As the Olentangy Local School District (OLSD) continues to experience considerable yearly growth, and new buildings are constructed to accommodate the growth, redistricting has become a reoccurring necessity for its staff and students.
During Thursday’s Olentangy Local Schools Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Mark Raiff provided updated attendance boundaries for the upcoming 2021-22 school year.
“As superintendent, two critical responsibilities I have are to assign staff and students,” Raiff said in a prerecorded video detailing the redistricting. “Assigning students involves examining our current attendance boundaries and following the board of education’s redistricting guidelines.”
Over the past five months, a committee of 14 community members met twice each month to analyze redistricting and “take a deep dive” into the attendance boundaries, buildings, feeder patterns, and projected enrollment while hosting three forums to seek out community feedback, Raiff said.
“I cannot thank this committee of volunteers enough for taking the time during this difficult year to give their attention to this important task,” he said.
The addition of OLSD’s newest elementary school, Shale Meadows, presented further need for the district’s boundaries to be reassessed. Scott Leopold, of Cooperative Strategies, which partnered with the district on the redistricting, announced during the meeting that Shale Meadows’ student population will be made up of students who previously attended either Cheshire or Arrowhead elementary schools.
With the changes, Cheshire will now become a 100% feeder to Berkshire Middle School, while also reducing Arrowhead Elementary from being split between three middle schools to just two middle schools.
Arrowhead, now with additional capacity, will also receive some students who previously attended Heritage Elementary School. Johnnycake Corners Elementary will get needed relief by sending some of its students to Cheshire.
Two additional schools — Olentangy Meadows and Glen Oak Elementary Schools — will also send some students to Alum Creek Elementary School, freeing up some much-needed space in those schools.
“This creates a good balance that will allow the boundaries to absorb additional growth over the next few years,” Leopold said of the redistricting plan.
In total, 760 elementary students will be affected by the redistricting, with 542 of them heading to Shale Meadows, Raiff said. Leopold added that Shale Meadows will begin next year at 83% capacity to allow for future growth in the Berlin Meadows subdivision.
No changes have been made to the middle or high school boundaries. However, Raiff said that with the district’s next middle school opening soon, there will be even more extensive redistricting to come. He went on to say the current plan will help the district in deciding where the next elementary school — the 17th in the district — will be built.
To view the redistricting video, as well as an updated district map, visit OLSD’s website at www.olentangy.k12.oh.us/about/redistricting-options.