The Reynoldsburg Board of Education approved a plan Feb. 15 that will change some attendance boundaries next year but retain the district's "feeder" system for schools housing students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The Reynoldsburg Board of Education approved a plan Feb. 15 that will change some attendance boundaries next year but retain the district's "feeder" system for schools housing students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

The plan was recommended by Superintendent Steve Dackin, based on the work of a 23-member steering committee that spent the past few months analyzing collected data and information gathered from two community meetings.

With co-chairs Loretta King, Scott Smith, and consultant Chuck Warner of Warner Concepts LLC guiding the process, they came up with attendance boundary options and presented their recommendations to Dackin in late December.

Dackin said he wanted any new district attendance boundaries to be as least disruptive as possible to the community as a whole.

The plan approved Monday will make Summit Road Elementary, currently under construction, a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) school of choice when it opens for the 2011-12 school year.

The neighborhood attendance boundaries for French Run, Herbert Mills, Rose Hill, Slate Ridge and Taylor Road elementaries will be set according to the current school boundary map, Dackin said.

The only changes will affect children from a section in the Baldwin Road area who currently are assigned to French Run Elementary School. They will attend Slate Ridge Elementary beginning next year.

Dackin said the district will begin looking next year at opening Rose Hill Elementary as a second school of choice in 2012-13. In addition, he said plans will also be developed to establish a middle school and junior high as schools of choice for 2012-13.

One important factor, Dackin said, was preserving the attendance boundaries as they are in order to keep continuity as students move through elementary, middle school, junior high and high school. He said he agreed with the committee that the district should retain these existing "feeder" patterns.

Thus, students who attend Herbert Mills and Slate Ridge elementaries will go on to Hannah Ashton Middle School and Baldwin Road Junior High School. Students who attend French Run, Rose Hill and Taylor Road elementaries will go on to Waggoner Road Middle School and Waggoner Road Junior High School.

"That gives us a feeder pattern all through the district, K through eight," he said.

After that, Dackin said, student assignments to the two high schools will be based on what academy students decide to attend.

An eSTEM Academy, focusing on an environment-based curriculum, started this year for freshmen and sophomores at Reynoldsburg High School. When the district's second high school on Summit Road opens next fall, the current RHS will be called the Livingston Avenue Campus and the new high school will be called the Summit Road Campus.

Three more academies will be established: The HS2 Academy (health sciences and human services) and the BELL Academy (business, education, leadership and law) will be located at the Livingston Avenue Campus. The Encore Academy (arts, communications and design) will be housed at the Summit Road Campus, where it will be joined by the eSTEM Academy.

Dackin said at the school board meeting Monday that it's important for parents to understand that as a school of choice, the STEM elementary school that will open on Summit Road next year is available to all students, regardless of where they live in Reynoldsburg.

"We still will have open enrollment as space allows, and staffing allows, so even though there's a feeder pattern, if a parent wishes to move (a child) to a school outside of their assigned attendance area, they can do so by applying through open enrollment," he said.

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