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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 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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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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