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Archive for Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Committee asked to examine city’s school boundaries

September 25, 2007

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Lawrence school board members have directed a committee to analyze the district's school boundaries.

But during Monday night's regular meeting, what exactly the committee will look closely at was not clear. The board did charge the committee to form and send back a preliminary report by Nov. 12.

"I think it's important for us to understand going in what some of the issues are that we want the boundary committee to look at," board member John Mitchell said.

Superintendent Randy Weseman recommended an initial report that outlined attendance issues at all schools and determined if boundaries at the elementary, junior high or high school level needed to be revised.

"In some sense, it's routine, it's healthy if you review these attendance areas every couple years, to see if there's some emerging area of concern," Weseman said.

He did say that for the first time since Free State High School opened in 1997, the 15th Street/Bob Billings Parkway line will be looked at to determine if the socio-economic populations are still equitable at each high school. That boundary splits the high school student populations into north and south.

The committee will include four district administrators, two board members and Sheila Stogsdill, the Lawrence assistant director of planning. Each junior high school site council will also appoint one representative, and two at-large representatives will have seats.

Tom Bracciano, the district's division director of facility planning, said anyone interested in serving as an at-large committee member could contact the school district to apply.

Board members Mary Loveland and Scott Morgan will represent the board on the committee.

"I really am very serious about us needing to look at if there are any unique safety problems or hazards as a result of any of our current boundaries," Loveland said.

In other action, board members also voted unanimously to give Weseman a 3 percent raise to boost his base salary from $146,760 to $151,164. He just started the second year of his current three-year contract.

In the last month, board members already had approved adding funding equal to a 3.28 percent increase from last year to be spent on salaries of teachers, classified staff and all other administrators.

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