The Lawrence school board on Monday approved an attendance boundary change and accepted reports on its upcoming bond issue and changes to assessments after the No Child Left Behind waiver.
• Starting next school year, the unanimously approved boundary change will affect the Deerfield School neighborhoods north of Peterson Road and east of Kasold Drive, including the area east of Iowa Street and north of Interstate 70 extending to the Kansas River.
Instead of feeding into Liberty Memorial Central Middle School with several students applying for transfers to West Middle School, students from that area will now automatically go to West. Students at Liberty Memorial who would like to stay will be able to with a transfer waiver, though it’s unlikely that transportation will be provided. Kyle Hayden, assistant superintendent for operations and business, said that a specific route for those students would have to be assessed closer to the beginning of the next school year. It would likely cost the district more than $30,000, he said.
• District administration and school board members hope to have a bond election in April. At the meeting Monday, Superintendent Rick Doll said that the planning process for it was “moving quickly” and that committees would begin addressing the public with more specifics next month. Gould-Evans architects have spoken with staff members of all elementary schools and several other schools to “assess need,” he said. Engineers are looking at infrastructure efficiencies in six East Lawrence schools and Langston Hughes School as a comparison, with a goal of the bond issue being elementary school improvements.
• With Kansas schools no longer tied to the 2001 federal education law, the Lawrence district will continue to give Kansas state assessments, written in 2006, through next school year. The district will then transition to Common Core-based tests, now being developed by a multistate group, said Terry McEwen, who is in charge of assessments for the district. Instead of “adequate yearly progress,” buildings and districts will have to achieve “annual measurable objectives,” which include moving the bottom 30 percent of scores into the next highest category of achievement.
• The board approved spending $57,642 on Spanish textbooks and $1,782,000 for the annual curriculum for Lawrence Virtual School. Members also approved their yearly goals for the district.