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Archive for Thursday, December 11, 1997

BOUNDARY COMMITTEE REVIEWS SCENARIOS

December 11, 1997

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Four ideas to handle school overcrowding were reviewed Wednesday night.

A school district committee Wednesday night reviewed four scenarios that would alter school boundaries in order to accommodate growth in Lawrence schools.

The scenarios, developed by school district staff members, will be discussed further at next Wednesday's meeting of the boundary committee. Although committee members asked questions about each alternative, no consensus developed on the committee.

"I don't think I'm quite ready to reject any of them now," Jerry Bailey said.

Despite that, several committee members said they prefer a long-term solution to overcrowding, rather than a short-term one. They said they need direction from the school board about whether the board is interested in proposing a bond issue for new construction.

The alternatives address overcrowding at Sunflower, Quail Run and Prairie Park schools. In addition, some schools that have low enrollment would receive additional students.

The boundary committee could recommend to the school board one of the four alternatives, a combination of the alternatives or another alternative.

Following is a description of the four scenarios:

  • Move the 50 Quail Run students who live north of Sixth Street to Deerfield School. And move the 32 Sunflower students who live in the Heatherwood area -- northeast of Kasold and Clinton Parkway -- to Centennial School. This alternative is a short-term fix, according to Craig Fiegel, assistant superintendent. If implemented, the boundary committee likely would have to shift additional students out of Quail Run and Sunflower next year, he said.
  • Move the 50 Quail Run students who live north of Sixth Street to Deerfield. Move the 53 Quail Run students who live southwest of Sixth and Wakarusa to Sunflower. Move the four Quail Run students who live in an area south of 15th Street known as Fairway 11, to Hillcrest. Move the 100 Sunflower students who live east of Kasold to Centennial. Move the 51 Centennial students who live in the western half of Gaslight Village mobile home park to Broken Arrow.

"I'd say this scenario gives you three years," Fiegel told other committee members. "I think this gives you enough time, if there's a bond issue."

  • Move the 50 Quail Run students who live north of Sixth Street to Deerfield. Move the 53 Quail Run students who live southwest of Sixth and Wakarusa to Centennial. Move the four Quail Run students who live in an area south of 15th Street known as Fairway 11, to Hillcrest. Move the 33 Prairie Park students who live in rural areas to Broken Arrow.
  • Move the 50 Quail Run students who live north of Sixth Street to Deerfield. Move the 53 Quail Run students who live southwest of Sixth and Wakarusa to Centennial. Move the four Quail Run students who live in an area south of 15th Street known as Fairway 11, to Hillcrest. Move the 33 Prairie Park students who live in rural areas to Kennedy.

Before reviewing the scenarios, the committee heard from parents.

A Riverside School site council member said his school has room for additional students. At a previous meeting, a Broken Arrow site council representative said her school could handle more students as well.

Prairie Park's site council chair told the committee Wednesday that her school does not want its rural students moved because that would mean the loss of a teacher, but would not have much positive impact on class sizes. Lyne Tumlinson said the school's parents and staff support construction of additional classrooms at the school.

Teri Harris, a Quail Run parent who lives north of Sixth Street, asked that children in her neighborhood now at Quail Run be allowed to complete their elementary educations there, if they want, rather than moving to Deerfield.

And two Quail Run parents who live less than a mile from the school -- but west of Wakarusa -- said they purchased their homes specifically so they could attend Quail Run.

"Think about the kids," Steve Smith said. "Think about the investments that were made by all of the people here tonight. There are reasons we did it all."

-- Caroline Trowbridge's phone message number is 832-7148. Her e-mail address is caroline@ljworld.com.

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