A glance at how new WIAA amendments might impact classifications
On Monday, the Representative Assembly of the WIAA passed two amendments that alters how schools will be set into classifications for the next reclassification process starting the 2020-2021 school year.
The first sets hard enrollment thresholds for each of the six classifications: 1300+ for 4A, 900-1,299 for 3A; 450-899 for 2A, 225-449 for 1A, 105-224 for 2B and 104-and-lower for 1B.
The second would allow schools that are above the state average for percentage of students on free-reduced lunch to reduce their enrollment number by the percentage they are above the state average.
Schools with an enrollment number of greater than 225, the lower end of Class 1A, would be allowed to reduce their enrollment number.
The state average for free-reduced lunch is about 43 percent.
According to the most recent report from the state’s office of the superintendent for public instruction, there are 73 schools currently in Class 1A or above that are above that state average.
With the classification process for the 2020-21 school year still a year away, it’s impossible to project what shape the new classes will look like. Over the four years since the previous classification process, enrollments can change dramatically. Even free-reduced lunch numbers can vary from year to year.
Add to that, in the last classifications a large number of schools chose to opt-up in class, especially up to Class 4A. Some of these schools may choose not to opt-up again in the new class cycle.
But we can look at the impact these new amendments would have had if they had applied to the last reclassification process prior to the 2016-17 school year.
And that’s what we’ve done year, as it can serve as a point of reference of the potential impact of these two new amendments.
15 schools above state average free-reduced lunch
4 of them are opt-ups from lower classes
With free-reduced adjustment, 6 would be allowed to drop to 3A:
- Mount Vernon
- AC Davis
4 schools above 1,300 threshold, moving up to 4A:
- Mountain View
18 schools above state average free-reduced lunch
4 are opt-ups from lower classes
With free-reduced lunch adjustment, 1 would be allowed to drop to 2A:
9 schools above 900 threshold, moving up to 3A:
- Mountlake Terrace
- Columbia River
- Franklin Pierce
- Sedro Woolley
21 schools above state average free-reduced lunch
None are opt-ups
Free-reduced adjustment would allow four of above schools to move back under the 900 threshold, remaining at 2A
- Franklin Pierce
With free-reduced adjustment, 4 others would be allowed to drop 1A:
1 school above 450 threshold, moving to 2A:
5 schools below 225 threshold, moving to 2B:
- Charles Wright
- Cle Elum-Roslyn
19 schools above state average free-reduced lunch
1 is opt-up
With free-reduced adjustment, Connell would move back below threshold for 1A
With free-reduced adjustment, 4 others would be allowed to drop to 2B:
- River View
11 schools would be below 105 threshold, moving to 1B:
- Northwest Christian-Lacey
- Seattle Lutheran
- Liberty Christian
No adjustment for free-reduced lunch
Net gains at each class, assuming schools that would be moved down would not have chosen to opt-up:
- 4A: -2 (62 schools)
- 3A: +6 (72 schools)
- 2A: -8 (57 schools)
- 1A: -5 (60 schools)
- 2B: -2 (58 schools)
- 1B: +11 (75 schools)
By rule, state tournaments for Classes 4A, 2A, 1A and 2B would remain 16 teams. 3A and 1B state tournaments could grow to 20 teams (For 1B, there would need to be enough schools field a team in specific sport).