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Southern Elementary School Attendance Boundaries

As the School Board continues to ensure balanced enrollment across the district, and allow for future growth, a Steering Committee and Task Force have been meeting to develop proposed changes to boundaries on the south end of the district. By the end of February, 2017, a decision will be made and shared with those impacted. The changes will be implemented in the fall of 2018 when it is expected that the new Oltman Middle School opens and Nuevas Fronteras Spanish Immersion moves to the existing Oltman Middle School.

The board approved the Guiding Change document at its regular meeting on Oct. 13. Detailed is the “current reality” that is prompting change. Issues in this column include:

  • Crestview Elementary and Nuevas Fronteras Elementary sharing a facility causing capacity and scheduling issues at that school.
  • Nuevas Fronteras is slated to move to existing Oltman as identified in the Long Range Facility Plan and 2015 bond referendum.
  • New residential development along Hadley Ave between 90th and 95th street may create capacity concerns at Pine Hill Elementary in future years.
  • New residential housing starts in Cottage Grove for 2017-18 and future years are estimated to be 35-50% of projections provided in 2013-14
  • Capacity is stable or decreasing due to aging in place with the exception of the areas where residential growth is occurring.
  • The number of Pre-K and early childhood students is increasing.

The board set the following as “unacceptable outcomes” of the options being developed. The two ‘unacceptables’ are:

  • Creating a boundary plan that doesn’t allow sufficient classroom space for PreK students to attend their elementary attendance boundary school.
  • Implementing a boundary plan that requires a change in elementary start times.

The overall expectation of redrawn boundaries will lead to new boundaries to begin in the fall of 2018 that lead to:

  • Eliminates the sharing of a school between Crestview Elementary and Nuevas Fronteras;
  • Results in a re-balancing of enrollment across the south elementary schools and more efficient use of facilities and staff;
  • Maintains contiguous geographic boundaries;
  • Provides for a safe and efficient transportation system;
  • Allocates space for growth from only known areas of future development;
  • Provide boundaries that will last for 6-10 years; and
  • Moves the least number of students necessary to create lasting boundaries.

South Elementary Attendance Boundary Steering Committee

The Steering Committee, comprised of school and district administration, met five times from Sept. 15 through Nov. 22. The purpose of the Steering Committee is to develop a minimum of two recommended attendance boundary options for the southern district elementary schools based on the School Board approved guiding change document.

The group moved from four options to three prior to presenting them to the Task Force. Following the first meeting of the Task Force, two options were revised and reviewed. Following the second Task Force meeting, two options were agreed upon and are being presented to the School Board for consideration on Dec. 1.

Dec. 1 School Board Report (including Option B and Option C)

South Elementary Attendance Boundary Task Force

Following the development of options, the South Elementary Attendance Boundary Task Force, comprised of parent representatives from each school and all members of the Steering Committee, met on two separate occasions.

Minutes for the Nov. 3 Meeting

Minutes for the Nov. 15 Meeting

Community Conversations conclude - thank you to those who attended. 

Two community meetings were held on Jan. 10 and 12. A powerpoint from the session is now available. Feedback gathered will be posted in the near future.

A final opportunity for public input to the School Board will be during the regular School Board Meeting on Thursday, Jan. 19. The Board meets at the District Service Center in Cottage Grove, 7362 E. Pt. Douglas Road S.

With a recommendation being presented to the Board at their meeting on Thursday, Feb. 2, a decision on the South Elementary Attendance Boundaries is anticipated at the Feb. 16 School Board Meeting.

Questions about the South Elementary Attendance Boundaries should be addressed to Assistant Superintendent Mike Johnson at mjohnson8@sowashco.org