Boundary Focus Group sees more boundary supposals
The Superintendent Boundary Focus Group analyzed revised supposals for possible boundary changes for elementary, middle and high schools on January 5. RSP and Associates, the district’s consultant on boundary changes, revealed supposals that had changes to schools including having the new K-8 schools under construction becoming elementary schools, moving magnet programs and closing schools.
“We keep hearing people wonder why we can’t carry out the bond issue as it was passed in 2008. The truth is, we would not be talking about some of these supposals if we weren’t in the financial situation we are in now,” Superintendent Allison said.
“It comes down to either making changes to the bond plan, or cutting programs and activities we offer to students in order to carry out the original bond plan,” he said.
Elementary school boundary supposal
The elementary boundary supposal listed four schools for possible closure. Bryant, Emerson, Lincoln and Mueller are on the list for closure. Woodland was taken off the list for closure and Emerson was added to the list. Because Emerson has a similar magnet program with Lewis, their two programs could merge. Some of the reasons for possible school closures include the physical condition of the building, the ability for neighboring schools to accept the students, and the fact that the district has to look at changes to the bond plan due to cuts in state funding.
The new K-8 schools under construction in northeast and southeast areas of Wichita would become just K-5 elementary schools. The schools are designed that if enrollment and budget allows, it could become K-8 schools in the future. Mueller’s magnet program would be moved to the new K-5 in the northeast area of Wichita.
The elementary supposal included changing Isely and Gordon Parks Academy from pure magnets into neighborhood magnets. It suggests boundary changes for Enterprise, Irving, L’Ouverture, McLean, White and Woodland.
Middle school boundary supposal
The middle school boundary supposal has all the schools staying open. The magnet middle schools, Allison, Brooks, Horace Mann and Mayberry, would remain pure magnet schools. The previous supposal had those schools being neighborhood magnets. The supposal has the center portion of the district divided to attend Gordon Parks, Marshall and Robinson. It also has portions of Robinson, Curtis and Hamilton boundaries moved.
High school boundary supposal
The high school boundary supposal has Northeast Magnet’s program relocating to the new high school under construction in the northeast area of the district. The supposal has the center portion of the district divided to attend East, North and Northwest. It also has portions of East, Heights, North and West boundaries moved.
The district will host four public forums to allow employees, parents and community members to provide feedback to the school boundary supposals. There are meetings located in each quadrant of the city. The information from public comments will be processed by the Superintendent’s Focus Group during its January 26 meeting and will help the BOE develop a final proposal.
The $370 million bond issue passed in 2008 included the construction of six new schools and five of the new schools are scheduled to open in the fall of 2012. With the addition of new schools, school boundaries will have to be changed and developed, along with creating a new high school feeder pattern. New boundaries will also address growth and overcrowding at many Wichita schools. Besides boundary changes, with the loss $50 million in school funding from the state the past two years, the Board of Education has to consider possible changes to the bond issue plan.
Final recommendations will be approved by the Board of Education on February 27.
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|Last Updated: 1/9/12|