Tough homework ahead: Deciding student boundariesThe process of figuring out attendance boundaries for the six elementary schools in Alexandria School District 206 has been a long one. Started back in February of 2007, the process is moving forward and may be finalized in January of 2009.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
The process of figuring out attendance boundaries for the six elementary schools in Alexandria School District 206 has been a long one.
Started back in February of 2007, the process is moving forward and may be finalized in January of 2009.
At this month’s regular school board meeting, Judy Backhaus, District 206 human resource director, shared an updated timeline with the board and school administrators.
Backhaus explained that the district will host public meetings as well as meetings at each school site for teachers and staff members starting December 2 and running through December 11.
The district also plans to post elementary attendance boundary information on the district’s Web site, including frequently asked questions and a map, on December 1.
The Elementary Attendance Boundary Study Group will share its preliminary findings with the school board at its regular meeting on November 17, at which time the group will discuss areas of opportunities, areas of challenges and timeline and activities.
In addition, the district plans to send out letters at the end of November to parents of elementary students summarizing the recommendations and identifying the elementary schools for the 2009-1010 school year.
A tentative schedule of public meetings was proposed to the school board and, at this time, is as follows:
• Thursday, December 4 – 5:30 p.m. at Carlos Elementary School and 7 p.m. at Miltona Elementary School.
• Tuesday, December 9 – 5:30 p.m. at Garfield Elementary School and 7 p.m. at Lincoln Elementary School.
• Thursday, December 11 – 5:30 p.m. at Washington Elementary School and 7 p.m. at Voyager Elementary School.
Following the meetings, information will be presented to the board for review and comment at the December 15 regular meeting.
The final recommendation will hopefully be presented to board members for review and approval at the January 12 regular board meeting, Backhaus said.
Visit the school district’s Web site at www.alexandria.k12.mn.us for more information and watch the newspaper for more upcoming stories.
At a previous school board meeting, Backhaus shared some of the guidelines that would be considered when developing scenarios for adjusting the current attendance boundaries for all elementary schools.
Here are some of those guidelines:
• Reduce and eliminate transfer buses. The cost to the district per year for transfer buses is about $42,000, said Backhaus.
• Students will attend their resident school with the exception of students needing to attend a “low-incidence” program, to cope with autism or behavioral issues.
“Our goal is to have students attend their neighborhood school,” Backhaus told the board.
• Bus ride times will be considered and maximum ride lengths will be established.
• The size of classes needs to be flexible.
• Staff efficiencies will continue to be considered important.
• Consideration will be given to natural barriers, such as lakes and roads, which Backhaus said are plentiful in the District 206 area.
Size of the district
According to the district’s Web site, www.alexandria.k12.mn.us, the current size of the district is 341.5 square miles, and there are more than 48 buses on daily routes traveling more than 650,000 miles, transporting more than 3,300 students to and from school.
In addition, School District 206 serves more than 28,900 residents and about 4,000 students in all or parts of the cities of Alexandria, Carlos, Forada, Garfield, Miltona, Nelson and the townships of Alexandria, Belle River, Carlos, Holmes City, Hudson, Ida, LaGrand, Lake Mary, Leaf Valley, Miltona, Moe, Osakis, Reno and Spruce Hill.