New boundary lines presented in South-Western City Schools

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By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

South-Western City School officials say the existing boundary lines that determine the student enrollment at Pleasant View Middle School will have to be modified before its doors open at a new location next year.

Where those boundary lines will be set, however, will be decided by the communities impacted by the change.

In December, district officials held a public meeting to discuss two alternative boundary line options and to solicit feedback from the community regarding said options. The officials stressed the importance of the latter.

“Feedback and communication about this process is very critical to our work (in determining where the boundary lines will be set),” said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Jamie Lusher.

According to Lusher, the modifications to the existing boundary lines are needed in order to stabilize the enrollment at Pleasant View.

“Currently, our enrollment at Pleasant View Middle School is at 910 students and, as you can see, that is non-congruent with some of our other buildings,” she said, referring to the neighboring Brookpark and Norton Middle Schools where there is a current enrollment of 513 students and 588 students, respectively.

She said the goal of the boundary modifications would be to bring Pleasant View’s enrollment in the range of the high 600s to the low 700s when it transitions to its location adjacent to Bolton Crossing Elementary for the 2022-23 calendar year.

“Our buildings are built to sustain about 800 students,” she said, “so currently Pleasant View Middle School is well over what we would anticipate our enrollment to be to maintain the integrity of the way the buildings were constructed.”

Lusher said the district can reach those high 600 to low 700 numbers by redistributing approximately 150 Pleasant View Middle School students to either Brookpark (which will be called Beulah Park when its doors open next fall) or Norton Middle.

The district presented two options that would meet that goal at the meeting, both of which can be viewed or downloaded on the district’s website at swcsd.us.

In option one, Beulah Park would absorb the southernmost portion of Pleasant View’s existing boundary, soaking up most of the rural area that dips into Pickaway County (such as the village of Harrisburg) and the homes that straddle the Madison County line up to portions of Alkire Road (nearest to the village of Georgesville).

Pleasant View’s boundary would extend from the Madison County line near Gerich-Lilly Road to the Alton Hall Elementary area (extending to Murnan Road) and near portions of Sullivant Avenue (such as Inah Court and West Grove Drive) and Demorest and Holt Roads (such as Dungannon Drive and Alameda Drive).

It’s existing boundary near Northforty Drive would transition to Norton Middle.
According to Lusher, option one would consolidate Pleasant View’s intermediate feeder schools from 5 to 3 (Franklin Woods, Galloway Ridge, and Holt Crossing). Data analyst Robert Kramer said within this option, 126 students (including 11 English Language Learners) from Pleasant View would be redistributed to Beulah Park and 38 students (including three English Language Learners) would be redistributed to Norton.

In option two, Pleasant View’s boundary looks much like its existing boundary, maintaining its rural geography in the south along with its more densely populated areas near Sullivant Avenue (such as Northforty Drive, Inah Court and West Grove Drive) but it loses its central location near Alton Hall Elementary to Norton Middle School and its northern boundary near Demorest and Holt Roads (such as Dungannon and Alameda Drive) to Beulah Park Middle.
Kramer said roughly the same number of students would be redistributed in option two as they would be in option one.

According to Lusher, option two would consolidate Pleasant View’s intermediate feeder schools from 5 to 4 (Hayes, Holt Crossing, Galloway Ridge and Park Street). She added that within this option 121 students (including 19 English Language Learners) would be redistributed from Pleasant View to Beulah Park and 18 students (including three English Language Learners) would be redistributed to Norton.

District officials have been asked whether special accommodations could be given to students who are slated to be redistributed to other schools but do not wish to be relocated (for instance, current seventh graders at Pleasant View). Lusher said because of the “relatively low number” of students being impacted by the change, the district can be more flexible in regard to special requests.

“It may be that if a child wants to stay at Pleasant View that we have to work out with the families to see if they can secure transportation because we may not be able to provide it,” she said. “But we can look at those on an individual basis.”

Lusher said she knows that boundary line modifications can often be stressful to students and families, but she said the district has tried its best to minimize the impact through boundary planning parameters established during the elementary school build project.

Those parameters include keeping neighborhoods together, using natural geographic boundaries, making allowances for projected growth, maintaining consistency with the feeder system and maximizing transportation efficiency, to name a few.

Lusher said the high school trajectory of these boundary modifications will not change from its existing course.

The community can offer feedback on the two options presented at the meeting through most of January via its website. The district will make its recommendation to the board of education at a meeting in February.

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