Boundary Changes in Tacoma to Impact Six Elementary Schools

New attendance boundaries approved this week by the Tacoma School Board will affect 357 students at six of the city's elementary schools.

The action was prompted by the addition of Wainwright Intermediate School, set to serve grades six through eight beginning this fall.

According to the News-Tribune in Tacoma, board members looked beyond simple geography and worked to draw boundary lines with an eye on equity as well.

"The boundary revision committee, which included parents and principals from each affected school, worked to balance enrollment and demographics at each affected school and to minimize the number of students who will be impacted by the changes. In addition to race, the committee looked at the percentage of students receiving free or reduced-price lunch (a marker for poverty), special education students and other categories.
According to committee documents, the redrawn boundary lines will affect 357 of 2,900 students. The affected families will be notified by the school district.
Some examples of the changes:
  • DeLong had 661 elementary students living within its boundaries, but the number is projected to drop to 464.
  • Franklin, which had 309, will grow to 379, thanks to students formerly assigned to DeLong.
  • Another 127 students who formerly would have attended DeLong will be assigned to Wainwright or Whittier.

Nate Gibbs-Bowling told a different News Tribune reporter last week that the Tacoma School District is "doing a better job than most" at acknowledging and addressing inequity based on race and income. Hopefully this action is an example of that equity-minded progress.