Until recently, the Parkway School District had not conducted a boundary survey since 2011. That being said, recent information from the district’s Facilities 2030 survey addresses concerns about student enrollment and future projections. As a result of that information, the district says boundary changes are warranted.
In late September, Chief Communications Officer Paul Tandy, Chief Financial Officer Patty Bedborough and Director of Transportation Will Rosa presented the boundary change proposal before the Board of Education. The board is set to vote on that proposal on Nov. 13.
Two elementary schools in Parkway have met, or are projected to exceed, their enrollment and classroom capacity while other schools nearby have room for more students. The proposed boundary adjustments are needed to re-balance enrollments in those two elementary schools, officials have said, noting that the changes will redistribute students more evenly while helping the overcrowded schools get the relief they need.
Five neighborhood planning units are impacted across the district with approximately 130 students and families potentially impacted. If approved, the changes would take effect with the 2020-21 school year for current Craig and Shenandoah Valley elementary students. Families impacted by these changes have been contacted by Parkway.
At Craig, the current enrollment is 475. By the 2023-24 school year, it is projected to be at 520 students. Currently, all 24 classrooms are utilized, but to meet its needs, an additional kindergarten room was created from a resource room. Under the proposal, 12 students would move to McKelvey Elementary and another 12 to Ross Elementary.
Under the boundary proposal, total enrollment at Craig is expected to be around 436 students with room for growth by the 2022-23 school year. Both McKelvey and Ross have lower enrollment numbers and several underutilized classroom spaces, allowing for significant growth.
At Shenandoah Valley, the current enrollment is 502. By the 2023-24 school year, it is projected to be 519. Currently, all 24 classrooms are used. Under the proposed plan, redistricted students would move to Highcroft Ridge Elementary, which has significant opportunities for growth without overcrowding.
For current fourth-grade students who would otherwise be impacted by the boundary changes their fifth-grade year, the district has said “grandfathering” would apply so those students could remain at their current schools. Any younger siblings would receive the same one-year extension, but then those siblings would be reassigned to the new school the following fall. Transportation is provided by the grandfathering clause.
For kindergarten through third grade, the redistricted students would begin at their new school in the 2020-21 school year, with transportation provided. Incoming students through new enrollment would attend the school based on redistricting.
For families of students in kindergarten through third grade, a request for special assignment to remain at their current school must be completed and will be approved only if space is available. Siblings who currently do not attend the school will not be able to apply for special assignment. If approved, transportation will not be provided to stay at the current school.
“We know its disruptive, but these are projections and there will be continual ongoing attendance review,” explained Tandy. “The good news is that these changes allow for the reunification of current boundaries for a portion of Craig and McKelvey students.”
For additional information and maps, visit the home page of parkwayschools.net.