The 2016-2017 school year marks the thirty-sixth (36th) year that citizens are involved in the Attendance Boundary Committee (ABC) process. This committee was established by the School Board (see School Board Policy 5120 – Student School Assignment and Attendance Boundary Committee) and the Superintendent after numerous citizens expressed concerns about the lack of community involvement in attendance boundary recommendations. Subsequently, each year community members from various civic and educational advocacy organizations have diligently served on this committee to review recommendations for changes to school boundaries.
The challenge is to comply with the state mandate of Class Size Reduction while providing specific direction to communities as attendance boundaries are changed. In order to be compliant with constitutional requirements related to Class Size Reduction and to ensure that relief is provided to the intended schools, boundary procedures allow the Superintendent of Schools, with the assistance of School Operations, Region offices and the Office of School Facilities, to develop proposed boundary recommendations. The proposed recommendations will be presented at region meetings to the affected school communities. The boundary recommendations will then be reviewed by the 17 Attendance Boundary Committee members.
The development of attendance zone recommendations with community involvement continues to be a primary goal of this School Board, the Superintendent of Schools, and the Attendance Boundary Committee. Attendance boundary changes are determined after a number of factors are considered. The factors are: compliance with Class Size Reduction Mandate, impact on Special Education programs, use of available student stations within contiguous areas, degree and extent of transportation, programmatic impact due to lack of student housing, reduction of the number of schools students must attend, integrity of feeder systems, assignment of students from new residential developments to specific schools prior to completion of developments, construction of new schools, promotion and maintenance of diverse school enrollments, and reduction or elimination of racial isolation to the extent practical.
Attendance zone recommendations are long-range solutions designed to stabilize affected schools and bring schools within the mandates of Class Size Reduction. Determining attendance boundaries through the ABC is a yearlong process with all meetings open to the public.
It is suggested that community members who are interested in a future boundary change discuss their recommendations with their Region Superintendent prior to the fall ABC meetings. The Region Superintendent can provide information on school demographics, boundary information and other details about the school.
Should you have any additional questions, please contact Mr. Steffond L. Cone, Assistant Superintendent, School Operations, at 305-995-7415.