Battle Ground Public Schools is looking for volunteers to serve on the committee that will address overcrowding in the district's schools. Interested persons need to fill out the Overcrowding Committee Application online by Aug. 21.
Battle Ground Public Schools' Board of Directors has tasked the committee with bringing to it specific recommendations on how to address overcrowding and continued growth. The committee will comprise 25-30 members representing parents, school staff, principals, district staff and community members. Parents, school staff, and community members may be selected by lottery if more apply than there are positions available to serve.
The committee will meet at least six times, generally 5-7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, between Sept. 18 and Oct. 30. Volunteers should be committed to attending all meetings to help ensure an efficient process. A contracted facilitator will lead the meetings, and committee members will be asked to talk with community members and provide feedback during the process.
The application closes Aug. 21, and applicants will be notified of the results by the end of August.
Status of schools
The district's four southern schools--Glenwood Heights, Laurin, and Pleasant Valley Primary and Middle--are feeling the effects of significant growth. As of June, Glenwood (built for 484 students) had 807 students, while Laurin (built for 600) had 704. The Pleasant Valley campus (built for 993 students) had 1,121 students. An enrollment forecast conducted for the district by an economic development company projects Glenwood could increase by 380 to 445 students over the next 10 years, and Laurin by 380 to 440 students.
What has been done
Over the last few years, the board has implemented interim solutions to address the growing number of students, including the installation of portable classrooms, closing overcrowded schools to boundary exceptions, and making infrastructure (sewer) upgrades. 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 has asked voters to fund new schools with a construction bond, which failed to pass with the required supermajority in February and April.
Now, the board is asking the community to help with work that it began in March to seek alternative solutions that will address overcrowding and growth.