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Westerville City Schools

Elementary boundary change options narrowed to three

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The Westerville City School District's realignment committee has added a sixth option for the redrawing of elementary attendance boundaries.

The Board of Education heard an update on the realignment process at its meeting Monday, Feb. 25.

Under the initial timeline for redrawing boundaries, the board was scheduled to hear the first reading of legislation to approve new boundaries at the same meeting.

That was delayed until March 11, however, as the committee continued to listen to community feedback and tweak proposed boundaries based on that feedback.

The committee did narrow the field of boundary options down to three, asking the board and the community to focus feedback on the options that have presented as Options A, D and F.

"We're asking the community to provide us with feedback, from not all of the options that were on the table but (about) the three options that are on the table now," said Realignment Committee member Vaughn Bell.

The three options reflect the committee's goal of creating neighborhood elementary schools by sending students to the schools closest to them when possible.

However, that goal creates a great discrepancy in the amount of ethnic and socioeconomic diversity at districts different elementary schools.

Under option A, the percentage of nonwhite students at each school would be: 15 at Robert Frost, 16 at Alcott, 20 at Fouse and Mark Twain, 27 at McVay, 39 at Wilder, 40 at Huber Ridge, 41 at Whittier, 49 at Annehurst and Cherrington, and 58 at the newly created Emerson/Hanby, Pointview and Hawthorne.

Under option D, the percentage of nonwhite students in each school would be: 16 at Alcott, 17 at Fouse, 29 at Robert Frost, 32 at McVay, 36 at Pointview, 37 at Mark Twain, 38 at Wilder, 40 at Annehurst and Huber Ridge, 50 at Cherrington and Hawthorne, 55 at Whittier and 59 at Emerson/Hanby.

Under option F, the percentage of nonwhite students in each school would be: 17 at Alcott, 27 at Fouse, 34 at Pointview, 36 at Robert Frost, 37 at Mark Twain and McVay, 38 at Whittier, 39 at Wilder, 40 at Huber Ridge, 41 at Cherrington, 49 at Emerson/Hanby, 50 at Annehurst and 55 at Hawthorne.

The percentage of economically disadvantaged students, measured by the amount of students on the free and reduced-price lunch program, under option A at each school would be: 2 at Alcott, 6 at Robert Frost, 10 at Fouse, 17 at Mark Twain, 23 at McVay, 37 at Wilder, 42 at Whittier, 48 at Annehurst, 52 at Hawthorne, 53 at Huber Ridge, 54 at Cherrington, 60 at Emerson/Hanby and 64 at Pointview.

Under option D, the percentage of economically disadvantaged students at each school would be: 2 at Alcott, 6 at Fouse, 22 at Robert Frost, 29 at Mark Twain and McVay, 35 at Wilder, 40 at Annehurst, 42 at Pointview, 48 at Hawthorne, 53 at Huber Ridge, 56 at Cherrington, 58 at Whittier and 59 at Emerson/Hanby.

Under option F, the percentage of economically disadvantaged students at each school would be: 4 at Alcott, 18 at Fouse, 29 at Mark Twain, 31 at McVay, 32 at Robert Frost, 36 at Wilder, 38 at Whittier, 43 at Cherrington, 45 at Pointview, 48 at Annehurst, 51 at Emerson/ Hanby and 53 at Hawthorne and Huber Ridge.

Eighteen parents spoke to the school board during the Monday, Feb. 25 meeting asking the board to slow down the realignment process to allow more time for the public to digest the options for realignment and provide feedback.

"You have our attention, so please don't squander that heightened sense of involvement," said elementary school parent Rick Vilardo. "I think you are at a place of saying, 'Wait.' ... Do not force us into a corner, but invite us to the table."

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