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

The LPS Long Range Planning Committee had 10, two-hour meetings to discuss boundaries. Committee members considered 14 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?

Next Steps

  • The Committee will be seeking community feedback on these boundary scenarios. Four stakeholder meetings will be held in January and February, where attendees can learn about each scenario, ask questions of Committee members, give feedback and take an exit survey. 
  • Presentations will be made to and feedback gathered from district-level committees.
  • Based on feedback received, the Committee will provide an update to the Board of Education in May, 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

MIDDLE SCHOOL

Boundaries Options

HIGH SCHOOL

Boundaries Options

New Recommendations from Long-Range Planning Committee

The Long Range Planning Committee continues to plan for future school replacements moving forward. Because it is likely that there is enough bond funding to replace another elementary school, the Committee is recommending that the Board consider replacing the aging Ralph Moody Elementary School with a new school that would serve a combined East and Ralph Moody community. This combined school would be the optimum size and would provide more opportunities for programming and felxibility with appropriate space for small and large group instruction, creativity and innovation, new playgrounds, playing fields and parking. The Committee recommends that the new school be built on the Ralph Moody campus while school is in session in the current Ralph Moody Elementary School. The goal is to build the best schools possible to serve communities for the next 60+ years. The Committee recommends that the current East Elementary facility could be repurposed.
 
The map on the right is a sample drawing of how a new elementary school for the combined East and Ralph Moody communities could be built on the Ralph Moody campus.
 
Why is the Committee recommending that East and Ralph Moody be combined into a new school?
After selecting the most logical two elementary boundary options for the Board to consider, the Committee examined all of the data to see where the construction of a 3rd new elementary school would make the most sense. Proposed boundary options could result in East's enrollment declining enough to negatively impact programming and staffing flexibility. Combining East and Ralph Moody elementary schools would create an elementary school of the optimum size with the ability to provide more programs and support for all students.
 
Why did the Committee recommend that the new school be built on the Ralph Moody campus? 
Architects studied both the East campus and the Ralph Moody campus to see which would accommodate new construction with the least disruption most sucessfully. Architects recommended the Ralph Moody campus, as it is more likely that a new elementary school could be built on that campus while students continue to attend school in the current Ralph Moody building. Architects determined that the East campus is not large enough to do so. The Committee also noted that the Ralph Moody campus is more centrally located in a combined East/Ralph Moody neighborhood, which means more students could walk to school, and those riding the bus would have shorter bus rides to and from school. If the Board were to approve the construction of a new school for a combined East/Ralph Moody community, it would be not be ready to open for at least four years.
 
Hopkins Elementary and Twain Elementary
The Committee also recommends that the Board begin to consider the future combination of Hopkins Elementary and Twain Elementary into one school, location to be determined. Whether or not this would be a viable option will become more clear after the new elementary schools on the current Ames and Franklin campuses open.
 
Has anything been decided?
No. The Board has not made any decisions about these two Committee recommendations. The Committee will present to the Board again in May after gathering community feedback this spring. 

Stakeholder Meetings

The Committee is seeking community feedback on these boundary scenarios. Four stakeholder open houses are scheduled in January and February, where attendees can 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 provides another opportunity for feedback. 

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

Monday, February 3, 2020
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 will provide 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. Choose a date, time, and location that works best for you!

Number and percentage of students affected

The number and percentage of students whose assigned school would change as a result of each boundary option:

Elementary Option E1 - 695 of 5,978 elementary students (12%)

Elementary Option E2 - 825 of 5,978 elementary students (14%)

Middle Option M1 - 316 of 3,273 middle school students (10%)

Middle Option M2 - 253 of 3,273 middle school students (8%)

High School Option H1 - 307 of 5,128 high school students (6%)

High School Option H2 - 423 of 5,128 high school students (8%)

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.

(More FAQs will be added, so check back for additional detail)

Questions?

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

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