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.

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Redistricting of Elementary Boundaries

On October 17, 2008, in Elementary, Monon Trail, by Dr. Keen

We will be opening a new elementary school in July 2009, Monon Trail Elementary School, which is west of US 31 and almost a mile north of SR32 on Tomlinson Road. Whenever we open a new elementary school, we must re-draw attendance boundaries. The good news is that the area assigned to Monon Trail will be able to create a new environment and establish traditions from the start. The down side is people have to leave schools to which theyve become attached and involved in, and have supported in many ways.

Because we use the same talent identification process for selecting staff in all schools and know that some existing staff will transfer, Monon Trail will have the same quality staff as all of our other schools.

Two things we try to do when re-drawing boundaries: one, we try to look ahead so the same area is not included in the next boundary study, and two, we try to move proposed developments without houses so that when people move, they will understand where their children will attend school.

Presently, a group of teachers, administrators, and parents are studying the boundaries in order to make a recommendation to me for review. In turn, I will submit this report, along with my recommendations to the Board for their consideration, hopefully no later than February. There will be an opportunity for public comment prior to the committees final recommendation. The meeting date, time, and location will be posted to the website once determined.

Next: Update on Grades & Full Day Kindergarten

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