The new attendance boundaries for when Verona schools reconfigure in 2020 make direct plans for a new elementary school by 2025.
That school has yet to be voted on, and the Verona Area School District board still expects to tweak details of the boundaries, but its members agreed Tuesday, June 25, to make that plan – known as Option E – the baseline for deciding which schools elementary children will attend in fall 2020.
When the new, $180 million Verona Area High School opens in fall 2020, Badger Ridge Middle School will move into the current high school building, the charter schools will move into its K-Wing and Sugar Creek Elementary School will move into the current Badger Ridge facility.
Both of the plans that remained under discussion on Tuesday, E and A1, had multiple schools over capacity by 2025, meaning a referendum likely would be necessary either way. However, the urgency is greater with Option E.
Under that plan, if development occurs as expected and a referendum fails, the district would likely have to come up with another short-term redistricting solution, as it did in 2016 for Glacier Edge.
“My hesitation about E initially was I didn’t want to rely on a referendum,” said board member Meredith Stier Christensen. “However, it seems like we will be relying on a referendum no matter what.”
Option E would keep the Scenic Ridge and Cathedral Point neighborhoods together at Country View, which students there have attended since the 2016 short-term solution for overcrowding at Glacier Edge Elementary School.
The initial plan would move 12 percent of elementary students (177) to a new attendance area. Some board and Attendance Area Advisory Committee members had concerns about the diversity balance, as Stoner Prairie Elementary School would be 47 percent students of color, with the rest in the low to mid 30 percent range.
Consultant Mark Roffers showed the board how changing one or two neighborhoods can help balance that, though each change adds to the number of students switching schools. The board plans to continue looking at that level of change at its next meeting, Wednesday, July 10, at 7 a.m.
As board members brought up specific neighborhoods to change, and watched how that changed the projected enrollment and diversity at each school, it became clear there was no “magic” solution, as Roffers said.
“I have no hat and no rabbit,” he said jokingly.