Attendance boundaries for Westerville City School District elementary and middle schools are being reevaluated.

Thanks to voters' approval of a combined 1.95-mill bond and 5.9-mill operating levy last November, the future opening of a new elementary school and a new middle school will result in the realignment of those attendance boundaries, said Greg Viebranz, the district's executive director of communication and technology.

The bond issue will provide funds for a new middle school and elementary school on land the district already owns, along with safety and security updates districtwide, renovations and additions at Annehurst and Whittier elementary schools, renovations at Hawthorne Elementary School and facility needs at Hanby, Emerson and Longfellow elementary schools.

Two committees, one to develop elementary school boundaries and one to develop middle school boundaries, were formed in February with work sessions to be held throughout March.

"In addition to developing attendance boundaries for those new schools, we'll also be making some adjustments to a few existing boundaries to address overcrowding, enrollment growth and capacity issues," district Superintendent John Kellogg said. "High school boundaries will remain the same, so all of this work will focus only on elementary and middle school attendance areas."

Viebranz said one parameter for the committee is to try to minimize change from the present attendance boundaries.

"So those who have volunteered to perform this important work certainly will be looking at ways to achieve that goal," he said.

Viebranz said each attendance committee is being co-facilitated by a member of the district's executive leadership team and a representative from the Westerville Parent Council.

For the elementary school realignment committee, the leadership team representative is Barbara Wallace, executive director of elementary academic affairs, and the parent council representative is Meagan Hogan.

Westerville Parent Council also has a second representative on each committee. In the case of the elementary school realignment committee, that additional representative is Ryan Hilperts, according to Viebranz.

For the middle school realignment committee, the leadership team representative is Scott Reeves, executive director of secondary academic affairs, and the parent council representative is Jessica Stein.

The additional council representative is Jeremy Dicus.

Each committee also includes at-large community members, a representative of the Westerville Education Association, members of the district's administration -- including principals -- and a school board observer.

The elementary school realignment committee has 14 participants, including the co-facilitators, and the middle school realignment committee has 15 participants, Viebranz said.

Remaining members of the superintendent's executive leadership team and a few other administrators representing various operational areas, such as transportation and food service, will serve as a sounding board to provide requested guidance to the realignment committees as they complete their work and ensure the recommendations are in line with the committees' charge.

Scott Dorne, executive director of facilities and operations, is overseeing the process at the district level.

All committee work meetings will begin at 6 p.m. in the district's Early Learning Center, 936 Eastwind Drive.

The first work session was scheduled March 2, with other meetings scheduled March 16, March 30 and April 8.

The committees will issue periodic progress reports to the school board and residents.

Beginning in May, residents will have several opportunities to review and provide feedback on draft attendance-boundary options.

Viebranz said this feedback would inform committee members' continuing efforts as they work toward presenting final recommendations to the school board in October.

Public sessions related to the draft boundary options are scheduled as follows:

* May 6 -- 6 to 8 p.m. at Westerville North High School, 950 County Line Road

* June 3 -- 9 to 11 a.m. at Westerville Central High School, 7118 Mount Royal Ave.

* Aug. 5 -- 1 to 3 p.m. at Early Learning Center, 936 Eastwind Drive

* Sept. 2 -- 6 to 8 p.m. at Westerville South High School, 303 S. Otterbein Ave.

Additional information will be posted at wcsoh.org.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla