Boundary decision shifts 175 students from Grand Ridge to Clark
November 29, 2012
By Lillian O'Rorke
NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 29, 2012
When the first day of school comes next fall, 175 students will bid farewell to Grand Ridge Elementary School and say hello to Clark Elementary School.
The move was announced Nov. 19 as part of a boundary shift that will help alleviate crowding at Grand Ridge. Along with the change, all Grand Ridge kindergartners will be housed next year at Challenger and Endeavour elementary schools.
Located in the continually expanding Issaquah Highlands, Grand Ridge has the capacity for about 600 students, according to Jake Kuper, chief financial officer for the Issaquah School District. With the use of portable classrooms, the capacity jumps to 800.
Right now, the school has 879 full-time students and, without the boundary shift, would have 987 full-time students next year. The changes bring that attendance number to 730 for next year.
Superintendent Steve Rasmussen announced the shift in an email to Grand Ridge families and held an informational meeting the next night, which about 120 people attended, he said.
“I think it was as good as it could have gone with a boundary change,” Rasmussen said.
The superintendent, along with the help of Kuper and Jodi Bongard, the executive director elementary schools, presented the shift to the Issaquah School Board during its Wednesday meeting.
“What we have said to parents is we really try to make sure that there is at least someone, a familiar face from their previous school in their new classroom,” said Bongard, outlining ways the district hopes to ease the transition.
She said after January or February, there will be an open house at Clark for families to tour the building get to know their new school.
“It helps folks to feel more at ease when they have seen the facility and spoke with staff,” she said.
Bongard is also suggesting for parents to subscribe now the Clark’s newsletter and is encouraging collaboration between Grand Ridge’s and Clark’s PTSA groups.
The boundary shift mainly affects highland families closest to Interstate 90, but it also includes a large part of the Black Nugget community, which has historically fed into Issaquah High School. The shift doesn’t make any changes to the middle school and high school boundaries.
Kuper said the shift also comes with added bonuses, like opening up more full-day kindergarten slots and making Grand Ridge an all-walking school.
As per district policy, no action is required by the board and the boundary shift will take affect at the start of fall 2013.
For more information on the change, including boundary maps, go to www.issaquah.wednet.edu and click on “Grand Ridge boundary shift” under “What’s Happening” on the district’s home page.