USD 308 boundary change questions and maps

Hutchinson Board of Education (KSN File Photo)

The Hutchinson school district is planning to redraw boundaries for its elementary schools.   Here is more information from USD 308.

RELATED LINK THAT INCLUDES MAPS | Handout for Boundary Committee Meeting 9-8-15.pdf

Question: What is the district’s current policy regarding requests to attend a specific school which is not where the USD 308 student lives?

Answer: Available space in the building is always a consideration, when we run out of room, then transfer requests must be denied.

Question: What about a non-district student seeking to attend a USD 308 school – do they get their pick?

Answer: They can request any school. If there is not room, they are denied. New out-of-district requests are considered after in-district transfer requests.

Question: Are there exceptions made for children of teachers and staff (so they can attend the school where their parent works)?

Answer: Yes, we consider this an important retention and recruitment tool. However, if there is not room, the request must be denied. These are our current processes. These could change as we move forward with new boundaries and tighten our boundary enforcement.

Question: Is the above policy on your website? Where?

Answer: The transfer forms are online. We don’t have the transfer process itself online, but we provide an explanation if parents ask. The administrative regulations which cover out-of-district enrollment and transfers is JBC, which is posted on-line. District Mission: Students graduate with the knowledge, skills and behaviors to be college and career ready.

Question: Has the policy been changed in recent years? When? Why? Were rules tightened, for example, to prevent crowding at any one school?

Answer: Two years ago (2013-14), the guidelines for approving transfers were clarified among administration and shared with the Board. The purpose of this was to ensure equitable treatment of students in the transfer process if and when schools were full and transfers had to be denied.

Question: How did some schools get so out of kilter between attendance numbers and the number of children in their area?

Answer: Population is changing and trying to honor transfer requests up to a certain class size, etc.

Question: What special programs (i.e. at-risk, English as a Second Language) are at certain schools and thus influence attendance at the school?

Answer: Ave A has our most concentrated ESL support available. Non-English speakers attend there. Several other schools have a specialized Special Education self-contained program, but those do not significantly impact class size in the regular education classrooms. Examples of these programs are CSS, autism, behavior modification. Every school has a selfcontained program except Lincoln.

Question: Was the last major boundary change five years ago? Is that a normal length of time for a change?

Answer: The last major boundary change was in 2010. The district made a minor change last year, shifting a few city blocks from Faris to Lincoln. Prior to 2010, the last major boundary change, that occurred when Roosevelt was closed at the end of the 2001-02 school year. Prior to that, it would have been the Winans closure after the 1999-2000 school year. The district did not hire any professional assistance either time to make the changes in 2000 or 2002. We had staff who used dot pins on a district map to determine where students lived and then used yarn to redraw any boundaries. That gave us a snapshot of the district at the time but did not account for demographic trends in the community.

Question: If a family currently has a child attending Morgan, for example, but the family lives in a different territory or would be shifted to a new territory by redrawn boundaries, would the child be “grandfathered in” at Morgan? What if the child was only in first grade now? What if that family has a couple children in Morgan and a younger child not yet in school – would the older children be grandfathered in, but the family would have to send the younger child to a different school?

Answer: Due to the removal of an entire section from McCandless, it is unlikely that grandfathering on a wide scale will be possible. This necessary cost-saving measure will push approximately 150 students out of the current McCandless area. The domino effect will be shifting of other attendance areas to make room for those students. One of the priorities is to minimize student movement in the midst of their elementary career, but some will be unavoidable. The last time the district redrew boundaries, the number of classrooms was not shrinking. This time there will be fewer classrooms and that fact will prohibit the widespread grandfathering that was possible in the past. This is one of the reasons we have started this USD 308 does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. process so early. It is our intent to give families the maximum time possible to plan for their move to a new school. Boundaries should be announced before Christmas.

Question: What is the policy for attending the Magnet School at Allen? Are students living in that neighborhood given preference?

Answer: Hutchinson Magnet School at Allen serves the entire district. To attend, families fill out an application to attend Allen. There is an interview process based on the philosophy of STEM education. There is no neighborhood preference.

Question: What is the expected capacity for McCandless in 2016-17?

Answer: We estimate the capacity for McCandless in 2016-17 will be about 320. That’s arrived at 14 classrooms (two per each grade level K-6) and the district average of 22 students per classroom, and then one special education classroom.

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