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Archive for Wednesday, November 17, 1999

FORUMS TO ELICIT PUBLIC INPUT ON SCHOOL BOUNDARY CHANGES

November 17, 1999

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The Lawrence school district Thursday night will play host to the first of three informal public forums regarding proposed elementary school boundary changes.

The domino effect of opening Langston Hughes School and reducing crowding at Sunflower School could shift more than 200 students to new schools.

Seven elementary schools, including Quail Run, Broken Arrow, Deerfield, Hillcrest and Wakarusa Valley, also would be influenced by this round of proposed boundary amendments.

"So far, we haven't heard a lot of opposition," said Tom Bracciano, a member of the district's boundary committee.

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, the Lawrence school district will open doors to the cafeteria at Deerfield School, 101 Lawrence Ave., to gather public comment and answer questions about boundary adjustments.

Maps and information about recommended adjustments that impact 209 students will be available at the informal session.

Two other forums are scheduled:

  • 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sunflower School cafeteria.
  • 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Dec. 1, Quail Run School cafeteria.

Bracciano said the Lawrence school board would vote on the proposed changes after the forums. No decision has been made by the board as to whether fourth- and fifth-graders or just fifth-graders would be allowed to remain at existing schools.

The scheduled opening of the $6.7 million Langston Hughes School in August would involve the enrollment of 113 students currently at Quail Run and 14 now at Deerfield.

Cramped conditions at Sunflower led the boundary committee to reassign 78 students from the Parkmar and Meadow Place areas to Broken Arrow.

This adjustment was proposed by the boundary committee two years ago, but the school board rejected the move.

Sunflower has 517 students but a building capacity of 502. Crowding at Sunflower could be exacerbated by construction of as many as 160 residential homes across the street from the elementary school, Bracciano said.

Meanwhile, four Quail Run students who live south of 15th Street and Crossgate Drive would go to Hillcrest. That switch would make it possible to eliminate school bus service to Quail Run.

The boundary adjustment at Wakarusa Valley involves removal of land, but no students, from Sunflower. The triangle of property is between the South Lawrence Trafficway and Wakarusa River.

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

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