Future-Proofing New School Attendance Area Boundaries

Client: Central Valley School District

Location: Spokane Valley, Washington

Central Valley School District is in one of the fastest-growing counties in Washington, Spokane County. Geographically diverse, the district spans urban and rural communities—all experiencing rates of residential development so high that student population growth is close to exceeding school capacity, which has already been increased by construction of new schools and improvements to existing buildings.

The district knew that without a solid plan for the future, it would be playing a constant game of catch-up. To get ahead of their communities’ population growth, they asked FLO to work with them on several fronts, including:

A school attendance area boundary review to balance existing attendance, including the creation of a new attendance area

We provided comprehensive boundary review services, guiding the district through our five-step data-driven and consensus-based process, which resulted in the Central Valley School Board’s approval of 13 new elementary school boundaries.

Leveraging student enrollment forecasts for capacity planning

To fully understand where growth in the district is occurring and where it will occur in the future, we needed to go beyond standard data overlays. Using information from in-person interviews with city planners and site developers, data on construction permits, and our mapping and analytical tools, we identified where land use trends will affect the future distribution of students in the district. Now district leaders know the predicted rate of enrollment change for each attendance area in the district, and how that will affect capacities at each school.

Annual student enrollment projections to keep a finger on the pulse of residential development and student growth rates

Unexpected changes in student enrollment can cause ballooning class sizes and overburden infrastructure—negative effects that district leaders want to avoid at all costs. To stay ahead of student growth trends, we provide the district with annual student enrollment projections and analysis, by attendance area and per grade. The projections and analysis allows the district understand enrollment trends and future-proof their capital facilities plan and school boundaries.

To make it easy for families to find out where their children will attend elementary or middle school with the new boundaries, we launched our School Locator application for Central Valley School District. The custom app is a simple and affordable way for districts to communicate their school attendance areas, as it allows the community to access this important information whenever they need it—right after a boundary review to learn if their neighborhood schools have changed, or ongoing into the future, as new families move to the district.

To learn more about how we help school districts plan for the future, visit our School Districts page.

 

 

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Tyler Vick

Tyler Vick

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