The communities of south Richland and West Richland, served solely by Enterprise Middle School, will officially be split beginning in fall 2017 when the Richland School District’s fourth middle school opens just off Keene Road.
Board members approved the new middle school boundaries at their most recent meeting. The final boundaries, which can be found online here, are similar to those initially proposed by district officials and an appointed committee.
Under the approved map, the new middle school, which has yet to be named, will serve students living south of Keene Road, though some homes south of Keene and surrounding William Wiley Elementary School will also attend the new school. Student living north of Keene Road and west of the Yakima River will continue to attend Enterprise.
The changes affect Carmichael and Chief Joseph middle schools as well. Chief Joseph will now serve most of the families living east of the Yakima River, including the Horn Rapids neighborhood, and north of Williams Boulevard.
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Carmichael ceded some of the territory it served in south Richland around Gage Boulevard and Keene Road but gained families living along the southern stretch of the Yakima River and in the Queensgate area.
District officials and the boundary revision committee worked for more than a year on how to adjust attendance areas for the new school.
Much of the feedback the district said it received from families was positive or neutral, district officials said, including comments on an additional proposal to assign “feeder” middle schools to each of the district’s two high schools rather than have independent high school attendance boundaries. However, the board has not approved a change to the high school boundaries.
Some parents at one boundary meeting raised concerns that the proposed boundaries might create middle school populations of higher- and lower-income families.
A number of parents said in online comments that they weren’t happy with how the proposed boundaries would affect their child. Families at the new Orchard Elementary School in south Richland are upset that their students would be split up between the new middle school and Carmichael upon entering sixth grade, saying their school should send students to only one middle school.