Archive for Tuesday, February 23, 1993


February 23, 1993


Parents of Quail Run School students were in full force at Monday's Lawrence school board meeting, questioning a recommendation to open the school to more students and offering some of their own solutions to the school's overcrowding.

Quail Run, 1130 Inverness, had its enrollment closed in September because the school's 632 students surpassed its capacity of about 525. That meant any children moving into the enrollment area after the closing had to be transferred to another school.

The district's boundary committee has recommended that the school's enrollment be opened again, a move that could put the school's enrollment around 700-750. The committee has recommended adding four portable classrooms to the school to handle the enrollment growth.

But many parents are unhappy with that plan. In a survey of 209 of the school's 402 families, 64 percent of the respondents said they wanted to keep enrollment closed at Quail Run.

And if the district decides to open the school's enrollment, 96 percent of the respondents said six portable classrooms instead of four should be used to handle the enrollment growth.

One parent, John Head, told the board that if 750 students do wind up at the school, that would be 225 students beyond the school's official capacity.

"YOU CAN'T get that many people into two double-wide portables," Head said.

Assistant Supt. Bob Taylor said students new to the Quail Run enrollment area could be moved to other schools. However, he said, the district would have to find pockets of space for, say, 30 students at one school, 20 students at another school, and so on.

In addition to making students from the same neighborhood go to several different schools, Taylor said, that option would result in some students having to transfer two years in a row. That's because a new elementary school planned for southwest Lawrence will require boundaries to change again in 1994.

Some parents wanted to know why the district hadn't started working on the boundary changes that would come with the new school. Taylor said administrators wanted to wait until the coming fall when enrollment numbers would be closer to what they will be in 1994.

PARENT ROD Laing spoke in support of opening enrollment and moving portables to Quail Run.

"Whether it be Quail Run or one of the other schools, we're going to have the same (overcrowding) problem. What school can best accept the portables?" Laing said. "I think the portables at Quail Run are probably the best choice."

The board decided to hold a study session Monday to discuss the matter further. The board did not set a time for that session.

IN OTHER business Monday, the board:

Heard a report from John Swarm, a field adviser with B.F. Goodrich, on the condition of roofs of school buildings in the district.

He said roofs in need of immediate attention are those at Lawrence High School, Sunset Hill School, Hillcrest School, Grant School and the district's three junior high schools.

Swarm said renovations planned for LHS and Central Junior High School should not be done without addressing roof problems, which include leaks that could damage work done inside the buildings.

With the district's present roofing budget at about $120,000 a year, board members decided they would have to prioritize the roofing work. Swarm said it could cost as much as $904,000 to repair roofs on 13 schools in the district.

Adopted on second reading a policy calling for the creation of a site council at each school in the district. The councils, mandated by state legislation, will serve in an advisory capacity in evaluating state, district and school-site goals and objectives. The councils will represent teachers, other personnel from the school, the business community and other community groups.

Discussed proposing a change in city ordinances such that developers would have to share in the cost of streets that the district builds around new schools. Board members directed school administrators to continue working with city officials to draw up a proposal for such an ordinance.

Discussed the possibility of forming a planning committee involving the school district, the city of Lawrence and Douglas County.

Held an executive session on land purchase and personnel.

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