Boundary Study

Long Range Planning Committee Districtwide Boundary Study

The LPS Long Range Planning Committee has been meeting since the fall of 2018 to study school boundaries in an effort to:

  • Improve boundaries to best serve students and provide them with the best educational experience possible.
  • Address the growing transportation challenges resulting from increased traffic in the south metro area.
  • Provide boundaries for the new elementary schools to be built for the Ames neighborhood and the combined Highland and Franklin neighborhoods.
  • Provide better balanced enrollment.

Background and History

Littleton Public Schools’ current school boundaries have evolved over the decades. Sometimes boundary changes needed to be made to accommodate growth. Most recently, boundary changes needed to be made in 2008 to accommodate the closures of Whitman and Ames elementary schools; students in those attendance boundaries needed to be transported to other elementary schools where there was space. These solutions resulted in students from some neighborhoods being bused long distances to their new schools, sometimes past several other elementary schools on the way.

Since 2008, worsening local traffic, especially across major north/south roads such as Santa Fe, Broadway, University and Colorado Blvd, has created very long bus rides for some students. For example, three years ago, the average speed of LPS buses running routes was 25 miles per hour. Today, the average speed is 15 miles per hour.

Thanks to our community’s passage of a $298 million bond in 2018, a new elementary school will open on the Ames campus in the fall of 2021, and a new elementary for the Highland and Franklin communities will open on the Franklin campus in the fall of 2022. Both new schools need attendance boundaries. Creating boundaries for these new schools provides LPS an opportunity to examine and update all of its boundaries in a more logical way that will reduce transportation distances and time on the bus while seeking balance in school sizes. 

The Process

Since the fall of 2018, the LPS Long Range Planning Committee has had 16, two-hour meetings to discuss boundaries. Committee members considered 16 different elementary school boundary scenarios, six different middle school boundary scenarios and four different high school boundary scenarios.

As part of this process, the Committee:

  • Looked for logic and efficiency as new boundaries were considered
  • Strived to keep neighborhoods together, recognizing that waterways and other obstacles make transportation more difficult
  • Found boundary solutions for the new neighborhood school on the Ames campus 
  • Found boundary solutions for the new neighborhood school on the current Franklin campus
  • Strived to avoid wherever possible having to cross major north/south arterial roads, busing students past one school to attend another and creating a smaller-than-optimal schools
  • Considered current feeder patterns (elementary to middle to high)
  • Considered school size and capacity, with and without out-of-district students
  • Considered socio-economic balance
  • Looked toward the future: what building replacements are happening with the current bond, and what buildings might be replaced in future bonds? How will boundaries be impacted?

Feedback was gathered, new scenarios developed
The Committee asked for community feedback on the first round of boundary scenarios. Four stakeholder meetings were scheduled in January, 2020 and February, 2020 (one was cancelled due to a winter storm), where attendees learned about each scenario, asked questions of Committee members, gave feedback and took an exit survey. 

Presentations were made to and feedback was gathered from district-level committees.

Based on feedback received, the Committee developed six new boundary scenarios (two at each level). The Committee presented the new scenarios to the Board of Education during an online workshop May 7, 2020.

Next Steps

  • The Committee will ask the community to provide feedback on the six new boundary scenarios through a parent survey and/or via email to the Committee. The Committee will report back to the Board of Education by mid June, 2020. 
  • The Board is tentatively scheduled to make decisions by the fall of 2020.
  • Approved new boundaries would likely take effect the fall of 2021.

Elementary Boundary Options

Elementary Observations

Elm Option keeps more neighborhoods together. Reduces bus transportation east to west across Santa Fe. Reduces bus transportation across Broadway, with the exception of Field. Fully utilizes new Franklin/Highland elementary school. Improves walking capacity at new Ames elementary school. Does not eliminate all instances of being bussed by one school to get to another. See detail.

Oak Option keeps more neighborhoods together. Balances enrollment at East and Moody. Retains enrollment at Peabody. Does not fully utilize new Franklin/Highland elementary school. Still requires east to west bus transportation across major streets. Does not elilminate all instances of being bussed by one school to get to another. See detail.

Elementary Boundaries - Oak Option

Projected Enrollment - Oak Option

Elementary projected enrollment chart Oak option

Elementary Boundaries - Elm Option

Proposed scenario is shaded. Existing boundary is outlined in red.

Projected Enrollment - Elm Option

Elementary projected enrollment chart Elm option

Middle School Boundary Options

Middle School Observations

Spruce Option is compact and avoids some elementary school splits. Spruce better balances enrollment.

Pine Option avoids some elementry school splits and increases enrollment at Powell.

Both scenarios reduce east/west transportation.

New Middle Boundary Option - Spruce

Middle School Boundaries-Spruce

Proposed scenario is shaded. Existing boundary is outlined in blue.

Projected Enrollment - Spruce Option

New Middle School Boundary Option - Pine

Proposed scenario is shaded. Existing boundary is outlined in blue.

Projected Enrollment - Pine Option

High School Boundary Options

High School Observations

Fir Option minimizes change while eliminating the optional area in the center of the district.

Hemlock Option unifies the west side at one high school, but requires more change. It also eliminates the optional area in the center of the district.

Both options balance enrollment, but both continue to require east/west transportation across Santa Fe in order to achieve balance.

High School Boundary Map - Fir Option

High School projected enrollment chart - Fir Option

Committee presentation to the Board of Education May 7, 2020

View the Committee's May 7, 2020 presentation to the Board of Education, which includes all maps and charts on the website.

In Spanish

Stakeholder Meetings Held Regarding First Boundary Options

The Committee gathered community feedback regarding its first boundary scenarios through four stakeholder open houses in January and February, 2020. Attendees could drop in any time during a two-hour open house to learn about each scenario, ask questions of Committee members, give feedback and take an exit survey, which provided another opportunity for feedback. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2020
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Goddard Middle School

Monday, February 3, 2020
(cancelled due to winter storm)
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Powell Middle School

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Newton Middle School

Thursday, February 20, 2020
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Euclid Middle School

All four open houses provided attendees with the same opportunities to interact with members of the Long Range Planning Committe, learn about the boundary options, ask questions, and provide feedback. 

Districtwide Boundary Study FAQs

What is the most important thing to know about proposed boundary options?
The Long Range Planning Committee formed these boundary options largely in an effort to reduce transportation distances and time on the bus while seeking balance in school sizes. 

Will students with one year left at a school have to change schools?
The Committee recommended that the following groups of students be given preferential open enrollment when new boundaries go into effect:

  • All high school students who no longer live in their current school's boundary zone;
  • 4th graders going into 5th grade who no longer live in their current school's boundary zone; and
  • 7th graders going into 8th grade who no longer live in their current school's boundary zone

No transportation services will be provided in conjunction with these preferential open enrollment options.

Will LPS require students to attend the school they are assigned to?
Open enrollment will always be available to families. It's important to remember that transportation will not be provided for students who do not attend the school they are assigned to.

Questions?

Contact the Long Range Planning Committee:
aclark[at]lps.k12.co[dot]us