MEDFORD, Ore. —The Medford School District is opening Oakdale Middle School in the fall of 2023. At that time, all 6th graders will move to the middle schools, to free up classroom space at the elementary school level.
MSD is now in the process of creating new boundaries for the 2023 2024 school year. But before that happens the district wants to hear from the community.
It’s been over two decades since the Medford School District has done this type of rezoning work. Now as it prepares to add the new Oakdale Middle School in about a year and a half, it’s time for the process to happen again.
“We are really looking at the student experience across the board for all of our students,” said MSD Superintendent Bret Champion.
The Attendance Zoning Committee, a group made up of parents, community members, and district staff has been building different scenarios for where the middle schoolers will potentially go next year. Now they want your feedback.
“One of the keys that our community team has said is they wanna ensure that community voices are embedded throughout this process that this is not an administrative recommendation that’s being pushed down,” said Superintendent Champion.
The committee determined four priorities for the creation of the attendance zones. Capacity, making middle schools equal in size, continuity of feeder patterns, keeping groups of cohorts intact as much as possible. Equitable student populations and opportunities at each school were considered, as well as community voice. Here are a few of the proposed maps, the green areas would be Oakdale Middle School, while the yellow would be McLoughlin areas, with Hedrick areas shaded maroon.
“One of the things we are working very hard to ensure is that the middle school experience is equitable across our middle schools now they may have slightly different variance but we want to guarantee the student experience is strong,” Superintendent Champion.
Christy Clark, a parent herself has been helping the committee build the scenarios. For her, as a parent, her priority is doing what’s best for her children.
“For parents who are concerned just keep an open mind and don’t just assume that it is going to be a bad experience that it can actually be a really great experience for your child,” said Clark.
On May 5th the Attendance Zoning Committee will make a recommendation for new middle school boundaries to the school board, its also an opportunity for the public to give feedback to the board. It’s expected to adopt attendance boundaries at the May 19th board meeting.
“Genuinely I want every parent that was not able to be in this committee to come away from this knowing that the people on the committee had their children in mind,” said Clark.
MSD is inviting families, staff, and communities to visit one of four gallery walks. That’s where parents can see the scenarios in person and ask attendance zoning committee members questions.
The first one is Wednesday night at Oak Grove. Vist the MSD website for more information.