Starting in 2021, students who attend Slate Hill Elementary School eventually will attend Worthington Kilbourne High School instead of Thomas Worthington High School.

Worthington Schools Superintendent Trent Bowers on March 25 accepted the recommendation of the district’s feeder-pattern committee, a group of appointed community members and representatives from each school building, to make the change.

Committee members said they chose Slate Hill through a process considering socio-economic status, cost, distance, capacity, programming, economic impact and equivalent staff diversity, according to presentation documents for the school board.

Committee member Allen Bohnert said the group also used spreadsheet data to examine patterns.

“This was not a results-driven process,” he said. “Slate Hill was the one when you look at the data and all of the other factors that made the most sense.”

According to Assistant Superintendent Randy Banks, the current feeder pattern has students from Bluffsview, Brookside, Granby, Liberty and Worthington Hills elementary schools attending McCord Middle School.

Students who attend Colonial Hills, Evening Street and Wilson Hill elementary schools currently go to Kilbourne Middle School.

Students who attend Slate Hill, Worthington Estates and Worthington Park elementary schools currently attend Worthingway Middle School.

District spokeswoman Vicki Gnezda said Kilbourne and Worthingway students attend Thomas Worthington High School.

McCord currently is the feeder school for Worthington Kilbourne High School, she said.

Banks said having Slate Hill students go to Worthington Kilbourne is the only change to the feeder patterns at the moment, and it would be enough to balance enrollment at the two high schools.

Bowers previously said Thomas Worthington has nearly 1,800 students enrolled and Worthington Kilbourne has almost 1,300 students.

It is not clear which middle school the Slate Hill students eventually would attend and what the middle school feeder patterns for the high schools would be.

The feeder-pattern committee also presented two recommendations for overall changes to the school board for consideration March 25.

The first plan, also called option A, would have students from Brookside, Bluffsview and Slate Hill attend Perry Middle School after it is reopened.

Students who attend Worthington Hills, Granby and Liberty would go to McCord.

Students who attend Evening Street and Colonial Hills would attend Kilbourne Middle School.

Students at Wilson Hill, Worthington Estates and Worthington Park would attend Worthingway.

In the second plan, also called option E, Brookside, Bluffsview and Liberty students would attend Perry after it is reopened.

Slate Hill, Granby and Worthington Hills students would attend McCord.

Students who attend Colonial Hills and Evening Street would attend Kilbourne Middle School.

Wilson Hill, Worthington Estates and Worthington Park students would attend Worthingway.

Banks said the primary difference between the two proposals is whether Liberty students or Slate Hill students would attend Perry Middle School.

He said the feeder-pattern committee would reconvene in October to consider those and finalize changes regarding middle-school assignments for 2021 and 2022.

In terms of staffing changes, Gnezda said, staff members would need to be moved when sixth-grade classes are moved to the middle schools from the elementary buildings.

She said a timeline still must be determined.

Worthington Schools is moving forward with the transition to add sixth-graders to middle schools after the approval of issues 9 and 10 on Nov. 6.

Issue 9 is a 2.58-mill, $89 million bond that will be used to upgrade technology in all school buildings, purchase new buses, make repairs to all middle schools and help rebuild Perry and Worthingway middle schools.

Issue 10 is a permanent incremental operating levy that will start at 2.9 mills and increase by 2 mills each year until it caps at 8.9 mills in the fourth year.

Bowers previously said the district is working toward a fall 2021 opening of the renovated middle schools that will include students in sixth through eighth grade.

Currently, sixth-grade classes are held in the elementary buildings.

As of a January 2019 enrollment report on worthington.k12.oh.us, Worthington Schools has 10,276 students. Five years ago, in the 2014-15 school year, the district had 9,598 students enrolled. The district is projected to reach 11,546 by the 2024-25 school year.

ominnier@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekOlivia

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Worthington Schools Superintendent Trent Bowers on March 25 accepted the recommendation of the feeder-pattern committee, a group of appointed community members and representatives from each school building in the district, to have Slate Hill Elementary School students eventually attend Worthington Kilbourne High School instead of Thomas Worthington High School.

The change will take effect starting in 2021.

Committee members said they chose Slate Hill through a process considering socio-economic status, cost, distance, capacity, programming, economic impact and equivalent staff diversity, according to presentation documents to the school board.

Committee member Allen Bohnert said the group also used spreadsheet data to examine patterns.

“This was not a results-driven process," he said. “Slate Hill was the one when you look at the data and all of the other factors that made the most sense.”

The committee also presented two recommendations of overall feeder-pattern changes to the school board for consideration.

Assistant Superintendent Randy Banks said the group would reconvene in October to consider those and finalize changes regarding middle-school assignments for 2021 and 2022.

Read more in the March 28 edition of the ThisWeek Worthington News.

ominnier@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekOlivia