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School Board to Choose Between Junior High Boundary Options Next Week

Dec 06, 2016 10:27AM ● Published by Steven Jack

With less than one week to go before a final decision is made about the school boundaries in District 308 for 2017-18, board members will be forced to choose between two secondary school options that are still on the table.

Last week the School Board received final boundary recommendations from the Boundary Committee. While the committee was unanimous in its recommendations for elementary school boundaries, two secondary school options were forwarded to the board for their final decision on Monday, Dec. 12. Those options are known as 3B and 3C. 

DOWNLOAD THE .PDF MAPS OF OPTIONS 3B AND 3C ABOVE

So, what are the differences between the two options? Board member and Committee co-chair Lauri Doyle explained the main differences as such:

"The basic difference is that in 3C the feeder (system) for junior high and high school remains exactly the same as it is now, with two elementary schools splitting off for junior high (Boulder Hill and Southbury). In addition 3C will continue to have students from all over being split from their peers year after year while 3B makes one big change now, and then kids will be able to have a more stable transition.

"3B fixes the feeder so that only one school (Southbury) splits, and it has Lakewood Creek switch to Thompson and Fox Chase change to Traughber. The Southbury split from 3B actually keeps kids in their current junior high so technically they aren't being moved. According to (District 308 Transportation Director) Derrick Berlin, 3B is the safest, most cost effective, and shortest ride option."
Each of these options affect vastly different numbers of students. According to Doyle, 3C has 0 students impacted for 2017-18, because it will automatically grandfather all junior high students. The number of students affected by the split schools will change year to year, but will be 100 or more each year.

Option 3B affects 700 students next year. Two entire elementary schools would move together, but then only a few per year will be affected in the years after that.

"
Basic summary is do we 'rip the band-aid off' and make one big change now which moves entire schools together one time, or do we continue to split kids leaving elementary for the next several years but in essence 'grandfather; everyone into their current junior high," Doyle said. "In addition the 'rip the band-aid off' approach is safer and more cost effective from a transportation perspective. Over the anticipated duration of the boundaries, about the same number of individual kids would be affected either way."

After a final decision is made next week, the district will release an online form that will allow parents to input their address to find out which schools their children will attend next year. Building administrators will also begin the work of welcoming and onboard students and staff affected by next year's changes.  
 

Late last week the district also released the following "key facts and questions" on boundary changes and transfer requests. 

  • Students will not automatically be “grandfathered” based on boundary changes. Any parent/guardian requesting his/her child remain at the current school of attendance must complete the Attendance Transfer Request Application by February 1st and submit it to the SD308 Student Services Department at ATR@sd308.org.
  • Parents will be notified by letter via U.S. mail when a request is approved or denied by March 30th of the current school year.
  • District transportation will not be provided to the selected/approved school for transfer requests.

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