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Archive for Saturday, December 11, 1999

SCHOOL BOUNDARY DECISION EXPECTED

December 11, 1999

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Changes in elementary school boundaries and the district's annual report card on student assessment dominate the school board's meeting agenda.

The Lawrence school board expects to vote Monday night on new boundaries for a handful of elementary schools.

Recommendations before the board would alter boundaries next fall at Quail Run, Sunflower, Broken Arrow, Deerfield, Hillcrest and Wakarusa Valley schools and set a perimeter for Langston Hughes School, which is scheduled to open in August.

The plan would move 113 students from Quail Run to Langston Hughes and 78 students from Sunflower to Broken Arrow.

Fourteen students would go from Deerfield to Langston Hughes, and four would transfer from Quail Run to Hillcrest. The boundary switch for Wakarusa Valley involves only land -- no students -- from Sunflower.

The most controversial element of the plan appears to be movement of students from overcrowded Sunflower to underused Broken Arrow.

"The proposed solution to Sunflower class sizes is shortsighted," said Paul Buskirk, who lives in the area that would be absorbed by Broken Arrow.

Buskirk's reasoning:

  • It violates the principle of neighborhood schooling. The targeted Parkway and Meadow Place neighborhoods are 2 miles from Sunflower, but 2.9 miles from Broken Arrow.
  • It creates another "island" of students on the district's map. The 78 students must leapfrog Schwegler School to reach Broken Arrow.

In November, the school board voted 6-1 on first reading of the plan. Three public forums on the proposed changes followed.

The school board's public meeting is 7 p.m. Monday at the Service Center, 3705 Clinton Parkway.

In other business, the school board:

  • Hears a presentation on districtwide and individual school report cards for 1998-99, which represent assessment test results on reading, writing and math.
  • Entertains a proposal from Stephanie Canchero of Transworld Systems to be designated as a collection agency for the school district. As much as $100,000 annually in student fees go unpaid. District staffers currently handle collections.
  • Consider the purchase of library equipment for Woodlawn School; buying a forklift, shelving and wall panels for the new Service Center at 110 McDonald Drive; and resurface Deerfield School's playground and parking lot.

-- Tim Carpenter's phone message number is 832-7155. His e-mail address is tcarpenter@ljworld.com.

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