Archive for Saturday, December 15, 2007

Panel delays decision on boundaries

Committee to work on running more scenarios

December 15, 2007


Boundary committee defers decision

Committee members say it's too much change too fast. A group studying Lawrence school boundaries defers making a change on lines between Central and West Junior High Schools. Enlarge video

It's too much change, too fast.

A committee studying Lawrence school boundaries has decided not yet to make a recommendation on shifting the lines between Central and West junior high schools.

"It's just a set of decisions that I take very seriously," said Mary Loveland, school board member. "I have not yet seen the light in terms of what has satisfied all of my guiding principles."

Committee members were looking at one option to move about 50 students - who live northeast of Peterson Road and Kasold Drive - to West from Central. West is closer, and those students are separated from their Deerfield School elementary classmates who attend West.

Under one scenario to replace the Peterson Road students, about 80 students in the Pinckney School neighborhood would have attended Central.

But administrators received numbers from a demographics firm that said such a shift would drastically bump up the number of Central students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches compared with the three other schools, said Committee Chairman Tom Bracciano, the district's division director for operations and facility planning.

"It was something that really, really would need more study by the committee and by the board of education," Bracciano said.

The issue is not dead, he said. The committee will continue to run scenarios as it meets through the year, but it is too soon to try to secure school board approval before junior high school enrollment starts in early 2008.

The district has granted some transfers for students in that area, Bracciano has said. Loveland said she wanted a junior high plan that could address diversity and ease transportation for families, particularly regarding after-school activities.

The boundary committee has recommended one change. It involves moving students who live in the Gaslight Village mobile home park, 1900 W. 31st St., into South Junior High School - 1 mile away - instead of sending them to Southwest Junior High School more than 3 miles away.

In January, the committee also will begin looking at elementary school boundaries. It would like to address crowding at Deerfield School.


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