Battle Ground schools committee meets to examine overcrowding

Battle Ground Public Schools’ Overcrowding Advisory Committee started its work this week to look at overcrowding in the district’s schools. The Board of Directors has tasked the committee with bringing to it recommendations on how to address overcrowding and continued growth.

At its first meeting on Tuesday, the committee assessed its task and reviewed enrollment data and the results of a community survey conducted last spring on considerations around overcrowding. Results of last spring’s community survey on overcrowding are available online.

Over the next several weeks, the committee will work toward developing recommendations for how to address overcrowding. Each meeting is being held at a different school in the district with an opportunity for committee members to tour the school.

The committee comprises 30 members representing 10 parents, 4 community members, 6 school staff, 6 principals and 4 district staff. Members were selected from a pool of applicants by lottery and are from several schools, with representation skewed toward the southern schools that are most impacted by overcrowding.

The district’s four southern schools–Glenwood Heights, Laurin, and Pleasant Valley Primary and Middle–are feeling the effects of growth. Over the last few years, the board has implemented interim solutions to address the growing number of students, including the installation of portable classrooms and closing overcrowded schools to boundary exceptions. The Board of Directors also considered adjusting boundaries in 2016, but didn’t at the request of families who asked that other solutions be implemented first. The board also asked voters to fund new schools with a construction bond, which failed to pass with the required supermajority in February and April.

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