Over the past six months a Superintendent's Committee, the Attendance Boundaries Committee, has examined K-8 grade attendance boundaries across the district with the goal of addressing immediate needs at Cheshire and Olentangy Meadows elementaries as well as Shanahan Middle School.
The attendance boundaries committee, co-chaired by community members Karen Clark and Mark Iannotta, held seven committee meetings from June through December and one community forum in November. Between 350 to 400 district residents attended the community forum. Whether or not they were in attendance at the forum, community members were able to complete an in-person or online survey to share their feedback on the four options presented at the forum. More than 1,100 surveys were completed and feedback was compiled.
Ultimately, four options were brought forward for the Superintendent’s consideration after the final attendance boundaries committee meeting.
After thorough review and consultation with the co-chairs and the district’s leadership team, the Superintendent has made the decision to combine various aspects of multiple options developed throughout the process to address the immediate needs at Cheshire Elementary, Olentangy Meadows Elementary, and Shanahan Middle School, all while keeping the Board's attendance boundary guidelines resolution and community feedback in mind.
There was not an easy fix for any of our enrollment challenges. This decision will move 572 K-8 students, impacting slightly less than 3 percent of our overall student population. This decision impacts fewer students than any of the options brought forth throughout the process. The goal is to optimize building utilization for the next two years in the district’s elementary and middle schools, while planning for a much more in-depth district-wide K-12 attendance boundary adjustment in three years, regardless of the outcome of the upcoming March levy.
The maps and charts that outline the decision, which will be effective beginning with the 2016-2017 academic year, are available at the above link. The maps illustrate which moves will be occurring, and the tables on the right-hand side of the page highlight the subdivisions and streets that will be moving.
Over the past several months the Superintendent has conducted 90 community engagement events and talked to hundreds of residents about many topics, including redistricting. It is never easy when it becomes necessary to move a student and this decision was not made lightly. However, children are resilient and the district is confident that every school in Olentangy Local Schools provides an excellent education. In a growing district such as Olentangy, adjusting attendance boundaries is inevitable from time to time.
All staff and administration in buildings impacted by the attendance boundaries shift will have a thorough transition plan in place for outgoing and incoming students. Olentangy has had significant experience throughout the past 20 years in moving students from one building to another. A smooth transition is ensured and will take place for each of our students.
In moving forward to accept and implement this decision, it is important to remember that when choosing to live here, you did not move into a specific school community, but a district-wide community. Olentangy is a great place to live and learn and without a doubt we will continue to facilitate maximum learning for every student.
Should you have questions regarding this decision after reviewing the materials, please contact Krista Davis, Director of Communications at Krista_Davis@olsd.us.