District Holds 5th Boundary Committee Meeting
On October 6, 2015, Waukee Community School District (WCSD) held the fifth Boundary Committee meeting in the process to redefine the District’s attendance boundaries and allow for a balanced feeder system.
The District provided committee members with questions from concerned parents and community members that had been submitted over the last two months. Committee members discussed these and other concerns they heard in their neighborhoods about the redistricting process since the last meeting on September 22.
Key topics of concern centered around Walnut Hills Elementary, Glynn Village and Bent Creek families moving, change in feeder systems, proximity to attendance centers and where open enrollment students would be placed.
Rob Schwarz with RSP & Associates stressed the importance of considering feedback as it fits within the boundary process framework and reminded committee members that decisions should follow the criteria set by the Waukee Board of Education.
- Keep neighborhoods intact as defined by RSP planning areas
- Projected enrollment and building utilization- balance enrollment with given building capacity constraints
- Duration of boundaries- have them last as long as possible
At the September 22 meeting, questions were raised about how socio-economic status impacts school boundaries. Associate Superintendent Cindi McDonald shared district Free and Reduced Lunch (FRL) data and discussed the balanced approach to make sure socio-economic status does not affect the level of education provided.
“The quality of a child’s educational experience is not determined by a lottery. Staff work hard to ensure a quality experience at all buildings regardless of income,” McDonald said. “The percentage of free and reduced lunch in the district is 14%. The building percentages range between 3-31%. Principals are tuned in to the varying needs of the students in each of their buildings. If they are in need of additional support they work closely with PTO, community members and local businesses as needed.”
In addition, McDonald said it would difficult to estimate the percentage of FRL prior to finalizing the boundary changes.
Schwarz shared new enrollment projections based on the 2015-16 count. RSP & Associates projections from last year were 99% accurate, narrowly missing the exact enrollment number by only 35 students. As of October 1, 2015, Waukee Community School District enrollment was up approximately 604 students.
|Projections Based on Residence*|
|To download the full projections click here.*Enrollment and building capacity projections shared did not include Grant Ragan Elementary School, as that building is currently under construction.|
Committee members spent the remainder of the meeting time analyzing Working Draft 1/ Option A. No other working drafts were reviewed at this meeting. No boundary plan was decided at the meeting.
Working Draft 1/ Option A will be available for viewing and public feedback at the upcoming public forum. The public forum is scheduled for 6 p.m. on October 15 in the Waukee High School Commons, 555 SE University Avenue.
The committee will review feedback and make any modifications they believe pertinent before taking a final recommendation to the Board of Education on November 9. The Board will take action to approve the boundary recommendation on December 14.
Working Draft 1/ Option A
|Some of the reasoning for Working Draft 1/Option A includes utilizing some of the natural features to create elementary attendance areas and changing Shuler and Eason to a rectangle attendance area. Pros for this scenario include neighborhoods intact, follows guiding principles and no capacity issues. Cons include feeder imbalance and people in the north may have to move twice.To download a PDF version click here.|