With an influx of new students expected in the northern part of the district and a new school set to open in September, Oregon School District officials are refining plans for new K-6 school attendance boundaries.
Last week, district officials presented a working proposal to school board members, with three basic parameters: students would go to the school closest to their home, with an exemption process available to families and simplified busing zones for each attendance area.
The school board will discuss the proposal further at its Oct. 28 meeting, and the district is setting up three informational meetings for parents in December to get feedback on the plan.
Since spring, a committee comprising staff, administrators and parents and chaired by OSD deputy superintendent Leslie Bergstrom has worked with consultant Mark Roffers on the best method of setting new boundaries for when the new K-6 elementary school in Fitchburg opens Sept. 2, 2020.
Criteria included transportation safety/efficiency, students attend schools close to where they live,” and “planning lead(ing) to logical subsequent transitions.”
District superintendent Brian Busler said “the plan at this point” is that no student would have to switch schools if they didn’t want.
“The overarching component to the boundary task force is students attend the school close to where they live,” he told the Observer on Monday. “And there is an exception policy if you’d like to stay Prairie View or Netherwood (Knoll), and we will do our best to accommodate everyone’s request.”
The proposed boundary map essentially divides the district laterally into thirds, with students in the top portion – roughly the northern halves of the City of Fitchburg and Town of Dunn – going to the new Fitchburg K-6 school.
Students in the “middle” section – the southern halves of Fitchburg and Dunn, south to Lincoln Road/Janesville streets in the Village of Oregon – would attend Prairie View or Netherwood Knoll elementaries in the Village of Oregon, and Rome Corners Intermediate.
Any students living south of the Lincoln Road/Janesville Street line would attend Brooklyn Elementary and RCI.
The school board is expected to continue discussions on the new boundaries at its Oct. 28 meeting, though Busler said the board could make a “conceptual approval” of the plan, with time left to alter the plan based on public comments.