The Everett School Board approved boundary changes Tuesday night that aim to reduce enrollment at the overcrowded and growing Jackson High School.
The board unanimously approved the resolution, which will shift future Jackson students to Cascade High School. Some future Cascade students will now attend Everett High School under the measure.
“We are at a point where we have to do something,” said Everett School Board Vice President Caroline Mason. “We can no longer wait to see if a bond passes, if we can get a new high school built. The impact on the safety and educational effectiveness on the students at Jackson High School has become a great concern to I believe all of us here.”
Projected enrollment is expected to continue to grow at the district’s three high schools, but Jackson is projected to have the largest increase in students. With the current boundaries, Jackson is projected to add 152 students, which would require an additional seven portables. However, the boundary changes will bring student enrollment down by 411 students and allow the district to cut the number of portables needed by nearly two-thirds.
Under the new boundaries, each high school will house between 1,900 and 2,100 students by 2023, which the board acknowledged was still over capacity, but offered a plan to temporarily mitigate growth.
After the changes fully go into effect, Cascade’s enrollment will increase by 18 students overall to 1,970, and Everett’s enrollment will go up by 393 students to 1,936. Jackson will have 2,052 students.
Boundary changes will be phased over four years, beginning in fall 2020 with incoming ninth graders. Students who already attend Cascade or Jackson high schools will not need to move schools.
The board wanted to ensure that siblings could attend the same schools under the new boundaries, which would exclude 231 students over the course of the four-year phase in.