The Chehalis School District has presented its new proposed director district boundary maps following voters’ approval of a measure in November to rework the districts into three location-based subdistricts and two at-large positions.
“So now for the next 10 years, we have to have a boundary plan, a district border plan that has equal sizes for three districts,” said School Board District 1 Director J. Vander Stoep.
The district came up with updated districts based on the most-recent census for both a five-district model and a three-district model “because at that point in time, we did not have the vote at that point. So we need to be prepared for both,” said Superintendent Dr. Christine Moloney.
Voters approved the district’s measure on the Nov. 2 ballot with 68% approval, with 1,878 voting in favor of the initiative and 883 voting against it.
The new District 1 would no longer wrap around the other districts to cover the outlying areas near Napavine and Adna, instead absorbing part of District 3 and most of District 5 to use Jackson Highway as a western border. District 2 absorbs the bulk of current District 3 and the southeastern section of District 1, and District 3 expands north and west to cover downtown Chehalis as well as the northwest corner of District 1.
The proposed maps were presented to the Chehalis community ahead of a Jan. 18 public hearing and, with no comment from the public submitted during the hearing, the board is expected to approve the new boundaries at its next meeting.
If voted in, the new boundaries would stay in effect for the next 10 years.
The new boundaries would take effect during the next election and don’t affect any of the current positions on the board. Voters will also be able to vote for the two new at-large positions in future elections.
Since two of the school board’s five director positions were just sworn into four-year terms this year, the new boundaries won’t take full effect until their terms expire in 2026.
The remaining three positions are up for election in 2024.