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Rockwood to consider boundary change for new subdivisions

Rockwood School District’s Board of Education, during their Feb. 7 meeting, will likely vote on a formal recommendation for new attendance area boundaries for subdivisions in its Chesterfield, Wild Horse, Kellison and Stanton elementary schools areas.

District Superintendent Eric Knost told the board on Jan. 8 that, to ensure proper boundaries, the district has engaged a cartographer to work on new maps, after some parents told the district there were discrepancies on the proposed boundaries.

“We need to give plenty of time to reach out to residents for feedback on these plans,” Knost said.

Knost has said that student population is growing at Eureka Elementary because of new subdivision developments, and there may be more developments on the horizon to cause Rockwood to eventually consider building a new Eureka Elementary School as opposed to putting money into the current  building.

Wild Horse Elementary School’s current enrollment is 566 students, while Chesterfield Elementary School’s is 387. However, projected enrollments without a boundary change in the 2019-20 school year are anticipated to be 586 for Wild Horse and 353 for Chesterfield. Totals with boundary changes for that year would be projected at 574 for Wild Horse and 365 for Chesterfield.

The option being considered there is to grandfather all children – school age, preschool and unborn – of existing property owners in a proposed Chesterfield boundary expansion area. Children may continue their education at their current school (Wild Horse) including schools in the high school feeder pattern. District transportation for the children of existing property owners would be included for a minimum of 10 years.

Current enrollments are 549 students at Stanton and 381 at Kellison. But projected enrollments without a boundary change in 2019-20 are estimated to be 567 at Stanton and 288 at Kellison. Totals with boundary changes for that year would be 457 for Stanton and 398 for Kellison. Stanton now has 204 planned housing units within its boundaries, with additional undeveloped/vacant land that could yield an unknown number of students.

Again, Knost proposed grandfathering as the best option for that area.

“With this plan, we’re not trying to rebalance the entire district,” Knost said. “I’ve never believed in redistricting only for the sake of balancing populations, because, once you do that, you can start a domino effect which becomes very emotional and painful for all families.”

Knost said it’s important, any time there are new subdivision developments, to look at whether boundary change would be good or problematic for the future size and capacity of any school building.

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