Olentangy Local School District Superintendent Wade Lucas will announce the new elementary school redistricting plan at the school board's Feb. 9 meeting.

Olentangy Local School District Superintendent Wade Lucas will announce the new elementary school redistricting plan at the school board's Feb. 9 meeting.

The announcement will follow several months of data collection, committee discussion, community input and transportation logistics.

In December, the district formed a committee of 55 community volunteers to discuss redistricting, which is attributed to the decision to switch Heritage Elementary School from all-day kindergarten to grades K-5.

The committee discussed five proposed redistricting plans during a Jan. 24 meeting attended by more than 300 residents. Residents commented on the plans at the meeting and online until Jan. 31.

Each plan was evaluated based on the number of students affected and whether it balanced enrollment among the buildings.

Committee members and school officials are reviewing the comments and will provide Lucas with three plans from which to choose.

By state law, the final decision rests with the superintendent, but Olentangy seeks community input when redistricting.

Committee co-chair and resident Mark Iannotta said the plan selected should balance enrollment among all buildings, ensure safety, consider transportation efficiency and provide individual students continuity between grade levels.

Documents from the community meeting show Olentangy has had to redistrict eight times since the 1992-1993 school year, when the number of students totaled 2,326.

The district now has about 17,048 total students, 8,688 being elementary age. For more than a decade, the district's student population has grown by more than 1,000 students annually.

Olentangy remains the fastest-growing school district in the state, officials said, despite falling birth rates and housing starts.

The district has 15 elementary schools, 12 of which can house 675 students each and two that can house 700 students each. In previous years, buildings were limited to 650 students each, but the district eliminated computer-and-technology classrooms in each building, adding an additional classroom per building.

The district strives for an average student population of 25 students per classroom, documents show.

Iannotta concedes no perfect redistricting plan exists.

"This is an emotional process," Iannotta said. "We know there are neighborhoods that have moved several times over the years. We're trying to maximize the situation in each building so we can maximize the education for each child in the district as a whole."

Information on the redistricting process is available at www.dejongrichter.com/projects/olsd.