ANDOVER, Kansas – About 100 parents chimed in at a public forum on proposed school boundary changes at USD 385 Tuesday night.
The biggest proposed changes involve neighborhoods in east Wichita that are in the Andover school district between 127th East and Zelta Road. Students there currently attend Wheatland Elementary, but the proposals could see some or all of those children in that area moved to other schools.
“When you look at it on the surface, it doesn’t look like a drastic change, but when you’re looking at it could be your neighborhood or your child that goes to a different school, I think it’s a drastic change for anyone,” USD 385 superintendent Greg Rasmussen said. “So yes, I think it is a big decision, and it’s an important one.”
The district’s boundary committee presented three options to the public, with the goals of keeping neighborhoods together and balancing diversity, among others. Those options are as follows:
- A new boundary line would be drawn along K-96 with everything south of K-96 assigned to Meadowlark, with another new boundary line along Central so the small area south of Central currently assigned to Cottonwood would be reassigned to Meadowlark. This would include a secondary boundary change.
- Whitetail would be reassigned to Martin and Preston Trails, Crest Lake, and Jackson Heights reassigned to Cottonwood. A portion of Sunflower’s Green Valley area would be reassigned to Meadowlark. This would not include any secondary boundary changes.
- Wheatland’s Whitetail, Preston Trails, Crest Lake, and Jackson Heights neighborhoods would be reassigned to Meadowlark. This would include a secondary boundary change.
Some plans would require changes to the middle and high school boundaries as well, but current students could be grandfathered into their current secondary school choice.
Many parents are hoping any changes will avoid making some schools and classrooms more crowded than others.
“It’s so important because it’s going to affect the class sizes, it’s going to affect how many students are in each school, and that’s going to adversely affect class sizes,” Lesa Albin, a parent with students in the district, said.
For more information, click here to see the scenarios on USD 385’s website.
The boundary committee will evaluate the feedback from Tuesday’s meeting at could present a recommendation to the Andover school board in the coming weeks. At that time, the board could select a proposal, make no change, or re-evaluate the situation at a later date.