Olentangy Local Schools will have a community forum this evening on possible changes to the school district’s attendance boundaries.
The forum will begin at 7 p.m. today at Olentangy Liberty High School. Residents will be able to weigh in on potential redistricting options for the Olentangy district.
The forum follows last week’s action by the Olentangy school board to place a tax issue on the March ballot that would finance construction of a fourth high school for the district.
“Attending and participating in the forum is the community’s opportunity to provide its input during this process,” said district officials on the district’s website.
A couple of parents expressed concern about their children having to switch from their preferred schools because of redistricting during the public comment portion of the Nov. 11 school board meeting. Some board members and Superintendent Mark Raiff said that their own children had to go to several different buildings during their school years because of redistricting. They told the parents that whichever school building the children attended, it would not affect the quality of their education.
The district’s attendance boundaries committee was formed this year, and it is comprised of community members representing all the school buildings in the district. Since June, it has met to look at the existing building boundaries in the 95 square-mile district, enrollment trends and future forecasts. The committee will present several options at the forum, and the community will be surveyed on each option.
“The goal of each option is to impact the fewest students possible for the 2016-17 school year while addressing the immediate building utilization needs at Olentangy Meadows Elementary, Cheshire Elementary and Shanahan Middle schools,” the district said on its website. “All options that will be presented to the community will impact (fewer) than 1,000 students and align with the Board of Education attendance boundary guidelines resolution.”
That resolution” states that “as often as possible, students are assigned to buildings based on the following principles: For all building levels, each building should be optimally utilized.” It was adopted by the board on Sept. 29.
On Dec. 1, the committee will meet to review the feedback it has received, and will determine which options it will present to the superintendent. Those options may vary based on the feedback received from the community.
“It is the superintendent’s responsibility to determine any attendance boundary changes,” the district said. Raiff will share his decision at the Dec. 10 Board of Education meeting.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.