Davenport board considers redrawn school borders tonight

2012-12-10T00:31:00Z 2012-12-10T10:07:55Z Davenport board considers redrawn school borders tonightKurt Allemeier The Quad-City Times
December 10, 2012 12:31 am  • 

The Davenport School Board will consider tonight whether to approve for discussion new boundary maps that affect all but two elementary schools.

Last month, superintendent Art Tate told board members he would be bringing new boundary maps to the council for several reasons. Those include balancing school utilization, saving money by making transportation more efficient and promoting more predictable need for local-option sales tax to maintain infrastructure.

If approved, district staff will

organize a series of meetings in January and February to get input about possible changes.

“We look for an active conversation with the community,” said Scott Martin, the district’s director of operations, adding that six to eight meetings likely will be held.

School board president Ralph Johanson also favors taking a look at the boundaries.

“A periodic review of the boundaries is needed, and hopefully this will assist everyone in the district with student achievement.”

The only schools that don’t face boundary changes are Walcott and Monroe elementaries, Martin said.

Harrison and Adams schools have a number of students who come from outside the current boundaries, Martin said. Eisenhower’s student population is high and draws from a large area, while Washington’s student population would swell if students are kept within that school’s boundaries.

Washington already is at 100 percent utilization, Martin said. The district would like to have all its schools at about 85 percent of utilization.

“You do the best balancing act you can to use the school in the most efficient way and try to be sensitive to families,” Martin said.

Student transfers for disciplinary reasons will be severely limited, and transportation to child care would be limited to within school boundaries. Assignments to schools under new boundaries will be done in phases.

Students wouldn’t be forced to move immediately under a plan previously presented to the board. Next school year, students who fall outside new boundaries will be grandfathered in to their current school until they reach the highest grade at that school.

Student transfer requests to a school outside their home school boundary won’t be approved starting with the 2013-14 school year.

Students moving from intermediate to high school will be able to attend the high school of their choice through the 2013-14 school year. But starting in the 2014-15 school year, they will attend the school designated by the new boundaries.

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