Boundary Review Process

Information and Frequently Asked Questions
about the new Washougal School District attendance boundaries

The Washougal School District recently completed the public process of selecting new elementary and middle school boundaries for the 2017-2018 school year (scroll to the bottom to read more about this process).  The redrawing of the boundaries is a significant endeavor and was necessary due to the following:

  1. Opening of the new Columbia River Gorge Elementary School and the new replacement Jemtegaard Middle School
  2. Responding to enrollment growth and demographic projections for future years
  3. Reducing current elementary school size to respond to overcrowding
  4. Reducing reliance on aging portable classrooms

When did families find out about the boundaries?

Letters were mailed to all families of students in grades K-7 on April 19, 2017.

How can I find out which school attendance area I live in?

  • Letters have been mailed to all families of Washougal School District students.
  • Maps are posted below on this page.
  • An online school boundary location tool, called “Find My School” can be used to confirm the school attendance area for your student.

How will the new boundaries affect transportation?

The Transportation Department will be developing the updated school attendance area bus routes throughout the summer months.  The updated bus route information and schedule will be provided to families in the middle of August.

Please note: bus stop locations and time of pickup and dropoff may change for all schools.

Transportation for students requesting boundary transfers will be the responsibility of the parent.

What is the procedure for requesting In-District transfers?

The updated in-district transfer procedure will be published on the school district website no later than Friday, April 21.  The school district boundary transfer application process will begin on Monday, May 1, 2017.  Applications will be completed online and processed at the school district office.The online In-District Boundary Request Form is now open for 2017-18 applications.

Following is an overview of the in-district transfer process:

  1. Parents submit a transfer request by completing the in-district boundary request form on or after May 1.
  2. The district strives to provide continuity in the educational experience of every child, however, if enrollment increases so the student’s class exceeds recommended class size, the boundary transfer may be revoked at any time up through the first week of school.
  3. Requests are approved on a yearly basis and carry no expectation of future enrollment.
  4. In all cases, transportation for students on an approved boundary transfer is the responsibility of the parent.

When will families be notified if their boundary transfer application has been accepted?

Decisions will be made on a space availability basis with families notified as quickly as possible. Most families will be notified by mid-August.

Why won’t families know the results of their boundary exception request until mid-August?

The district is experiencing growth in certain neighborhoods. These new in-boundary students have priority to attend their neighborhood school.

What if I am planning to move?

Families who are moving from one attendance area to another may request, with appropriate documentation, a boundary transfer for a child to attend a school prior to the family moving into the attendance area. For example, a third-grade student whose parents will move in October from Hathaway to Columbia River Gorge Elementary may make arrangements with the school district so that the student can enter the new school when school starts, rather than waiting to transfer after the fall term has begun.

What if I am moving but want my child to continue at their previous school?

Parents who move during the school year may request a boundary transfer for their child to continue at the student’s original school.

What are the criteria for decision-making regarding In-District boundary transfers?

  1. Space availability:
    1. All applications will be considered on a stringent space-available basis. In the event there is not space available in the grade level, class or program requested, the student will be placed on a waiting list in the order of the date and time of the request.
    2. WSD may deny boundary transfer applications when the average class size per grade at any school reaches two students below the district targeted level.
  2. Attendance, truancy, behavior records or misconduct may be a basis for denial or revocation. 
  3. Assurance of program continuity
    1. Students whose families can document they are building a home or otherwise anticipate a change of residence may be admitted into the school assigned to their new residence on a space-available basis.
    2. A student whose place of residence changes during the school year may be allowed to finish the year at the school where he/she is currently enrolled, subject to the criteria outlined in A and B above.
  4. Completion of School Program – in priority order:
    1. Students who have completed the fourth grade or seventh grade in the year prior to the district boundary changes may be permitted to remain at their original school the following year to complete the school program, subject to the criteria outlined in A and B above.
    2. The following priority applies in the event of district-initiated attendance area changes where in-district students request boundary transfers to remain at their former schools. Students who reside in the attendance area formerly designated as the attendance area for the school to which the student requests a boundary transfer shall have priority for one year (2017-18) over students requesting a boundary transfer to attend their former school where they attended through a boundary transfer, subject to the criteria outlined in A and B above.
    3. Priority will be given to students currently on boundary transfers over new requests for boundary transfers, subject to criteria outlined in A and B above.

How do the boundaries impact Special Education students?

For students receiving Special Education services in self-contained programs, the Special Services department will contact the family directly to let them know where the program will be housed in the 2017-2018 school year.  Transportation for Special Education students to the school where their program takes place is provided by the school district.

How did the district conduct the Boundary Review Process?

The Boundary Review Committee, consisting of ten parents, six school principals, met over three months in six committee meetings and two public open houses.  The responsibility of the committee was to:  work to identify, refine and review proposed updates to attendance areas and provide a recommendation to the Superintendent and Washougal School District Board of Directors.  In these meetings, when considering boundary revisions the committee considered, to the extent possible, the following guiding principles and core values:

  1. Minimize disruption of students’ established learning programs
  2. Maintain established neighborhood groupings to preserve neighborhood schools
  3. Make efforts to keep siblings in the same schools
  4. Maintain relationship with a middle school area
  5. Adjust class loads to available space (e.g., school enrollment capacity)
  6. Coordinate transportation routes with attendance areas
  7. Consider impact to the smallest number of families
  8. Maximize to the greatest extent possible, proximity to home/walkability (e.g., not having to cross busy streets, railroad tracks) and consider natural boundaries
  9. Take a District-wide perspective and consider growth trends, enrollment projections, and demographics within schools
2017-18 In-District Boundary Request FormForm to request a boundary exception for the 2017-2018 school year

Scroll down to read the minutes from the committee meetings, or to learn more about the process.


Board Approved Boundaries for Elementary Schools (March 28, 2017)

Map of boundaries for Elementary schools

Download large map as .jpgDownload maps as .pdf

Middle school boundary map

Download large map as .jpgDownload maps as .pdf


The Washougal School Board has adopted a set of new elementary and middle school boundaries at their March 28, 2017 meeting.  With the new Columbia River Gorge Elementary School and remodeled Jemtegaard Middle School opening in Fall 2017, boundaries needed to be re-drawn to bring students to the new facility.  The schools’ construction were a part of the $57 million capital improvement bond approved in February 2015 that addressed safety, student capacity and facilities needs for WSD students.

The revised boundaries were developed by a boundary review committee made up of district parents and school administrators representing each of the elementary and middle schools.  The Washougal School Board provided the committee with a set of guiding principles to help the committee focus their work.  The district also hired a consultant, FLO Analytics, to support and facilitate the boundary process.

The committee met eight times to develop boundaries that create neighborhood school catchment areas for each of the district’s elementary and middle schools.  They reviewed survey data from district parents, community leaders, and patrons, and used the Board guiding principles to make adjustments to boundaries.  Committee members collected and considered feedback from community members during two open house events.

Q. When did the committee start meeting?

A.  The committee started meeting in late January, and finish their work in mid to late March.

Q.How does someone apply to be part of the committee?

A. The application for the boundary review process was open from October 10 through 28 and is now closed.

Q. When will the boundaries for next school year be set?

A. A final recommendation from the committee will be given to the school board for their consideration on March 28, 2017.

Q. When will the open houses take place?

A. The open house events will take place on February 8 and March 1, 2017.  Each will run from 6-8 PM, and patrons are welcome to drop in anytime to review the committee’s progress and hear updates on the process.  Maps of proposed changes will show the work in progress.

Q. When will maps be available? 

The first draft plan maps initially created by the elementary and middle school boundary committee will not be posted. As a result of the feedback provided by the community open house process, the boundary maps will be reviewed and updated over the next three weeks.

An updated draft plan (map) of the elementary and middle school boundaries will be shared by the committee at the next open house, scheduled for Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at 6:00 PM, at Washougal High School Commons. At this time, additional feedback can be provided for the boundary review committee to consider.

Q. When will parents find out about the boundaries?

A. Parents will be notified of changes in April 2017.

Q. When will the in district boundary exception process be revised?

A. The procedure will be revised in late April and posted to the website.

Q. When will the in district boundary transfer applications be available?

A. The boundary exception form will be available Monday May 1.

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