Ark City school board members this week approved changes to elementary school boundaries that will send some students to a different school next year.
District officials said the changes were made in an effort to create equity district-wide, according to a written statement explaining the decision. A year was spent studying the issues at the request of the board of education.
Data was gathered, input was sought and a committee was formed comprised of parents, board members and citizens of the community.
“The committee realizes the implications of this decision and we understand that it may mean a difficult transition for some families,” Committee member and parent Ben Shears said. “Still, children are often more resilient than we give them credit for and we feel this is best for the community as a whole.”
Committee members said they considered a number of community suggestions that were eventually rejected, including grandfathering fifth graders, offering open enrollment or allowing teachers to pick their child’s school based on where they teach.
The committee did recommend the use of address verification to determine where a child should be going to school and encouraged the board of education to develop a policy that would make it possible to move a child, even mid-year, if the address were found to be false.
The committee would also like to see boundaries reviewed every four years to help keep drastic changes to a minimum.