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