High School by 2023 to house the projected enrollment.
At their regular July 3, 2018, meeting the Everett Public Schools Board of Directors asked Superintendent Gary Cohn to use a committee process to draft a proposal for them to address high school overcrowding district-wide.
This will be much like the process recently used to adjust south-end elementary school boundaries.
The High School Growth Mitigation Committee is now being formed and will be tasked with making their recommendation early next year.
According to an Everett Public Schools news release, “The committee is to recommend revisions to high school enrollment boundaries beginning fall 2020 to reduce enrollment at Jackson HS; and complementary and practical program changes, portable classrooms, and minor schedule changes.”
The proposed boundary changes would require bussing 375 Jackson High School Students up to Cascade High School and 375 Cascade High School Students to Everett High School.
Other high-school overcrowding mitigation proposals include creating magnet programs at Everett High School to attract south-end students, implementing on-line learning programs to lower brick and mortar classroom needs, and implementing double-shift school schedules to reduce the number of students in the school at the any time.
The school district wants to gather more public comments and opened up an new online survey on the High School Growth Mitigation Committee website.
The survey asks a single question: “As we develop the high school growth mitigation committee, its process, guiding principles, participants, and timeline, what should we consider?”
The comment period is open through August 15, 2018.
Map showing how 375 Cascade High School students could be moved up to Everett High School. Image courtesy of Everett Public Schools.
Map showing how 375 Jackson High School students could be moved up to Cascade High School. Image courtesy of Everett Public Schools.