At its regularly scheduled meeting on August 27, 2020, the LPS Board of Education approved changes to the district’s attendance boundaries after revisiting parent survey results they received in June for middle and high schools and receiving new parent survey results for elementary schools.
The Board approved the Rosewood option for elementary schools, the Spruce option for middle schools, and the Fir option for high schools. All approved maps are available on the boundary study webpage.
The process to update the boundaries was a long one, necessitated by passage of the bond. Updating boundaries addresses the growing transportation challenges resulting from increased traffic, provides boundaries for the new elementary school to be built for the Ames neighborhood, provides boundaries for the new elementary school to be built for the combined Highland and Franklin neighborhood, and better balances enrollment between Newton and Powell middle schools.
The Long-Range Planning Committee devoted many hours to studying, discussing, and changing existing boundaries and seeking feedback from the community through open houses, online surveys, letters, emails, and phone calls. The Committee presented findings to the Board of Education on several occasions, taking direction from the Board on gathering further information or feedback and updating maps to provide new options.
“I want to thank the Long-Range Planning Committee again for moving this discussion to the point where the Board only had surgical-type changes. The Board gave the Committee an impossible charge of balancing enrollment while reducing transportation. The Committee got it right, and their process worked exactly the way it was supposed to,” said LPS Board of Education President Jack Reutzel.
Board members noted the likelihood that LPS will need to develop a plan to consider consolidating and/or closing other elementary schools in the next few years in response to the community’s changing neighborhoods. The Board also noted that boundaries could very well change again. “It’s important to know that this is the first step, not the step. We must be responsive to our changing neighborhoods and aging community. Thanks to everyone who participated in the surveys and gave us feedback.”
“We will be looking at several puzzle pieces over the next few years, and open enrollment is always a wildcard,” said LPS Superintendent Brian Ewert. “This is step one.”
New boundaries will take effect in the fall of 2021 for the 2021–2022 school year.