Districts Holds Final Boundary Committee Meeting

Waukee Community School District held the sixth and final Comprehensive Boundary Committee Meeting on October 27.

The goal of the final meeting was for committee members to reach consensus on the boundary recommendation to the Board of Education. Committee members have been working since April of 2015 to redefine the District’s attendance boundaries and create a balanced feeder system.

The committee reviewed feedback from the second public forum on October 15 and questions and comments the District received from concerned families.

Key topics of concern echoed previous meetings. Walnut Hills Elementary, Glynn Village and Bent Creek families moving, change in feeder systems and grandfathering elementary and middle school students continue to be areas of concern.

Open enrollment has also come up several times throughout the redistricting process. The misconception is that Waukee Community School District has more students open enrolling in than out. This school year 462 students open enrolled OUT of the district, while only 216 students open enrolled in. Per Iowa Code, open enrollment for a District can only be closed if there is no capacity for the students.

“The truth is open enrolled students have NO BEARING on capacity issues as we can move open enrolled students to any building in the district to balance sections,” David Wilkerson, superintendent of schools, said.

All boundary scenarios are based on resident students. This year the District has more than 1,000 new resident students and that growth is expected to continue.

Because enrollment numbers for the current year cannot be calculated until October, the Boundary Committee did not have this year’s enrollment numbers when Working Draft 1/ Option A was created.

During the meeting, the committee reviewed Working Draft 1/Option B and Working Draft 1/Option C as scenario options to address overcapacity at Waukee Elementary and under capacity issues at Grant Ragan. The committee also discussed the impact student options could have on boundaries. RSP & Associates shared what enrollment/capacity would look like if they allowed current students north of Meredith and east of Alice’s Road to remain in Walnut Hills K-4.

Allowing student options for grades K-4 was not feasible as it caused capacity issues in Working Draft 1/Option B and Working Draft 1/Option C. While there weren’t as many capacity issues if student options were allowed for the same area, but only in grades 3-4, the committee unanimously believed that allowing student options for elementary students undermined the goal of the Comprehensive Boundary Process to redefine the District’s boundaries.

The meeting concluded with a consensus discussion and vote. Consensus implied that committee members understood the reason for making a decision and could accept and support it. 75% of the committee members voted that Working Draft 1/Option B best met the Board of Education’s guiding principles and prioritized boundary criteria. The group considered 51% consensus.

None of the working drafts viewed at the October 27 meeting are final, nor will one of those drafts be recommended to the Board. RSP & Associates will take the committee’s recommended changes to Working Draft 1/Option B and develop the final boundary map to be presented to the Board on November 9.

The committee is also asking that the recommendation to the Board include the following considerations:

  • Warrior Lane as a boundary through Glynn Village
  • Middle School Student Options
  • Current 5th-8th grade allowed to be grandfathered

There will be an area for public comments at the November 9 meeting, however, comments are limited to 3 minutes to keep the meeting moving in a timely fashion. Per Board Policy 204.82 the board may choose to limit the public comment portion of the agenda to 30 minutes. As a reminder, board meetings are meetings held in the public, but are not public meetings. After open forum, the board deliberates amongst itself in the public eye, but not in an open forum format.

Waukee Board of Education meetings start promptly at 6 p.m. and are held at Waukee District Office in the Board Room, 560 SE University Ave, Waukee.

The Board will take action to approve the boundary recommendation on December 14.

Working Draft 1/ Option B

This is NOT the final draft that will be recommended to the Board of Education on November 9. RSP & Associates will take the committee’s recommended changes to Working Draft 1/Option B and develop the final boundary map.

Some of the reasoning for Working Draft 1/Option B include:

  1. Have attendance areas that visually make sense in relation to proximity to schools, neighborhoods and roads
  2. Continue to use the natural features to create the elementary attendance areas
  3. Try to address as many of the concerns brought up at the public forum
    • Keep all current areas of Woodland Hills North of I-80 at Woodland Hills
    • Eliminate more of the area having to make a feeder move
    • Reduce enrollment at Waukee ES

Some Pros of Working Draft 1/Option B

  • Decreases the number of students who change feeder pattern
  • Enrollment works for 3 school years
  • Follow Board of Education boundary criteria
  • Keep area north of I-80 at Woodland Hills

Some Challenges of Working Draft 1/Option B

  • Neighborhoods cut up
  • Broken Feeder
  • Continue to utilize Vince Meyer for Waukee Elementary
  • Unbalanced Free and Reduced Lunch

Some Considerations to make Working Draft 1/Option B better:

  • Make a planning area break on Warrior Lane in Glynn Village where west side goes to Waukee Elementary and east side goes to Maple Grove.
  • Move the southern area of current Waukee Elementary shown at Woodland Hilss in this option back to Waukee Elementary.

To download a PDF version click here.

Working Draft 1/ Option C

This is NOT a draft that will be recommended to the Board of Education on November 9.

Some of the reasoning for Working Draft 1/Option C include:

  1. Have attendance areas that visually make sense in relation to proximity to schools, neighborhoods and roads
  2. Continue to use the natural features to create the elementary attendance areas
  3. .Extend Grant Ragan south of Hickman
  4. Try to address as many of the concerns brought up at the public forum
    • Eliminate more of the area having to make a feeder move
    • Reduce enrollment at Waukee ES

Some Pros of Working Draft 1/Option C

  • Waukee Elementary southern attendance area remains at Waukee Elementary
  • Area south of Hickman to Grant Ragan creates a better utilization and enrollment relief to Waukee Elementary
  • Apartments and Duplexes north of I-80 attend Maple Grove providing a better equity and geographic proximity for students

Some Challenges of Working Draft 1/Option C

  • Increase in SIBC
  • Continue to utilize Vince Meyer for Waukee Elementary
  • Area west of LA Grant Pkwy attend Woodland Hills
  • Apartments and Duplexes north of I-80 attend Maple Grove
  • Broken Feeder

Some Considerations to make Working Draft 1/Option C better:

  • Have more areas north of University and east of Warrior to Grant Ragan
  • Move areas south of Hickman as shown in Option B to Grant Ragan

To download a PDF version click here.

Presentation Materials

 

560 Southeast University Avenue
Waukee, Iowa 50263
Phone 515.987.5161
Fax 515.987.2701