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School Board considers change to elementary school boundaries

The area pictured is surrounding North Frontage Road. The highlighted area would be added to McAuliffe Elementary School. Map courtesy of District 2001 / 2
The area south of the Vermillion River is pictured. The highlighted area would be added to Kennedy Elementary School. Map courtesy of District 2002 / 2

Elementary students in District 200 may find themselves attending a different school next school year. Superintendent Tim Collins announced at the March School Board meeting that the district is considering a change to the boundary lines.

"I definitely, as superintendent, along with the three elementary principals, will be proposing to you as a board to change the elementary lines," Collins said to the board at the March meeting.

A public forum regarding the change will be held Tuesday, April 10 at 6:30 in the Pinecrest Elementary School gymnasium. Collins said he will present some information and past history relating to the potential change in boundaries. After the presentation, they will break into small groups so that every parent will have a chance to have their voice heard.

The reason for the consideration of boundary line changes comes down to numbers. Collins said Pinecrest Elementary has nearly 200 more students enrolled than Kennedy Elementary. As far as programming and the utilization of space, the student to teacher ratio needs to be balanced.

Collins said he knew it would be a year that the board would have to seriously consider the boundary lines after the enrollment numbers became finalized this past fall. Pinecrest Elementary School had higher numbers whereas the district was hoping to see higher numbers at Kennedy Elementary. At that time, the district was working to get the bond and levy approved by voters, which Collins said was critical. Once it had been approved, the district began analyzing options with the transportation company. The second round of analysis results were given to the district in February and it was shared with the school board during a special meeting March 7.

Collins said districts and school boards typically don't want to change boundary lines because it does impact the youth in the community, but it has come to a point in District 200 where there is an imbalance of students attending particular areas.

"It's just being responsible and looking at our demographic changes," he said.

The issue will be brought forward to the school board at their April 25 meeting.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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