Opportunities for Dublin City School District residents to provide input about attendance boundaries for students in grades K-8 are scheduled to begin in earnest in October.
Because voters approved Issue 5 in November, the district is scheduled to open two new elementary schools in August 2020 and a new middle school in August 2021, said Todd Hoadley, Dublin City Schools superintendent.
Issue 5 is a combination $195 million bond issue, 2-mill permanent-improvements levy and 5.9-mill operating levy. Only the operating levy was an increase in taxes. It costs property owners $207 a year per $100,000 of property valuation. The bond issue and improvements levy were "no-new-millage" requests, which means they do not increase a property owner's taxes beyond what they are already paying.
Hopewell Elementary School is being built at 4303 Bright Road and Abraham Depp Elementary School and an unnamed middle school are being constructed at the northwest corner of Hyland-Croy Road and Ravenhill Parkway in the Jerome Village development.
The elementary schools are Nos. 13 and 14 for the district, and the middle school will be Dublin's fifth.
The new buildings mean new attendance boundaries across all of the district's K-8 buildings, Hoadley said.
The district will have several community meetings throughout the process and will involve the public in the discussion at a deep level, he said.
"We will be very transparent," Hoadley said.
In September, the district will work with parent-teacher organizations throughout the district to form a steering committee, Hoadley said.
He said he wants to collect parent feedback about what sort of criteria to use in the process.
For example, he said, district officials want to determine whether preserving neighborhoods and leaving children with the ability to walk to school is still important to families.
"We believe that it is, but we want to confirm that it is," he said.
During the week of Oct. 7, the district will have three public meetings, Hoadley said, one at each of the district's high schools: Coffman, 6780 Coffman Road; Jerome, 8300 Hyland-Croy Road; and Scioto, 4000 Hard Road.
The same presentation will be offered at each venue, Hoadley said, to collect feedback on the district's first go-round at creating a new attendance map.
"We hope to get a ton of feedback from that," Hoadley said.
The second round of three public meetings is scheduled the week of Nov. 4, he said.
Hoadley said the school board does not have to approve the new attendance boundaries.
In Ohio, that decision rests solely with superintendents, but he said he still wants board members to be aware of the plan.
As such, he said he plans to present the new map to board members Dec. 16.
District officials do not yet know how many students will be affected by the redistricting, said Doug Baker, Dublin City Schools coordinator of public information.
"It will be significant," he said.
The last redistricting happened in 2015, Baker said. That rather small redistricting took place due to the addition of 22 classrooms throughout the district at the elementary level, he said.
Since 2015, the district has acquired sophisticated software to assist in the process, Baker said. Fewer than 5 percent of K-8 students were impacted in 2015; this redistricting will be more extensive, he said.
Angie Rinehart, president of the Daniel Wright Elementary School PTO, said she hopes redistricting could make class sizes smaller.
Rinehart, a Columbus resident, is the mother of 6-year-old first-grader Ella and 9-year-old fourth-grader Liam, who attend Wright.
Her son, Noah, 12, will attend sixth grade at Davis Middle School.
Last year, 18 students were in Ella's kindergarten class, 28 were in Liam's third-grade class and 26 were in Noah's fifth-grade class, Rinehart said.
She also said open communication throughout the process is important.
"When you say 'redistricting' it scares people," she said.
Davis Middle School PTO president Tiffany deSilva said she is excited about the redistricting process because she believes it needs to occur.
deSilva, a Dublin resident, is the mother of Reyna, 10, a fifth-grader at Chapman Elementary; Alexa, 12, a seventh-grader at Davis; and Maya, 14, a freshman at Scioto.
Last year, there were 30 students in Reyna's fourth-grade class, deSilva said.
"It's busting at the seams," she said.
At Davis, deSilva said she is familiar with the school's creative use of spaces for classes.
"They need more space," she said.
deSilva said she wants the redistricting to preserve the walkability in her own neighborhood and the ones near her, so her children and others in the area can easily interact with classmates who go to school with them.
"I really want to keep that," she said.