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What are the changes?

  • Every family will have a middle school boundary at a K-8 campus: Gifford, Jerstad-Agerholm or Mitchel
  • Expand fine arts options: Create a K-8 fine arts school by moving and expanding Bull Fine Arts to the current Gilmore Middle School site
  • Expand IB Programme as a school choice: The Middle School IB Programme will move to the current Starbuck Middle School site
  • Expand lottery options at Walden III Middle & High School: Walden III will move to a larger building at the current McKinley Middle School site

Why are we making these changes to our middle schools?

This past fall, we asked for your input related to our middle schools through an engagement process called Thoughtexchange. We heard two things loud and clear. You want:

  • Safe and engaging learning environments
  • Choices and opportunities

Our teachers, staff, parents, administrators and Board of Education are committed to meeting these needs. We are also focused on addressing other challenges currently facing our middle schools including:

  • A six-year trend of declining enrollment
  • High costs of operating middle schools not filled to capacity
  • The deteriorated condition of the Walden III building and high costs to repair/replacement

We believe this plan will address these needs and challenges. It will ensure all families have excellent middle school choices and opportunities in RUSD.

When will these changes happen/go into effect?

Fall 2018 for the 2018-2019 school year. This means that the school choice lottery process for the 2018-2019 school year will reflect these changes. We anticipate the lottery window will be open from December 2017 through mid-January 2018.

When will we have a chance to hear more and ask questions?

In the coming weeks and months, RUSD middle schools will offer opportunities for families to learn more, ask questions and voice concerns. We will communicate those opportunities to you directly. In the meantime, we’ll post the latest information on the District website (

Are these changes decided or does the Board need to vote to support them before they move forward?

The Board of Education has been part of this process and is fully supportive of the planned changes. Several collaborative groups of teachers, staff, principals, parents and administrators are working together to ensure the plan will be ready for implementation in fall 2018. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact your principal. We encourage all stakeholders to be part of this exciting opportunity for our students.