District boundary proposal released

A Federal Way Public Schools staff and parent committee has released a draft proposal for junior high and high school boundaries.

Once the new high school opens next year and the district concurrently switches to a middle school system, the district will make boundary changes to guide where kids will end up going to school.

The committee’s preliminary suggestion is to send 84 Decatur High students, 861 Federal Way High students and 525 Thomas Jefferson High students to the new high school over three years. Decatur also is slated to send 226 students to Federal Way High.

Those preliminary numbers include freshmen through seniors at the three high schools, though juniors and seniors will be allowed to stay at their alma maters if they choose.

Decatur, which has a capacity of 1,648 students, will end up with 1,676 after the transition. Federal Way’s capacity is 1,773, but it will have about 1,609 students. Jefferson, with a capacity of 1,723, will have about 1,659 students.

The new high school, which will be built in the southern part of the district at 16th Avenue South and South 359th Street, will have a capacity of 1,523 students, but is expected to house 1,470.

Community meetings were held Monday and Tuesday to gather public input into the boundary changes. A third meeting is scheduled for 8 p.m. tomorrow at the Federal Way High School cafeteria.

Following tomorrow’s meeting, the boundary committee will meet again to review issues raised by community members.

A revised map will be sent to parents of fourth through 10th-grade students in early May, and a final draft will go to the School Board for a public hearing in mid-May.

The board is expected to make a final decision at its May 28 meeting, though district enrollment reporting and boundary planning analyst Geri Walker said the committee doesn’t have a problem with a slightly longer time line.

“If we need more meeting time, we’ll take more meeting time,” she said.

Staff writer Erica Jahn can be reached at 925-5565 and

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