District Holds Fourth Boundary Committee Meeting to Redefine Attendance Boundaries
Boundary Committee members reviewed and provided feedback for two draft boundary concepts on September 11. This was the committee’s fourth meeting in the comprehensive process that will determine elementary attendance center boundaries effective at the start of the 2019-20 school year and secondary attendance center boundaries effective no later than 2021-22.
Superintendent Cindi McDonald opened the meeting at the Waukee Innovation and Learning Center with a brief explanation of the district’s decision to continue with its current grade configuration.
“After an extensive review of enrollment projections, timelines, costs associated with the construction of additional facilities and feedback from teachers and administrators, we’ve decided to retain the current grade configuration (K-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-12),” McDonald said. “As a result, committee members will now be able to shift your focus to determining boundaries and feeder patterns.”
The meeting, facilitated by Robert Schwarz and Jay Harris of RSP & Associates, continued with a review of two draft boundary concepts. Attendance areas in the two draft concepts were adjusted utilizing the boundary criteria set by the board.
Both concepts allowed for a minimal amount of change to the current boundaries, created a boundary for Radiant Elementary that allows for future growth in the northern part of the district and retained the same elementary to middle school feeder system.
Draft concept one did not include the utilization of the Vince Meyer Learning Center, which would result in more Waukee Elementary students being moved to other attendance centers. Also in concept one, the Grant Ragan Elementary boundary was shifted to provide relief at Waukee Elementary and the Maple Grove Elementary boundary was shifted to provide relief at Woodland Hills Elementary.
Draft concept two had fewer changes than concept one. Concept two considered utilizing the Vince Meyer Learning Center for fifth grade currently assigned to Waukee Elementary and shifted the Walnut Hills Elementary boundary to accommodate the opening of Radiant Elementary.
Committee members worked in small groups to discuss the draft concepts. Using a transparent plastic overlay, each group made changes to the concepts before sharing their suggestions with the entire committee.
RSP then polled the committee on the following:
- 73.2% of committee members absolutely or mostly supported Vince Meyer Learning Center being utilized for fifth grade.
- 52.6% of committee members absolutely or mostly agreed Radiant Elementary School should open with at least 400 students.
- 50% of committee members absolutely or mostly supported the current elementary to middle school feeder system.
- 44.7% of committee members supported elementary school #10 opening in 2022-23.
- 75% of committee members supported concept two for the 2019-20 school year.
After a lengthy discussion committee members requested an additional meeting prior to the public forum to discuss secondary boundaries and further analyze demographic and facility capacity data.
It is important to remember no decisions about boundaries were made at this committee meeting. As requested, an additional meeting for the Boundary Committee has been scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 2. The committee will continue their discussion about secondary boundaries, before a draft option is presented at the Public Forum scheduled for Oct. 9. The Public Forum will be held at 6 p.m. at the Waukee Innovation and Learning Center located at 295 SE Ashworth Rd., Waukee, IA 50263. Stakeholders are invited to attend the forum to learn more about the process, provide feedback and view draft concepts.
The comprehensive boundary process will include three more committee meetings. The committee is scheduled to present a recommendation to the Waukee Community School District Board of Education on Nov. 26, 2018, with action to approve on Dec. 10, 2018. While these meetings are open to observers, only committee members may participate in the meetings.