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Boundary Committee Meets October 21

The West Des Moines Community Schools Boundary Committee will continue its study of the district’s enrollment and boundaries at 6:30 p.m. on October 7 in the Community Room at the Learning Resource Center. This meeting is open to observers.

 

Boundary Committee Meeting – October 21, 2014 Agenda

Boundary Committee Meeting Dates

Data & Reports Being Reviewed By Committee

 

Topics: Boundary Study

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Boundary Committee Begins Map Development

boundary_icon_colorThe district’s boundary study committee held its second meeting on Oct. 6, creating map sketches for the demographers to review as an initial step toward developing boundary options. The committee of 50 was divided into eight small groups with each group submitting a cursory suggestion.

The demographer will determine if the suggested sketches are a viable options for further study based on building capacity, population density of the proposed area and more.

Goals set by the school board for the committee to consider during their work were:

  1. Neighborhoods Intact: Where possible, boundaries should be structured to maintain a neighborhood within one school’s attendance area. Neighborhoods should not be split between two schools. A neighborhood is defined as the smallest division of a residential planning area that can be subdivided by a natural line of demarcation, such as a stream or major traffic way. There should be logical limits to define a neighborhood.
  2. Contiguous Attendance Areas: When it is possible, attendance areas should share a common border or have borders that are touching. Compact grouping of residential subdivisions — or planning areas — should be maintained.
  3. Duration of Boundaries: Attendance areas should remain the same for as long as possible. This factor addresses the ability of an attendance area to accommodate the anticipated enrollments for a projected period of time. Where possible, attendance areas should be stabilized to limit the number of boundary changes experienced by students. In established areas with little or no demographic change projected, boundaries should be planned to last for a period of time.
  4. Projected Enrollment/Building Utilization: Attendance boundaries should have balanced, logical enrollment that works within the confines of the assigned school capacity. This factor considers building utilization, student enrollment, staffing needs and the educational program(s). Where possible, attendance boundaries should be created to anticipate the projected enrollment and the program/current capacity of the building. Efficient building utilization should attempt to maximize student population without exceeding capacity long-term.
  5. Impact: The retention and recruitment of district students should be considered when developing attendance boundaries.

Each group also reported on the pros and cons of their sketch, with many groups noting their sketch addressed the current overcrowded buildings, while also balancing attendance at the district’s two junior high schools. Many of the groups also reported that by following the criteria their sketches would affect most of the schools in the district.

WHAT’S NEXT
At its October 21 and November 6 meetings, the committee will review the report from the demographer based on their proposed sketches and determine one to two viable boundary scenarios to present to the public.

These presentations will occur at public forums where the community can give their feedback:

    • Saturday, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m. in the Community Room at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway
    • Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Forum at Valley Southwoods, 625 South 35th Street
    • Thursday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway

Topics: Boundary Study

Boundary Committee Meets October 7

The West Des Moines Community Schools Boundary Committee will continue its study of the district’s enrollment and boundaries at 6:30 p.m. on October 7 in the Media Center at Valley Southwoods Ninth Grade High School. This meeting is open to observers.

Boundary Committee Meeting Agenda – October 7, 2014

Boundary Committee Meeting Dates

The committee will further review data on the district’s enrollment and begin to work in small groups to provide feedback for possible boundary options.

The committee held its first meeting on September 30, 2014. During this meeting, members reviewed the purpose of the committee, the criteria set by the School Board, the district’s current boundaries, and the reasons why the district is reviewing these boundaries. These reasons include:

  • The cities we serve – West Des Moines and parts of Clive, Urbandale and Windsor Heights – have
    continued to age and populations have changed.
  • Some of our schools have seen growing student enrollment, causing more students to be placed at
    buildings other than their neighborhood school in order to keep class sizes at 26-28
    students.
  • Phenix Early Childhood Center was closed, which necessitates boundary adjustments to
    accommodate all resident Phenix students to be able to attend Hillside.

The committee also agreed to the following process for the committee:

  • Provide information (district representatives)
  • Utilize small groups (share out to larger group)
  • Develop and evaluate scenarios (start with a clean slate and discuss pros and cons)
  • Develop recommendation
  • Receive community feedback
  • Revise as needed
  • Seek Board approval

For the full meeting minutes, please see the link below.

Boundary Committee Meeting Minutes – Sept. 30, 2014

 

Topics: Boundary Study

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Working Committee on Boundary Study to Meet

The West Des Moines Community Schools Boundary Committee will begin studying the district’s enrollment and boundaries on September 30.

Boundary Committee Meeting Dates

The committee will review data and develop possible options to changes in current district attendance areas for its elementary and junior high schools. These meetings are open to observers.

The committee is made up of parent representatives from each elementary and junior high school. Teachers, administrators, and city representatives are also on the committee. Parents may contact committee members with questions or to provide input.

Boundary Committee Members

In addition, the district will several public forums later this fall to gather feedback and input on possible options. The dates for these forums will announced as soon as they are scheduled. An online feedback tool will also be provided.

Topics: Boundary Study

School Board Sets 5 Boundary Criteria

On September 22, the West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education set criteria for determining School Boardpossible changes to school attendance boundaries in the district.

The criteria will be used by a committee made up of parents, teachers, administrators and community members charged with studying enrollment projections and recommending boundary adjustments for the district’s eight elementary and two junior high schools.

The criteria selected are:

  1. Neighborhoods Intact: Where possible, boundaries should be structured to maintain a neighborhood within one school’s attendance area. Neighborhoods should not be split between two schools. A neighborhood is defined as the smallest division of a residential planning area that can be subdivided by a natural line of demarcation, such as a stream or major traffic way. There should be logical limits to define a neighborhood.
  2. Contiguous Attendance Areas: When it is possible, attendance areas should share a common border or have borders that are touching. Compact grouping of residential subdivisions — or planning areas — should be maintained.
  3. Duration of Boundaries: Attendance areas should remain the same for as long as possible. This factor addresses the ability of an attendance area to accommodate the anticipated enrollments for a projected period of time. Where possible, attendance areas should be stabilized to limit the number of boundary changes experienced by students. In established areas with little or no demographic change projected, boundaries should be planned to last for a period of time.
  4. Projected Enrollment/Building Utilization: Attendance boundaries should have balanced, logical enrollment that works within the confines of the assigned school capacity. This factor considers building utilization, student enrollment, staffing needs and the educational program(s). Where possible, attendance boundaries should be created to anticipate the projected enrollment and the program/current capacity of the building. Efficient building utilization should attempt to maximize student population without exceeding capacity long-term.
  5. Impact: The retention and recruitment of district students should be considered when developing attendance boundaries.

 

The district is reviewing attendance boundaries because:

    • The cities it serves — West Des Moines and parts of Clive, Urbandale and Winsdor Heights — have continued to age and populations have changed.
    • Some schools have seen growing student enrollment, causing more students to be placed at buildings other than their neighborhood school in order to keep class sizes at 26-28 students.
    • Phenix Early Childhood Center was closed, which necessitates boundary adjustments to accommodate all resident Phenix students to be able to attend Hillside.

The boundary committee will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 30.

 

Topics: Boundary Study

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Board to Consider Boundary Criteria Sept. 22

The West Des Moines Community Schools Board of Education will hold a workshop and its annual and organizational meetings on Monday, Sept. 22 at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines. The workshop begins at 5:15 p.m., the annual meeting begins at 7:00 p.m., and the organizational meeting immediately follows. These meetings are open to the public.

At the workshop, the Board will consider criteria to be used by the district’s boundary study committee as it reviews the current attendance boundaries of each of the district’s elementary and junior high schools. The last boundary/enrollment study was completed by the district in 2007.

Links to the agendas, full board packet, materials and information on the School Board follow.

Workshop, Annual & Organizational Agendas

Board Packet & Materials

Board Information

Topics: Boundary Study

Boundary Review

This year, the West Des Moines Community Schools will study trends in student enrollment and review the location of school boundaries.

In July, the Board of Education approved a contract with RSP & Associates, a firm that specializes in enrollment analysis and forecasting. RSP is currently compiling data and completing an enrollment report.

The district will use this information in its review of the attendance boundaries of each elementary and junior high school. We are doing this work because some of our schools have growing student enrollment, causing more students to be placed at buildings other than their neighborhood school in order to keep class sizes at 26 to 28 students. In addition, boundary adjustments are needed due to the recent closure of Phenix Early Childhood Center.

The boundary study will take place this fall and involve parents, teachers and administrators from each elementary and junior high school.

To stay informed about the boundary study, watch for information and updates:

  • in your email inbox,
  • in the district’s newsletter the Informaline,
  • at parent meetings,
  • on the district’s website,
  • on the district’s Facebook page and
  • on Twitter.

For questions, please contact the School/Community Relations Office at 633-5023.

Current District Boundary Map

Topics: Boundary Study