A committee of teachers, parents, and administrators has begun meeting to redraw elementary attendance boundaries. This is necessary with the opening of Monon Trail Elementary School this fall. The committee plans to have three meetings, and then post a draft recommendation. Next, there will be a public input session, and then refining or revising the recommendation. The final recommendation from the committee is made to me. I plan to review it and send my recommendation to the Board at its March meeting.

While were opening a new school, there could be a shuffling of students to other schools as we balance our enrollment and plan for growth. This redistricting is a little more difficult than in the past as we dont know which of our sites will be developed for the next elementary school (due to the construction slowdown). That information is important because as we draw boundaries for one school, we consider what might be obvious boundaries for the next school to avoid shifting neighborhoods frequently.

Each time we go through this process, we try to adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Do not move a neighborhood more frequently than four years;
  2. Allow third grade students whose neighborhoods are reassigned to stay at their present school (parents must provide transportation); and
  3. Keep subdivisions and neighborhoods intact in reassignment.

Finally, we have clustered our schools in the central part of the township. By bus, some schools are five minutes apart, so it is possible to be assigned to a school that is not closest to your home to avoid violating some of the criteria listed above or to provide a long-term balance.

Please watch school newsletters, the district site, and my blog for the date and time of the public input session as well as to see the draft recommendation.


School Starting Times

On October 3, 2008, in Transportation, by Dr. Keen

Prior to 1997, the elementary students started school before the middle and high school students.  In 1997, with the opening of the new high school and reorganization into an intermediate school, all students on the central campus were put on the same routes and starting times moved to before the elementary routes.

We are now large enough and have enough buses that we can transport all K-6 students on one route and all 7-12 students on another route.  There is a great deal of research that shows younger children are ready to start school earlier in the day, where older students should start later.  There is also a belief that the middle school students get into the most trouble in the community after school, so the less time between when school ends and parents get home is good for middle school students.

Because of the ability to change the bus routes and also the above information, we are studying whether or not to change the starting times of our schools for 2009-10.  A committee is considering the issue.  Athletics and child supervision are certainly two areas of interest.  This committee will develop a draft recommendation, and then hold at least one public hearing for input on the draft.  Our website, as well as school newsletters, will announce the hearing dates and place, probably in mid-October.  Check the website for information on this and other matters.

Next:  Redistricting of Elementary Boundaries

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