Pickerington Times-Sun

Board to hold redistricting work session Nov. 13


The Pickerington Local School District Board of Education will hold a Nov. 13 work session at Toll Gate Middle School to discuss public input the district has received about options for realigning K-6 attendance boundaries.

After hosting four community forums over the past month, district officials next week will begin to dissect what they've heard from parents, teachers and other members of the community regarding plans to reshape school attendance boundaries.

The school board announced at its meeting Monday night, Nov. 4, it will convene for a special redistricting "work session" at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, in rooms 5 and 6 of Toll Gate Middle School, 12089 Toll Gate Road.

"This is an open, public forum, if you will," said Cathy Olshefski, board president.

The district was scheduled to held the last of four community forums to discuss redistricting last night, Wednesday, Nov. 6, at Heritage Elementary School.

Forums were held, district officials said, to discuss the best option for addressing classroom overcrowding at Sycamore Creek Elementary School, Pickerington Elementary School and the Pickerington Learning Steps Preschool.

If left unaddressed, those officials have said, the district won't be able to house its preschool students in one location, and a growing number of students in grades K-6 will be shuttled to school buildings outside of their neighbor- hoods.

Current options being considered for redistricting include:

* Keeping the preschool at Diley Middle School and upgrading portable classroom space.

* Relocating the preschool to Toll Gate Elementary School and Toll Gate Middle School.

* Utilizing multiple elementary school buildings to house preschool students.

* Relocating the preschool to Heritage.

Although the Nov. 13 meeting is open to the public, the board is not seeking more input from the community.

Rather, Pickerington Superintendent Rob Walker said, the board will begin to examine the information it's collected from its stakeholders.

"It's an opportunity for the board to discuss what's been said, what we've heard," Walker said.

From there, the board is expected to use the final months of 2013 to determine the best redistricting option.

"Our goal is to make and announce that decision in the very early part of 2014," Olshefski said.