Courtesy Photo, Kent School District

Courtesy Photo, Kent School District

Kent School District to implement boundary changes next fall

Some students will attend different schools under plan; sixth graders moving to middle schools

Some students will be attending different schools next fall as the Kent School District implements new school boundaries.

The changes will start with the 2023-2024 school year. The Kent School Board approved the changes on Nov. 9.

“This is an opportunity to balance enrollment districtwide and continue to build positive school cultures that nurture and inspire student success,” according to a district administration statement. “Our school leaders are excited about this opportunity and are eagerly preparing to welcome incoming students.”

The boundary changes, in most cases, will reduce time students spend on buses; remove most of the students from learning in portables; and take enrollment pressure off the highest impacted schools and communities, according to the district.

Here are the next steps:

• New boundaries are based on your physical home address in the boundary area for each school

• Every family will receive letters with their students’ placement for the 2023-2024 school year. Multilingual families will receive additional communication based on their language preference in Skyward

• There will be a special transfer request window in January 2023, specifically for students and families impacted by the boundary changes. This opportunity will occur before all other transfer windows open

• The district will work to accommodate transfer requests as much as it is able, however, there is no guarantee a transfer will be granted

• Notification of in-district transfer approval/denial will be communicated in February 2023

Inclusive education

Beginning in the 2023-2024 school year, the boundary committee has recommended adding several programs at all levels in several schools, ensuring that students have the opportunity to access those programs in their boundary school or in their feeder strand.

Find your school

Parents and students can go to the district website to find school assignments for 2023-2024 by simply typing in their address.

There are maps for elementary, middle and high schools.

Send questions to boundary@kent.k12.wa.us.

6th grade to middle schools

The board approved in October moving sixth-grade students to middle schools from elementary schools starting in the 2023-2024 school year.

The district’s Middle School Model Committee recommended the change, based in part on the following reasons:

• It is the most appropriate placement for sixth graders academically

• State learning standards and assessments are structured K-5, 6-8, 9-12

• State math and science assessments are administered in eighth grade based on grade-level standards from sixth through eighth grades

• It allows for three years of lab sciences, better preparing our students for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

• This allows for increased opportunities for academic acceleration and participation in electives

• It allows access to content specific teachers, better preparing students for future assessments and future content area courses

• It is the most appropriate placement for sixth graders’ social emotional development

• The developmental stage of sixth graders more closely aligns with other students in early adolescence (11 years old to 14 years old)

• Building strong relationships is crucial during this age period. The current structure of two years in middle school impedes the ability to build strong relationships

• Building a school culture shaped by strong expectations, student leadership development, and strong transitions takes three years

• Aligns to neighboring districts making transitions between districts easier

School renovation

To accommodate sixth graders at middle schools, the district will spend about $8 million to renovate the former Kent Phoenix Academy into a new middle school starting next fall. The facility housed Sequoia Middle School prior to that school closing.

The 2018 Levy Contingency fund has $8 million available to complete the project, according to the district.

The work will include new furniture throughout the building; complete interior and exterior painting; new flooring throughout; outdoor spaces (2 courtyards) to be renovated for student use; STEM and STEAM classroom upgrades; library and family & consumer science upgrades; and synthetic football field with rubber track (this would be the first middle school to have it, and would be the prototype for other schools).


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