A Call to Action for Smart Growth Planners: “A Smart Growth Imperative”
"Given the critical importance of K-12 school quality to sustainable communities, urban planners and educators must align forces and collaborate. Although coordinated metropolitan planning and educational improvement efforts are foundations for prosperous schools, communities, and regions, they are too often pursued in isolation. Realizing the smart growth vision for sustainable communities over the coming decade requires that local governments, community leaders, developers, planners, and educators work together to plan and redevelop communities.”
Blaine School District School Board Maps and Information
Why Is a School for Birch Bay Important "Connecting Public Schools to Community Development" By Connie Chung
"Public schools are intimately linked with communities. They serve as centers of learning.They employ residents, and they connect neighbors with one another. As place-based institutions, they are part of a neighborhood's physical fabric, impacting local housing markets and influencing the aesthetic character of a community. Moreover, public schools have access to a myriad of local resources including funding, land, and political goodwill."
Public schools play a central role in communities and neighborhood building in so many ways (in no particular order):
Schools as the center of the community concept offer joint-use amenities such as: gym facilities, senior center, adult ed. facility, library, computer learning center, community meeting place, playground, field and park, and health clinic opportunities.
chools benefit the whole community and the joint-use concept draws interest and support from the empty nesters, senior citizens and other residents who might not otherwise have a vested interest in a neighborhood school.
Community schools assist in youth development by providing a place for after school programs.Some communities also partner with schools and community development organizations to offer adult education and job training for community members.
Schools are often the largest institutions and employers in a neighborhood, making them an invaluable partner in economic development.
Public schools can play a valuable role in sustainable development and smart growth efforts.School quality can have a significant impact on a local housing market, with healthy, stable neighborhoods supported by healthy schools.
The Birch Bay Community Plan as adopted in 2004 says,
"Due to its high volume of student generation, Birch Bay area is a likely candidate for an elementary (K-5) school site.
The Birch Bay Community is very much interested in having an elementary school located in the Birch Bay area. About one-half of the enrollment at the Blaine School District is made up of students coming form the Birch Bay area." Birch Bay Community Plan, page 14-2
Apparently as a step towards implementation of the Birch Bay Community Plan, the Blaine School District in it's capital facilities planning has begun consideration of a Birch Bay school as found in it's 2007 Study and Survey now incorporated into the most recent proposed Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan amendment at http://www.whatcomcounty.us/pds/2031/pdf/20091022_app_e.pdf Appendix E, pages 125 & 127 (it's big so give it time to download).
Birch Bay is served by the Blaine School District and provides 1/2 or more of that district's student population.