By Andrea Cordle
Some students in the South-Western City Schools District may have a new school to call home come 2016.
At a recent meeting, the board of education unanimously approved a new boundary plan for the 2016/17 school year.
“The need to change the boundaries comes from the construction project,” said David Stewart, district deputy superintendent.
Stewart said the closing of North Franklin Elementary School and the combining of East Franklin and Finland elementary schools forced the need to shift boundaries for the students.
In March of 2013, a boundary planning committee formed and began to review borderlines based on projected enrollment and areas of growth.
Stewart said the boundary plan attempts to keep neighborhoods together. He said the plan was put together to minimize student movement, achieve a socioeconomic balance and maximize transportation efficiency.
In the fall of 2013, the school district held several public meetings where the community had the opportunity to review three boundary maps and offer input. Based on the feedback from those meetings, the boundary planning committee drafted a plan.
According to Stewart, the boundary changes will only affect elementary school students. While many students will stay at their current school, some will have to move.
For example, students who attend North Franklin Elementary School will relocate to either Prairie Lincoln or Stiles Elementary School. Students who live off Brown Road and attend East Franklin will go to Finland Elementary in 2016.
“Wherever a student ends up, they will get a fantastic education,” said Stewart.
The boundary plan stems from the $250 million Ohio Facilities Construction Commission project to replace 13 elementary schools and Franklin Heights High School. The project will also renovate Buckeye Woods and Darby Woods elementary schools.
The project is funded through the OFCC and a bond measure approved by voters in the spring of 2012.
According to Sandy Nekoloff, director of communications, the district will have an interactive map on its website this spring. She said parents will be able to type in their address and the map will tell them which school their child will attend in 2016.
Nekoloff said the district would send a letter out to parents when the tool is ready on the website.
Construction of the new schools began last year. They will be completed in phases through 2016.
For more information on the construction project, visit www.swcs.us.