Director Redistricting Proposal Information

Proposition 1: On your ballot November 6
Port Townsend Schools Director Redistricting Proposal

On the November 6 ballot, voters in Port Townsend School District (PTSD) will see a proposal from their school board of directors. Director Map

It’s about making it easier for people to serve on the school board.

Right now, we have five geographical director districts. We elect one school board director from each one.

If voters approve Proposition 1, we will still have five directors on the school board, but three will be elected from director districts and two will be elected “at-large.” The PTSD will draw a new map with three director districts. Any citizen from the school district would be eligible to serve in an at-large position.

Proposition One: Dissolve and reapportion director districts

Now Five elected directors, one from each of five geographical districts. About 2,500 resident citizens are eligible to run for election to each director district seat on the school board.  Four-year staggered terms. 
If the measure passes Five elected directors, one from each of three districts and two “at-large.” About 4,150 resident citizens will be eligible to run for election to each director district seat. Four-year staggered terms.
About 12,450 voters in the school district will be eligible to run for election to either “at-large” seat. Four-year staggered terms.

What happens if Proposition 1 passes?

The current map of the five director districts will be replaced with a new map that has three director districts. (On the ballot this is called “dissolution” and “reapportionment.”) After approval of the maps through a public process, school board candidates will file for the new positions as they come open.

How might this make a difference?

With larger director districts and at-large positions, there would be a larger pool of potential board members for each seat. Each citizen would be eligible to run for three positions instead of one, and the opportunity to run would come up every two years instead of every four years.

Why did the Port Townsend School Board put this on the ballot?

The school board wants to facilitate citizen participation on the school board. Filling school director positions on the board has been a challenge. The last three new directors were appointed to fill vacancies and then elected in uncontested elections. Washington State law allows local school districts, with voter approval, to reapportion their school boards in this way.

How did the Port Townsend School Board decide on this idea?

Over the last couple of years, the board has been considering ways to address the challenge. They reached out to the broader community for input on the idea, and were encouraged by a positive response. At the end of July, 2018 the Port Townsend School Board decided to put this idea before the voters.

How will the new district map be created?

The public process for drawing director districts and setting election cycles is established in state law. The district has experience redrawing director district maps, as they are redrawn every ten years following the census. The district will work with the Olympic Educational Service District, the Jefferson County Auditor, and an experienced consultant to draw districts that are compact, nearly equal in size, and consistent with community boundaries. The new maps will be approved through public processes with ample notification and opportunity to participate.

What will this cost?

The district will contribute to the expense of the November 6 election. The only other expense will be redrawing the maps. The Superintendent and Finance Director do not expect that expense to exceed $1,000.

What other school districts have done this?

In the last few years, voters approved similar measures in Ellensburg, Finley, Lake Quinault, Selah, and Chewelah school districts by 75% or more.

board at workWhere can I go for more information?

Your school board members are listed here, and they are prepared to handle your questions. In the coming weeks, the district will provide information about the measure at service clubs and some of the election forums. John Polm, the Superintendent of Port Townsend School District, is also available at

To learn more about what school board members do, go to this page.

More information can also be found on the FAQs posted 5/2/18.