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Proposed boundary realignment presented to Board of Ed

Deputy Superintendent Charles Bradley presented a proposed school boundary realignment to the Mustang Board of Education at Monday night’s regular meeting. A new elementary school at 44th and Czech Hall and a new intermediate school for fifth and sixth grade at 15th Street and Czech Hall Road will open for the 2018-2019 school year. Mustang Public Schools grew by more than 400 students this year and the district has added more than 1,463 students in the last five years. The realignment will mean the boundaries of every elementary and intermediate school will be adjusted for the upcoming school year to populate the two new schools and relieve pressure on the existing ones.  

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The proposed boundary realignment will now be taken to a steering committee that includes the original core committee that designed the boundaries and a selection of principals and staff. An advisory group that includes a parent’s perspective from each site affected will also begin meeting this month. 

“We will be using the district website to create a place where all parents can view the proposed boundaries and send in comments,” Bradley said. “We will also have forum at the end of January or first of February where parents can view the boundaries. They will have the opportunity to visit with Mustang employees who were on the steering committee and can record their questions and concerns. All comments will be compiled and taken back to the steering committee for consideration and fine-tuning.”

Driving forces that shaped the proposed boundaries include population at the existing sites, bus routes and growth trends around each school. For example, Bradley recently received word of a proposed addition of more than 430 single-family homes plus an apartment complex that will be going up near 44th Street and Mustang Road, close to the elementary school currently under construction. Current school population and growth trends are also important to consider. Some south-side elementary schools have a much larger boundary because population density and growth history is much lower than it is for north side elementary schools.

Besides attempting to balance the populations at the schools, transportation is vital to the equation. 

“Transportation is one of the most significant factors involved in the planning process,” Bradley said. “Every student from kindergarten up is assigned a bus route. When we were building the proposed boundaries, we have to take into account the number of bus routes, total number of students and routes per site and the distance and time it takes to transport students to and from school.” 

Although necessary, Bradley understands that realigning boundaries and having students switch schools makes parents uneasy.

“Realigning the boundaries when the district opens a new school is always difficult because of the emotions involved,” Bradley said. “In the end, it’s a good problem to have. It shows how much our parents and our students love their schools. And change is always difficult, even when it’s necessary.”  

There will be events in the spring where students moving to a new school will have a chance to visit their new site and meet the principals.

When a date and time for the forum has been announced, it will be emailed to parents, put on the district website and announced on the district Facebook page. The board will have an opportunity to vote on the new boundaries at the February meeting. Stop by http://www.mustangps.org/BoundaryRealignment2018.aspx to read more, see the boundaries and share your comments and suggestions. 

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