The Olentangy Local School District had its first of three community forums about the redistricting of attendance boundaries.
About 500 people had registered to attend the forum at Liberty High School, 3584 Home Road, in Powell Monday night, to ask questions from members of the district’s Attendance Boundaries Committee.
The committee has about 50 members each representing one of the district’s 23 school building and developed two scenarios over the course of five meetings. The committee will use the feedback from the forums to develop a final recommendation to Superintendent Mark Raiff, who will make a final decision in mid-March.
“I think it’s a problem that has a solution that will not make everyone happy,” he said at the forum.
Scenario A would impact 3,859 students and would not provide a high school an exclusive middle school as part of its feeder pattern including Berlin High School, which is expected to open for the 2018-2019 school year. Only some of the students from the Olentangy High School attendance boundary would move to Berlin.
The second scenario would impact 3,770 students and split Liberty Middle School between Liberty and Olentangy high schools.
But 100 percent of students would feed from Shanahan and Orange middle schools to Olentangy and Orange high schools, respectively. All Freedom Trail Elementary School students would feed into Orange Middle School, and students who live on Lazelle Road west of Interstate-71 would attend Orange Middle School.
On the other hand, Scenario B would move about 17 students from Liberty High School to Berlin High School. The number is expected to increase as Liberty Trace and Clarkshaw Moores neighborhoods continue to develop.
John Haney was among the parents who attended the meeting. He has two freshmen students at Liberty High School and one student at Liberty Middle School, none of whom would be impacted by either redistricting scenario.
But he said both scenarios would divide Powell and add more drive time for Berlin High School students, which provides a lack of community.
Haney’s wife, Stacey, is a committee member. He said one “crazy idea” that was shot down would be to have an all-freshman high school. He said there is a precedence for that format.
Parents are encouraged to fill out an online survey to provide feedback on the presented scenarios. The survey will be available until Feb. 16 and can be found at www.olentangy.k12.oh.us/Page/1968.
All three forums will present the same information. The next forum will take place at Olentangy High School, 675 Lewis Center Road, in Lewis Center 7 p.m. Monday. The last one is scheduled at Orange High School, 2840 E. Orange Road, in Lewis Center 7 p.m. Feb. 13.
Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.