Kings redraws borders
In an effort to more equally distribute its students, the growing Kings Local School district has decided to redraw the neighborhood boundaries that determine where a child will attend grade school.
Therefore, beginning next school year, about 140 Kings Mills Elementary students will be transferred to J.F. Burns Elementary. The district contacted the families this week.
Kings continues to grow, adding new housing projects and seeing rising enrollment rates. Higher enrollment has been uneven, leaving Kings Mills nearing its capacity. J.F. Burns, on the other hand, has much fewer students enrolled.
To remedy this and avoid any major changes or cuts in staffing levels, the Board of Education recently voted to shift the KME-JFB border from its current location on Columbia Rd. and State Route 22, to Socialville Foster Road.
This change will shift a majority of the Landen community from KME to J.F. Burns. South Lebanon Elementary is not affected by the change.
In order to ease the transition, the school district has invited all of the affected families to attend the J.F. Burns Krazy Karnival on Saturday, March 5 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., said District Communications Coordinator Dawn Gould. An Open House will also be held in May.
This will end up being a big change for some students, potentially moving through three schools in as little as three years. Sarah Kirby, mother of a KME student who will be moved to J.F. Burns next year, said she “knew it would be a big change” but that she, “thinks it’s what’s best for the community.”
Kings Superintendent Tim Ackermann said that even though these are “difficult decisions to make,” he is “trying to do what’s best for growth.”
Ackermann said some parents have been confused about where their child will go to school next year. This was solved by the website ‘My School Locator’ to be used to help parents figure out where they’re sending their kids. No future plans are in place to move district lines any further, however nothing beyond next year’s plans are set in stone.
A “grandfather clause” approved by the school board will allow any current third-graders, if their families so choose, to remain at KME for fourth grade before moving on to Columbia Intermediate.The form for the grandfather clause can be found here at the district’s Central Registration Office, as well as at KME, and is due on May 1, 2016.
Over the next few years, a slate of new housing developments all within Kings borders will combine to bring more than 1,200 new housing units into the district.
Among these developments (and the total number of new housing units they will comprise) are Willow Brooke (217 units), Mason Grand (294 units), Towne of Deerfield (316 units), Deerfield Springs (164 units) and Rivercrest (217 units).
As construction ends at each development and families with school-age children start moving in, Kings will have to adapt to accomodate the growth. Redistricting was an early option proposed by district leaders.
By J. Marketos