Olentangy Superintendent Raiff announces redistricting decision, impacting 572 students


By Gary Budzak - gbudzak@civitasmedia.com



Redistricting in the Olentangy Local Schools will affect more than 570 students next school year.

Superintendent Mark Raiff on Wednesday announced his redistricting changes for the 2016-17 school year.

The redistricting will affect 572 students, or about 3 percent of the district’s enrollment.

Even if voters approve a levy for a fourth high school next spring that would require further redistricting, “I believe the moves we make now will be lasting,” Raiff said at a press conference.

The students needed to be moved due to overcrowding at Cheshire and Olentangy Meadows elementary schools and Shanahan Middle School.

According to maps and tables provided by the district, there are nine change areas. They are: students from Cheshire moving to Arrowhead Elementary; Olentangy Meadows moving to Freedom Trail and Oak Creek elementary schools; Indian Springs Elementary moving to Scioto Ridge Elementary; Liberty Tree Elementary moving to Scioto Ridge; Berkshire Middle School moving to Shanahan and Orange Middle School; Hyatts Middle School moving to Liberty Middle School; and Shanahan moving to Hyatts.

Some of the changes involve all of the students in a particular subdivision, or specific street blocks, as well as parcels for the future Verona Village in Powell, site of the 2016 Parade of Homes.

An “attendance boundary” committee has spent six months looking at redistricting. Nearly 400 residents attended a community forum in November, and more than 1,100 in-person or online surveys were completed. During the forum, four options were presented. Option A would have moved 752 students; Option B would have moved 820 students; Option C would have moved 652 students; and Option D would have moved 992 students.

“This decision impacts fewer students than any of the options brought forth throughout the process,” states an announcement on the district’s website. “The superintendent has made the decision to combine various aspects of multiple options.”

Raiff said the district, long the fastest-growing in the state, has had 20 years of experience in redistricting. He said the district last needed to redistrict five years ago with Heritage Elementary. The district will likely go through redistricting again in three years, regardless of the March levy.

“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,” the announcement said.

Raiff, in his fourth month as superintendent, said he decided to make the announcement ahead of the board of education meeting today. The superintendent makes the redistricting decision; the board does not take action on the redistricting.

For more information, visit http://www.olentangy.k12.oh.us/Page/1780.

By Gary Budzak

gbudzak@civitasmedia.com

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.