The school boundary map was discussed at length during Monday, October 14th’s District 205 Board meeting. The parameters set forth for the board were: exploring 4, 8 and 12 block walking distances to each elementary school, attempt to create equitable and diverse populations at each, be aware of bus route amounts and time spent on buses. The board also wanted a maximum population to be 450 students at Silas Willard, 600 at Steele, and 600 at King. “One of the questions the board wanted (to be) answered was for instance at Steele, how many Steele students that are attending Steele this year, under this scenario, would then be going to Silas next year?” Assistant Superintendent of Finance Jennifer Hamm. “(Also) how many students that are at Silas this year would be going to Steele next year? For Steele that would be 63 students, for Silas that would be 89, and there were none in the King scenario because pretty much (King) is picking up Nielson (students).” The rest of the results found that there would be overlapping boundaries in each scenario and equity and diversity could not be achieved. The district has a building that falls below 70% receiving free and reduced lunches – the district cannot offer free and reduced to the whole school, which all three elementary schools currently do. Free and reduced lunches were concentrated in two schools and one fell to 50% with the updated boundaries. Hamm also said the 4-block option was the most feasible. The board did not officially approve the boarders going forward but will explore transportation routes next.
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Discussion will continue Tuesday night into the boundary changes at the District 205 Board of Education meeting.