SACS Share Elementary School Redistricting Plan (VIDEO)

By Eric Dutkiewicz - 21Alive

September 24, 2013 Updated Sep 24, 2013 at 10:02 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - Southwest Allen County Schools held its first of a six meetings Tuesday night at Aboite Elementary School to explain the district's elementary school redistricting plans.

District officials say new boundaries are being drawn to better balance the enrollment of the six elementary schools.

Primary concern is the high capacity of Covington Elementary School and low capacity of Deer Ridge Elementary School.

The proposal would move Chestnut Hills addition from the Covington attendance area to to the Deer Ridge attendance area starting in the 2014-15 school year. Plans would allow students who enter fifth grade in 2014-15 to stay at Covington if so chosen. Transportation would not be provided for Covington fifth grade holdovers.

"The challenges are moving children from building to building," Southwest Allen County Schools superintendent Steven Yager, Ed.D., says. "That's always an emotional issue for anybody."

Yager says the goal is to have each elementary school's student capacity between 85 and 95 percent. The Chestnut Hills addition shift would reduce Covington's capacity from 91 percent to 82.2 percent, according to statistics provided by the SACS. Deer Ridge building capacity would increase from 73.3 percent to 86.6 percent.

Yager says the rebalancing of elementary school populations is based on future growth of the district, while being mindful of district taxpayers--a majority of whom do not have students enrolled in the school system.

"The good thing in Southwest is: if you're moving from building to building, you're moving from one high-performing building to another high-performing building," Yager adds.

Woodside and Summit Middle Schools and Homestead would not be affected in the redistricting.

SACS will hold five more meetings, all open to the public:

  • Wed., Sept. 25, at Haverhill Elementary School
  • Thurs., Sept. 26, at Covington Elementary School
  • Mon., Oct. 7, at Deer Ridge Elementary School
  • Tues., Oct. 8, at Lafayette Meadows Elementary School
  • Wed., Oct. 9, at Whispering Meadows Elementary School
  • No final decisions will be made on redistricting until the conclusion of all the informational meetings, Yager says.

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