Planning for the Reopening of Snoqualmie Middle School
As the new construction of Mount Si High School is progressing on schedule, planning is also underway on another important component of the 2015 Bond -- converting the current Mount Si Freshman Campus back into a middle school. This is indeed an exciting and busy time as both of these significant transitions – opening the new high school to serve grades 9-12 and re-instating Snoqualmie Middle School (SMS) to serve grades 6-8 – will take place next fall in September of 2019.
Here are some of the planning activities in the works to prepare for middle school transition:
Who will attend SMS? When the district redefined elementary attendance boundaries in November of 2015, in anticipation of opening Timber Ridge Elementary School in 2016, consideration was given to future middle school boundaries at the same time. The Attendance Boundary Review Committee recommendation created a clear feeder-school pattern, with two elementary schools (out of six) “feeding” into each of the three middle schools. As such, the new middle school boundaries for 2019-20 were approved as follows:
OES and NBES students will attend Twin Falls Middle School;
SES and CVES students will attend Snoqualmie Middle School;
TRES and FCES students attending Chief Kanim Middle School.
It is the district’s intent for all students to attend the middle school assigned to their attendance boundary. This is necessary to plan for balanced enrollment, equitable staffing and programs among the three schools – which can also look forward to smaller student enrollment. To verify which middle school your student will attend, preview the new middle school attendance boundary map that will apply starting in the 2019-20 school year. (The format of this map allows viewers to zoom in on specific street addresses.)
If a family has an extraordinary circumstance for which they want to attend a school in the district that is outside of their assigned attendance area, they may submit an open enrollment/in-district transfer request in January during the Open Enrollment period. There are no guarantees, however, that the district will be able to accommodate requests. Find more information on the Open Enrollment process online.
Middle School Visioning Committee: The upcoming transition has provided a unique opportunity to revisit the district’s middle level goals and work to ensure equitable access to best practices and programming among all three middle schools. A Middle School Visioning Committee, comprised of 30+ middle school teachers, principals, parents, students and district administrators, met between February and October. Specifically, they focused on determining “the most desirable vision for middle schools in the Snoqualmie Valley School District that will have the utmost positive impact on the academic, social and emotional needs of all middle school students, to insure their readiness for high school.” As consideration is given to a variety of supports and structure (including courses, programs, interventions, scheduling, staffing, extracurricular, etc.) for next year ̶ the intention is for all the schools to be more similar than different.
Student Interest Survey: Snoqualmie Valley students in grades 6, 7, and 8 were recently invited to share their interests regarding middle school exploratory/elective course options in a Student Interest Survey. Students in 5th grade will also have an opportunity to provide input later in the year. The results of these surveys will help guide planning for all three middle schools, for consideration of offerings next year and in the future.
Honoring the Past AND Celebrating the Future: The school’s name, mascot, and main color will honor the past by continuing with: Snoqualmie Middle School, Eagles, and the color blue. Later this year, the district plans to launch a process to refresh the SMS logo. Incoming students will have opportunities to provide feedback on logo designs prior to the selection of the final design.
SMS Leadership: As announced earlier, Twin Falls Assistant Principal Megan Botulinski will be principal of Snoqualmie Middle School, and Shawn Lawrence will be the assistant principal, effective July 1. In the meantime, Doug Burnham will continue to lead preparations this year.
Staffing Timeline: The process for deciding new staffing assignments among existing staff will take place over the next few months. Given the recent changes to SMS leadership, the district plans to initiate another middle school staff survey opportunity to gather individual preferences regarding staffing assignments. The process for hiring any new positions that may be needed for next year at SMS, as well as other schools, will begin in February. Consideration in staffing decisions will be given to balancing assignments among the three middle schools, to ensure equally-qualified staff at each.
More to come… Another update will be provided after the first of the year, regarding developments associated with re-opening Snoqualmie Middle School. Watch for more opportunities (PTSA formation, student ASB elections, registration activities, student transition events, etc.) to be a part of SMS history in the making.