Board gives go-ahead with Map 5
After nearly five months of boundary discussion and multiple scenarios presented for public feedback, the Johnston Community School District Board of Education has approved Map 5, effective for the 2014-15 school year.
In a special meeting on March 7, Board President Greg Dockum presented maps 3 and 5 for vote before the board. Map 2A was not approved for discussion by the board and was taken out of consideration upon presentation. In a 0 to 7 vote, the motion to approve Map 3 failed.
Map 5, which was introduced to the public on February 14, was then brought forward for vote. Discussion focused on various aspects of the map, including transportation times within the district, future growth areas, feeder systems, and school capacity levels. Board members heard from hundreds of constituents within the district regarding the boundary issue and emphasized that this was not an easy process, nor was it possible to find a solution that pleased everyone.
After discussion, the board voted 6 to 1 in favor of Map 5, as presented. Among the benefits of Map 5, areas of high growth in Johnston will be redistributed to alleviate overcrowding at Horizon and Beaver Creek elementaries. Board members said it also upheld the five original criteria set forth in September. Those criteria, in order, are: Projected enrollment and building utilization; demographic consideration (balance of free and reduced lunch and SES); duration of boundaries; neighborhoods intact; and students impacted by boundary change.
This map impacts approximately 370 students. At the time of this release and the board decision, specific details on open-enrolled students and the schools they would attend in 2014-15 had not been determined. Superintendent Clay Guthmiller said that similar to recent years, new incoming open-enrolled students would be placed at the schools that had the most room. Parents of open-enrolled students should expect to hear more news on this after spring break.
The decision by the board comes on the heels of a third public forum held on Thursday, March 6 and a work session to discuss the forum feedback on March 7. Nearly 75 people were in attendance at the March 6 forum. The first two forums, held December 17 and January 22, drew in 100 and 200 stakeholders, respectively.
The district is planning to offer a series of events to familiarize students with their new schools before the 2014-15 school year starts. Watch the district website, www.johnston.k12.ia.us for more details regarding these events and transition plans.