Superintendent Steve Dackin wants to keep Reynoldsburg school attendance boundaries similar to what they are now but include a plan to feed into the academy structures being rolled out for the next school year.

Superintendent Steve Dackin wants to keep Reynoldsburg school attendance boundaries similar to what they are now but include a plan to feed into the academy structures being rolled out for the next school year.

In making recommendations for new district attendance boundaries, Dackin said he wanted to create a process that is least disruptive to the community as a whole.

"We've gone over a lot of challenges over the last three years, most of which resulted from our finances, so one of the things we can do in this process is preserve the criteria the committee came up with - which in this particular case, accomplishes that goal," Dackin said.

A 23-member steering committee, including co-chairs Loretta King, Scott Smith, and consultant Chuck Warner of Warner Concepts LLC, has spent the past few months analyzing information from collected data and from two community meetings to come up with attendance boundary options.

They presented the committee's recommendations to Dackin late last month.

"I think the group did a very nice job in balancing all of these things and I think we came up with some pretty good suggestions that we handed over to Mr. Dackin," Smith said.

He said one important point was to keep boundaries coherent as students move through elementary, middle school, junior high and high school.

Another goal was to keep the idea of "neighborhood schools" and not bus kids past one school to get to another, unless it is a school of choice, he said.

"We also wanted to keep diversity, social and economic diversity, as closely as possible balanced out, and keep transportation time down," Smith said.

Based on what the steering committee presented to him, Dackin has recommended establishing Summit Road Elementary, currently under construction, as a 100-percent STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) school of choice beginning in the 2011-12 school year.

The school would be available for any child in the school district through an application process, he said.

"It simply refers to the fact that a child and parent who decide that that might be a great option for them can apply to attend that school and students will be given transportation to that school of choice," Dackin said.

With that established, Dackin said he wants to preserve attendance boundaries as they are now, with one exception: to take children from a section in the Baldwin Road area, who are currently assigned to French Run Elementary School, and reassign them to Slate Ridge Elementary beginning in the 2011-12 school year.

"That represents one change. Everything else stays as it is under this recommendation, based on how students are currently assigned this school year," Dackin said.

Another recommendation is that Rose Hill Elementary School become a second school of choice beginning in the 2012-13 school year. In addition, Dackin said plans are being developed to establish a middle school and junior high school of choice for the 2012-13 year.

"All of those are a part of a larger and coherent plan to feed into the academy structures that will be available beginning next school year at the high school," he said.

"I want to reiterate the gratitude I have for Scott and Loretta and for members of the committee for their hard work," he said. "This is a lot of hard work - to look at all the criteria and considerations that go in to making these recommendations."

Dackin said a formal resolution detailing his recommendations will be presented to the board of education for a vote at its Feb. 15 meeting. He said the recommendations will also be posted on the school district's website at www.reyn.org.

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