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Archive for Sunday, April 11, 2010

Board to decide on planned boundary change

April 11, 2010

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A proposed boundary change for next school year between New York and Kennedy schools will affect about 65 students, Lawrence school district administrators said last week.

Elementary schools could change boundaries

Students attending Kennedy and New York elementary schools may change which school they go to. Enlarge video

“We have students that are currently going to Kennedy School that based on this boundary change would have to change schools,” said Frank Harwood, the district’s chief operations officer. “I certainly believe that they will get a quality education and have a good experience at New York, but the point is, that’s where they’re used to going and there are a lot of emotions that go with that. We’re going to do what we can to support the community.”

As part of $4.6 million in budget cuts for next year, board members voted to close East Heights Early Childhood Family Center and move its programs into Kennedy.

To make room at Kennedy, 1605 Davis Road, administrators have proposed moving more students to New York School, 936 N.Y.

The change affects current Kennedy families who live north of 19th Street from Bullene Avenue east to Maple Lane, and families north of East Glenn Drive and west of Harper Street. School board members will consider giving initial approval to the change Monday.

Harwood said the shift would mean New York is projected to have 210 students next year, up from the current 135 students. Kennedy would go from its 336 kindergarten through sixth-grade students this year down to 230 with the boundary change and the current class of sixth-graders leaving for seventh grade, Harwood said. But it would pick up the early childhood students. East Heights serves 130 half-day and full-day students this year.

All students in the area affected live fewer than two miles from New York, Harwood said. Board members will also have to consider what to do with 22 students who currently transfer into Kennedy. That’s a question of fairness, he said, because of the 65 students who will be sent to New York with the boundary change.

A parent meeting to discuss the proposed changes will be at 6:30 p.m. April 19 at the Kennedy School library.

• Another boundary change that board members will consider Monday affects about 25 students in the English as a second language program who attend Cordley School, 1837 Vt., but instead would move to Hillcrest School, 1045 Hilltop Drive.

Four years ago, the district split along 15th Street its ESL cluster sites between Hillcrest and Cordley, and administrators expected to need a boundary change in about five years.

Now Cordley’s enrollment is nearing capacity, so administrators propose all ESL students who live in New York, Sunset Hill and Quail Run districts attend Hillcrest.

The district has a transition plan to work with families, including using interpreters.

• At Monday’s meeting, board members will hear a report from Chief Academic Officer Kim Bodensteiner about feedback from two recent forums as the district considers whether to move ninth-graders into high schools for the 2011-2012 school year.

The regular meeting starts at 7 p.m. Monday at district headquarters, 110 McDonald Drive. Board members have an executive session at 6 p.m. to discuss a nonelected personnel matter.

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