School district's planning committee helps ensure accountability
The West Linn-Wilsonville School District has a Long Range Planning committee (LRPC) composed of seven members from both ends of the district. It plans for future growth and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors as to how the impacts of growth can be alleviated.
Our district was the first, and still is one of the few school districts in Oregon that has a standing LRPC. We are constantly adjusting the enrollment figures we work with as rapid growth is occurring in Wilsonville as well as "in fill" housing in West Linn. We meet almost monthly since we also serve as bond oversight to make sure your taxpayer dollars are being wisely spent for the projects stated in the bond.
The district has benefited immensely from the LRPC identifying needs and planning for same, including property to serve future enrollment growth. Property is identified and purchased well in advance of the market cost at the time of build. For example, the acres on which Wilsonville High School and Boeckman Creek are built were purchased for $17,000 per acre many years before schools were needed there.
The LRPC tracks enrollment projections but it does not involve itself in boundary changes. About 30 district residents were appointed to the district's Boundary Task Force. After input from the task force and hundreds of comments from parents and community, the School Board has adopted boundary changes that allow choice of middle schools for many students. In-district transfers are given priority over out-of-district transfers.
For the last several years, we've had about the same number of students transferring out of district as those transferring in. The district does everything possible to accommodate without overburdening classrooms or schools. As members of the Long Range Planning Committee, we are thankful our school district continues to be rated among the best in Oregon. This is because we have fantastic administrators, teachers and staff, hard-working school board members, engaged parents and supportive community members. A big thank you to all who help keep our schools great!
Doris Wehler and Grady Nelson are members of the West Linn-Wilsonville School District Long Range Planning Committee.