Reynoldsurg seeks solution to high school enrollment issues


By Christine Bryant
Staff Writer

Officials from Reynoldsburg City Schools expect to soon have a short-term solution for the uneven enrollment at its two high schools.

Earlier in April, the district held two forums to seek input from the public about an ongoing issue at the high school campuses – Summit’s enrollment is too high for its capacity and Livingston is below capacity.

As of press time, Todd Hutchins, spokesperson for the district, said the school board is still working on a solution. Though he said he does not have an exact timetable for when the board will provide an answer, at the April school board meeting, board president Joe Begeny said he hopes to have a short-term answer by the beginning of May.

Through surveys and the two public meetings, families have provided insight into what students, parents and community members think of the current Academy structure, he said. Currently, students have the option of which Academy they attend – BELL or (HS)2 at Livingston, or Encore or eSTEM at Summit.

“Overall, the perspective is that choice is a good thing for our district,” Begeny said. “There are a lot of students and a lot of people who like the opportunity to choose where they go. However, there is an issue with the equality between the academies.”

The Reynoldsburg Board of Education announced in March that 72 percent of incoming freshmen selected Summit as their school of choice, while just 28 percent selected Livingston. That has left the Summit campus nearly 200 students above capacity with an enrollment of nearly 1,400. The Livingston campus, on the other hand, has 780 enrolled.

In response, the board has begun looking at options – both short-term and long-term solutions.
“This enrollment thing is not going to go away,” Begeny said at the April school board meeting.

While many families voiced support for the Academy structure, Begeny said there were some who disliked the system, with some parents and students calling for the end to Academies in favor of a more traditional structure.

Begeny also said although the district accepts students from outside the district, the open enrollment policy does not have a significant impact on the space issue.

When a consensus on a short-term solution is reached, Begeny said the board will announce it to the public, though was unsure at the time of the April meeting whether that would be through letters to parents, social media or another meeting. In the end, he said, it’s a problem that must be addressed together.

“That’s why we’re here,” he said. “We’re making sure our students have the best education they possibly can have.”

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