All not happy with Marysville schools boundary proposal

MARYSVILLE – All things being equal, it’s not what some people want.

The school board for the Marysville School District wants equity in its schools. Boundaries being drawn up are a testament to that.

But why that might sound good in theory, the reality for residents is that some of it just doesn’t make sense.

For example, at a meeting last week at Marysville Getchell High School attended by about 100 people, many who live in the Sunnyside area were upset because their students are now scheduled to attend Marysville-Pilchuck.

Currently those students go to MG, which is closer, for one thing.

However, assistant superintendent Scott Beebe explained that to make the schools equitable – especially from a poverty standpoint – the Sunnyside students should go to M-P.

As for proximity, he said M-P is only 1 1/2 miles farther away.

Another boundary issue that has been criticized is while most young students will still attend their neighborhood elementary school, there will be changes at the three middle schools. One example that seems to lack common sense is students at Liberty will be bused north to Cedarcrest instead of going to Marysville Middle, almost across the street. Meanwhile, students at Cascade will be bused south to MMS, instead of attending Cedarcrest, which is closer. That decision was made to bring more equity in poverty in the high schools, Beebe said.

He emphasized that a committee that met 13 times came up with the recommendations, but the school board is listening to public input for possible changes.

A decision would need to be made by March 2 to instigate them by the next school year in September.

“No decision has made been,” Beebe said. “That’s a myth.”

He said no boundary changes are recommended for the elementary schools, but that could change if voters pass a Feb. 11 levy allowing new larger ones to be built at Liberty and Cascade. Superintendent Jason Thompson said some people are “madder than mad” about the boundaries, but still plan to vote for the levy because schools are needed so badly.

At the middle and high school levels, goals were to improve diversity and equity when it comes to economics, race, special ed, highly capable, etc. Course offerings would be the same at both high schools, including Advanced Placement and Career Technical Education courses.

“There will be Honors courses at all schools,” Beebe said. “That’s a bad rumor.”

Thompson said, “We didn’t want one high school to be the ‘haves,’ and the other the ‘have nots.” Thompson said even with both schools offering the same thing instruction costs will go down compared with when MG had Small Learning Communities and four schools needed teachers.

The district also wanted to even out enrollment. MG now has 1,500 students and M-P 1,000. With the redrawn boundaries, MG only has 42 more.

Making bus riders shorter was another goal. Thompson said that’s one reason the district loses students to other schools.

As for in-district transfers, Thompson said that still can be done on an individual basis.

Students now attending high school will be “grandfathered in” to keep going to their same schools.

Schools pathway

Totem: Marshall, Quil Ceda Tulalip, Sunnyside

Marysville: Grove, Allen Creek, Cascade, Shoultes

Cedarcrest: Pinewood, Kellogg-Marsh, Liberty

MG: (Cedarcrest, MMS) Pinewood, K-M, Liberty, Allen Creek, Grove

M-P: (Totem, MMS) Marshall, Cascade, Sunnyside, Shoultes, Quil Ceda