Developers building homes in the Richland School District will be advised that the school attendance areas where they are building likely will change before anyone moves in.
The school board Tuesday night directed Mark Panther, executive director of district support services, to tell city planning officials about the possibility of future changes to attendance areas whenever the district is informed of a new housing development.
"There's a very good chance they won't go to the school of their current attendance area," said board member Phyllis Strickler.
Thousands of housing units, from single-family homes to apartments, either are in the planning stages or under construction within the district, according to information Panther provided to the board.
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The developments eventually will put hundreds of new students into the district's elementary, middle and high schools.
Board chairman Richard Jansons said the board alters attendance zones whenever a school reaches capacity and ends up busing students to schools that have space. Those decisions can be controversial, he said.
"If a school reaches capacity, we have no choice," said board member Heather Cleary.
w Changes to the state's requirements for high school graduation aren't expected to affect future students in Richland.
The state increased the number of credits needed to graduate from 19 to 20 for the Fall 2012 class of freshmen.
Richland requires its students to have 21.5 credits to graduate, with consumer economics and an additional elective needed beyond the state requirements.
"I don't see a lot of changes for our kids," said Assistant Superintendent Todd Baddley.
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